Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on May 12th, 2016 at 2:32 pm
In yesterday’s post about a flurry of new, smallish protected bike lane projects around town, we promised a follow-up post about some other street changes on the way.
As with the nine projects we explored yesterday, Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller presented these to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee on Tuesday night. None of these will transform a neighborhood, but all three will clarify links in the city’s bike network.
NE 16th/Sandy – installing this summer
This is the most unusual of the three designs here. It’s a three-block link between the Benson Polytechnic High School area and Sandy, leading to the Ankeny-Couch-Davis-Everett neighborhood greenway. The issue is that because of a freeway onramp in this area, northbound auto traffic on 16th Avenue between Irving and Sandy exceeds the city’s standard for a comfortable shared bike-car lane, but southbound traffic is lower.
Here are three possible ways to solve that problem:
The option pictured largest here, and the one Geller discussed with us verbally, is a northbound buffered bike lane behind the angle parking on 16th, with sharrows marking a southbound lane that would continue to be shared.
SE 41st/Holgate – installing late 2016 or early 2017
This offset intersection of 41st and 42nd across two busy lanes of Holgate Boulevard is similar to the 40s Bikeway crossing of Division Street a couple miles north, except the offset is larger. The crossbikes and left-turn boxes add a sense of order to a zigzag where people are currently left to fend for themselves.
Geller said this project is funded for the 2017 fiscal year, so sometime between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
NE 37th/Prescott – installing 2017
At this intersection, the 30s/40s Bikeway crosses the relatively high-traffic Prescott Street at exactly the point that Prescott forms a country-road-style curve, interfering with sight lines and giving people a cue to rev their engines.
I bike through here regularly and I’ve often wondered how people in this relatively well-to-do neighborhood feel about this intersection. The city’s plan doesn’t do much to change its geometry, but it does at least add some visual complications to the scene.
It’s a little odd that instead of doing anything to change the angle of auto traffic or force slower, sharper turns by people in cars, this plan will divert bike traffic on and off of the sidewalks in each direction. This is probably in part because changing the shape of curbs is much more expensive than changing the color of streets, and the city hasn’t given itself much money to work with on this. In any case, they’re aware of the issue here. These changes will at least offer some guidance to the riders of all ages who are probably least comfortable using this corner today.
Geller also said they’ve talked to the person who lives at that house on the southeast corner. They’ve had several people drive over their fence over the years. Hopefully this project prevents that from happening again.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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