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Two new traffic diverters installed on Ankeny and Mississippi

Posted by on July 18th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-3.jpg

New traffic diverter on SE Ankeny at 15th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

With two new traffic diverters installed in the past week, the City of Portland continues to fulfill its promise to defend the low-stress biking environment on neighborhood greenways.

People who ride or live near North Mississippi and Holman and Southeast Ankeny and 15th should notice fewer cars and lower speeds in their neighborhoods. That’s because of 8-10 large concrete drums filled with soil that are now spread diagonally across those intersections. The idea is to discourage people from driving on neighborhood streets that have been set aside as bike routes.

The new diverters also illustrate how the Bureau of Transportation is now able to move faster on small projects thanks to recent staffing and policy changes (a strong push from grassroots activists at BikeLoudPDX also played a key role). As we reported back in March, PBOT has a new engineer on staff to oversee projects with small budgets. These diverters cost around $5,000, an amount that would struggle for attention alongside much larger projects in PBOT’s capital projects program. With a new staffer these projects can move forward without a stop at the capital projects desk.

Here’s a closer look at the two new diverters…

Holman diverter a secondary measure

Diverter at N Holman and Mississippi-1.jpg

If you were hoping to drive up Mississippi to avoid the diverter at Rosa Parks I have some bad news for you.

The new diverter on North Holman and Mississippi isn’t on a neighborhood greenway; but it wouldn’t exist without one. It comes in response to people who were avoiding the North Michigan Neighborhood Greenway because of a diverter installed a few blocks away (on Rosa Parks and Michigan) in 2013. Too many people were driving north on Michigan (to avoid backups on Interstate 5) and then cutting over to Mississippi one block east to avoid the diverter at Rosa Parks. People who live on that one block of Mississippi weren’t happy.

This new diverter will now force people going east on Holman to turn south (right) onto Mississippi and go back to to Ainsworth. The large concrete drums will keep car users from passing through the intersection east-to-west and north-to-south. If all goes according to plan, people who use Michigan during the evening rush as a way to avoid traffic on Interstate 5 will decide it’s just not worth the hassle.

Diverter at N Holman and Mississippi-2.jpg

View looking north on Mississippi at Holman.
Diverter at N Holman and Mississippi-3.jpg

Looking southeast from the northwest corner of Holman and Mississippi.

One issue of note is that the current design doesn’t make it easy for bicycle users to pass through the median in any direction. PBOT needs to adjust the spacing of the concrete drums so that people can easily bicycle through. They’ve done a much better job at this over on Ankeny…

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Ankeny diverter should tame traffic in growing neighborhood

Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-1.jpg

Inner Ankeny is very busy these days. And not just with cars and bikes. The area is booming with new housing and related commercial development in what could be a poster-child street for Portland’s growing pains.

The cycling situation on Ankeny is similar to that of SE Clinton Street. Both are legacy neighborhood greenways (built as “bicycle boulevards” in the late 1990s) and both are adjacent to quickly-growing commercial corridors (Burnside and Division respectively). PBOT identified six of these older greenways in their 2015 Neighborhood Greenways Assessment Report. Clinton was first on the list for improvements and now it’s Ankeny’s turn. This new diverter is one of many changes coming to the street meant to bring it up to par with current standards.

The Ankeny/15th diverter is very similar to the one on Holman and Mississippi. Large, soil-filled concrete drums are aligned diagonally from the northwest corner to the southeast corner of the intersection. Unlike the Holman diverter, PBOT has made this one much easier for people to bike through. In addition to leaving an opening in the median they’ve also laid down pavement markings to make it obvious where you are expected to ride. While observing it this morning I noticed the opening was wide enough for a standard, two-seater bicycle trailer.

Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-2.jpg

Looking northwest from the southeast corner of Ankeny and 15th.
Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-4.jpg

Ample room to pass through.
Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-5.jpg

Use caution approaching these intersections. People in cars who are confronted with the median might not come to a complete stop and/or might suddenly accelerate into their turn, directly into oncoming traffic (as seen in this photo).
Diverter at SE Ankeny and 15th-7.jpg

This new diverter should help reduce auto use on Ankeny in both directions. This is great news because Ankeny is one of the most heavily-used bikeways in the city. In some stretches (near SE 28th), the street has more bike trips than car trips.

Another thing that comes with these diverters is a parking restriction on the northeast and southwest corners of the intersections. This was done to aid the auto turning movements, but it will also improve visibility for everyone who uses the sidewalk and street.

And a note of caution for all users of these intersections. People approaching from the east and west do not have stop signs — that goes for bicycle riders and auto drivers. And if you are driving or riding north-south, remember that bicycle riders coming from east and west are not required to stop.

CORRECTION: This article originally stated that each diverter costs around $50,000. That is incorrect. They cost $5,000. Sorry for any confusion.

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

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Jesse Friedman
Guest
Jesse Friedman

This is great, but do you know of any efforts to improve crossing at both 12th and especially 11th/Sandy on Ankeny? It’s harrowing around there, especially during rush hour.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The 12th crossing will be signed and marked, but that is the western limits of the current project.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

The long term plan is to put in a traffic signal or roundabout at 11th & Ankeny, but there is no funding for it at the moment.

buildwithjoe
Guest

We could have more diverters if the city did not create the most costly equipment and costly labor methods to install them. – We need more diverters. The $50,000 diverter at N Holman and N Mississippi is actually stopping us from getting closer to #VisionZero People only feel safe in cars because we have so few diverters.

Watch this video of 4 days of big PBOT crews installing the Hollman diverter that actually blocks bikes too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ2opKQLzOE

My question to fellow BP readers: What ideas do you have for getting more diverters, faster, and cheaper?

Your ideas?

My ideas:
a) More low cost diverters. Involve the people Design a diverter contest. We could have 80 community diverters for the cost of the PBOT designs.

b) Let locals or 95 neighborhood associations spend a safety budget. This bottom up budgeting is what David Bragdon said would fix the backwards Oregon Transportation plan quote: 2015 Transportation Bill – It “was old school, no performance measures” — “Big road widening at the edge of town” — “key projects for key legislators if they vote the right way”
https://youtu.be/Pk1rW5S-S5A?t=34m5s

c) Make diverters more bike friendly, not less.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0M1pUYmZOdEdQWVU/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-_lkfRp66-0M1pUYmZOdEdQWVU/view?usp=sharing

Bald One
Guest
Bald One

Joe, I couldn’t agree with you more! Poorly done diverters at a huge cost should not be repeated.

Better design, cheaper install. Repeat often.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

I like the idea of a design contest. How do you think they could be designed for cheaper?

buildwithjoe
Guest

See my comment below. Response to Jeff and Chris.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

$5k or $50k? There article says 5.

bradwagon
Guest
bradwagon

Agree. It seems these are always designed with the primary goal of stopping cars while also happening to still let bikes through instead of letting bikes through easily as a priority with stopping cars as a secondary requirement.

Here are 4 quick examples of how fewer or smaller diverters could be used to create better flow for cyclists and likely cars too in either a diagnol or 4 way right turn config.

http://imgur.com/a/g1AFR

Adam
Subscriber

Glad to see these diverters go in. However, it’s disappointing that only one treatment is being done on Ankeny. PBOT consciously did not dedicate enough funding for the Ankeny project to allow for more diversion and intersection treatments. There needs to be far more diversion, as well as intersection treatments at Sandy, 12th, and 28th. Diverters – especially ones of a temporary nature – are incredibly cheap, and to only install one on a busy bike corridor is insulting.

soren
Guest

The diverters were funded using “small projects” funds so there was no additional budget for additional treatments. However, Ankeny is slated for “constrained” improvements based on the draft Central City Plan and the TSP.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Soren. Good points. We need diverters, but the city ( with intent ) drained too much “small project” funding on excessive staff to design and install these. Then the city cries wolf that they ran out of money and need more. See my video with the paint trucks above. See my full length Bike Portland subscriber story below. The city pits bikes v peds when they take a funding problem and make it worse.

http://bikeportland.org/2016/07/18/pbot-we-can-have-8-diverters-for-price-of-one-187770

Click link on line above.. ^^

buildwithjoe
Guest

Adam. You said not enough funding. I say we have have enough funding. This is about policy to not allow more diverters that cost less and can be just as safe. The not enough money excuse is propaganda from the city. Hales made the same detour money excuse at the 2015 bike loud rally at city hall with 100 people. Don’t buy the no money lies.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

And 20th!

Adam
Subscriber

Thanks, I forgot about 20th. Shows how much I ride it I suppose, since the crossings are so bad that I will usually avoid Ankeny altogether. The 11th/Sandy crossing is absolutely criminal. How is anyone at the city okay with a six-way intersection like that not having a traffic signal?

soren
Subscriber

My favorite traffic engineer stated that repaving has reduced the height of the diverter at SE 20th so it is now relatively easy to drive over. BikeLoudPDX asked for bolt-attached posts similar to the ones on 17th and PBOT agreed. Hopefully, this will decrease the drive-throughs that occur there. As I wrote below, Ankeny is slated for additional infrastructure improvements, including one way diversion on each block between 6th and 11th and a traffic circle (circles?) at 11th and 12th.

PS: Paikiala, we got your back on the traffic circles.

soren
Subscriber

17th = diverter at SE 17th and SE Clinton.

Adam
Subscriber

This is the drawback to simply paving over old roadway surfaces. All of our curbs and sidewalks are now lower for this same reason.

Spiffy
Subscriber

and our driveway cuts are now full of standing water because they can no longer drain uphill into the road… like a lot of the new corner curb-cuts, impossible to use in the winter…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Just fill them with dirt. Luckily, the city no longer sweeps the street, so the fix should be permanent.

Cory P
Guest
Cory P

crossing filled with dirt and mud are dangerous for people using mobility devices, skateboards and scooters.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Fortunately for them, I used rocks. However, I’ve found the water deters attackers, so I recently re-excavated my moat.

was carless
Guest
was carless

As a side bonus, weeds will grow in the dirt creating a bio-swale.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Or you can grow weed. I think it’s like four plants per person.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If you grow weed in you moat it doesn’t count against your total as per OLCC regulations.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Soren: The diverter at 20th & Ankeny, in addition to being taller, also needs to be LONGER.

I’ve lost count of how many drivers just turn right, and then do a u-turn around it.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

Please, call them mini-roundabouts. Traffic circles are a different thing (not yield-controlled, for example), and are no longer used in Portland.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Neighborhood traffic circles are different, but to say PBOT would not use them again misses the mark. they are just too expensive and limited in what they can do.

Chris
Guest
Chris

True, I just saw a truck drive over it last week with relative ease. A rider tried to wave him from going over it, but he didn’t care, he obviously knew.

soren
Guest

People were loving these diverters this am — lots of smiles an exclamations of approval. The fast pace of new bike infrastructure installation by PBOT shows that we need to keep the pressure on our elected officials to pay for it!

PBOT is also going to install multiple bolt-attached posts on the diverter at SE 20th as can be seen in the markings:

https://www.facebook.com/bikeloud/posts/933417020100513

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

I’m sure we could find a way to make these less functional and more aesthetically unappealing, but only if we tried really really hard.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It’s a fine line, literally. If you make the openings wider, people will drive through them. If you make it more aesthetically pleasing, it is going to cost more. It looks to me like they are using sections of sewer main filled with dirt, which is both cheap and effective. Cutting up the street and pouring concrete medians would be much much more expensive.

buildwithjoe
Guest

The math is easy. Cars are 5 feet wide ( car2go) and wider. Bikes are fine with 4.5 foot gaps. The diagonal line these diverters make is a span of 50 feet. The cement buckets are 5 feet wide. We need only 5 buckets with 5 foot gaps between them. The buckets could be made of wood and assembled by volunteers with reflectors. Dirt and plants installed. The corner poles and stop signs would be the only job of PBOT.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

While I agree that diverters can theoretically be cheaply sourced (even homemade), there are probably more than a few objections that PBOT might have not limited to liability should they affect traffic decisions/environment. Paikiala might have some ideas on potential alternative materials.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

PBOT does not typically turn away external, private funding, as long as the objects are permitted and adequately marked or warned of.
SE Stark/Thorburn residents have funded fire friendly traffic calming, 60th to Gilham that will likely get constructed next spring.
PBOT permits and approves Better Block installations.
It is the un-pemitted and un-reviewed that expose the taxpayers to liability.
The Ankeny/15th install, as you can see from the photos, did not leave the requested 6 foot gap for cyclists.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

Thanks paikiala. If a group were able to crowd-fund a diverter on NE 7th north of Broadway, for example, would PBOT allow its installation (given that it intends to do so in the distant future)?

buildwithjoe
Guest

Would the crowd funding go to a low cost crowd design diverter, or the bloated cost design by PBOT .. would the crowd have to pay for what is seen in this video? >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ2opKQLzOE

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Joe,
your hyperbole renders your message less than effective. how is a $5k diverter ‘bloated’.
Taking pot shots without offering alternatives is irresponsible, should you consider running for office.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

No. City Council recently voted to define the project as “7th or 9th” pending further public outreach and design.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The lack of a defined next project is part of the issue. A single diverter on such a busy street would also present a concern.
two or three diverters might be more acceptable, with consideration for where the traffic will go, like Morris with a signal at MLK.
Modifying the circles could be low cost, but their use at T intersections limits this tool as well.
I’m a fan of opposing one way shared streets with contra-flow bike lanes. North and south of Knott, and north and south of Morris, heading toward the outlet streets, and maybe one more southbound section at the south end where traffic feeds in from MLK?
All three, with signing and striping changes might be achieved for $10k.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Wood? How long do you want these to last? They are going to get hit by cars at some point.

ethan
Guest
ethan

Wood with a sharp metal spear behind it, like the lane in “A Knight’s Tale”

ethan
Guest
ethan

lance

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

I assume you will be assuming the liability for that?

ethan
Guest
ethan

To quote someone “‘Safety’ is subjective and hard to define. There is more safe and less safe, but nothing is perfectly safe.
the mitigation for objects that people will run into is to warn of the object.”

So, if there’s a warning for it, it should be perfectly fine, right?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

No.
people will always and forever make mistakes. Intentionally placing an object that increases the likelihood of damage, or death, were someone can run into it, cannot be defended as ‘reasonable’.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Sounds like cheaper is better then. What about huge piles of manure? 🙂

kittens
Guest
kittens

Agree, wood makes a lot more sense here. I mean, eventually someone is going to run into it and its easier to fix and softer to hit. the last thing we would want is for someone to run into a diverter and get themselves kilt. This might embolden some to demand their removal on the grounds of safety.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

‘Safety’ is subjective and hard to define. There is more safe and less safe, but nothing is perfectly safe.
the mitigation for objects that people will run into is to warn of the object.

lop
Guest
lop

>the mitigation for objects that people will run into is to warn of the object.

Except on highways where crash attenuators are used in some places? It makes sense.

75 MPH into a rigid object can be fatal. Water barrels to slow down the car is good. More so when it protects a bridge or other infrastructure. What’s the expected risk to cyclists or drivers of a rigid object in the street on a greenway? I’m guessing fatalities will be much less common.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

This has the added benefit of showing people that bike-specific infrastructure can be even uglier than auto-specific infrastructure! Yes we CAN!

buildwithjoe
Guest

We have to decide if we want cute designs or #visionZero at the moment. I know we can reach vision zero quickly, and then we can work on things that please your eye.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The manhole rings were chosen based on feedback from a blind pedestrian rightly concerned her guide dog would not be visible behind our tall concrete planters.
The objects have to be secure enough to not get pushed around, like the planters on NE Multnomah.
These repurposed rings are about $200 each and can be reused in the future.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Given the time it takes to install an intersection, you’re going to have a hard time convincing me this is really the cheap option. if it’s cheaper, but takes twice as long to install as dropping a few k-rails, have we saved anything?

Obviously you have to stop cars from driving through (which we don’t always do), but why do we frequently prevent bikes from having a straight shot through the gap? i’m not sure if it’s intentional traffic calming, or poor design.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Jeffs,

It is next to impossible to have a straight shot in both directions that also prevents a car driver going through.
That said, Mississippi and Holman is not a bike route of any sort, so the device accommodates them, but is not designed for cycles in the way the Ankeny at 15th diverter is.

ethan
Guest
ethan

How is it impossible to have a straight shot in both directions while preventing a driver going through?

Also, I take issue with the way that you said it’s not a bike route of any sort. Just because it’s not signed as a bike route, doesn’t mean that it’s not. You would probably take issue if I said “since NE Multnomah and NE 16th are not car routes at all, we can block any non-compact car through that intersection.” – Just because something is not a signed route, doesn’t mean that you can exclude cargo bikes and such. What kind of reasoning is that?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Designs of streets are based on the plan for the street. the plan for all streets is embodied in the Transportation System Plan, TSP.
This plan classifies all streets in the city for six separate modes. The mode classification defines what a street has to be ‘designed for’ versus what it only has to ‘accommodate’.
educate thyself.

ethan
Guest
ethan

I don’t like your tone. I am aware of the TSP.

Please tell me where it says in the TSP where you should be able to design any local street as impassable to cargo bikes.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Ethan,
Your inference of ‘tone’ or emotion comes entirely from within yourself.
If you are suggesting that all streets must accommodate a particular design vehicle, nothing in the TSP takes that position. All streets have mode classifications that say what should and should not be designed for.
Basic design standards, separate from TSP classifications, might be a better place to push for minimum design vehicles.

As to your other question, about two way straight shot bike paths, do the math.
you want the bike through path to be straight and linear. where two streets cross, those crossing bike paths intersect, so you end up with a total of two openings in a diagonal barrier to serve all four bike approaches. If the opening you bike through is one side of a square, then the cross-street bike path is another side of the square and the opening is the diagonal between them.
If each side of the square is the 6-foot clear path, the diagonal is 8+ feet wide, ample width for most cars to drive through. If you put a bollard in the middle of the opening to stop cars, you’ve also eliminated the straight through path for bikes.

soren
Subscriber

It is my understanding that these are temporary diverters and that a final design would/will involve poured concrete.

Spiffy
Subscriber

at least there’s dirt in them to allow planting of flowers…

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Only the Mississippi/Holman one should have had soil. The NA agreed to maintain plantings.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

My god two diverters in one story!? Keep them coming PBOT!

Jim Labbe
Subscriber
Jim Labbe

But if you bike up Mississippi or Michigan or if you live in the neighborhood, “I have some really good news for you.”

ethan
Guest
ethan

I’m moving to this neighborhood in a few weeks, and I’ll have to test this out. It looks really narrow – I wonder if my fatbike can make it through at any reasonable speed.

Spiffy
Subscriber

fatbike? can’t you just go over it?

ethan
Guest
ethan

Ha! I could try, but it would probably be easier just to go around the curbs.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

It looks like those yellow chevron signs are going to lead to conflicts such as in your second-to-last photo*. Those typically mean the road curves, so drivers are not going to expect bikes coming through from any direction. They also clutter/obstruct the view. Just take the signs down — “don’t hit the barrels” is self-explanatory at any legal speed in any weather/visibility conditions in a neighborhood.

* But if this is an uncontrolled intersection, yield-to-the-right applies and the person on a bike should have stopped. Idaho stop signs would sure help (why can’t we just make some with an “except bicycles” placard?)

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The cross streets are stop controlled and include warnings that cross traffic does not stop.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Great! Why would we need the chevrons facing that direction then?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

supplemental warning for change of direction. the final objects, if constructed, will only be 6 inch high curbing – easy to miss.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

Next, NE 7th Ave please.

soren
Subscriber

Yes!

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Before NW/SW 20th or the others in the NW grid?
Before the low 100’s (108/109/106/111/104th)?
Should we continue doing longitudinal corridors of greenways, or move to a trunk/branch, or center/radiating arms, or grid pattern?
The current longitudinal model is great if you want to go from one end to the other, but doesn’t really help people get around in their neighborhood.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

Excellent questions, with no easy answer. Perhaps a combination of variables, i.e. crash/injury data, ridership #s, current available funds for that neighborhood, local support, etc.?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’ll only suggest an answer to the last question: moving around the neighborhood should not be a problem on neighborhood streets. If those streets are not conducive to cycling, they need traffic calming.

soren
Subscriber

Of course not…but that does not mean we cannot advocate for and hope for additional Greenway funding. (Wheeler seems significantly more interested in funding Greenways than his predecessor.)

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

We should treat every street as a greenway unless it has continuous bike lanes. Is there some policy I don’t know about that gives priority to auto traffic anywhere except the interstate?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

TSP – District Collectors, Major City Traffic Streets and Regional Trafficways.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

As long as they have complete bike facilities, there won’t be a problem moving plenty of auto traffic. Giving auto traffic priority over walking, biking, or transit shouldn’t be the case on any surface street regardless of designation.

Beeblebrox
Guest
Beeblebrox

A greenway on some combination of 7th and 9th from Broadway to Holman is now funded through the Fixing Our Streets program. The exact alignment hasn’t been decided, however. There will be a major public outreach and design process for that. Putting in a new greenway is very different from fixing an existing one…it’s a major project that is making a major change to existing travel patterns, and is very different from these tiny projects on already existing greenways.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Long overdue progress on another languishing project! This one even has concrete results (pun not originally intended).

Naito Gap, 15th & Ankeny, *maybe* that NW Flanders overpass? It’s almost as if PBOT found some motivation.

soren
Guest

PBOT found some money.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I’m all for more diverters, but unfortunately my B-Line trike does not fit through the one on Ankeny! We utilize the street to hit a few key accounts and will have to adjust routes or use the sidewalks to ride through.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

This is one of the things I think is not so great about diverter placement. People driving especially narrow vehicles between diverters may happen, but it’s not a problem that calls for specific engineering.

Also, diverter projects always have side effects. Aside from sometimes hosing already bad traffic on existing roads (e.g. Division) which affects emergency response as well as mobility of those with physical disabilities, motorists seem to get more aggressive if you’re anywhere near a bikeway and choose to take a regular street.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You do know that most of Division was one lane before the redo, don’t you? The only part that was two lanes (for two hours a day) were below 23rd, which is not where most of the congestion is (and what’s there now is mostly due to the Orange Line and UPRR volume increases blocking 11th & 12th).

Adam
Subscriber

But previously the parking lanes were used as de-facto passing lanes. Now that Division is a place rather than simply a thoroughfare, people complain about the traffic. But the traffic is there because people choose to be there on purpose. If only there was another way to get everyone to Division without driving…

Spiffy
Subscriber

50th to 60th also had 4 lanes… you could drive or park in the outer 2, except for during commute, as you said, when you couldn’t park…

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

I do know that. I lived there and I still go regularly.

I think it’s great how many cyclists take Clinton as well as some other bikeways, but I don’t think blocking/diverting traffic is something that should be done lightly.

What I find is that everything is just mucked up because Division doesn’t move at all unless you’re there especially early or late. Between the lack of vehicular movement in a heavily walked area where peds have right of way the roads that feed in are messed up even if you’re on a bike. Division doesn’t just stop at those shops on the hill — it goes for miles and even cyclists have legitimate destinations out there.

Where there is lots of traffic, it can make sense to try to separate bikes from the cars. But I do not favor constantly pushing for separate facilities because it perpetuates the mentality among cyclists as well as drivers that bikes don’t belong on the road.

Even in Portland which has good cycling infrastructure, there are significant areas where road riding is the only option. In any case, cycling infrastructure doesn’t get funded until there’s evidence it would actually be used (i.e. people already out there riding).

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Division is screwed up because of the lack of a left turn arrow at 39th, because of the Orange Line/UPRR, and because of the increase in the number of people crossing. The first two are bad (but theoretically remediable), the third is good.

What I don’t like is that everyone blames this on the reconstruction. We’d have the same problems even without it, only the street would be more dangerous to cross, and would have a lot less green.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

KB,
It is untrue that PBOT only constructs greenways where people are already using the roads. PBOT has constructed greenways where people are still not biking in significant numbers.
the new greenways philosophy is more akin to ‘build it and they will come’. For new greenways PBOT uses a minimum crossing volume of 50 and preferred of 100 when determining how to upgrade busy crossings, even if no one is currently crossing there.

buildwithjoe
Guest

I am very supportive of people with disabilities. We waste our money and could spend it on the missing ramps noted in a recent suit. How do PDX diverters reduce quality for disabled people?

buildwithjoe
Guest

Your trike problem can be fixed by my car and a tow rope. Its a valid and temporary bug that shows PBOT is inept. It does not mean diverters are a general problem for people with disabilities

buildwithjoe
Guest

Here’s a new video of just how bad bikes are blocked in all directions on the Mississippi/Holman diverter. On the location of Ankeny/15th the bikes going North/South on 15th are also blocked.

More diverters are needed, but these recent jobs are botched and intentionally over spending. That drains funds for other locations.

People should vote for Chole Eddaly ( You Daily )

https://youtu.be/71mN9JUVZMo

Watch the video ^^^ of how these diverters block bikes. http://www.chloeforportland.com/

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I’m not seeing it. There appears to be plenty of space for a standard bicycle to fit. Large cargo bikes, maybe not.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

So, since a standard car is only six feet wide, you would be fine with six and a half foot wide lanes with concrete on each side. Obviously, that’s nonsense, as is a diverter that one cannot easily ride a cargo bike or a bike with a slightly wider than normal trailer through.

Gena
Guest
Gena

As seen in the 7th image, the planters on Ankeney were placed within the painted “clear zone”, leaving a smaller clear zone than was designed. Can PBOT get out there and move the planters out of the clear zone? Or we can all meet there at 5pm today and DIY it?!

I rode through it this morning and thought “I bet a B-Line bike can’t fit through this”.

lahar
Guest
lahar

I thought the same thing, the opening seemed not much bigger the 4 feet.

Adam
Guest
Adam

So stoked for this! I’m going to go ride my bike over there specifically to go check it out this week!

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Great News! As we forward maybe we should rethink how we place diverters.Instead of the defensive mode we are in, now the real solution for the future would be to think about how to channel cars in the safest way possible. We could place diverters to funnel autos from homes or workplaces as directly as possible to the main auto-ghettos ( highways) without endangering foot and bike users.

Adam
Subscriber

PBOT frequently makes the excuse that they won’t install diversion because the road is already under the threshold. This is reactive. I propose addressing the issue from a proactive angle: what do we need to do to ensure this street remains under the threshold?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

or,
‘How do we spend scarce tax dollars where a problem is not defined to exist, but could in the future, when other defined problems currently do exist’
??

Adam
Subscriber

Isn’t this the exact reasoning used to plan out future light rail lines? At any rate, seeing as how each diverter costs about $5,000 each and provides huge benefits, it’s embarrassing that the city is pushing back so hard on what should be a no-brainer.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Adam,

So, your equating retrofitting of a legacy greenway with a multi-million dollar alternative transportation plan that is actively supported and funded with Federal transportation funds?
PBOT builds greenways where no one is yet riding. PBOT just doesn’t have the budget, or Federal support, to build on the same scale.

Adam
Subscriber

I’m not saying build on the same scale. I’m just equating it with the mentality of planning out new rail lines. MAX lines are planned out with the idea of fixing something that will be a problem in the foreseeable future, usually projected motor traffic volume on nearby roadways.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

And we know how accurate traffic growth projections are…not.
I can’t believe you even went there.
Light rail is about using tax dollars to move people more efficiently and affordably. A way to wean us from the single occupant auto vehicle = freedom mythology presented by monied interests.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I wish more people (at PBOT and on this forum) realized that long-term growth predictions are simply rubbish. I’m glad that you, at least, realize that.

soren
Subscriber

rubbish in what direction? i have yet to see anyone attempt to model climate change-associated migration to the pacific nw.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Well said Adam… PBOT method to measure is flawed. I know that a lot of The people want to stop driving but would only do so if the streets are safe now. PBOT counting cars and other tools will never create the future safety we need

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Joe,

Which measure? be specific, like, with examples, from Portland.

buildwithjoe
Guest

The answer you seek is in the post above your post – “PBOT frequently makes the excuse that they won’t install diversion because the road is already under the threshold. This is reactive. ”

Translated: Rather than see pending problems and be proactive we have a slow reactive PBOT. PBOT will only react if someone dies or a major problem festers. One of the major and flawed ways PBOT measures the need for a diverter is to count. How do they count. Mostly they lay down flawed devices on the road to count tire hits. Those are reactive tools. Then PBOT will guess at what is a car or bike etc. To prove how flawed PBOT tools to measure have become a large number of volunteers did it in person. But even that is limited data. In some ways data is good, in other ways people at PBOT argue that data is more important than common sense of the neighbors say and what bikes depending on cutting through that neighborhood say.

If we don’t want to wind up with more street griddlock we should promote bikes in the highest possible quantity cutting through neighborhoods where they do not live. Car diverters in high quantity are just one of many tools lacking in Portland. We need high speed bus, streets free from single passenger vehicles. We need less taxpayer welfare for cars who drive alone and park. #parkingWelfare Some cyclists want arterial bike lanes everywhere, some don’t feel safe riding an arterial bike lane that has zero protection. So the short term fix is bikes on sidestreets with diverters. With fewer bikes on arterials, your bus lanes free of cars ( Seattle and 5/6th downtown PDX) can be expanded. Want the long term fix, visit Amsterdam.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

“Rather than see pending problems and be proactive we have a slow reactive PBOT. PBOT will only react if someone dies or a major problem festers.”
the problem with hypothesis is, though you may never prove them, you only need one example to disprove them. Tell me why PBOT has spent so much on new greenways where ‘need’ was not defined?

Your off on the counters as well, or maybe just out of date. The current machines can distinguish between autos, trucks of various sizes and bikes. Your understanding of the technology seems way off.

PBOT uses data because it is more objective, and truthful, than opinion. People are notoriously bad at remembering. there are troves of research on how human perception is not grounded in reality, and is easily influenced.

Amsterdam, and European models so frequently held up as the bright shining example of all that is right with transportation, ignores he social structure in which that system exists, and which does not exist in the US.

Your posts imply an over-arching theme that imagines some man behind a curtain, controlling and all knowing, with unlimited power and resources. It’s a common government conspiracy fallacy. You imagine that if you were the man in charge, you could mold the world to conform to your vision.
This ignores the reality of how democracy works. it’s messy. it moves forward slowly, because not everyone shares your vision.
“… democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time” – Churchill.

I fully endorse a holistic transportation ‘system’ better than the one we have. I just think your rhetoric gets in the way of you making any progress.
Good Luck.

alex
Guest
alex

this traffic modification is awful. i bike this route every day and this makes things needlessly complicated. traffic is already diverted virtually at sandy and physically at 20th. this is completely unnecessary and i fear will lead to more accidents (both bike on bike and bike on car).

alex
Guest
alex

i should note that i am referring to the ankeny diverter.

Adam
Guest
Adam

i’m really not sure what planet you are on to make that statement. a huge amount of vehicles heading westbound on e burnside make a left onto 16th, & then an immediate right onto ankeny, to avoid the burnside/couch couplet, where due to their being a light every single block all the way down to mlk/grand, is usually very, very slow moving.

if PBOT’s traffic counters had not confirmed there was too much auto traffic on the street, i guarantee a diverter would NOT have gone in. they have to justify these things somehow.

MindfulCylist
Guest
MindfulCylist

I was happy to see these yesterday going to work. Ankeny is my daily commute route and never had many issues with it other than the cut through traffic and the 11th crossing and these should help with the former.

My only feedback is that I think that they could have been spaced out about another foot because it does feel tight going westbound.

soren
Subscriber

PBOT is fixing the spacing error.

Anna G
Guest
Anna G

sadly, I don’t think the one at Holman and Miss. will discourage drivers, since most that I’ve seen go all the way thru to Rosa Parks blvd, make a right and then a u turn at the light to get onto the freeway. A diverter on Ainsworth and/or Killingsworth would really discourage traffic esp. folks from PCC, and those using it as a cut thru all the way from Fremont.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Some, yes, but I would add that such behavior is not illegal. In some places, for larger roads, it is the actual design, called a Michigan Left.

Anna G
Guest
Anna G

but isn’t the whole point of diverters to discourage cars from using greenways as a cut thru ? I’m well aware that its not illegal to make a u turn unless marked, any more than its not illegal to drive on greenways.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

6/1/11 counts S/Rosa Parks:
552 northbound, 284 southbound; Speed = 27 mph

Refuge island built January 2013
Island converted to diversion October 2013

8/11/14 counts S/Rosa Parks (most recent):
240 northbound, 156 southbound; Speed = 21-23 mph

-312 northbound = 56% discouragement
-128 southbound = 45% discouragement

Anna G
Guest
Anna G

lovely ! since diverters are proven to reduce traffic lets have have one at Killingsworth and Alberta as well, in the path of the actual greenway not a side street. I’ve had enough of drivers passing unsafely etc to where I just take Vancouver in the pm, and Michigan in the am. Also the traffic counts you cite are 2 years old, there’s been a huge influx of new residents as well as increased traffic going into WA since then.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Huge? + 10%, maybe? this is why counts are done. personal perception is not objective. Traffic doesn’t generally shift much from year to year.

It’s been long enough to do another count.

Michigan north of Ainsworth had about 550 trips per day.
south of Jessup, near the college, it had under 1,000.

Diversion is triggered after 1500 cars per day, never under 1,000.

Ted Buehler
Guest

paik — you wrote
“It’s been long enough to do another count.”

Thanks for sharing the numbers.

Is this the map where the public can access all the bike counts?
https://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=7ce8d1f5053141f1bc0f5bd7905351e6

I can zoom in to Michigan and Rosa Parks, and I see things like
N Michigan S Rosa Parks Way (Michigan Ave immediately south of Rosa Parks)
Dec 4, 2012
Aug 10, 2014
June 16, 2014

I’m not seeing the dates you reference, but maybe I could if I poked around a bit more…

Also, how long is “long enough?” 2 years?

Thanks,
Ted Buehler

lop
Guest
lop

You have the right map Ted.

http://imgur.com/a/GEnBu

This should help you find what you want. And assuming it does, easier for me than trying to type you through it.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Thanks, PBOT!

Remember folks, if you want to see more diverters on neighborhood greenways and other bike routes, be sure to send a thank you note to your favorite folks at PBOT or in city hall.

Email a quick note, or a photo of you smiling at a diverter.

For example:
Steve Novick, Commissioner responsible for tranportation
novick@portlandoregon.gov

Leah Treat, Director of PBOT
leah.treat@portlandoregon.gov

Roger Geller, PBOT Bicycle Coordinator
Roger.Geller@portlandoregon.gov

Ted Buehler

alex
Guest
alex

I have ridden Ankeny multiple times this week and i am still shaking my head at these stupid diverters. Only one bike at a time can pass thru them at a time and this is the busiest greenway in Portland…

alex
Guest
alex

Also of note is that all the chevron signs installed reduce the visibility of the intersection. Dangerous.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

How did you determine ‘dangerous’? what manual or design guide is your reference? – citation please.
What is your roadway design experience, or how much have you studied the subject?
Are you aware of national design guide standards?

Ted Buehler
Guest

paik — I haven’t gone through the Ankeny diverters yet, but I’m guessing Alex’s complaints are:

* capacity — with only one opening, bicycles must go single file. On a busy bikeway there are often fast bikes overtaking slow bikes (unlike cars, each bike has a different preferred operating speed, so overtaking is almost continuous on a busy route). This adds stress to the ride, costs a bit of time, diminishes the (already subpar) quality of the exercise, and adds potential danger if fast riders take safety shortcuts when overtaking at the approach or exit to the diverter.

* safety — the chevron signs obstruct the view of a person in a car stopped at the stop sign. In broad daylight it’s reasonably possible for a person in a car to make a safe assessment as to whether or not its safe to proceed, but after dark or in the rain the only visible point of a bicycle is a single headlight, so it takes extra effort for a person at a stop sign in a car to peer through the visual clutter of the signs and signposts to see if there’s a headlight coming down the pike.

Compare to the diagonal diverter at N Central and Tyler, where
* there are no signposts above bicycle headlight or bicyclist torso level.
&
* There are four passages through the diverters in the dominant direction.

Comments, Alex, paik or anyone else?

Ted Buehler

Ted Buehler
Guest

I checked out the Central and Tyler diverter tonight. The concrete cylinders are higher than the 15th and Ankeny.

So, contrary to my assertion in the above post, it’s not an apples to apples comparison.

Central — taller concrete planters, but chevron signs mounted on the sides of the planters.
Ankeny — shorter concrete planters, (so better visibility of people on bikes by people in cars), but chevrons mounted on signposts (for poorer visibility).

I’m not sure which one would be better. But I suspect Central is better — much less clutter.

As for safe passage, I think the spacing of the gaps at Central was pretty narrow, 4′ at widest (tricky getting my 43″ wide trailer through there). Bit the 4 openings would definitely allow for safe passage of more than one bike at a time. Which is lacking on Ankeny.

Ted Buehler

alex
Guest
alex

Ted- you do describe my position (but in a much more constructive, convivial tone 😉

Capacity- Yep, one bike at a time. This is serious bottleneck for the volume of this greenway. Speeds vary cylcist to cyclist and people rush the queue. The barrier system at 20th allows the centre curb to be hopped to bypass the queue.

Visibility- Approaching the diverter is like riding towards a wall. The diverters themselves, parked cars, and chevron signs occlude sight-lines. It is difficult to determine if a car is waiting at the stop sign. Typically a cyclist can see a car easier than a motorist can pick out cyclist on the road.

Delving further, we engage in pattern recognition in order to process and navigate the visual environment below a conscious threshold. The wedge + circle is the front quarter panel of a car, or the combination of basic geometry that makes up headlights/grill/hood/windscreen. If you remove the ability to read these queues, appropriate caution and reaction times are compromised. Personally, I have avoided collision in the past by autonomically braking before consciously registering that a car was in my path of travel (this was while making a 90 degree left turn). I attribute this ability to the phenomena above 😉

I hope that PBOT is engaging the design process at this depth of evaluation, however the actualized product indicates possible and unintentional shortsightedness.

alex
Guest
alex

visibility is compromised any time you stick a bunch of stuff in an intersection. previously, i would have greater visibility and therefore reaction time to avoid collision. this evening i almost got hit by a car turning west on ankeny as i traveled east thru the intersection. i had to yell and swerve in order to prevent injury. can you provide data that this modification is “less dangerous” without relying on only a reduction in traffic volume?

alex
Guest
alex

also, as someone who had studied architecture, urban planning, and psychology, i would be interested in links to design standards and studies (i am open to having that influence my opinion). i realize i am being a bit hyperbolic (feeling endangered does that), but i do not consider myself to be a complete layperson. i think the intent of the diversion is justified, however, the execution of the traffic modification has room for improvement.

Anna G
Guest
Anna G

I’d be more inclined to take you seriously if you actually rode this route during said rush hour, especially during the school year. Otherwise you’re just another pdot wonk quoting numbers and getting defensive, without being able to take constructive criticism.

Ted Buehler
Guest

Shoutout to paikiala —

I’m glad you’re here, participating in these conversations in a quasi-unofficial capacity. I always appreciate the data you present & the generally evenhanded responses to questions. I hope the comments from daily users of PBOT’s infrastructure are helpful to you.

Ted Buehler

alex
Guest
alex

and on my way home the rider in from of me was almost hit by a car turning west on to ankeny. dude had to swerve into parked cars to avoid the collision.

so far this week 40% of my trips have had close calls with cars refusing to yield to bike traffic.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I saw the same thing when I rode home yesterday, heading east. A southbound car completely ran the stop sign. Yay.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I mean, the car ran the stop sign at the diverter, turning east.