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Gap Week follow-up: You’ve mapped 120 bikeway gaps around the city

Posted by on February 4th, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Bikeway gaps really get on Portlanders’ nerves. That much is clear.

The week after Jonathan and I suggested that people enter their least favorite gaps on a Google Map, the map has 120 items scattered around the Portland area.

Gaps like this one, at SW 24th and Barbur, where a bike lane dead-ends into a right-turn lane on what is usually a five-lane state highway, and vanishes completely on the other side of the street to make room for a woody hillside:

barbur lane gap

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Or this part of Southeast Woodstock Street, where one of Portland’s best little business districts is apparently incompatible with a bike lane:

se woodstock gap

Or this odd block of NW Vaughn, where the bike lane becomes a few sharrows in a left-hand lane rather than connecting to the useful northbound bike lane on 14th.

nw vaughn gap

This is a resource we’ll definitely use to inform future coverage. Maybe it’s even one that city staffers will be able to use, both to make sure their maps are correct — the project was partly inspired, after all, but the fact that the gap where Martin Greenough was killed in December was a straight blue line on the city map — and to find spots where small bits of work could deliver big payoffs.

Thank you for helping us with this project.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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paikialaAdam H.David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NCMaxDresopmok Recent comment authors
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Beeblebrox
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Beeblebrox

That last one is Vaughn, not Everett.

MaxD
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MaxD

This is a super interesting and useful map! I enjoyed zooming around to the spots I frequent and realizing how pathetic all these gaps are! As a regular rider, I have learned to deal with the gaps on my regular routes, but I was surprised by a brand new gap today! I had to drop of some files downtown from the Central Eastside and was using the new bike lane on SW 3rd. One minute I am in the bike lane, the next minute it is gone! There was likely a sign somewhere, but I was keeping my eyes on the adjacent traffic and looking for a street sign so I missed it if it were there. Not a problem for me, I would have taken the lane anyway, but very revealing if you consider a new rider or someone using BIketown.

Have you shared this map with anyone from PBOT or Metro? I would love to hear their response.

David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC
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David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC

From my experience on the PBOT BAC, I’d say PBOT is (rightly) less concerned about fixing “unprotected” bike lane gaps, which are normally designed for “young fearless” cyclists, than they are about improving routes for the much larger and influential “interested but concerned” cyclists. Such infrastructure includes protected bike lanes and green streets (bike boulevards), such as SE Clinton, the 20s, the 130s, and the 4M. From what I have observed here in Greensboro NC, I think PBOT’s priorities are correct and justified – unprotected bike lanes give riders a very false sense of security (as do sharrows), and should only be used when there is no other useful alternative (such as on SW Tewilliger.)

Terry D-M
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Terry D-M

Wait…I have not had time to look or comment yet…..I’m sure I can find a few more…….