Gaps are the bane of a quality bikeway network.
You know the feeling: You’re biking along enjoying the relative security and binding legal status of a bike lane when, bam! All of the sudden that halo of safety and respect is gone. What’s even worse is when the bikeway starts up again just a few, tantalizingly close blocks away. Sure there’s research to confirm this, but anyone who’s ever been on a bike knows it instinctively. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s sort of like driving down a road when all the sudden the pavement gives way to dirt, rocks and ruts. Your car will usually make it through just fine, but it feels very uncomfortable. And it makes you mad.
Spurred in part by the senseless tragedy last month that happened in a bike lane gap on NE Lombard, we’ve decided to devote an entire week to these gaps. We’re calling it Gap Week (creative, I know).
Starting this coming Monday (1/25) we’ll report on one gap a day through Thursday. With each gap we’ll share photos, a map and description of the problem, and any important history or other context we can find out. Our goal is to empower you with information and inspire you to do something about it — whether that means bringing it up through your neighborhood association, leaning on local leaders to do something about it, get a bucket of paint out, or whatever. We’ve shared our list with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and they’ve kindly agreed to track down information and give us some official context for the what/why/how of each gap.
The gaps we’ll focus on are ones that haven’t gotten a ton of headlines yet. That means glaring, infamous gaps like the Naito Gap, the gap at Lombard and 42nd, the gaps over the bridges on Barbur Boulevard, and the Sellwood Gap, didn’t make the list. We’ve also left out dropped bike lanes and will instead focus on true gaps — where a bike lane abruptly ends, only to appear again a few blocks away. Those are the most frustrating and are likely easier to build support for fixing.
We also want to hear from you. What is the worst bike lane gap you’ve come across? Send us the location and a photo or two and we’ll round them all up on Friday. You can also share your gaps on social media using the #GapWeekPDX hashtag.
Tune in Monday for the unveiling of the first gap.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – email@example.com
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The most annoying, although not most dangerous, gap I’ve encountered is where the bike lanes drop off on SE 26th just south of Clinton to preserve a small number of parking spaces. The connection with the greenway is RIGHT THERE, but nope. The abrupt bike lane drop at the giant roundabout at NE Glisan and Chavez was pretty terrifying the first time I rode it because its disappearance is so subtle. Now, I don’t even like to drive that roundabout. The bike lane drop off just south of the I-84 overpass at 20th/21st is frustrating (especially with the curve).
The most frustrating for me is more of a network gap, but there’s no good way to get to/from any of the neighborhoods north of Division (Ladd’s, Central Eastside) and the western Clinton greenway from 12th to 21st. The only official bike routes send you across the train tracks twice (try not to get trapped by a 40-min freight train!) via that mess of an intersection at Gideon. Otherwise you either get to take the lane on Division or SE 12th (not for everyone), or play frogger crossing Division to/from Ladd’s (none of the streets line up, so all crossings involve jogs). The X shape of Ladd’s Addition is what’s messing this all up, but a cycle track on 12th would fix it right up.
I use the Hawthorn Bridge as often as the Tillicum Bridge because the network fluster cluck is so confusing (still). From 12th Ladds Edition is very pleasant (usually) with traffic accustom to seeing bikes and the diagonal route to 21st feels like a short cut. An unbroken grid system would be boring. I think Ladds is cool.
I should amend this. The worst gaps in our network are the unprotected crossings between greenways and arterial streets, where motorists on the arterial have no legal obligation to stop for cyclists waiting to cross. Every intersection on a greenway where cyclists are required to stop should also require motorists on the perpendicular road to stop, either via a traffic light, rapid flash beacon, or a simple 4-way stop. Anything less is not 8-to-80.
41st and Division comes to mind. PBOT tried to do something by installing bike boxes, but they are unprotected and require you to turn at a sharp 90º angle that makes it impossible to see oncoming traffic.
I see your point and raise you SE 52nd and Woodward, where the same problem is in effect. I use both on my way home, although I have more issues with cars not following the right of way and stopping for me awkwardly. Niceholes!
Rapid flash beacons do not require drivers to stop for cyclists, nothing does except a red signal or stop sign. Your proposal would put a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon ($150,000), or full signal ($250,000) everywhere a greenway crosses a street of higher classification? (Portland doesn’t use the label ‘arterial’)
Isn’t a cyclist who is proceeding at or below “walking speed” considered a pedestrian, and is therefore afforded all the protections granted to pedestrians?
In the crosswalk, yes. But pedestrians do not have the right to step out in front of traffic that does not have time to stop. Legal protections also don’t stop speeding metal.
811.005 Duty to exercise due care. None of the provisions of the vehicle code relieve a pedestrian from the duty to exercise due care or relieve a driver from the duty to exercise due care concerning pedestrians.
It sounds as if drivers do in fact have the responsibility to stop for cyclists at a rapid-flash beacon, as long as the cyclist is in a crosswalk, marked or unmarked, and exercises due care.
So why would JE’s suggestion of using the beacons to facilitate “streets of higher classification” be objectionable? Cost?
PS Is that the PC way to refer to big streets now? 🙂
Once your wheel or anything extends past the curb, yes they must stop. Also note that the “walking pace” restriction is only on *entering* the crosswalk or driveway (and perhaps leaving a refuge island) — i.e. “don’t dart out”.
Well, drivers have the responsibility to stop (if they can in time) for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, whether or not there is a flashing beacon. The flasher itself does not carry any legal stopping power, it merely reminds drivers that they are supposed to stop for pedestrians, and signals that there is probably a pedestrian present for whom they should stop. It is perfectly legal to drive through a flasher if there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk.
The Springwater trail has quite a few crossings that have no stoplight or stop sign for cross traffic. Guide signs that ID cross streets are almost nonexistent on the trail, too.
Ha! My favorite part of 26th is the section with no bike lane, from just south of Clinton to Division, probably because the lane south of there is so substandard, and I can finally get out of it and into the lane proper. No more cars whizzing by!
Yes–‘whizzing’ is indeed the word–only one and a half blocks from a stop sign (drivers–even big trucks…I hear jake brakes sometimes…race right up to that thing) AND on a 25mph (snort of laughter!) street. I hate the way people drive SE 26th. Absolutely loathe it. Such a sense of impunity. And why not? Ugh.
Scholls Ferry and TV Highway have many gaps.
NE 181st where it passes under I-84. The northbound bike lane on 181st ends at the freeway offramp, and cyclists are forced to cross two lanes of traffic that is turning onto the freeway onramp.
The I-84 bike path also abruptly ends here, forcing cyclists who want to go north to either ride on the sidewalk, or attempt to turn left with the traffic exiting the freeway. Many drivers roll through the red light to turn south onto 181st, creating a major hazard.
Is this a state- or nationwide list, or just inside the City, so PBOT could address it? most of 181st is outside of Portland.
Kind of splitting hairs, the above-mentioned intersection is only a few blocks south of the Portland border there.
It’s a shame we don’t have a M(etro)BOT instead of a PBOT.
I find that one particularly egregious because the expectation is you cross the street 3 times in order to bridge the gap. The actual result is riders are trained to ride against oncoming traffic rather than using the existing infrastructure. https://email@example.com,-122.4772817,3a,15y,15.49h,86.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0-7U7jgjxfgOaahTvEt2Dg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
One lane for the westbound freeway onramp would be sufficient. There are three northbound lanes at that point. They should restripe to have the bike lane cross the first lane south of the I-84 east onramp, then cross the 2nd right lane before it the westbound ramp. One lane is sufficient for the amount of northbound traffic heading the NE Sandy and Airport Way.
I’ve traveled on a bus thru that area and wondered why bikes must cross and recross the street THREE separate times in about a block and a half. This is one of the busiest streets in the metro area. The street serves as a major freeway connection. Whoever designed this has no sense of logic, nor of safety.
NW 16th, 18th and 19th all have frustrating gaps. The gap on SE 28th between Gladstone and Holgate is also annoying, but the proposed diverter can only help. N Willamette north of Alma is also aggravating. There’s definitely others that I’m not thinking of though.
Forgot N Interstate around Rosa Parks. That has to be one of the most egregious in the entire city.
I haaaaate that gap so much. It’s one of the many reasons I almost never ride on Interstate. And what makes it extra frustrating is that there is room for a lane!
I agree !!
There are many gaps on Interstate that are hoping to kill someone.
I hate all the gaps on Interstate, too! I recall Lenny Anderson claiming some knowledge of how they got designed, maybe JM or MA could interview him?
Ugh, NW 16th, where the bike lane disappears for 3 blocks between Johnson and Glisan to create an extra auto lane:
What’s weird is that I can’t even work out why this happens. There no obvious reason why auto volumes along 16th would be higher south of Johnson than they are north of it. There is a right arrow marked for drivers turning onto Glisan, but it’s not even a dedicated turn lane.
On the west side – the bike route between Portland & the zoo takes you on the shoulder of US 26 of a very hilly route through the zoo.
Also, NW Evergreen road at Cornelius pass – for a fairly critical and not too expensive block the bike lane disappears, although i think this one may be about to be fixed.
Yep. That’s why I head up the steeper, stair step climb up to Washington Park despite how tired the legs feel.
SW 6th Ave at 405 overpass!
“it’s sort of like driving down a road when all the sudden the pavement gives way to dirt, rocks and ruts.”
The analogy I usually use with gaps is more akin to railroads. Back in the 1800’s when America was building the Transcontinental Railroad, we started building at each coast and met in the middle. If we had our current traffic engineers (or at least the ones from a few decades ago when most of our roads were built), they would have gotten to Missouri (or wherever that was) from each side, just before connecting the two sides and said “Well, we’re just short of funding on that last mile. We’ll just leave it as it is. I’m sure the trains will figure it out.”
We can have the most beautiful, separated, Platinum Level bikeways for 90% of a major street, but that one little section (e.g. where Martin died on Lombard) is enough to keep people using the rest of the infrastructure. It doesn’t matter how great the other stuff is, if there’s just 50 feet of road that looks like a death trap, the concerned-but-interested category of potential users are right to decline to use the fancy stretches.
It was at Golden Spike, Utah.
Bah! Facts: who needs ’em.
Actually it was Promontory Summit or Promontory Point, which is enshrined as the Golden Spike National Historic Site.
Indeed it was. Thanks for the correction.
“We can have the most beautiful, separated, Platinum Level bikeways for 90% of a major street, but that one little section (e.g. where Martin died on Lombard) is enough to keep people using the rest of the infrastructure.”
Then folks can say, “See? We spent all this money and nobody even uses it! Ingrates! What do ‘they’ want, gold-plated pavement? This is why bicyclists should pay gas tax. And they still can’t stop at stop signs and red lights! Why, my friend from Minneapolis told me about his cousin who knew this guy in New York that got his elbow clipped by one of those crazy bicyclists once, so that’s what you get. I say, until those bikers can follow the rules of the road and pay for registration and license plates, we don’t spend another dime. They should know better than to go against a 4,000-lb car; the laws of physics win every time, period.”
What about the block of the Woodward greenway that asks people to ride on the sidewalk of 82nd Avenue for a block to get to Brooklyn Street? Does that count as a gap?
The “Clinton Greenway” east of 75th is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever tried to ride, and it won’t even get you to 92nd! Part of improving 82nd for the BRT needs to include a crossing at Clinton. Even with the occasional gravel street it’s a much more sensible route (and a lot safer than the other alternative, Division).
There was once a great route when Fubon left it’s back parking lot gate open. It made for a great shortcut route from the South Tabor neighborhood east to 92nd, it even came with a traffic light to cross 82nd too.
But it’s been years since I’ve seen that gate left open. Though I gotta admit, it’s been locked up long enough I haven’t looked for the last few years either.
It’s permanently open back there. I use it to get to Fubonn from the 85th Greenway all the time. No gate – just a dumb bollard and no sidewalk.
NIce! Now to just make sure I remember next time I’m biking that way.
I’m looking at the 2030 bike map and don’t see a greenway on Clinton where your say one is. Do you mean Woodward?
NE 7th between Broadway and Tillamook. The bike lane on 7th ends just short of connecting with the Tillamook greenway.
The bike lane on SE Stark/Water St that just…ends at MLK. Where do you go from there?
7th north of Tillamook is a greenway. 7th south of Tillamook is a future bike lane on the 2030 map, but I could see it added into the greenway.
Greenways don’t typically have bike lanes.
If 7th is a greenway, it really needs some diversion to keep aggro drivers off the road. Someone intentionally hit me with their van on 7thv last year.
One of my “favorite” gaps isn’t really a bike gap at all… the lack of truck access from one side of Brooklyn Yards to the other pushes a lot of truck traffic onto the street network, and makes the already horrible bridge at Holgate a very, very scary place to ride.
N Interstate between Willamette and Dekum: this bypasses so many destinations including Ockley Green School (which is shaping up to become a proper middle school again).
Willamette at N Ida.
N. Interstate southbound between N Oregon and just past NE 1st
Skidmore between Michigan and NE 7th- This SHOULD/COULD be provide safe crossings at Mississippi, Vancouver, Williams and 7th, and interconnect the greenways/ bike lanes of Concord, Interstate, Vancouver/Williams, and Going.
Skidmore west of Michigan is part of the Going to the River project that also did Michigan. East of Michigan is future bike lane on the map.
East of Michigan- how far? I really hope ift extends to 7th or at least MLK! At any rate, great news that this is planned, hopefully it will get built sooner rather than later!
I’m looking forward to the reporting on Gap Week!
Could you guys consider a “Just Peters Out” week sometime?
Oh, oh, I remembered one. The stupidest bike lane in NE Portland, maybe in the world, runs on NE 15th from around Prescott down to Broadway. It’s like a damned Morse code of dashes and dots, breaking for parking, starting up again at intersections, disappearing again…
I’ve never ridden it, because there’s no “it”. It’s really stupid.
I fully agree, and it’s the same on Dekum. I tried for about a year to get PBOT to make the bike lanes on 15th actually usable but they are very stubborn.
I find the north beginning of it around Mason. I thought it continued in its broken way farther north, but I can’t spot it on Streetview. It just suddenly appears at Mason, then stutters till Broadway.
To be fair, NE 15th doesn’t seem to be marked on the City’s NE Portland Bike Walk Map.
So really, those little snippets are just potentially dangerous leftover paint stripes that need removing.
16th – 18th are more hilly, significantly more stops, worse crossings of arterial streets, worse connections to places south or east of broadway and 15th.
I live in the area as well, and I’ve taken every road between Williams and 18th to get to / from work. MLK is by far the fastest, with 15th being the 2nd fastest.
Depending on which side of the river I’m going, one of the “recommended” routes can end up adding 9 minutes to my trip each way.
I really wish the city would throw us a bone and give us an excellent north/south route in this area.
the markings around the refuge islands are not bike lanes. They are edge stripes, 4 inch white lines, to visually narrow the opening.
Bike lanes are 8 inches wide.
And it’s also a bus stop! Is it even legal for a bus to stop in a bike lane? (or, in this case, a “lane”?)
Those are quite old. I didn’t realize they had that marking.
the new standard does not have a marking, or if it does, usually only after the intersection. https://goo.gl/maps/MVB6w3C2L9P2
SE Woodstock between SE 39th and SE 52nd. Bike lane just disappears though the major commercial district there.
Do we have any commercial districts that don’t drop the bike lane? I’m honestly curious, as I can’t think of one.
Not including the bike lanes in the SW and NW Downtownish areas(Like Pearl and NW). Off the top of my head.
NE Broadway/Weilder, NE Multnomah, SE Stark (through Montivillia), NE Halsey/Weilder (Gateway)
And does Williams and Vancouver count as commercial it’s kind of somewhere in between? Do the major streets (lots of commercial but not really a district) like 122, 148, and 162, Burnside in East Portland count – or are we just counting the “cool” neighborhoods.
I’ve been told that this was done on purpose to make it like a greenway (note that it is marked at 25mph in that section (slower than the east or west sections)), and the idea was that bikes would be in the lane, further slowing down cars.
I’m not sure it really works that way in reality, but that is the reason I have heard the bike lanes disappear and reappear.
Where to begin.
N Bryant at MLK crossing. Holman west of 13th. Willamette, Interstate to Greeley. 80’s, Powell to Holgate. 80’s, Flavel to Springwater.
Willamette west of Ida. 148th south of Powell.
Frequent connections between Springwater and the grid.
I can ride the Holman Greenway from 42nd to Grand with my kids in the trailer, but then I can’t cross MLK. I’d love to see a
Crossing similar to Going at 33rd.
The longer than expected torn up SE 52nd between Woodstock and Steele. At least temporarily reduce and enforce the speed limit. The curve at SE Woodstock and 69th. Drivers can be very impatient on an already nerve racking street.
Add to that the block east of 82nd on Woodstock where the bike lane drops off for a half block to preserve parking in front of Kadels Auto Body.
It drops on the west side as well along the awn shop. I always take the lane a couple hundred feet before 82nd. There’s no way I’m merging into traffic in the middle of 82nd.
The western end of the Hawthorne Bridge, heading inbound. One block of a bike lane when you join the street (with a nice little pothole just after the ramp that has been there at least four years), then mayhem as you are dumped into rush-hour AM traffic westbound on Main.
The busiest bike bridge in the city, with no bike lane starting a block westbound. Good times.
Hear hear. This is puzzlingly awful, merging into cars and buses. The weak link on this route, for sure.
I ride out to Gresham on the weekends. go East on Stark , make a big circle out there and come home West on Burnside. At 201st , the previously nice bike path just disappears and doesn’t come back until crossing the big 5 way at 190th. (this is past the rear side of Kaiser) . sidewalk is the only relief.
On SE102nd going North from the Midland Post Office, the path just vanishes until Burnside (2 or 3 blocks) ..it’s just too narrow, same problem as the Gresham trick. Sidewalk again, tho I don’t like it.
In Gresham, headed downhill at se242nd and also at 80th & JCB , the problem is storm drains that take up much of the path, leaving about a foot to pass them.
I only ride low-stress bikeways, so here goes –
Flavel gap on the I-205 path is I think the worst one. Burnside gap on the Gresham-Fairview trail is a close second.
As Paikiala said, SE 87th greenway to Springwater. Literally one block… of gravel, mud puddles, and muddy single-track trail.
Tillamook/Hancock greenway through Hollywood. There’s infrastructure there – but it’s high-stress infrastructure. Going from a nice, low-traffic greenway to a 4 or 5-foot door-zone bike lane is a rude awakening and I’m sure scares some people off biking through Hollywood. Also, Tillamook in front of Grant is far from low-stress when parents in cars are present.
Same with 40s bikeway through Hollywood. (excepting the Grant high school comment).
Burnside on Gresham- Fairview never bothered me. The signs say use the sidewalk, so I do. Not enough foot traffic to bother with the roads. (although if someone wants to make it a straight ride through the trimet yards, that would be better!)
The wayfinding could really use some help. I got lost the first time I went through there. If local government can’t manage the political will to have a continuous path, it should at least blanket the sidewalk route with signs and pavement markings.
I’d agree that and the 205 Gateway gap is horrid too. They are both the pits, and in both cases I make the gaps, but I honestly can’t say if I’ve ever ridden the proper route even once, I usually just kind of wing it (I don’t ride with GPS or Maps – just a good understanding of the Portland grid).
Rumor has it that Tillamook is next on the list for legacy greenway retrofit.
The Flavel gap isn’t really a gap though. The infrastructure is there, it’s just really poorly laid out and designed. bike lanes run on 92nd both ways, and technically to say on the path you’re supposed to cross Flavel, and ride the sidewalk over the creek and the path picks up on the left. Alternatively you can just ride east on Flavel and take the MAX stop (which turns into the path as well).
I just usually take 92nd south until the 205 path picks up again on the west side (under the highway overpass). Just a lot easier than crossing 92nd once or twice.
When we lived in Hollywood and I carted the kiddo to school downtown, I grew weary of the alleged bike lane on NE Tillamook. Westbound Tillamook between 43rd and 33rd seems more designed to get people out of the bike lane than to get them to use it. I ended up just using the main travel lane for most trips, since in most blocks I’d have to swerve into the main lane anyway for one reason or another. The most epically stupid gap is at 38th, where there is a chicane (or something) to prevent auto traffic from proceeding north. To make room for this, the bike lane disappears… in the middle intersection. In other words, to cross 38th, the user would ostensibly approach the intersection in the bike lane, then swerve into the main travel lane for about 15 feet while crossing the street, then swerve back into the bike lane and continue west on Tillamook. Most bicycle users would proceed around the obstruction on the right side, rather than enter the main travel lane.
Oh yeah. That thing. It’s so weird and nonsensical that I’ve blocked it out, but I ride it several times a week.
This underscores a subtle problem: I get used to all the substandard infra on my regular routes, so it’s hard to call gaps to mind. It all seems normal.
9th ave north , Roy street Seattle .
Bike lane to parked cars to Mup. That’s happens in one block.
SW Capitol Highway
SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway (Yes, ODOT is “improving” Farmington road right now)
Gap? No problem. If the road speed is 35 or less, 100% full lane in effect for me.
how about the sidewalk section just south of the sellwood bridge down past Taylor’s Ferry Road. it’s been that way since construction on the bridge.
I-5 corridor to/from Vancouver across Delta Park and Hayden Island – full of gaps, bad crossings and difficult navigating
Or the infamous ‘Bridgeton Gap’ that forces riders onto Marine Drive east of the I-5 interchange for 5 blocks until you are shuffled onto Bridgeton Road at Gantenbien, and then BACK onto Marine Drive until 42nd.
40 Mile Loop has been working on this for years, with only minimal success
Crossings are the tiniest gaps!
* 39th between (not including) Taylor and Tillamook.
* I205, pretty much anywhere north of Burnside.
* Hayden Island, the unsignaled crosswalk around the corner from an offramp.
I also enjoy NW Glisan, already a detour of the Flanders greenway. You rejoin that street via 19th, but bike lane ends at 18th, and there’s no turn box on 19th.
NE Killingsworth/Sandy around I205: always nervous moments here taking my shortcut route to Troutdale.
N Victory Blvd: off-street path on Interstate, Delta Park (ultimately Vancouver) on the other end. Whitaker was right there!
Morrison Bridge: the eastbound bike lane starting at 2nd isn’t connected to anything.
N Interstate: Arbor Lodge
Any route in SW has gaps. Only SW Multnomah has continuous bike lanes from one end to the other. Also, many bike route entries into downtown feature disappearing bike lanes – Burnside, Hawthorne, 4th (Barbur), 6th (Terwilliger), SW Alder, no real route from Goose Hollow to downtown, etc. Also, there are no pavement markings to warn cyclists and encourage motorists to play nice. When auto lanes end, there are white arrows indicating the upcoming merge (e.g., NW 14th @ Glisan). But we have no equivalent warning for ending bike lanes – not even in the revered NACTO guidelines. They just end – deal with it. The little yellow signs are not enough. Time for Portland to be cutting edge and come up with something.
On Multnomah, the gap starts when it crosses Oleson and becomes Garden Home. Where the lane ends, there is a sign about bikes on the “roadway”. The roadway is narrow and in many places is bordered by deep ditches. In some spots, there are the remnants of what may be the oldest MUP: a path was built by the parents of the now closed Garden Home School in the early 1960s because even then the road was considered too dangerous for students to use. The County does not maintain this path.
And yes, there is a work around to this road, a THPRD path behind what us now the Rec Center. This path was closed “temporarily” almost three months ago to allow BES to work on their pump station that is supposed to defy common logic and allow s*** to go uphill.
I agree, the Flavel Disaster on the 205 path induces teeth nashing.
Then there’s the 205 gap between 82nd Dr and Hwy 224 (yes, I know they’re doing construction to improve that area).
You can ride a bike from 71st and Burnside, up Mt. Hood to Government Camp and beyond in a lovely bike lane. Just don’t expect to ride from 181st to 199th.
How about east bound between Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy and Bertha?
The winding, unmarked path between Scholls Ferry and 5th?
Have you ever tried to ride a bike from 5th to Canyon Rd?
Terwilliger at Capitol Hwy and again at 7th (just north of Barbur) — both are cases where the road narrows but the 11ft vehicle lanes can’t be compromised because the OHSU commuter bus would have to drive the posted speed of 25.
The bigger hole in SW is the lack of any greenway that’s not overrun with auto traffic (Sunset, Vermont, Hamilton, Corbett…) All of the major routes are named Barbur, which is not much more stressful than what’s left over the hills and through the neighborhoods.
Bike lanes do make some binding legal obligations of people biking, but the obligations are very limited.
It’s also true that bike lanes commonly end and resume with varying distance of road between. This is often because bike lanes created, for decades, tend to have been done so on road’s existing right of way. It’s kind of a hokey way to create bike infrastructure, but I think many people that bike, consider this imperfect provision of bike lane to be far better than nothing.
In many street situations reviewed, there will be no easy solutions for closing gaps in bike lanes. Closing the gaps may not even be realistically possible. Quickly browsing over the comments, it doesn’t appear that anyone so far has offered suggestions for closing bike lane gaps they’re aware of. Maybe I overlooked some suggestions that have been made.
Bike lanes that end abruptly, with little advance warning, can be challenging, but in my personal experience riding, generally are a road situation that can be managed well….that is, managed well by people prepared to be strong and quick, alert and aware of the status of traffic on the road all around as well as in front of them; and using signals. Other people that aren’t quite so well equipped for riding in traffic, are…up a crick…so to speak.
I’d welcome connecting as many segmented bike lanes as possible, but honestly, I don’t see much of that happening any time soon.
Out here in the Beav, Hall Blvd one the biggest, most central thoroughfares in the city, connecting Old Downtown with the huge shopping/multi entertainment center, after many years, still has its bike lane that disappears just south of the light rail tracks, leaving everyone that rides, to bike in the main lane, the remaining two or three tenths of a mile to Cedar Hills Blvd. Why? Money.
This “no easy solutions” excuse is based on some very flawed assumptions. The stretch of Hall you mention has 48ft between the curbs and 4 auto lanes posted at 30mph. Moving the Jersey barriers in 4ft would be a start, but you could just as easily paint 9ft lanes. What!? “We can’t paint 9ft lanes, 4 fire trucks might need to respond to emergencies in opposite directions!” Cars are 6ft wide and drivers seem to think they’re being totally safe within 2-3ft of people on a bike at these speeds.
Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy. That is the biggest gap that I can think of.
I dont mind 5th and everything to get around it as a commute, but anything you want on that street is terrible. The eastern part is much improved in the last few years but as soon as you cross into Wash Co…
Dogwood turns to Willomere
Scholls Ferry (or ride this longer and skip the previous steps)
tiny connecting trail. Unlit.
SW 5th (mind the tracks past 217!)
Beav-Hillsdale Hwy is one of those roads that, west of Scholls Ferry Rd, likely doesn’t have much chance of improvement for biking. I’d guess it’s already been built out to its right of way, and there’s shoulder to shoulder property along its length. I don’t know what the number count is, but there’s a huge number of motor vehicles used on that road during business hours, and quite a number in hours beyond.
5th Ave from Downtown Beav to Western Ave, isn’t too bad for easy going riding. East of Western Ave, 5th goes to an extension of the Fanno Creek MUP, which, essentially being a recreational trail, isn’t built to handle serious bike commute traffic. Terminates at Oleson Rd. There’s no really good easy going bike route further east that I know of. I like Garden Home Road to Multnomah town, it being a fairly quiet route for riding…still, not for the easy going riders.
I ride the 205 path often and really don’t consider the Flavel referenced one a gap. There is a lane to that intersection (South) and then you can cross and continue on the path or go cross to 92nd, which has a bike path too. Or going North, you cross 92nd at Crystal Springs blvd to 92nd and rejoin 205 path at flavel or keep going up 92nd. Neither way has disappearing path.
YES, that Flavel to 205 is somewhat a CF, but in actual use it’s not dangerous.
Well – as I said, I only ride low-stress bikeways. So, I’m not exposed to truly dangerous areas.
But I think the Flavel gap is pretty crazy in terms of just how confusing it is. My husband has yet to got through that area without getting lost. The paltry signage that exists is wrong (it routes you to the Flavel St. MAX stop, not the I-205 path, even though it says, “I-205 path (up arrow).”) It’s a matter of, “If this were a route for driving, would the way you’re supposed to go be even close to this confusing and inconsistent?”
The MAX stop directly leads to the path. You just have to ride past it.
Oh! OK, I get it now. Once ODOT builds a bridge north over the creek from just past Flavel north of the MAX station the path will connect. For now, it is a confusing mess.
I got turned around taking the little side path northeast from SE 92nd & Mt Scott Blvd (which is marked “I-205 path”). I arrived at the MAX station and I was like, “Um, where do I go to go north on the I-205 path – the path I followed a sign 50 yards ago to get back to?”
I had the same experience at the Gateway TC – no signs to the I-205 MUP. It’s obvious once you know, not so obvious when you don’t.
When in doubt just get close to the highway, I guess.
I think most people don’t really use that section anyway, from what I’ve seen. It’s a lot more direct on 92nd, so that might be why they haven’t put up great (or sufficient signage).
Also, an unprotected, unbuffered, narrow, door-zone bike lane next to 35 mph traffic is not a comparable facility to an off-street path. When I ride the 205 path, I always take the sidewalk on 92nd. Not saying the bike lane is unsafe, just that is scares me and I don’t like using it. I bet a lot of path users and potential users have similar infrastructure preferences to mine.
I have pretty much given up on using the 205 path for transportation cycling due to the detours/gaps (south end), momentum-robbing contortions, and horrible pavement (north end). For example, when I ride to the Clackamas TC I now ride on the bike lane on 82nd from Johnson Creek on.
It’s actually really easy, once you know where you’re going. And pretty fast (with flyovers or fly unders for Foster/Woodstock, Powell, and Division.
The section around Flavel is confusing (Just use 92nd a few blocks), but once the path picks up again to the south, it’s pretty easy to follow and fast, with underpasses under Johnson Creek, and a few other streets.
One wonders just what sort of political clout it would take to bring PBOT into the bicycle age.
If you continue past that MAX stop , it is the 205 path that continues over to a street crossing at CSB by the overpass. 100 feet down CSB to rejoin 205 path that then runs uninterrupted to CTC.
To your credit, I was confused the very first time at Flavel too. I stayed on the 205 path past the bus stop, but 92nd is more direct FOR ME.
And now, 92nd is safe for my riding. Very few cars park on it. There is sidewalk , if you are so inclined.
NE 7th between Broadway and Weidler…in front of FedEx Office. Bike lanes to the N and S but nothing in this 1 block section with busy traffic all around. And no good alternative route to cross the Lloyd District. This needs to be fixed ASAP…
My biggest daily gripe is a gap created not by lack of infrastructure but by lack of maintenance: southbound 17th between Sellwood and Milwaukie. From mid-October until late-winter, the shoulder lane becomes a slip-and-slide from all the mud and organic debris that’s rarely cleaned. Plus, in a couple places, roadside bramble encroaches over 50% of the lane.
It doesn’t help that the city and county boundaries fall on that stretch, meaning that Portland/Multnomah Co. and Milwaukie/Clackamas Co. both need to keep it maintained for the full stretch to be safe and sane.
It’s worth noting that city/county signs marking the border on 17th are nonexistent, nor are there such signs on the Springwater and I-205 Trails. The SWT-I-205 Trail junction has no guide signs either.
The bus stops in the bike lane on Interstate in the Rose Quarter and again near Russell
According to ORS 811.560, so can a lot of other vehicles, including private vehicles to “pick up or discharge a passenger”.
Ainsworth gets nasty east of MLK. The first block to get to Holman is a gauntlet of traffic and turning cars.
Apologies if these are duplicate suggestions; it’s hard to keep up with all the comments!
Coming off of Hawthorne Bridge heading into downtown there are no connecting bike lanes. 5th Ave heading south toward PSU has a very narrow bike lane, which doesn’t start until Jefferson–if coming off Main St from Hawthorne Bridge you just need to take the lane for several blocks until the bike lane picks up.
Heading north/east on Broadway to take the Broadway Bridge to the east side there is no bike lane until you are already heading up to the bridge.
Another few: N/NE Ainsworth is designated as a bike route (with sparse signage indicating it as such) but no real infrastructure. At N Albina and Ainsworth is a four way stop with tiny cut-out bike lanes on both sides of Ainsworth at the stop sign. Not sure whether or not that constitutes a “gap” or not, but it’s worth noting.
I’ve been looking up routes to get to my friend’s house in Clackamas via the I-205 MUP. I haven’t ridden the stretch yet, but looking at the maps it seems as though there’s a gap on the north end at 82nd Dr and SE Ambler Rd, and picks up again on the south end at Hwy 212/224. Looking at Google street view, these seem to be very busy roads with little to no bike infrastructure once you get off the MUP.
When my employer was going through ‘re-engineering’ in the mid 1980s, a time of Demming and mission statements, quality processes,etc, the phrase ‘GAP’ referred to a disconnect between the stated goals/values and the reality. In that sense, I formally nominate the entire city of Portland as a ‘Gap’: Biketown USA?
Oh, and how about Judge Michael Zusman’s bike lane gap at every intersection?
Tillicum Crossing to Banks-Vernonia Trail. The BVT, by the way, is on the finalists list for induction into the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Rail Trail Hall of Fame. If it wins, the BVT would be the second trail in the Portland area on that list. The SWT was added to the RTC HOF list a few years ago.
Walker Rd. Westbound between 170th and 185th comes to mind.
The narrow sidewalk detour of the Willamette Greenway just north of the River Forum office building (south of the South Waterfront). This isn’t as dangerous as the on-street bike lane gaps but it is an infuriating gap in what could be a fantastic, mostly car-free route from the Sellwood Bridge to downtown.
Guess this is a bit late to be added to the map but I’ll mention it anyway.
Not a gap per se, but the right turn from southbound 12th onto Sandy (right by PRG in the 5 way intersection). The painted bike lane is there at the intersection, but cars cut that corner *all* the time. Few months ago a semi cut it right in front of me – slammed on my brakes and thought ‘that’s it, I’m dead.’