Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

‘Agents of transformation’ help spread traffic cone activism in Portland

Posted by on March 3rd, 2016 at 8:53 am


These cones placed by PDX Transformation agents on NE 21st just after it crosses I-84 help prevent people from encroaching into the bike lane through the “s” curve. See more photos of it below.
(Photo: @PedalPortland on Twitter)

Portland’s traffic coning revolution is spreading.

Since we last reported on the anonymous, DIY citizen activists behind PDX Transformation, the group has been busy. Or should we say their followers have been busy.


The Williams and Alberta deployment.

After several cone deployments (and one gate-opening) the group has set their brand of activism free with the “Agents of Transformation” program. The idea (which we helped inspire with one innocent tweet) is that anyone can grab a few orange cones and take traffic safety hot-spots into their own hands.

Here’s more from one the leaders of PDX Transformation:

“We get a suggestion about a bad location from someone who lives or works near the spot, then coordinate a good transformation that can be done cheaply and safely. We get materials to the person, (hopefully with PDX Transformation branding), and the newly deputized Agent maintains the transformation as long as possible. It all happens on twitter, with us retweeting pics of the location.

It distributes our workload geographically in a way that our core team could never cover by ourselves. The more that the word gets out, the more people realize they can do this for themselves.”

These “transformation agents” have helped maintain cones at North Williams and Willamette, North Williams and Alberta, and most recently at the tricky corner on Northeast 21st where it crosses Interstate 84.



A few more views of the installation on NE 21st. The cones work best where people tend to encroach into bikeways, which is a very common behavior especially in curves.

Needing more cones to meet demand, PDX Transformation recently raised $1,000 via a GoFundMe campaign — and they did it in less than a week. They’ve used the money to order 50 new cones which should be ready for action any day now.

These spontaneous traffic-coning projects have been so popular that people have volunteered not only to place the cones on the street but also to maintain them. If someone rides the same route every day they can become caretakers of a specific location, making sure the cones are lined up and sharing the status with @PBOTrans on Twitter. As new locations get posted on social media, it encourages more people to help and get involved. It’s a positive feedback loop of safe streets activism.

And so far the projects have been well-received. “I’ve biked this route 1000 times & cars NEVER give this much room,” wrote one person on Twitter in response to the cones on 21st. “It was amazing to watch people’s brake lights turn on well in advance of the turn. The speed reduction was significant!” wrote another.

Keep up to date with all the action via @PBOTrans on Twitter.

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

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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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • John Lascurettes March 3, 2016 at 8:57 am

    That curve on NE 21st over i-84 is anything but sharp (per your top caption). Cars going into it is just lazy. My wife gave me a ride into work this morning and this is the route we took after dropping our kid off at school. I was thrilled to see them (and it was working!) — however, she said the cones have been there for the better part of a week and at least one of the days they were strewn about the lane. 🙁 Sill, I LOVE this activism.

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  • dwk March 3, 2016 at 9:00 am

    The cones on 21st also cause cyclists (like me) to swerve into the traffic lane because they appear to be there because there is a problem with the drain on the corner.

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    • Anne Hawley
      Anne Hawley March 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

      There IS a problem with the drain at the corner. Avoiding it on the right while avoiding encroaching cars on the left is tricky and dangerous. Maybe one cone should be deployed right ON that grate.

      I reported the grate problem to PBOT last spring, complete with photographs that showed the 3-4″ drop from road surface to grate. It took them many weeks to reply. They replied that they’d reply more later.

      Eventually, when that section of 21st was completely repaved, PBOT followed up with me to say that the spot had been fixed. What actually happened was that the steep drop-off to the grate had been merely eased: they smoothed the edge, but you’d still wipe out badly if you hit it in the dark.

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  • DanF March 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

    This is a well meaning but not particularly well thought out effort. I’d rather not have additional obstacles (i.e. toppled cones) blocking the bike lane. These could potentially be a hazard for motorists as well as cyclists.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

      These cones are not blocking the bike lane. Additionally, the car drivers encroaching into the bike lane pose a far greater hazard than a toppled cone. We need to get our priorities straight.

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      • dwk March 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

        It is an idiotic place to put the cones and is a danger to cyclists.
        I ride this corner every day and I ride around them in the lane because they are not place properly at all.
        If a cyclist swerves into the lane and gets killed, whoever put them there is responsible.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 9:40 am

          How fast are you riding that you can’t avoid a cone next to the bike lane? Based on the photos, these cones do not appear to be blocking the bike lane at all.

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          • dwk March 3, 2016 at 9:43 am

            You are going downhill and yes, one can go fast, fast enough to just take the lane so the bike lane is irrelevant. I realize it does not meet your standard for 6 year olds to ride there.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

              Perhaps if you are going too fast to avoid a potential hazard in the road, that you should slow down to a speed that enables you to avoid a hazard? What if instead of a cone in the lane, it was a person?

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              • dwk March 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

                You know, some people ride bikes for real transportation and they need to get to work in the least time possible. I can avoid hazards, I just don’t need “cyclists”, putting hazards in the roadway. I have enough to avoid….

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 10:14 am

                Would you approve of this if PBOT installed flexible bollards where the cones currently are?

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              • dwk March 3, 2016 at 10:29 am

                If PBOT installed something (I don’t think they are necessary at this location), that would be fine. I do not want layman deciding what and where to direct traffic.
                If motorists repainted bike lanes would that be ok with you?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 10:44 am

                Fair enough. I do believe that this is the point of putting the cones there in the first place: to get PBOT to pay more attention to the spot and hopefully get a permanent solution in place. If this happens, then IMO whatever “hazard” the cones cause is worth it in the long term. In the short term, we should take solace in the fact that your fellow Portlanders currently feel unsafe at this location and want to do something to help improve it though direct action. This is a terrific example of bottom-up governance.

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              • Spiffy March 3, 2016 at 11:02 am

                “If motorists repainted bike lanes would that be ok with you?”

                I’d love it if they did that… better yet to not drive over them causing the need to repaint…

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 11:06 am

                Motorists don’t have to repaint the bike lanes, because they already get priority on nearly every street. In fact, drivers do unwillingly unpaint bike lanes by continuously driving over them.

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              • SurlyGuy March 6, 2016 at 9:40 pm

                Really, this is what you’re worried about? Two people were killed by a drunk in AZ this weekend, because of no infrastructure to protect them, and even small visual barriers can create traffic calming. I can’t believe people are kvetching about damn cones. Good grief.

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      • Todd Hudson March 3, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Your solutions are so pragmatic.

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      • dwk March 3, 2016 at 9:34 am

        My previous comment is waiting moderation for some reason.
        This is a stupid place for the cones and it is a danger to cyclists. I ride it everyday, do you?

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        • Anthony March 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm

          I ride it every day and completely disagree. My experience is that 75% or more cars encroach into the bike lane at this intersection. With the cones, I haven’t seen a single car do so, and the cones are not, and have not been in my way. I ride relatively fast through there and feel safer with the cones there.

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 3, 2016 at 9:40 am


        I think the point being made, which I agree with, is that people on bikes might think the cones are for a construction project… So they might react by leaving the bike lane and sharing the adjacent lane with other users which could lead to a dangerous situation. I think it’s a valid criticism and something I hope we can all discuss and talk through without being mean or petty to each other. (So everyone, please try to use words other than “stupid” “idiotic” and so on. Thanks!).

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

          Yeah, I see your point. Perhaps to make it more clear that this is not a construction zone, flowers could be placed inside the cones like the NY group does?

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          • Al Dimond March 3, 2016 at 10:30 am

            Now I’m not exactly a MUTCD originalist here, but I don’t see how flowers in traffic cones signify anything to a random road user that comes upon them. See roses, stay right! Lillies, go left!

            If I saw cones on the lane line (of any standard painted bike lane) I’d assume they indicated either a hazard or blockage in the bike lane, or a temporary sidewalk reroute onto the bike lane. I’ve actually had cones all over my most common daily routes for the last several months, and this is what they’ve indicated. In either case I’d merge into the general-purpose lane to my left. The cones are visible from a distance, even at night with reflective material (the Transformation group seems to be using pretty nice cones), visible well before any flowers, logos, wordy explanatory signs, etc… which allows me to prepare for and execute a merge well before I’d have a chance to see any of that other stuff. To say nothing of the hazard they might be indicating — if cones are indicating a hazard involving a sewer drain, that’s something I wouldn’t see until I was right up on it on a wet night, so I’d be wise to steer clear. This builds on a century of traffic engineering experience and a couple decades of personal experience on wheels.

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            • Al Dimond March 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm

              To be sure, I don’t think the cones are really a hazard. They’re fine as a temporary message to the city. They’re just not particularly communicative. Ideally cones intended to guide you out of a lane should be placed to guide you out of a lane, but cones aren’t always placed/replaced ideally, so we have to use good judgment! If we all start to see cones and think, “Ah, here’s the bike lane!”, that’s going to steer us wrong often.

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        • dwk March 3, 2016 at 10:40 am

          Bikeportland advocating will nilly actions to direct traffic by anyone who thinks they should is totally irresponsible….

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

            Hi dwk,

            I hear you. Yes I do support this stuff… but I happen to think it’s much more “totally irresponsible” to sit idly by when our streets are not safe and no one else is standing up to make them safer.

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            • dwk March 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm

              So are you the expert in what is safe? is Adam H? W

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            • JeffS March 4, 2016 at 11:34 am

              I’m with you, though safe is a very ambiguous word. I did buy a few cones for the cause. That said:

              It’s more than a little odd for me, as someone who has spent his whole life without bike lanes, that the bike lanes are the major source of problem, as seen by most? here… those that advocated for them. Rather than fixing that failure, or really even admitting to it, some have moved on to the next solution; to be implemented by the same people that failed with the striping.

              Every time you discuss lane encroachment, bike lane gaps, worn paint, or right-hooks the first thing that comes to my mind is that none of those would be a problem for a bike in the travel lane.

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            • 37Dennis March 7, 2016 at 1:06 am

              By merely stating on your blog , that you support rougish implementation of illegal traffic cones placed unauthorized on city streets you become complicit if in fact one was to be injured by the object being where it should not. I would be more than careful in making comments such as this. Just sayin,

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        • Spiffy March 3, 2016 at 11:09 am

          “people on bikes might think the cones are for a construction project”

          yes, it’s possible…

          “So they might react by leaving the bike lane and sharing the adjacent lane with other users”

          whoa, wait, what? why would you do that? only if the cone is blocking the lane would you think to exit the lane… but maybe that’s just my bias from driving?

          sure you might take extra caution through the area, which you obviously always should if cars are veering into the bike lane, but there’s no need to imagine that you need to alter your course…

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          • Scott H March 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm

            Traffic cones are designed to signify an obstruction or a traffic control change. They certainly aren’t designed to convey ‘carry on as usual.’

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          • CaptainKarma March 3, 2016 at 12:56 pm

            I do not blindly follow a traffic cone’s “suggestion” to enter a car lane unless there is a printed sign saying explicitly to do so. All a cone says is “pay attention”. I would continue my line on the bike lane and “pay attention”.

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      • 37Dennis March 7, 2016 at 12:43 am

        My priority would be to sue the crap out of the people placing cones unlawfully on city streets. If I ride that way to get coffee tomorrow, I’m gonna chuck those cones in the trash.

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    • Adam March 3, 2016 at 10:13 am

      DanF – that’s what epoxy at the base of the cone is for!!

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  • Todd Hudson March 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Cones may or may not be going up on E Burnside near 74th.

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  • Adam March 3, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Waaahooooo! I only bike in on that route about once a week, but I will happily help keep them up. I’ve thought about putting a PBOT request for some sort of divider the like armadillos or wands almost every time I come through.

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  • bikeninja March 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Power to the people!

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  • J_R March 3, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I’d like to know if any motorist has ever been cited for or even warned against driving in the bike lane by the PPB.

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  • peejay March 3, 2016 at 9:58 am

    This is great! So glad I contributed to the fundraiser. I love the idea that we can all pitch in and help improve the streets.

    As for a permanent solution, I think it’s crazy that we can’t have proper separation where there are no driveways or intersections, like this overpass.

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  • Adam March 3, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love it!! I probably would not “tweet” what I’d done though. You can be sure PBOT will send crews out to remove them in that instance. If you just drop a few cones, and don’t tell anyone, PBOT may not know what they’re for and leave them.

    Especially if you spray paint “NW Natural” on them 😉

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    • q`Tzal March 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      “Municipal Sewer Dept”

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  • Adam March 3, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I also think these would be useful at crosswalks where adherence to Oregon State Crosswalk Laws is weak, or non- existent.

    I’m thinking of the crosswalk o e vlock north if the Steel Bridge at NW Naito outside McCormick Pier Grocers, where practically zero vehicles stop, and vehicle speeds are over the legal limit by a good amount.

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  • Chris March 3, 2016 at 10:20 am

    When are they coning WB Burnside bridge approach from Couch?

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  • Don March 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

    These cones are a hazard to cyclists. No sane cyclist will willingly enter this cattle chute they have set up. Additionally, at the end of the cones, is a horrible expansion joint and often a deep puddle from a blocked drain. The cones force you through both these hazards. At this point in the bike lane is also where most competent commuters take the lane anyway to avoid being forced into the parked cars coming up on 20th. Pretty much every cyclist I have seen on my commutes has gone into the traffic lane to avoid the cones.

    I actually made a twitter account just to let PDX Transformations know. They quickly misunderstood, then ignored the advice. This is the first time I have encountered a PDX Transformations “improvement” and while it has been successful at keeping cars out of that 40 or 50 feet of bike lane, it has been equally successful at keep bikes out of it as well.

    If they want to do something useful around there why not work to get rid of the parking on 20th between Irving and I-84?

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    • Paul Atkinson March 3, 2016 at 10:53 am

      What do you think would be a more successful transformation of that space to make it safe for all users? I ride that route very rarely, so my opinion isn’t worth the time to type it, but if there’s a better way…?

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      • dwk March 3, 2016 at 11:44 am

        The striped land could be wider at the curve, but I want professionals to make decisions regarding traffic flow (including cycling advocates).
        I do not want everyone with a “plan” to put objects in the roadway.
        Bikeportland and Jonathan should know better.

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      • Don March 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

        As pointed out above, removing the parking on 20th up to Irving would be the best way to improve safety. Obviously fixing the hazards in the bike lane would help as well, although a bike lane the dumps you into a line of parked cars doesn’t really help cyclist safety, so without removing the parking, there is really no point in fixing the bike lane.

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    • Bruce March 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

      This area is part of my daily commute home from work. I’m a “competent commuter” and the only reason I would take the lane at this curve is to make myself more visible to the cars that encroach on the bike lane.

      I’ve seen dozens of cyclists enter this so-called “cattle chute” and only one go around the cones.

      Lastly, you say that “and while it has been successful at keeping cars out of that 40 or 50 feet of bike lane, it has been equally successful at keep bikes out of it as well.”

      If cars and bikes are going to share a lane, I’d rather that happen by cyclists taking the car lane, which is legal, and somewhat safe. What was happening before these cones was drivers and bikers sharing the BIKE LANE which is NOT legal and FAR from safe.

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    • Adam March 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      I’m sorry, but the cones are only emphasizing the width of the bike lane. The lane would be just as narrow without them.

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    • 37Dennis March 7, 2016 at 1:12 am

      Thank you, Don.

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  • Buzz March 3, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I agree with everyone who said these cones are a hazard to cyclists. I don’t really care one bit if motorists encroach in the bike lane when no one is cycling there, and when someone is cycling there, motorists generally pass with plenty of room. The cones are completely unnecessary.

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    • Peejay March 3, 2016 at 10:53 am


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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

      I personally feel very unsafe at this curve without the cones.

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      • dwk March 3, 2016 at 11:03 am

        Do you really ride here?
        The cones (as others have pointed out), direct a cyclist into a puddle covered grate.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 11:07 am

          No, the bike lane directs people cycling into a puddle covered grate. The cones are simply placed on where the bike lane line already exists.

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          • dwk March 3, 2016 at 11:26 am

            So these helpful cycling advocates are exacerbating the problem by forcing cyclists into the drain? They are as big a help to the local bike scene as you are…..

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          • Don March 3, 2016 at 11:51 am

            Then why are these “advocates” of bicycling trying to make cyclists stay in a bike lane full of hazards?

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            • Bruce March 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

              If you guys don’t want to ride in the bike lane, having cones on the separating line shouldn’t be a big deal for you. Weaving in and out of the bike lanes to avoid hazards WHILE GOING AROUND A BLIND TURN will get you KILLED.

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              • John Lascurettes March 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

                Blind turn? Blind? Not the 21st overdressing curve.

                Also, this is the grate everyone is talking about? It’s about 200 feet beyond the curve itself (no wonder I couldn’t remember ever seeing a grate of this curve I’ve ridden many, many times). Also, it’s right where the bike lane ends, so cyclists should already be looking to exit the bike lane and either assert the lane to continue going straight or make a right turn onto NE Pacific Street.

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              • John Lascurettes March 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

                *over crossing

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          • John Lascurettes March 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

            I have never, ever had a problem avoiding the grate while staying 100% within the bike lane here. I don’t understand the issue. No one is being “directed into a grate”.

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      • JeffS March 4, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Out of curiosity… where do you feel safe riding? Can you give some examples?

        This is not an attack. I would genuinely like to know.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. March 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm

          The Moody Street protected cycleway, Tilikum Crossing, Hawthorne Bridge, most separated bike paths (Esplanade, Orange Line MUP, I-205 path, etc.), most greenways outside of rush hour. Common theme is: few to no cars on the route. This doesn’t mean I won’t ride somewhere else if I have to, but I generally will try to avoid it if I can.

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    • soren March 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      I almost always ride in the lane here because encroachment in the bike lane is such a perennial problem (as can be seen by the faded paint). Moreover, when riding with my cohabitant I often ride alongside her to buffer her from the narcissists who routinely cut the corner and buzz people*.

      IMO, those who argue that traffic cones positioned on the white line are a “hazard” to people cycling in the lane are being disingenuous. If a wee little orange cone is such a hazard then why are you playing with 4000-8000 lb metal boxes driven by inattentive drivers?

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      • dwk March 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm


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        • dwk March 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm

          Sorry, for the last time, the cones are not the hazard, it is trying to guess whether they are there for a real hazard or not. I do not want to be riding around trying to decide and I do not want people putting obstructions in the roadway.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 1:36 pm

            If unsure, then slow down. This is a primary tenant of Driver’s Ed, and applies equally to bicycle transportation as well.

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            • dwk March 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm

              hey guess what Adam, stop deciding for me what is dangerous and what is not. Stop trying to direct traffic to your whims. If you all have a traffic issue, contact your council person. Stop trying to decide for me what is too fast and what is not.

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              • 37Dennis March 7, 2016 at 1:22 am

                I’m beyond tired of Adam. In his comments, and of late Johnathan’s as well, we have before us all the fodder the non-cycling world needs to make our beloved mode of transport and sport look heinous. Portland has become a complete joke.

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              • Peejay March 7, 2016 at 9:23 am

                I’m 100% in support of Adam, and I’m getting pretty tired of people who have this Stockholm-syndrome idea that the only way we can appeal to drivers is if we demonstrate some kind of public self-loathing of bikes here on a bike blog that drivers don’t read anyway.

                To all those who don’t agree with the idea of separated bike infrastructure; fine. I won’t bother changing your mind. But you know you’re in the minority here, right? There’s no point getting worked up when you see pro-separation viewpoints expressed here; it’s just not healthy for you.

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              • 37Dennis March 7, 2016 at 8:27 pm

                There is no amount of self loathing implied by my comment. I fully expect road users to abide lawfully I regards to my safety as a cyclist. I continue to ride everyday understanding that many people will never give a rats a– about me while I do so. I am never shocked by pious displays of ignorance on both sides of this issue. I do not have to support childish half baked ploys, implemented in some delusional attempt to create infrastructure change that more than likely will never improve. When cyclists do this, they are doing me no favors. I find it laughable. I rode through that corner every day almost for four years. They would be in my way, and they are dangerous being there.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I’m curious to know the statistics on how many people per year die or are seriously injured in cone-related crashes. Based on reactions here, cones present a major hazard to people cycling.

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    • dwk March 3, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Do you actually ride a bike?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

        I have seen from your comment history that you are willing to ride with motor traffic on busy arterials in order to get to your destination faster. This is certainly fine – it’s your prerogative. However, realize that your opinions on what constitutes safe cycling infra can be skewed by your physical abilities and willingness to ride unprotected in motor traffic. Many of us (myself included) are unwilling to take this risk or physically unable to pedal fast enough to keep up with motor traffic speeds. We should be designing bicycle infrastructure for the latter group if we want to build a city where anyone feels safe enough to take trips by bicycle instead of driving.

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        • Don March 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm

          Do you really think 3 traffic cones or a painted line make you “protected”? You are still riding unprotected in car traffic with or without the cones or the painted bike lane for that matter. What do you do when the bike lane ends just after the overpass?

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        • dwk March 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

          I am 62 years old. I think I am in the age group you are always advocating we make bike facilities safe for. There should be facilities for everyone to safely ride, but there should also be facilities for people who actually commute and time is a factor. I ride a lot of mile a year in this city so feel I am qualified to comment on what is safe and what is not.
          You and your friends putting cones in the road because YOU think they are needed is not helpful.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm

            FYI, I had nothing to do with this cone placement.

            Surely we can come to some compromise. As I stated above the point of these cones is not to serve as a permanent solution, but as a temporary demonstration on how a simple and cheap fix can improve motor vehicle encroachment onto a bike lane. It is meant to get the attention of PBOT and other government leaders to hopefully expedite a permanent fix. I hope this is a goal we can all share, and whatever temporary hazard these cones cause (I still have yet to hear of anyone injured by a cone placement by one of these groups) is, in the long term, in all of our best interests as people concerned for cycling safety.

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            • dwk March 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

              I completely agree we all need to work to make cycling safer. When someone puts out cones how am I to know whether they are there for a real hazard or not? Do you and Jonathan ever think these things through?

              Suppose they were there because of a bad grate cover or some other hazard, am I supposed to crash and find out that you were really just trying to get someone’s attention.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm

            And I would also add that “facilities for everyone to safely ride” and “facilities for people who actually commute” should not be mutually exclusive. Commuting doesn’t have to always mean faster. For example, I “actually commute” but I ride slowly and prefer safer facilities.

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        • canuck March 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

          The key issue is that you are not BUILDING a city in Portland, you are retro-fitting a city to conform to new norms. Sometimes you just aren’t going to be able to build that into existing infrastructure, and the cost of upgrading all infrastructure is more expensive than building new.

          And we already have a maintenance backlog. How do you upgrade when you can’t keep what you have in a usable state.

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          • Don March 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm

            Stop buying cones and start buying city commissioners would be a good place to start.

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    • Buzz March 3, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Cyclists are already marginalized by our transportation system, we don’t need other cyclists adding additional obstacles for us to maneuver around, PBOT and ODOT already do way too much of that already.

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    • Bruce March 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      A cone killed my family. DOWN WITH CONES

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    • JeffS March 4, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Time to take this to a private room.

      The hallway is sufficiently walled-in, though you’ll probably get run over at the intersection. I didn’t think you’d mind.

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  • MaxD March 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I love these temporary interventions! That are not perfect solutions but they do a great job of highlight system deficiencies. Here is my dream intervention:

    Paint a continuous white lane to define the motorist lanes on Interstate Ave as a consistent 11.5′ from the face of curb for the MAX train. I would like to see a stripe from Fremont to Larrabee. This would give a wildly varying width buffer for the bike lane. It would also highlight those spots where the road widens so severely that there is not only no buffer, there is no real bike lane! I believe this would enhance safety for people driving and people biking and maybe encourage to maintain a speed low enough to stay within their lane!

    I think a stick with a skateboard wheel on one end to run along the curb and a stencil to paint through would make this a pretty quick job if anybody has the guts!

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  • Terry D-M March 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    This is excellent for the Micro-level activism. As someone who lives inside the MACRO-level planning world….we need both the Macro and the Micro to work together as a community.

    These safety cones point out deficiencies in the micro that need to be fixed in the macro so it all fits together like one large active transportation puzzel we need to push for at every level.

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    • dwk March 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      How is a cyclist supposed to know what these cones are for?
      Thanks a lot for your help……

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      • Terry D-M March 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        I would hope these are just temporary and only used to point out fixable problems. If it becomes regular every day issue….then these will become a source of conflict…..as you are very clearly pointing out. I do hope that no one hits one, slips and gets hit by a car. That would clearly be counter to their purpose.

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    • SurlyGuy March 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Phew. Thank goodness for a comment on micro-level activism. If bikers can’t even see the value in that and a few cones, do they really think they can influence statewide policy planning (if one can make any sense of that draft bike plan, which I can’t). I appreciate small acts and the creativity and ultimate goal to reduce injuries and death behind them.

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  • Agent 1 March 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    We are greatly alarmed at the nature of the comments on this story, and wish to respond:

    We understand that our Transformations are not perfect solutions to the problems presented in the infrastructure, because we are working with a limited set of tools, and with the conditions at hand. In particular, this spot lacks a painted buffer to properly place a cone, which would have been better.

    We highlight areas that are either directly dangerous to people on foot or bike, or generally discourage use by those people. 21st is one such spot. We have friends (and strangers) who have told us that they never ride there anymore, because they feel so intimidated by the encroaching cars and trucks.

    The Transformation has in practice been remarkably successful, by almost all reports. Drivers have calmed down and approached the curve with care instead of at full speed. The vast majority of cyclists have noticed, and appreciated the change. It also seems that drivers have been not minded slowing down and taking more care. Overwhelmingly, people have figured out how to navigate the space in a better way than before. We are sorry we cannot please that part of the cycling public who feel safest riding among cars, but we are also not really holding them back. They are welcome to keep riding in the car lane, at full speed.

    Bear in mind, IT’S TEMPORARY. It’s not at all what we’d do if we had PBOT’s resources. But at least now we have PBOT’s attention.

    Thanks for all the support and help from the people of PDX, who want to see real change on our streets, and who are willing to do something positive to bring about that change.

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    • dwk March 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      So you let us know which cones around the city are for real hazards and which are not… Did you even think about that when you put them out?
      If someone sees cones that are for a real hazard and they ignore them because they assume they are just there because YOU thought they should be, do you take responsibility for that?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        These cones are for real hazards too, the hazard being motor vehicle encroachment. How did you feel about the recent Better Block demonstrations that also used cones to demarcate the bike lane? Perhaps PBOTrans just needs better signage?

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        • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC March 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

          Or paint. I’m surprised no one has dumped some orange paint on the bike lanes (yet.) Green maybe? Or how about that free brown paint that Metro gives away for graffiti removal?

          But then the paint might get into the sewers and become a biohazard, or else, god forbid, mark up some rider’s tires.

          The Portland “brown lanes” has a certain something, don’t you think?

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    • Granpa March 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Kramer “adopts a highway”

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    • bikeslobpdx March 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      I drive through there once a week. This last time I thought the cones were an improvement to the driving. Everybody slowed down, which made it a lot safer (I think) for the group of cyclists who were funneling past Pacific St. into the lane, at the point where the parking begins.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    These cones are for real hazards too, the hazard being motor vehicle encroachment. How did you feel about the recent Better Block demonstrations that also used cones to demarcate the bike lane? Perhaps PBOTrans just needs better signage?

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    • Eric Leifsdad March 4, 2016 at 1:41 am

      or green cones? Orange means construction, green means bikes.

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  • Bill Stites March 3, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    This is great stuff.

    The cones are placed on the white lines, or in a buffer, so they are not in the normal path of riding or driving. If you can’t avoid 2 – 3 cones, then maybe you need to slow down. Granted, they will get pushed around – so it is incumbent on passing cyclists to replace them onto the white line.

    Drivers – and certainly some cyclists – interpret them as a caution for a road hazard … great! Cyclists get the best view, and when they don’t see a hazard, can proceed in the bike lane … more advantage to the person traveling at human [humane?] speeds.
    Clearly, drivers are very responsive cause they don’t want their vehicle damaged by a sinkhole or similar.

    I am seeing cones between the bike corral and the crosswalk at 34th on Belmont … primarily for pedestrian safety! I need to commission a superhero costume – Agent 21!!

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    • dwk March 3, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Yes, because you and Adam H and Agent 1 know best where I should ride my bicycle.
      Got it…….

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  • Peejay March 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Ugh. Sometimes it’s such a chore to read BikePortland comment threads. dwk and his little band of VCers are no longer arguing the points of this story; they are irritating and intimidating others from doing so. This thread is cooked. Too bad, because it’s a cool story and I want to see more from this transformation group. I’d even be an agent!

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    • dwk March 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      I have no idea what a VCer is…. I am a very old guy who rides a bike 5000 miles a year (26 miles a day commuting from NE Portland to Tigard), so I think I can comment about what is safe for cyclists and what is not.
      I guess you all who know better.
      Tell me again how I should know that what you put in the road is where I should ride?

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    • Don March 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Vehicular Cycling is the safe way to ride. There is tons of literature supporting that. No I won’t do your googling for you, just look it up. Segregating bicycles like children on a playground just makes vehicles treat us as such. Cones and paint do not improve safety. Cyclists being confident and acting like they have a place on the road is what improves cycling safety.

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      • peejay March 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm

        Vehicular Cycling is the safe way to bring cycling mode share down to <1%. No, I won't do your googling for you. Arguing for VC in 2016 is like arguing for the flat earth theory. I know: it's sweeping the globe!

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        • JeffS March 4, 2016 at 11:46 am

          Remind me again… why do I care about mode share?

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. March 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

            Less people driving, for one.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. March 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm

        From Wikipedia

        Forester’s system of cycling has drawn criticism as being unsuitable for anyone but skilled, strong riders, with his assessment of skill being based upon speed. Bruce Epperson claimed[23] that, in a 1978 article, Forester required cyclists to sustain a speed of 18 miles per hour (29 km/h), a feat achievable by only 3% of Americans. The claim was subsequently refuted by Forester.[24]

        The movement surrounding vehicular cycling has also been criticized for its effect on bicycle advocacy in general. In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes states that Forester “fought bike lanes, European-style cycletracks, and just about any form of traffic calming”, and “saw nothing wrong with sprawl and an auto-dependent lifestyle.”[25] Zack Furness is highly critical of vehicular cyclists in One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility, arguing that their criticism of ‘political’ cyclists “totally ignores all the relevant socioeconomic, physical, material, and cultural factors that influence—and in most cases dictate—everyday transportation choices.”[26] Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson describes vehicular cycling as a naive, polarizing “ideology” that “essentially advocates bicyclists should strive to behave like cars on the streets of America.”[27]

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      • soren March 4, 2016 at 8:27 am

        I love the fact that there is virtually no “league of american bicyclists” and/or “cycling savvy” education here in Portland. The sooner those atavistic, dangerous, and car-headed education programs die, the better.

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        • are March 4, 2016 at 7:24 pm

          first of all, the wikipedia cite merely reflects what the batch of editors who have worked that entry believe. forester as a personality of course does nothing to advance the discussion.

          but the simple fact is if you want to use a bicycle as transportation on streets motorists also use, you need to have some strategic tools, and cycling savvy [much moreso than the watered down LAB curriculum] does teach these tools. you might choose not to use them day to day, but you need to have them available or you have deliberately limited your options in dealing with unpredictable situations.

          in the particular case, a vehicular cyclist would assert the travel lane through the curve, orange cones or no, but the cones do in fact subtract from total available road surface, and at least the first time you see them they are likely to cause confusion. also of course they can be knocked about and end up in unpredictable places.

          cyclists who are used to staying inside the striped lane through this curve will be prevented from exiting the bike lane to avoid something you didn’t think was there — broken glass, etc.

          i could go on. sorry to hear you think the thread is “cooked” just because a couple of people have expressed ideas that challenge your dogma.

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          • Pete March 8, 2016 at 4:00 am

            This is a very good point. When I first saw the article I thought, “Oh goody, that’s not a bad thing, we could use some of that around here.” After seeing the number of comments I came back to see this vitriolic fight between people who are supposedly of the same ilk, and then thought “Wait, what would I do if I were riding down this road and saw these cones?”

            I would signal and take the lane out of instinct, assuming that they were placed there by construction workers. Since it’s illegal in the states of Oregon and California (the two states I ride in the most) to cycle inside of a “cone zone”, I would probably just assume that I’d need to signal and time a gap in traffic to move around the upcoming construction workers safely. (I watched someone in Beaverton get stopped once for cycling inside of cones).

            Regarding the Cycling Savvy and LAB classes, I can only say that at worst, they’ve radically reduced (almost eliminated) the number of ‘near misses’ or right- or left-hooks I encounter (by all but the most aggressive of drivers). At best, they may have even saved my life, but I’d rather not know.

            I find it at odds with our ’cause’ to view one mindset on cycling as being mutually exclusive of others.

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            • dwk March 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

              The cones were scattered all over the road this AM. Thanks bikeportland…..

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              • 37Dennis March 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm

                I kicked them over.

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          • soren March 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm

            sorry to hear you think the thread is “cooked” just because a couple of people have expressed ideas that challenge your dogma.

            i never stated that the thread is cooked. please stop lying.

            and it’s absurd to call me “dogmatic” when my position is that one can choose to ride in a designated bike facility, in a lane, in between lanes, on the sidewalk, or on dirt/grass/gravel depending on context and/or mood. and calling me dogmatic is amusing given that it is not i who am scolding those who do not ride the way they do (typically with no evidence to back up their claims of safety). i have absolutely no problem with people who choose to ride in a VC manner — just don’t expect me to do so.

            a vehicular cyclist would assert the travel lane through the curve

            i have absolutely no interest in making assertions when i bike. why should i?

            once again, the beauty of traveling by bike is that i can choose whether to ride in a designated bike facility, in the lane, in between lanes, on the sidewalk, or on dirt/grass/gravel based on the context and my mood.

            cyclists who are used to staying inside the striped lane through this curve will be prevented from exiting the bike lane

            choosing to ride in a bike lane?
            quelle horreur!

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            • are March 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

              golly, soren, i guess the hierarchy of nesting comments makes all the difference. the opening comment in this particular nest did assert the thread was “cooked.” and specifically pointed to the presence of vehicular cyclists among the commenters as the reason for his assertion.

              my claim is that to insist that facilities are the only legitimate conversation, and that vehicularists should just shut up, is dogmatic. if that shoe does not fit you, don’t wear it.

              and now the word “assert.” elsewhere on this thread i have responded to your similar take on the words “control” and “negotiate.” my point being if you are out on the road, moving through space, you are “asserting” a particular space, “controlling” a somewhat larger space, and “negotiating” with motorists whether you are aware of it or not.

              the question is whether you want to do these things consciously, and in a way that produces more predictable, safer results for the various players, or whether you want to just drift through unconscious and let stuff happen.

              and i am not offering a critique of those who choose to go the unconscious route. “freedom,” as i think you did say. but i hope you will permit me to function at a somewhat higher level of awareness, and share my observations on these pages without being shouted down.

              and then in response to what i still think is a reasonable point about cones or bollards or planters or jersey barriers trapping you in a bike lane at a moment when getting out of the lane might be the better choice, you mock me in what i assume is meant to be french. i didn’t even use the word “choose” in this context, but maybe someone upthread did.

              but let me say this about bike lanes. first of all with specific reference to the particular curve. this entire story is about how the bike lane does not really work through that curve, but let us put that aside for a moment.

              in general, if the width and placement of a bike lane are not completely useless, i am perfectly happy to have it available as a refuge. because there is text on paper in some statute book somewhere that says a motorist is not supposed to operate in that space. so if i need to bail right, the bike lane can serve at least that function.

              altogether i do not find your tone conducive to a productive conversation.

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              • longgone March 11, 2016 at 1:47 am

                It’s soren and Adams way, or the highway for all of us. Your final sentence says it all.

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        • Pete March 7, 2016 at 8:02 am

          Yes, it’s terrible to have a national organization advocate for the safety of all bicyclists in Washington. Stop trying to teach people who ride their bicycles on roads with cars how to make their intentions known by the drivers of those cars. We should have elevated, self-sweeping bicycle-only super-highways everywhere, paid for solely by gas and carbon taxes.

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          • El Biciclero March 7, 2016 at 12:31 pm

            “We should have elevated, self-sweeping bicycle-only super-highways everywhere, paid for solely by gas and carbon taxes.”

            …And until we get them, just keep weaving in and out from behind parked cars, ride in the door zone, veer into the crosswalk, then back out to the gutter, ride against traffic and on the sidewalk—whatever makes you feel (but not actually be) “safer”. Or, just stay in your car until 2067, when the segregated bike network will finally be complete. Then you can go anywhere you want in the city on your bike, as long as you keep it under the 8 mph speed limit.

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    • Don March 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Peejay, Adam H. et. al. May I suggest using a bike rack on a Tri-Met bus to Laurelhurst park for a slow lap. Just watch out for the jogging strollers, they can be pretty mean.

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      • dwk March 4, 2016 at 7:31 am

        This website is dominated by people who ride their upright bikes to the coffee shop to blog here……. Cyclists and people actually interested in riding bikes for transportation just need to go elsewhere.

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        • soren March 4, 2016 at 8:17 am

          Upright bikes?

          Get off my lawn, you damn punks!!!

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          • dwk March 4, 2016 at 8:24 am

            Adam H and yourself are killing this site…….

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            • Robert Burchett March 4, 2016 at 8:11 pm

              Not without help!

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. March 4, 2016 at 8:46 am

          I exclusively use my bikes for transportation, save for a few social rides. Riding to work, picking up groceries, and yes, the occasional coffee run.

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        • alankessler March 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

          …and jerks like myself who rides a slow cargo bike to daycare and work without any consideration for what I’m doing to the strata scores of the MAMILs struggling to pass me! The nerve we have!

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          • soren March 4, 2016 at 12:52 pm

            that’s because you have not learned how to hold your line, adopt the right position, take the lane, control the roadway, and/or negotiate with drivers. i strongly suggest traveling to texas and taking a “cycling savvy” course from a certified LAB instructor.

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            • soren March 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm


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              • are March 4, 2016 at 7:26 pm

                you can stay inside badly executed bike lanes all you want, or ride outside them, or get around on a skateboard. but you will inevitably have to assert “control” of your space and “negotiate” with motorists. if you do not, you will always be on the receiving end of whatever comes your way.

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              • soren March 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm

                but you will inevitably have to assert “control” of your space and “negotiate” with motorists.

                i try to ride defensively and communicate with others but have never once felt the need to “negotiate” my right to travel in the roadway with a motorist.

                if you do not, you will always be on the receiving end of whatever comes your way.

                wow! so if i do not ride like you, i deserve to be threatened or worse?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

                you will inevitably have to assert “control” of your space and “negotiate” with motorists

                This is the problem, not the solution.

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              • are March 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

                while my response to similar nonsense elsewhere on this thread is being held for moderation, i would like to at least try to step in here and say

                first of all, jonathan, why do you tolerate all this screeching on your site?

                secondly, soren, if you are biking “defensively” and “communicating” with motorists you are “negotiating.” i take it your objection to this word has to do with the idea you might have to yield something in exchange for something else.

                why don’t you tell me what word means “my intention is to direct my bike from here to there, and if possible i would like my transition through the space this motorist also apparently intends to traverse to be without incident. i would like to communicate my intentions to the motorist in a way that will be understood, and i would like the motorist to acknowledge my communication and to indicate what s/he intends.” i am going with “negotiate,” but i am open to other suggestions.

                and adam, i am not offering competent management of an imperfect situation as a “solution” to anything, but as a necessary coping strategy.

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            • Pete March 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm

              I have such improved experiences on the road after learning these techniques from these courses that I decided to become certified as an instructor. You and Adam are two of the biggest complainers on here about your biking experiences, that I wonder if you’ve ever considered taking these courses and/or trying anything different, other than screaming at ODOT (and bikeportland) because you feel unsafe when cars are near you.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm

                If we are having to resort to teaching courses on safe riding, then we have failed to build adequate 8-80 infrastructure.

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              • Pete March 9, 2016 at 4:14 pm

                It’s not that your one-line tidbits don’t resonate with many of us, but you’re stating the obvious and preaching to the choir. If you’ve ever worked directly with BPACs, planning committees, and city councils then you’ll start to see why the world we live in isn’t “8-80”, but we still do what we can to try to get there. Meantime, we’re still riding our bicycles on these roads and coping with the situation as it is, and we’re open to learning as many tools and techniques as we can – like me, I suspect it’s why many of us even read this blog.

                Look, you and Soren can advocate for protection and complete separation all you want, and I certainly hope you’re successful, but lashing out against people who’ve likely ridden many more miles does nobody any good. You can praise NACTO all you want, but when we’ve engaged with cities and counties with proposals for better infrastructure they’ve never heard of it, nor are they bound to it. Same goes for LOS versus VMT in California… all wonderful and warm and fuzzy, but the EIRs we review here are still LOS-based, and developers still cringe when we ask questions about safe bike access and parking.

                Meanwhile, if I want to ride out to Hood River, for instance, or the “dirty 30”, I can either wait for the powers that be to build those wonderful bike paths you speak of, or I can suck it up and deal with the 40+ MPH traffic whizzing alongside me while I use things like my mirrors and lights and yes, even LAB classes, to mitigate the risk of getting splattered. I’ve even done that a time or three and called it fun…

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              • soren March 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

                those courses are not taught here in portland.
                because much of the educational program does not mesh well with portland’s urban street design. the vast majority of people who bike for transportation do not want to learn techniques that allow them to merge across 50 mph traffic.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. March 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

                I have absolutely no desire to learn techniques that allow me to merge across 50 mph motor traffic. I’d rather just not make that trip by bike. No amount of classes are ever going to make merging across a highway safe or comfortable for me. This mindset is representative of the vast majority of people, and we need to design infra for them.

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              • soren March 10, 2016 at 11:44 am

                You and Adam are two of the biggest complainers on here about your biking experiences,

                i occasionally complain about unsafe behavior and i make no apologies for this.

                that I wonder if you’ve ever considered taking these courses and/or trying anything different, other than screaming at ODOT (and bikeportland)

                i have no interest in supporting educational programs that emphasize merging into and/or across fast-moving motorvehicle traffic as a *default* approach to turning movements, intersections, and narrow lanes. imo, these hyper-aggressive techniques cater to a minority of enthusiasts who are comfortable riding in traffic and discourage the majority who are not comfortable doing so.

                because you feel unsafe when cars are near you.

                machismo. and also incorrect in my case.

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              • Pete March 10, 2016 at 6:16 pm

                I don’t know where either of you got anything about “50 MPH” or “fast moving” traffic here. I have no idea why those courses aren’t taught in Portland, but maybe that’s fine for the people who constrict their riding to inner city Portland and its “protected” lanes that spit you out blindly around corners. We’ll just have to continue to agree to disagree on many things, regardless of how much in common our goals really are. KTRSD!

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              • soren March 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

                or I can suck it up and deal with the 40+ MPH traffic whizzing alongside me while I use things like … LAB classes, to mitigate the risk of getting splattered.

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              • Pete March 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm

                We’re talking about classes that teach people techniques ranging from getting and maintaining their equipment to properly checking for traffic flow and for signaling and positioning in situations where, for instance, they need to ride straight on roads with right-turn lanes. Are you telling me that Portland has – or can even get – such great infrastructure where that doesn’t come in handy? For people like me, who used to bike commute from Portland and Tigard into Beaverton and Hellsboro, they came in handy. Does traffic hit 50 MPH on Murray? Yeah, but the same lessons helped when I held my lane at 15-20 MPH through SW Hall in downtown Beaverton as well. Previous to that I was trawling gutters and getting near-missed like crazy.

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    • Buzz March 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Adam ‘cooks’ more threads than anyone here…and unlike dwk I do know what a VCer is, but that doesn’t mean I subscribe to most if any of John Forrester’s harebrained ideas; like dwk I’m just pointing out the flaws in this so-called not-very-well-thought-out ‘action’.

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  • Bruce March 3, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I completely agree we all need to work to make cycling safer. When someone puts out cones how am I to know whether they are there for a real hazard or not? Do you and Jonathan ever think these things through?
    Suppose they were there because of a bad grate cover or some other hazard, am I supposed to crash and find out that you were really just trying to get someone’s attention.
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    How the heck do cones cause you to crash? If it was a real hazard, would you choose to crash into it?

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    • dwk March 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Apparently you have no comprehension skills. No one said the cones are causing people to crash at all……

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      • Bruce March 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

        LOL. Except you said exactly that.

        “Suppose they were there because of a bad grate cover or some other hazard, *am I supposed to crash and find out that you were really just trying to get someone’s attention.*”

        I can see how a bad grate cover or some other hazard might cause you to crash. But how would a cone that is covering a non-hazard ever cause you to crash?

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  • fat spandex dude March 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    What I don’t get is that when you put bollards up, drivers smash into them. You have a big curb, drivers roll right over it. But you put a dinky little orange cone in the road, and drivers slow down and dutifully drive around them like they’ll explode if they come into contact with the car. Maybe I should wear one of those cones on my head when I’m riding.

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  • Bald One March 4, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I really appreciate the attention and focus Dept of Transformation have brought to the painted bike lane at curvy bends in roads. These particular types of areas are an on-going source of frustration for me on a bike and there are a few which make me nervous to use. It seems that PBOT should pay attention to these in particular, and make a certain effort to increase the bike lane width at these right-hand curves. Usually, there is a storm drain right at the inflection point, making a tight pinch way tighter and more pinched for a cyclist. By my observation, most car drivers tend to sweep to the inside of the curves at these points, almost always crossing their wheels over the painted bike lane. When you only have 3 feet, and there is a storm drain, this is not safe. When I am actually in the middle of the curve on my bike and i get passed by someone in a car, they are almost always cutting the curve on the inside of their lane and sweeping within a few inches of my elbow. Very nerve-racking. I am very happy with these cones placed in just these areas to highlight these issues for everyone.

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    • are March 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      apparently this is exactly the wrong thing to say on this thread, but if you were considerably farther to the left as you entered “the middle of the curve,” a motorist would be much less likely to pass.

      i can already hear some of the specific objections to this strategy, and since this is exactly how i myself handled this curve when i lived in portland, i already have responses at the ready.

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      • Eric Leifsdad March 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

        What you’re saying is to ride outside of the bike lane when it’s not a safe bike lane for use at a reasonable speed*. That’s good and legal, but do the police know it? Some of them don’t, and of course enforcement is part of how we educate drivers. Speaking of enforcement, neither protected infrastructure nor VC will work without strict traffic enforcement. There’s too many places where paths cross.

        * Where “reasonable” is defined as how most people drive, so posted speed plus 10mph. There you have it PBOT: 35mph is the minimum bike lane design speed on a 25mph street. Let’s get some 1000W staff e-bikes please.

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        • are March 5, 2016 at 9:34 am

          given a straight up choice between do the police know it and am i going to get brushed back by an overtaking motorist i choose um

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        • Buzz March 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm

          the likelihood of a cop seeing anything or doing any enforcement at this location is vanishingly small, IMO.

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          • Eric Leifsdad March 7, 2016 at 1:15 pm

            Present or not, my point is that people drive (or bike) based on their understanding of the law as-enforced. Since many who post here seem to have been scared unconditionally into the bike lane, it would seem that police are not consistent about making sure which vehicle is on which side of the 8in line.

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  • Adam Leyrer March 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I agree that the effort is well meaning, and believe the results are largely beneficial. However, speaking for myself, I had my bike trailer designed to fit the width of a standard Portland bike lane, which means that whenever traffic managers allow construction signs or wide-based cones to stretch into the lane, I must signal and change to the car lane. I had the same experience with the Transformation cones on 21st; the base of the cones is wider than the lane-dividing line and its understandably human for their placement to drift off-center, so I have to make traffic worse by waiting for an opening to leave the bike lane. I don’t expect my unique choices to be catered to, but I wonder if other trailer users have the same problem.

    I respect that we are all making the best of a built environment that wasn’t initially designed for us; this is my own experience to add to the results of what I think is as admirable experiment.

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    • Buzz March 6, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      don’t be so self-depracating, you can legally leave the bike lane any time conditions warrant it (ORS 814.430 (2)(c)), I do it all the time; ‘protected’ bike lanes won’t allow you that choice if you are Jersey-barricaded in…

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      • Adam Leyrer March 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

        I pull an 11ft long, 3ft wide industrial trailer typically loaded with 250lbs; I am the cycling equivalent of a cement mixer or a garbage truck, and my imposition on the patience of cyclists and drivers when I must make a last-minute lane change is sufficient to warrant some humility to soften my awareness that I’m of course legally entitled to do so.

        Bike infrastructure, planned or spontaneous, often forgets to accommodate bike trailers, and I wanted to add that point to the discussion of the spontaneous “protected” bike lanes. The accommodation ought’nt be automatic, but it ought to be weighed against other factors, like whether or not protected lanes are the only way to get my mother to ride to work, etc. If I thought I knew the right answer I’d be more assertive about it.

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      • soren March 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        don’t be so self-deprecating, you can choose to not ride in a protected bike lane. for example, i have been refusing to ride in the protected bike lane on the east side hawthorne bridge ramp for years*.

        *as a protest due to the re-design that installed a dangerous merge on the ramp

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        • are March 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

          “as a protest.” why not simply because riding outside the striped lane there is more sensible?

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          • soren March 10, 2016 at 11:48 am

            the bike lane there is fantastic – two wide lanes protected by bollard strips.

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            • are March 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm

              and then an abrupt cut across exiting motor traffic

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              • are March 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm

                the bollards are new since i left portland. sorry to see this disimprovement. when i was there i always got out of the bike lane and used the zebra striped no-man’s land so i would not have to cross the exit ramp at an angle. these bollards would hinder that movement if not preclude it altogether.

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            • El Biciclero March 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

              Yes. “For you own protection, stay the hell out of the way and bow to me, The Driver!”

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        • longgone March 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

          East side, ascending East…or East side resending West onto the bridge? Just curious… As I have no issue what so ever with the Hawthorne bridge, really.

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          • longgone March 10, 2016 at 12:54 am

            ….sorry for autocorrect misspellings…

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          • soren March 10, 2016 at 9:47 am

            there is only one protected bike lane on the hawthorne bridge.
            i approve of the protection but the merge design is dangerous:


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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. March 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

              That off-ramp should just be closed entirely. People wanting to drive south can just exit the bridge viaduct at Water Av.

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              • Eric Leifsdad March 11, 2016 at 11:55 am

                Did we run out of yield signs?

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              • soren March 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm

                we are out of bike traffic signals apparently.

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              • Pete March 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

                Yeah, that design approach will scale well across the country. Much better to do that than have experienced cyclists teaching people how to ride predictably.

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  • longgone March 11, 2016 at 1:48 am

    It’s soren and Adams way, or the highway for all of us. Your final sentence says it all.

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    • Pete March 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      As long as cars are not allowed on that highway!

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  • Robb D March 11, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I noticed a couple days ago while I was jogging on 21st/I-84, those cones were ripped apart and laying all over the road. Not sure if cars did it….or if some asshole did it(or both). I also noticed earlier in the week when I was riding my bicycle, I noticed a bicyclist ahead of me going around the left side of the cones. I guess they thought maybe the cones were there as a warning of a pothole in the bike lane…I dunno.

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  • gulchlover March 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Yes to bollards, no to cones. The reality is that the cones get fucked up and end up in the bike lane. He tweets victoriously about propping up the trashed cones a week later, but they get knocked over in 10 minutes flat. He’d see that if he lived anywhere near here. They become a new hazard in an already super hazardous zone. Anyone doing this cares more about activism than the safety of cyclists here.

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    • Robb D March 13, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Good point.

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    • dwk March 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

      The cones are finally gone, the last couple smashed and discarded as trash.
      Whoever did this should be found and charged with littering. Since bikeportland supports putting trash in the road, they can pay the fine.

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    • Bruce March 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      I live within 10 blocks and check / replace the cones twice a day. I am only doing this BECAUSE of safety. Like you said, the area is already “hazardous” and we are trying to help.

      I’m all for bollards, but that’s certainly not something we can install without the city’s permission.

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      • Pete March 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        You need to be mindful of the message conveyed by the cones. In a blind corner like this, someone from out of town may convey them as demarcating a construction zone, which a cyclist is technically forbidden to ride inside of.

        Saturday I had opportunity to witness this confusion. In a marked work zone that was recently re-coned, someone (a contractor) had the bright idea of setting up an additional line of cones (after crossing an on-ramp) that bicyclists were (presumably) intended to ride inside of (for their safety). I was behind maybe eight other cyclists approaching this – I’d say half (including myself) took the lane and stayed left of the cones, whereas others went from riding outside the previous set to riding inside of that set.

        Frankly that’s an ambiguity that’s built into the use of cones, in my opinion. (Maybe we need red and green cones like waterway navigation lights ;).

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      • gulchlover March 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm

        I already know that you have the best intentions, because they are mine as well. I support you guys in principle, but in practice you have failed the users you are advocating for. My complaints are only and specifically about the NE 21st overpass, which I have used a few thousand times since moving to Sullivan’s Gulch in 2010.

        There seems to be a fundamental disagreement about safety here. Your idea of safety is “feeling safe”, and it comes up often in discussions. This means creating a barrier and isolating your space on the road from cars. I’m coming from a risk-based view of safety. My position is that putting non-fixed, non-permanent traffic markers in this lane-incursion area creates an additional hazard and compounds the existing ones. ANYTHING that is in the roadway and not permanently fixed has the potential to become a hazard, let alone traffic cones without their bases.

        In addition to my experience finding these cones obstructing the bike lane, your own twitter has plenty of photos of it. I found 6 photos you guys have published of these things lying down in the lane. If you keep finding them like that, and I keep finding them like that, how often do you think they get knocked into the lane? Even if they are only obstructing the lane for 5 minutes a day, how do you decide which cyclist has to play slalom in traffic, and which gets a ‘protected’ lane? Is this dictated by your work schedule, personal schedule, or whim?

        Also, you guys have to admit that you are not actually using traffic cones after a certain point. Most of those photos show destroyed cones separated from their bases. I’m no genius, but I’m pretty sure the base helps to keep it upright. The most egregious photo shows one of your ‘agents’ using the top of a cone and the cone base as separate markers. She balanced half of a cone upright on its rim, well PAST the deflection point of the curve, in a place where it can ONLY be an obstacle. How long do you truly expect that to be upright? How is placing the flat base separately in the road going to increase visibility or safety? How is any of that behavior responsible or safety-minded? From my perspective it is reckless idiocy.

        If safety was your actual priority, you would replace the cones immediately instead of taking photos and congratulating each other every time you make a cairn out of cone bits.

        I welcome any thoughtful responses to any of these points, but the depth of thought displayed so far has been meager and deliberately obtuse. You already concede, “this spot lacks a painted buffer to properly place a cone” and that your “tools are imperfect”. The remaining concessions I’d like to see are that you will stop placing cones where there is no spot to properly place them, and that “imperfect” actually means “poses a direct danger to some cyclists in this case”.

        Finally, you have no permission to install cones, so I’m not sure why that obviates bollards.

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        • dwk March 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

          There were bollards there this morning (one already knocked over in the bike lane.
          This is so asinine…..

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          • Robb D March 15, 2016 at 7:03 pm

            Chick drivers.

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          • dwk March 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

            Excuse me, will the misguided folks who placed the cones/bollards that are scattered all over the bike lane (the bases are in the road, very dangerous for cyclists), please go clean up this mess.

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  • Pete March 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    One girl writing about her experience getting her LCI:

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