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Say hello to “crossbikes” — Portland’s latest bikeway innovation

Posted by on August 2nd, 2016 at 2:56 pm

PBOT's new crossbikes

One of the new crossbikes at NE 37th and Killingsworth.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been eight years since Portland proudly proclaimed the color green as its go-to hue for bikes. Now, following in the footsteps of bike boxes and green lanes that have sprouted up all over town, it’s time to say hello to “crossbikes.”

By the end of this week there will be crossbikes at seven intersections around the city. If you see one, don’t fret. Treat them exactly like they sound: sort of like crosswalks, but for bikes. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is set to officially announce the new treatment tomorrow with an educational push (see new sign below) similar to the one they did around bike boxes in 2008.

Everything you need to know.(Image: PBOT)

Everything you need to know.
(Image: PBOT)

So far PBOT has striped crossbikes at NE 37th at Killingsworth, NE Going at 33rd, N Williams at Rosa Parks and NW Johnson at 21st. By the end of the week there will be three more: N Michigan at Killingsworth, SE Lincoln at 60th, and NE Tillamook at 15th.

You might notice that all the crossbike locations have one thing in common: they’re on neighborhood greenway streets. Roger Geller, PBOT’s chief bicycle planner, said it’s just the latest effort the bureau has undertaken to make crossings safer on what are designed to be low-stress, family-friendly streets where people on bikes and foot are prioritized.

Geller said it’s an idea he’s be working on for several years (we posted a Q & A with him about crossbikes back in 2011) and it came from how he observed people using curb extensions — where curbs are bulbed out in order to narrow the crossing distance. “When a cyclist was taking advantage of the curb extension and stopped at the end of it, it was clear from our observations that motorists would be paying attention more because they would stop,” Geller shared in a phone interview today. “So we thought, if we put more indicators in the intersection that more clearly signal that this is a crossing, it would lead to even greater awareness.”

“We we wanted to indicate that these intersections aren’t just pedestrian crossings, these are also bike crossings,” Geller added. “The green bike bars indicate this is an extention of the bikeway thru the intersection.”

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Here’s how the one at Rosa Parks and Williams as you approach the bike street from Rosa Parks:

PBOT's new crossbikes

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

And here’s another view of 37th at Killingsworth:

PBOT's new crossbikes

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

NW Johnson at 21st (image by PBOT):
cross-21johsnonpbot

NE Going at 33rd (image by PBOT):

crossbike-33going-pbot

Legally-speaking, crossbikes aren’t crosswalks. In a crosswalk, people are required by law to stop for anyone on bike or foot who shows intent to cross. Not so in a crossbike. But if you’ve walked or biked at all in Portland you’ll know that people tend to happily stop at neighborhood greenway crossings already so these markings should only increase awareness. Crossbikes will also increase the amount of people who stop to let you cross — even when they don’t have a stop sign.

“We want to make things as safe as possible for vulnerable roadway users and for modes that we’re looking to encourage. We think this can be an effective and relatively low-cost way to do that.”
— Roger Geller, PBOT

Keep in mind these crossbike locations aren’t just picked randomly. The cross-street must meet specific criteria that has been vetted by Geller and PBOT traffic engineers. They are only used on what are known as “minor collector streets” — a designation that applies only if the street has (at the most) one lane of traffic in each direction, no more than 10,000 cars per day (with 1,000 in the peak hour) and a maximum speed limit of 30 mph.

PBOT has already set a precedent for using green bars to mark caution areas through intersections; but this is the first time such markings have been used on neighborhood greenway streets (and not on streets with dedicated bike lane). PBOT plans to work with a Portland State University researcher to evaluate the new markings to see whether they improve conditions.

Each marking costs about $4,000 (including signs and crosswalk striping if necessary).

Geller says it’s all part of Portland’s march toward more bike-oriented, safer, streets. “We want to make things as safe as possible for vulnerable roadway users and for modes that we’re looking to encourage. We think this can be an effective and relatively low-cost way to do that.”

— 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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Kate
Guest
Kate

Nice work Roger and PBOT! I’m excited to use the Williams/Rosa Parks crossbike on my way home this evening. Giving drivers more awareness of the crossing — especially on that road where parked cars sometime obscure views when trying to continue north on williams — is worth a high-five.

BB
Guest
BB

These have been all over the greenways in Seattle for a couple of years now – and be sure, nobody driving a car will give you the regard they might to a pedestrian in a classic crosswalk.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

This mixed messaging can’t be good. There are green-striped crossings on SW moody which do have legal standing with signals.

If one driver stops to wave you across and there’s a driver coming from the other direction who kills you, do you get to sue the one who stopped and/or the city for such a terrible design?

If you’re going to cross while a driver is stopped, I think it’s illegal unless you ride in the white crosswalk.

PBOT can do better. But hey, to fix this mistake, they could make it a 4-way stop.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Their ambiguity might be why they work (sort of). Some drivers might think they are crosswalks, and thus the (maybe) stop. Others? Not so much.

Question: Who do you sue?
Answer: You don’t sue. You’re dead.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

EL,
Are you familiar with the TSP and traffic street hierarchy rules?

was carless
Guest
was carless

Actually, ambiguity can help improve safety, as witnessed by the experiments in the removal of traffic devices in the Netherlands.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6530252

Interestingly, viewing these images that Jonathan posted above gives me the feeling as a driver that the roadway is being constricted… hopefully this optical effect will help influence drivers to slow down and be more aware.

Adam
Subscriber

Geller says … “We want to make things as safe as possible for vulnerable roadway users and for modes that we’re looking to encourage. We think this can be an effective and relatively low-cost way to do that.”

Read: this is a cheap way to look like we’re helping cyclists, while ensuring drivers experience zero inconveniences. Want to really make things as safe as possible? Tame the drivers through real bike infrastructure, rather than more paint. I am so sick of being buzzed constantly by aggressive drivers on our supposed “low-stress” streets.

dwk
Guest
dwk

While you are waiting for the revolution, I am just happy for small favors…
This is an improvement, small, but an improvement, nonetheless and should become standard.
I also very rarely get buzzed by drivers and I ride 25 miles a day across this city, so I am not sure what you are doing?

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

To be sure this small bit of “infra” is better than anything Adam had before he moved to Portland. But you know, complain anyway.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

You know what they say: “the square wheel gets the geese”. Makes me wonder where did Adam live that random colors and patterns were painted on the intersections and also how this is better?

Adam
Subscriber

I’m not saying this isn’t an improvement – it is. All bike crossing should be painted like this for visibility, as they do make a small difference. However, what got me was Roger Geller’s comment that he want’s things to be “as safe as possible”. Does he honestly think this is the best we can do?

Huey Lewis
Guest
Huey Lewis

Adam, I’m sorry. Sometimes you make me a little crazy but I do realize you’re wanting the best for Portland and more often than not I agree with most of what you comment/post.

I’ll never forgive you for moving here though. :-O

Adam
Subscriber

Hey, at least I didn’t bring a car when I moved here. 😉

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Go easy on him. I gotta admit I admire his dedication — if I shared his views about motorists, safety, and which roads were rideable, I wouldn’t bike.

But Adam, if your experience is really as you consistently describe, you’re doing something.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I think the “something” we’re doing is riding slowly… I experience much of the same thing that Adam does… is it because we’re going 10 mph and under? maybe if you’re going 15-20 mph you don’t get buzzed by so many drivers…

I’m so sick of getting buzzed so close that I can touch the car… every time I commute…

Adam
Subscriber

Yep, riding a slow upright bike offers us a completely different experience than someone who can ride fast and keep up with traffic. Drivers get more impatient with a slow rider. I ride the length of Clinton Street every day, and I get buzzed far more riding uphill than downhill.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Getting passed is not the same as getting buzzed… I often get passed, but drivers almost always guide me the requisite space. That’s why I am surprised when certain people report being buzzed so regularly. Maybe drivers are more aggressive where you ride?

Adam
Subscriber

Usually what happens is they follow me too closely, revving their engine, then when there is an opening, drive around me as fast as possible, usually almost hitting an oncoming cyclist. I’ve even had the same driver do this twice because they drove around the diverter, then got stuck behind me again. I’ve also had people drive next to me on the wrong side of the street for four blocks, have had people yell at me from their car windows to move over, and been chased through the diverter and had death threats screamed at me.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I rarely get the required 7 feet of space required to pass me… it’s not legally possible to pass me on a greenway like Clinton…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Required 7 feet? Are they travelling more than 35mph on a greenway?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If you ride at a pokey 10 MPH, how could a driver be beside you for 4 blocks without being able to complete their pass? Where I ride, engine revving, yelling, and death threats are so rare as to be almost non-existent.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would never describe a car passing 6ft away as “buzzing”. Passing closer than legally allowed, perhaps (or perhaps not, I guess it depends on your height), but it’s not really “buzzing”.

It really is amazing how different other people’s experiences are than mine.

Adam
Subscriber

how could a driver be beside you for 4 blocks without being able to complete their pass?

I have no idea what was going through this person’s mind when they decided to drive on the opposite side of the street for four blocks. Probably because there was a large group of people cycling and they wanted to get around them and they thought driving slowly on the wrong side of the street was safer? Who knows? Greenways really should be no passing for drivers.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

I’ve ridden Clinton a lot. It is one of the easiest streets in town and I’ve never experienced an issue. It’s safe enough for small kids, and I see a lot of them there.

The idea that there isn’t enough room to do a safe pass is nonsense — that would imply there is not enough room for oncoming traffic. I would say that too often I see what looks like cyclists intentionally impeding vehicular traffic.

I wonder how many people who don’t like passing on greenways whine when groups of people spread like a gaggle MUPs or the waterfront.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

>> there was a large group of people cycling and they wanted to get around them and they thought driving slowly on the wrong side of the street was safer? <<

This is a totally different scenario than I imagined when you first described your experiences. A large group vs. a single rider, a driver passing slowly and trying to be safe vs. an aggressive pass and shouted death threats.

Adam
Subscriber

Those were three separate instances.

Adam
Subscriber

Am I incorrect is assuming Greenways are supposed to be “bicycle priority”? That means I don’t have to pull over for every “jack*ss” who wants to drive around me.

Pete
Guest
Pete

“I rarely get the required 7 feet of space required to pass me…”

“Maybe it’s just me, but I would never describe a car passing 6ft away as “buzzing”. Passing closer than legally allowed, perhaps (or perhaps not, I guess it depends on your height)…”

6′ feels like buzzing when I’m riding on I-84, but not on most of the other roads I ride on – even California expressways. To Dan A’s point, speed does make proximity feel uncomfortable, but I’ve always had a beef with Oregon’s unique law regarding passing distance. In most states it’s either 3′ or 4′, though I think Texas just increased theirs after a cyclist was killed by a mirror extension on a 5th-wheel rig. You can measure a discrete number, and maybe even enforce it. In Oregon, I get more legal passing clearance than most of your children, simply because I’m so tall.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If people are driving on Clinton at I-84 speeds, we’ve got bigger problems than insufficient passing room!

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If people are driving on Clinton at I-84 speeds, we’ve got bigger problems than close passing!

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

To clarify, the safe passing law does not apply to cars being driven under 35mph.

Bill Moore
Guest
Bill Moore

Studies have show that drivers treat cyclists different depending on their perceptions of the cyclist. One example, cyclist perceived as men often have drivers getting closer to them then women. So you could ride the same route as Adam and be treated differently

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Everyone has their own interpretation of buzzed.

Those that report it happening all the time obviously have a much lower threshold. I would also assume they’re more likely to be found hugging the right edge of the roadway.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

might help to paint your bike orange

dwk
Guest
dwk

If you are riding 10mph and taking the lane, that is your problem and it makes us all look bad….

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

how dare Adam for not taking a greenway at 20mph. Every commute should be a KOM attempt.

BB
Guest
BB

Wrong. Everyone has equal rights to the road and there is no minimum vehicle operational speed.

Spiffy
Subscriber

riding legally is nobody’s problem…

greenways rarely have lanes, and once you’re out of the door zone you’re basically in the middle of the street… I stay to the right of center just like the law requires…

people who have a problem with legal cyclists are the real problem…

dwk
Guest
dwk

Sorry Ted, even on Greenways a cyclist should not be riding 10mph in front of cars.

Adam
Subscriber
Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Nonsense. Anybody driving on a greenway is just looking for a place to park (yes, sometimes in their driveway.) It’s more courteous to keep left since most parking would be to the right.

How much faster than 10mph can you even drive a car on a greenway without at least killing a puppy?

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Eric- I just looked at a video I took last week on a big ride. I was coming back on a greenway, a kid on a little scooter thing decided to veer across the street. It’s interesting to watch Mom’s reaction, sprinting to protect her child (because the ‘veer’ was totally unexpected). I was able to brake and then swerve with no problem, Mom was horrified. I was glad I was on a bike and not in a car.

Your comment reminded me of that.

dwk
Guest
dwk

“‘Adam H:
Forgive me for assuming greenways are supposed to be where people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to bicycle, walk and play.”

You are absolutely correct and we need more greenways which means we need the public support of people who live on the greenways and being a jack*ss and not yielding because you think you are special will not result in
getting more greenways….

Adam
Subscriber

Am I incorrect is assuming Greenways are supposed to be “bicycle priority”? That means I don’t have to pull over for every “jack*ss” who wants to drive around me.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Adam H, if you’re riding 10mph, getting doored isn’t really gonna hurt. or even happen.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Just curious, but when you are riding 10mph on greenway and a car honks for you to move over, why don’t you?
Greenways are still legal highways for cars the last time I Checked and the speed limit is 20 mph. (It should be lowered to 15mph, but it isn’t yet).
By riding at that speed and impeding traffic you are hurting, not helping the cause.

Adam
Subscriber

There’s no law that says I need to move over for people who ask it. I don’t wish to put myself in danger by riding in the door zone, just to please an impatient driver. Also, I don’t feel the need to justify bullying behavior by giving into what they want.

Adam
Subscriber

Also, what “cause” is that? Cyclists need to bow down to the almighty driver if we wish to get what we want? Most of the people I see driving on Clinton are using it as a cut-through, so it is they who should change their behavior.

Adam
Subscriber

Also you say “by riding at that speed” as if I’m doing so by choice. I physically can’t ride my bike that fast up a hill.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I know this is totally irrelevant and off topic, but I feel like telling y’all a story, apropos of nothing.

Earlier this summer we had a mini-family reunion. Two of my cousins were there; Dan is about 9, and Liam 16ish. Dan really liked chasing Liam with a stick, threatening to hit him. After a time, of course, this game grew tiring, and the Liam would grab the stick and break it or throw it over a fence or whatever, or would sometimes push Dan away. Dan would come crying to his mother that Liam pushed him or took away his stick. He got approximately zero sympathy from anyone.

The only thing that would make that story better was if Dan had said “it isn’t illegal to chase someone with a stick!”

Thanks for indulging me… back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I assume that in your mind, in your allegory, Adam is Dan, chasing other people with a stick. I guess the bad behavior is inconveniencing someone else for a few seconds? Somehow that’s comparable to threatening people with a stick?

In my mind, a better allegory would be if Dan were 16 and Liam were 9. Liam’s walking and Dan’s running behind him and threatening Liam with a stick. Liam refuses to get out of the way. Would it probably be smart for him to get out of the way because Dan is big and strong and has a stick and could seriously hurt him? Yep! But is it incumbent on him to do so? No. What would I do as an adult? Rather than lecturing Liam about staying safe and giving in to Dan because Dan could hurt him, I would rather work to keep Dan in line and have him only run in places where it’s safe to do so and not threaten weaker people with sticks under any circumstances.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I don’t know what the exact behavior is, but, as Adam H. reports it, it is enough to consistently enrage drivers to the point where the pass aggressively, shout death threats, rev their engines, and so on, behaviors that I have rarely if ever experienced when riding on the same streets. My experience is consistent with what others report.

So we are left with two possibilities:

1) Adam H. is doing something to provoke this bad behavior; or

2) Adam H. has consistent bad luck

Had my story been intended to illustrate a point, it would have been that even if you are in a less powerful position, you can bring problems on yourself by picking fights with those around you, and that while the person in the more powerful position should show restraint, it is understandable that this doesn’t always happen.

I want to be clear on one thing — I am a strong advocate for riding assertively and boldly, and I consistently practice that myself, and encourage that behavior in others. Being courteous is not the same as being meek; it’s usually the opposite. I am not suggesting that people be timid or passive just so we can all get along. I am asking that people be polite and try to understand that we all need to live together, and that people are not defined by the transportation mode they happen to be using at the moment.

Adam
Subscriber

What you are saying essentially is “my experience is different from yours, so you must be ‘asking for it’ via your behavior”. That’s some serious victim-blaming right there.

Like I said, I am simply riding slowly and outside the door zone. The purposeful aggressive and menacing driving is maybe a once a month occurance, but the everyday behavior is generally unsafe passing, which is not as scary, but still unnerving nonetheless. It’s more of a “death by one thousand cuts” situation. Sure, there are some really bad ones, but daily minor scares get to you eventually.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Indeed. In this case, unless bad luck is behind our differing experiences, I am blaming the erstwhile victim. It is possible to be both safe and considerate at once.

Pete S.
Guest
Pete S.

Have you considered riding faster?

This isn’t Amsterdam, so maybe a Dutch bike (or whatever upright equivalent you’re riding) isn’t the best tool for the job.

I realize we would all like to be able to ride however and wherever we want but if I were in your position and truly being buzzed constantly, I would try to modify my behavior to make my experience safer and more pleasant.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Riding slow, blocking traffic and irritating car drivers is the point……

Adam
Subscriber

Maybe I don’t want to ride fast? Or am tired after a long day at work and going up a hill in 90º heat is exhausting? Or maybe I want to be able to pick up groceries on my way home from work and not bring extra bags with me? “Buy a faster bike” is not a solution. It’s as absurd as suggesting drivers should buy helicopters if they are tired of being stuck in traffic.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I have to agree (yes, you read that right!). Ride at whatever pace is comfortable. Just be considerate of other road users.

Adam
Subscriber

Sure, but I don’t feel save weaving in and out of the door zone to move over for drivers doing 30 mph. IMO, being courteous means letting the slowest road user set the pace. Drivers should be driving at cycling speed on streets with heavy cycling traffic. I ride at walking pace when I ride on the sidewalk.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

As I suspected… Your riding is really about proving a point. No wonder you get the reaction you do.

Adam
Subscriber

Proving what point? I am doing exactly what the City of Portland says our greenways are for.

lop
Guest
lop

> IMO, being courteous means letting the slowest road user set the pace.

Does that you mean you ride at walking pace when you go through waterfront park if there are people walking there? Do you think all cyclists should?

Adam
Subscriber

Yes. If I can’t get around someone, I wait until I can rather than trying to squeeze in.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Speed may help in certain circumstances, but I wonder how much of a factor that is.

My question to those who consistently experience problems is do you work with motorists to help them get where they’re going? Do you make your intentions clear so they know what to expect? Do you make eye contact and thank them with a friendly wave when they do the right thing? The reason I ask is that most Portland cyclists don’t appear to do these things and it makes a HUGE difference in treatment.

In every sport I do, the person being overtaken has right of way. However, slower people who make no effort to avoid impeding others get treated very unkindly.

The roads are like that. Everyone wants to get where they’re going, and simply being considerate goes a long way. On the other hand, if you do only the minimum and act like others don’t exist or are unimportant, they’ll return the favor.

My consistent experience, including in bike unfriendly areas where there is no cycling infrastructure whatsoever, is that the cars treat me better than they treat each other. Playing nice pays.

Adam
Subscriber

So drivers are big babies who need to be constantly thanked for following the law and not running me over? Okay…

dwk
Guest
dwk

Thanks for making cycling much worse in this city…..

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Being nice to people usually gets them to be nice in return. That’s how it works here.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

Dude, you’re bringing the problems on yourself.

It’s important to observe common courtesy and show small kindnesses whether you’re on or off the road. I guarantee we won’t hire people who don’t get this. If you attempt to force others to be a certain way or are dismissive of their needs, don’t expect them to cut you any breaks.

Despite the fact that I believe in playing nice, I’m probably a lot more assertive with cars than you. I ride MLK, Grand, Macadam, Cesar Chavez, Powell, Lombard, and a bunch of other streets few people here would consider. When cars intentionally push in on me, I push back and brush mirrors with my shoulders in some cases. But even when that happens, I don’t get mad. Think about cars like barking dogs — sometimes, that’s just what they do.

We are traffic and should operate as (and be treated like) any other slow moving vehicle. Any other slow moving vehicle would be expected to operate itself in a way to let others through, so why should bicycles be different?

Adam
Subscriber

I ride in the middle of the lane like the “BIKES MAY USE FULL LANE” signs tell me to. This enables me to stay out of the door zone. Why is it on me, then, so make sure drivers don’t get annoyed at me exercising my right to the road?

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

You shouldn’t pander to the whims of people who have an issue with bikes or reality. And you don’t need to worry about what annoys them — only about how you respond to whatever is happening. But just because you have a right doesn’t mean you should exercise it to the letter at all times.

That particular right exists to protect your (and other cyclists’) safety. It sounds like that because of the way you exercise that right, your rides are genuinely less safe and it possibly sets up other cyclists for more unsafe interactions with cars.

If you were operating any other kind of vehicle the way it sounds like you ride, I guarantee the treatment you’d receive would be brutal so most of the abuse your receive isn’t even an anti cycling thing.

Adam
Subscriber

You mean like how cars take up the whole lane?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You know exactly what he meant.

dwk
Guest
dwk

My response is in moderation for some reason so I will say it again.
If You indeed ride your bike like you say, you are one of the worst examples for cycling there is. Just an entitled obstacle for everyone.

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

Adam, it’s shared space that works both ways.
We’re trying to have a society here.

Bill Moore
Guest
Bill Moore

How many times have a thanked someone for making me coffee or provide some other service when I am paying that person? Being courteous is being courteous

Adam
Subscriber

Sure, but the way we do “shared space” in America is broken. We design the street for cars, slap some sharrows and maybe a few diverters and call it a “cycle-priority” route, knowing full well drivers still have free reign over the space. Instead, we should be designing our greenways specifically for cycling while tolerating autos as guests. This is the approach done in the Netherlands. Still shared space, but designed for cycling speeds and not for driving and parking.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I think those who are criticizing Adam H.’s actions are coming at this from a practical perspective, and also think our current transportation system is, if not ideal, at least not actively unjust. Yeah, his life would probably be better if he would move aside and tolerate the danger of dooring every once in a while on greenways. But – think about this from the perspective of someone who thinks our current transportation system is perpetrating a grave injustice on future generations (through climate) and a sizeable injustice on current generations (through the health, monetary, and psychological impacts of a driving-focused culture). It sounds like Adam not moving aside is a small act of resistance, even if a futile or even potentially counter-productive one, to a status quo he finds pretty repugnant. Does that give you more understanding of why he does what he does?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Randomly pissing people off is not striking a blow against the status quo, nor fighting to preserve a livable world for the next generation, nor making a grandiose gesture of solidarity with the oppressed. It’s just more of that petty us vs. them attitude that makes life a tiny bit less pleasant for everyone.

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

Best stop riding entirely then. Simply being on a bike is all it takes to “randomly piss people off”.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

The varying experiences of people who have posted here belies that statement.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Sounds like some you are having a hard time with this whole thing about getting around Adam. Maybe it’s how you’re riding? I generally just ring my bell and pass on the left when it’s clear.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I’m going to read this conversation with a mom and her kids in a cargo bike in place of Adam (could be a dad and his kids or a dude and his cat — the point is to be flexible in your thinking.) I think most parents will stay in an SUV until this old, useless conversation changes.

Maybe I should carry a loud horn and a sledge hammer on my bike so I can similarly menace anybody in a car who ever “slows me down” or “gets in my way”? I think the spirit of cooperation went out the window with ORS 814.480 (2 years before Back to the Future?!)

Adam
Subscriber

Definitely! For every person like me complaining about lack of good infra that is riding, there’s ten people making those same complaints about why they don’t ride. Those should be who we target with infrastructure improvements.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

I swear I’ve been tempted…

http://loudbicycle.com/

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I’m going to read this conversation with a mom and her kids in a cargo bike in place of Adam (could be a dad and his kids or a dude and his cat — the point is to be flexible in your thinking.) I think most parents will stay in an SUV until this old, useless conversation changes.

Maybe I should carry a loud horn and a sledge hammer on my bike so I can similarly menace anybody in a car who ever “slows me down” or “gets in my way”? I think the spirit of cooperation went out the window with ORS 814.480 (2 years before Back to the Future?!)

How fast does a warg trot?

soren
Subscriber

Thanks for making cycling much worse in this city…..

I’m struggling to understand how slower car traffic on designated Greenways makes cycling worse in this city.

MonicaInPDX
Subscriber

I have noticed that drivers often behave differently based upon how they perceive the cyclist. As a woman who usually bike commutes in skorts (and often with a child), I am rarely “buzzed” or treated rudely. When I ride my road bike wearing spandex, I am treated more aggressively. Last summer I bike commuted while quite pregnant and was amazed to find that chivalry still exists in Portland–drivers would usually stop to let me cross roads busy streets. I think it’s just another example of how people tend to treat each other based upon their preconceived notions of the appearance/intent/deportment of the other. I’m not sure there is a solution to this – it’s just an observation.

Adam
Subscriber

I lived in Chicago, which has more miles of protected bike lanes than Portland, and has even had a cycle track downtown since 2012.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

Wow, amazing how different Chicago is now. In the nineties, when I lived there, it was like a big, crazy, dystopian adventure park.

Adam
Subscriber

Oh, it’s still like that. Just with a little more cycling infra. 😉

Bill Moore
Guest
Bill Moore

Is this really an improvement or a big accident waiting to happen?

Kate
Guest
Kate

It’s not practical to design every single intersection to the standard that makes Adam H feel safe. Hear me out.

For the example at Williams and Rosa Parks, Williams is a very calmed, greenway street that is a delight to travel on this far noth. Rosa Parks is an east-west thoroughfare so has higher volumes and speeds of 30mph in this section. There is a single travel lane each direction and this intersection has little concrete ped island/ medians. So. It’s already made some attempts to be calmed, but this green striping is going to further notify drivers- hey, bikes are crossing or at least something is happening here.

Now, if this still makes you nervous, you can simply travel one block west and cross Rosa at the light at N. Vancouver. But it would be silly to have the stoplight at Vancouver, and then install another light, 4-way stop, or protected intersection merely one block away. Instead, they’ve added ped islands and with street trees to calm traffic, painted high visibility crosswalks and now added a ‘crossbike’.

Look- I get that people want the highest level of infrastructure all. he.time. but the reality is that resources are limited. In some places we absolutely need to have way more than a ‘crossbike’!! But in other places, this is a nice tool to add to other treatments to increase safety where creating a full stop-control intersection doesn’t make sense. I often wish commenters here would practice a little more perspective.

Adam
Subscriber

Crossbikes are a useful tool, but must be used in conjunction with other improvements, such as protected turn islands, signals, etc. They may work on a low-traffic intersection, but they alone can not fix busy, problematic intersections at Lombard, 60th, etc.

mh
Subscriber

I’ve been treating 16th crossing Burnside in exactly this way since the pedestrian islands went in. It usually works, and Burnside is three lanes at that point.

ethan
Guest
ethan

These look really ambiguous.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Awesome! Two more Johnson locations would be great: at 14th and at 23rd. Both already have crosswalks on the north & south side of the street, and many drivers stop for bikes here anyway (which is really confusing when you’re not in a crosswalk).

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Nevermind, I didn’t realize they are purely decorative.

andrew
Guest
andrew

I would add 18th & 19th to that list as well. And some of those signs that remind drivers that stopping for pedestrians is a law; the signs at OHSU make drivers stop even when no peds are present, confuses the hell out of people.

m
Guest
m

It says: (1) the cars don’t have to stop so use caution and (2) cars do have to stop when “…bicycling slowly through a crosswalk…”

Which is it?

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Apparently when using the cross bike you don’t get anything. But move from the green stripes to the white stripes and you have the legal rights of a pedestrian. Even WITHOUT DISMOUNTING.

Yeah, legal vs alive. But as bikeninja said below, the legal difference is huge.

Seems like a good state bill to petition our representatives for, whenever they are back in session (next year, iirc).

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I’d feel pretty lame taking the lane all the way up Johnson and then worming my way over to the crosswalk at an intersection. Feels like abusing the system to me, as much as I hate waiting for clueless drivers on 21st/23rd.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

If that’s what it takes to have legal standing, I don’t care.

A textbook case of this is Ankeny and Cesar Chavez. Aggro/fast drivers, no signal for the bike crossing. It’s a crosswalk to me.

Adam L
Guest
Adam L

Oh yeah, I use the crosswalk there every time. It is the only way you can get across reasonably safely.

They really do need to make these have a legal standing if they are going to use them. And they need to do it quickly. Once people driving learn they have no meaning, they will never update their thinking if they are ever giving legal meaning say 10 years in the future.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Fair enough. I just don’t need to do that anywhere on Johnson, assuming drivers do their job and continue driving through the intersections, rather than looking confused and wondering if they should stop for me or not. I’m waiting for you to go so that I can cross behind you — please don’t pause in the middle of the intersection and give me a befuddled look for no apparent reason.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Cars on that stretch of Killingsworth regularly exceed 40 mph. Would be nice to see the City invest in some speed limit enforcement in addition to these measures.

Adron Hall
Guest

…or just put hard stops and some type of roundabout, etc, into the road. That resolves the speeding issue pretty effectively and makes it safer for everybody.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Lets see, failure to stop for pedestrian in crosswalk, large fine if caught. Mow down cyclist in crossbike causing death and get off with slap on wrist and small failure to yield fine. hmm

J_R
Guest
J_R

Since the cyclist is a vehicle on a minor street with a STOP sign, I think the cyclist will be the one getting the citation for failure to yield. I predict no citation for the motorist who hits a bicyclist in a cross bike.

Dave
Guest
Dave

What a stupid little waste. Why not on-demand blinking signals such as what Vancouver has installed on Fourth Plain Road and on Fort Vancouver Way?

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

$150,000 each for pedestrian hybrid beacons. NCHRP 562 guides which crossings need that level of control.

BB
Guest
BB

What is the cost of one human life in comparison the price of acceptable infrastructure?

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The federal government, last I looked, puts it at $6M (societal cost).
Sort of beside the point. Find PBOT $150 k for every medium-high volume crossing and then you’ll have a legitimate complaint.
Having a high benefit cost ratio doesn’t fund projects, it only tells decision makers which projects have a higher return on investment.
Most jurisdictions don’t even do a life cycle cost analysis, but just an up-front b/c ratio for capital costs. It’s like buying a car solely based on price, and not considering the cost of ownership.
Up front cost = taxes spent. Life cycle costs = what you spend to use it after it is built.

Adron Hall
Guest

So I ride, especially at intersections, often standing up – which triggers certain behavior in drivers. Often to give me the all clear. However, encouraging and perpetuating an unclear right of way situation is and continues to be a little bit sketchy. For the less dominant and assertive riders, I’m not sure how this actually helps. When I ride, I always think from their perspective – and this actually gave me a hesitant approach but I was curious anyway.

I’m very curious to see any actual data behind it.

Active
Guest
Active

Interesting. I’m going to try the standing up strategy!

ChadwickF
Guest
ChadwickF

Yes to standing up at intersections,crossings, etc. Been doing this for years & notice it does help a little.

Josh G
Guest
Josh G

The Going St @33rd crossbike has been there for months. I avoid biking on the green thermoplast with any moisture present, as it’s right where you are leaned over for the turn on/off of the cycle track. More often lately, I see southbound auto traffic backed-up from the Prescott light past Going St. Crossbike doesn’t keep cars from blocking intersection, but perhaps has added some awareness of crossing cyclists. I think ped.s never understood where they were supposed to cross, not sure if the new green helps much.

J_R
Guest
J_R

This is confusing as all get out!

Presumably bicyclists are still vehicles and are required to stop at the STOP sign. But how many will?

It’s apparent that motorists are already confused by the combination crosswalk/bike crossing warning signs at places like Clay and 12th in SE. Some cars stop; some don’t. I appreciate it when motorists stop and allow cyclists on Clay to proceed when they can see they’d have to stop for the signal a block away. I’ve seen motorist begin to move after the initial wave of bicyclists passes and the light ahead has turned to green. Then they end up braking hard when bicyclists zoom through the stop signs expecting autos to remain stopped for them.

I’d prefer to see green pavement used where autos MUST yield. This new marking system just denotes a caution area where bikes are present. I hope PSU or somebody can do a study to determine the direct and indirect effects of this experiment.

Clark in Vancouver
Guest
Clark in Vancouver

What’s good about crossbikes is that it shuts up the busy bodies who get bent out of shape when someone bikes on a crosswalk.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Since the cyclist is a vehicle on a minor street with a STOP sign, I think the cyclist will be the one getting the citation for failure to yield. I predict no citation for the motorist who hits a bicyclist in a cross bike.

J.E.
Guest
J.E.

“But if you’ve walked or biked at all in Portland you’ll know that people tend to happily stop at neighborhood greenway crossings already”

I’m sorry, which Portland are you cycling in? Must be the one in Maine, because that’s not how things work in Portland, Oregon.

Spiffy
Subscriber

try crossing SE 50th at Clinton… waiting at the stop sign about every 5th car will stop… I wait for them to get frustrated at me not crossing because they have the right of way, even though 3 bikes have already passed me and crossed risking a collision… after they go and I’m now waiting for a very long line of cars instead of just a couple another person will stop and the whole thing repeats again…

if people obeyed the law I would be able to cross after about 30 seconds, but instead drivers are obstructing traffic and causing me a minute delay…

same thing crossing SE 92nd at Crystal Springs Blvd…

same thing crossing MLK at Going St…

Adam
Subscriber

50th at Clinton is so hard to cross during rush hour, that I will cross even if drivers stop for me when they’re not supposed to. I want for both directions to stop before I cross, but usually if one direction stops, the other does.

That intersection really could use improvements, however. Diverters, crossbike paint, and flipped stop signs would be huge.

J.E.
Guest
J.E.

I’ve had the opposite issue at 50th and Clinton: the stream of cars has no break in it (not one long enough for me to safely get across anyway) and I want people to stop and let me pass, and they won’t, even after I dismount and move to the curb. Or one awkward time, the guy in the car going northbound stopped, and not a single southbound car stopped for a good dozen or so vehicles. We did a mutual ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There are too many greenway intersections with either poor visibility (SE 16th and Morrison), too-steady traffic (SE Stark and any greenway), cars that suddenly turn onto the street you’re trying to cross from a nearby arterial (NE Couch and 28th; not technically a greenway but close enough), or all of the above (SE Ankeny and 20th). At these intersections I would rather traffic stop for me (so that I know it sees me and is stopped) than go during a gap in traffic, because you have no idea how long that gap actually is. I ride a heavy bike because of a physical impairment, and it takes about twice as long to cross a street from a dead stop as it does most other bikes; thrice if I’m carrying a heavy load like groceries or my cat. So just because you feel comfortable speeding across the intersection during a gap, that doesn’t mean we all feel that way.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

I ride over these with some regularity. My anecdotal experience is that the green seems to improve awareness in motorists and encourages playing nice.

Having said that, there are disadvantages. Such markings encourage cyclists to think they have right of way where they don’t. Paint doesn’t provide nearly the same grip as the road. I don’t like riding on such stuff even in the dry, and it gets significantly worse as you add wet, rotting leaves, frost, and frozen fog.

There are areas where they could be helpful, but I certainly don’t want to see them everywhere.

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

Looks great, but it will likely encourage even more people to run the stop signs, albeit in a legally ambiguous manner. Now we’ll train every driver in Portland to be overly polite and wave us through stop signs.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest
Kyle Banerjee

They already do this too often. Drives me nuts because it’s unsafe and illegal while slowing everyone down.

dan
Guest
dan

Agreed! I hate this idea. Everyone loses when it is ambiguous what you’re supposed to do – it is inefficient and will make people yield inappropriately, which feels unsafe and confusing to me. Might as well have only yellow lights on traffic lights.

Carter Kennedy
Guest
Carter Kennedy

I don’t see the necessity for this. Half of the drivers already treat bikers as pedestrians, stopping whenever a bike is near a crosswalk.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

And the other half don’t. Maybe seeing the green paint will signal to the drivers, even if the law doesn’t match what they imply.

Tyler Bradford
Guest
Tyler Bradford

As much as I’d love to applaud these efforts, I got a small issue with the placement. Specifically…

Every North/South street number > 82nd. And this, on a week where we’ve had a fatality on 82nd and Flavel.

It may not be as drastic and as clearly delineated as the events of the Vanport Flood or the I-5 Freeway construction, but all these small choices are creating the same kind of structural disadvantage in East Portland as the city created in North Portland, seventy years ago. And we will see the same results.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

The street pattern east of 82nd is pretty different to that west of 82nd. Instead of a fairly regular grid, East Portland has a lot of very quiet streets that feed into giant arterial streets. There just aren’t that many places in East Portland where greenways would cross “minor collector streets”.

That calls for a different strategy for designing bike infrastructure for East Portland, which is likely to be more expensive. As noted in the article each of the crossbike markings “costs about $4,000”. To put that in perspective, PBOT is about to spend $5,227,259 rebuilding the Halsey / Weidler couplet in Gateway. About half that money is for the repaving NE Halsey (part of the gas tax). The other half is going towards curb extensions, bus islands and crossing islands that will create the first fully protected bike lanes in Portland.

SaferStreetsPlease
Guest
SaferStreetsPlease

They should seriously consider one at Ankeny and SE 28th.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Ugh! Awful! Really, putting a sharrow marking and a “crossbike” in line with the parking lane on a roadway where a cyclist needs to take the lane is just going to INCREASE intersection conflicts.

Ignore, for the moment, the cross traffic and just consider a motorist overtaking a cyclist. If a cyclist foolishly moves over into that marked space, the motorist is going to pass in/just after the intersection. Where does that leave the cyclist? Trying to negotiate the curb, parked car and second passing motorist all at once. FAIL.

I often wonder if the folks at PBOT ever ride. Ideas like this should have spawned a brief discussion and then been tossed pending solutions to the problems they create (while solving no problems at all).

Shoebox
Guest
Shoebox

That’s exactly what I was thinking. If you ride through that and a car passes, you’re squeezed over because the crossbike implies that you are supposed to be in the gutter lane. I also find it interesting that PDOTs own graphic shows a separation between the crosswalk and the crossbike. Painting it right up next to a crosswalk makes it seem like an extension of the crosswalk, possibly implying to drivers that bikes belong on the sidewalk.

Adam
Subscriber

Swinging out to the right at an intersection makes you more visible to drivers. I think that’s the idea with the marking placement.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

How? To which drivers? It seems to me that swinging out to the right, out of the normal sight-line of a motorist overtaking you (or, more importantly, the motorist tailgating the motorist who is overtaking you), would make you much less visible to the motorists who are in a position to right-hook, left-cross or just plain strike you from behind. I would be pleased if you would explain your rationale. I appear to be missing something here.

Bill
Guest
Bill

“Legally-speaking, crossbikes aren’t crosswalks.” These scare the heck out of me

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

The use of an enhanced marked crossing for cyclists works well in the Netherlands…they are generally called “elephant tracks” and often only marked in white at the edge of the crossing (remove the green bars in the portland example). Some are placed over red lanes but not always.

As this design is refined for phase 2…I would recommend: making the white border of the bikers as a square block (aka elephant foot print) AND make a 0.5 ft to 1.0 ft break in the now merged white crosswalk / crossbike stripe to add more contrast and make it more visually conspicuous.*

Note*: unless these lanes are purposely “merged” in order to include the crossbike crossing in the institutionalized protections of crosswalks in state law..vs just combining them due to limited intersection space.

JoeL
Guest
JoeL

stupid. sometimes the rules are this, sometimes the rules are that… we’re all so much safer when no one knows what to do. yay.

Spiffy
Subscriber

Geller is right, they will get more people in cars to stop, illegally, obstructing traffic, while I sit there hoping they’ll hurry so I can cross after they’ve passed…

so very disappointed…

Tom
Guest
Tom

The lines should be white and extend across the intersection without a gap, like you see in front of some big box stores. I don’t want to be herded to the right, I want legal protection throughout the intersection.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Sounds like you want to be a pedestrian.
If you want to operate a vehicle on a street, accept the vehicle rules.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Accepting the vehicle rules means stopping at the stop sign and waiting for the traffic on the major street, which does not have a stop sign, to clear before crossing. Unfortunately the highly-ambiguous cross bike markings lead some motorists to think that they have an obligation to stop for a bicyclist. Confusion is not the friend of safety.

BB
Guest
BB

Wrong. Bikes have right of way in a crosswalk.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Only when traveling at walking speed.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

I’m curious where that law is. ORS 811.028 only says this:

For the purposes of this section, a pedestrian is crossing the roadway in a crosswalk when any part or extension of the pedestrian, including but not limited to any part of the pedestrians body, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle, moves onto the roadway in a crosswalk with the intent to proceed.

It doesn’t say what speed. Probably in another section, but I’m not aware of it. Which is good for runners, I suppose.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

But a cyclist is not a pedestrian, unless she has first dismounted.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

That’s incorrect. There’s nothing indicating a cyclist must dismount.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

What differentiates a pedestrian from a cyclist, if it is not whether they are riding or walking?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

You say a cyclist has the full protections of a crosswalk, regardless of speed, and to back that up, you posted a section of law that very specifically dealt with pedestrians, and then you cited a BikePortland report that in turn cited a law that says that a cyclist has the same rights as a pedestrian when operating legally, which, according to http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410, prohibits “Operat[ing] the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk…”

So I stand by my assessment (which was first conveyed to me by the same lawyer the BikePortland article cited) that a cyclist must be traveling at walking speed to enjoy the legal protections of a crosswalk.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Thanks- I missed that- as I said, it was in another section of the law.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Sometimes I think laws are written to confuse.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

yeah, “spirit of the law” doesn’t seem to be a thing. If it was, this post (and our convo) would need to exist.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Walking speed then only applies if a car is approaching. If the car is stopped waiting for you to cross, then they are no longer approaching and the walking speed rule would not seem to apply. Would also not apply if there were no cars in site (nothing approaching).

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

That seems academic… if the driver accelerates from a stop to hit you in a crosswalk, I can’t imagine any circumstances where that would be deemed legal. And if there are no cars present, who cares?

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

The ‘ordinary walk’ speed only applies to *entering* the crosswalk or driveway when vehicles are approaching. ORS 814.410 (1)(d) “This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.”

The PBOT info doesn’t explain how it applies to electric bikes.

Alex
Guest
Alex

As mentioned in comments, this type of marking has been done all over the world and in many parts of the US for years. So it’s a bit misleading to imply that they are Roger Geller’s “idea that he’s been working on for years.”

Having used facilities with similar crossings extensively in Minneapolis, I think that the effect of raising awareness of a bike crossing is more beneficial than the negative of confusing users as to right of way. However, it seems like the French practice of putting sharrows with bike symbols facing cross traffic and chevrons indicating the direction of the bikeway is more clear and just as visible. (I’ve only used bikeways with such markings briefly personally, though — in Montreal, which happens to be the best North American biking city.)

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

This feels like a waste of time and money to me.

pooperazzi
Guest
pooperazzi

Salmon always gets no love-

SE Salmon and SE 20th
SE Salmon and SE 12th
SE Salmon and SE 11th

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

Agree on this. Especially at 20th. That’s a really awful intersection during the evening rush hour.

Joe Adamski
Guest
Joe Adamski

I hope it does not lull anybody into a sense of false security. Paint on roadway has seldom provided anything more than a suggested guideline. Put bollards in the roadway requiring careful navigation, lest you scratch your paint on your car. That will promote safer intersection navigation.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

And yet… hundreds of millions of Americans trust their lives to “paint on the roadway” every day. It is pretty reliable.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And about 100 of those Americans die on our roads each day, which is a rate of 3-4x that of our developed peer countries.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Most don’t die at intersections.

Spiffy
Subscriber

driver don’t trust paint, they trust their metal cage to protect them…

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Of course drivers trust the paint — a head-on collision on Powell would often be fatal. Everyone knows that.

Andy K
Guest

The green thermoplastic, if nothing else, is a signal that cyclists may be present, and it’s cheap to install. Win-win.

I’m not convinced MUTCD compliance matters. We have an entire MUTCD-compliant transit mall downtown that sees hundreds (or thousands) of traffic violations per day due to confusion, information overload, and intentional law breaking.

Spiffy
Subscriber

it doesn’t seem cheap since it cost about the same as a diverter which has many more physical elements…

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

It’s not thermo, its MMA. Maybe $4/SF to paint onto the street, and very long lasting. Temperature and moisture sensitive for installation, though.

Zaphod
Guest

I could not hate these more. The risk of ambiguity can be fatal. Clear traffic laws on who has right of way will always be best. I’m convinced that nearly no one knows the actual laws surrounding pedestrians and bikes. The bikewalks are wildly dangerous. I’m surprised that the insightful and wise Geller is on-board knowing the dynamics of the road and human nature. I am 100% opposed.

Nick Falbo
Subscriber
Nick Falbo

At low speeds, there is a whole school of street design based on “uncertainty and intrigue” (Appleyard 1981). Bike Boulevards are on the more conventional end of this slow-streets spectrum, but the principles apply here.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Sure. It’s this uncertainty that has caused most drivers to get away with manslaughter.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Does 25MPH count as “low speeds”? I think in this context, it does not. In the context you’re referring to, we’re probably talking 20km/hr residential zones.

eawrist
Guest
eawrist

I would love to see this or an actual signal and diverter at 9th and Killingsworth.

Robert Burchett
Guest
Robert Burchett

Yes there is ambiguity with the ‘crossbikes’. I’m personally more sensitive to neologisms than to funny pavement markings. Having ridden NE Going St. from Vancouver to NE 47th Av. about 3000 times since the stop signs were turned I’d like to point out that a person who thinks there is no ambiguity in an intersection where traffic crossing your street has a stop sign, is courting danger. ORS and MUTCD don’t make you safe from harm.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

In Holland, they have separate crosswalks for bikes and peds at each intersection controlled by stoplights, set next to each other. The boundary for the ped crosswalk has standard markings, while the one for bikes is bounded by big white squares on the pavement (nicknamed “elephant feet”). The signals are always set to let the bikes go across first, then the peds. I’ve been watching the YouTube videos of BicycleDutch (formerly NL Cycling), and there are examples of this in almost all of them. (Some great examples of intercity bike trails Dutch style there as well.) Worth a look.

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Hey, folks, go easy on Roger!

These are “innovative,” so they must be excellent!

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

I fail to see how these green stripes will be anything but confusing. To people in all modes of transit.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Green for bike lanes was mandated by the Federal government.

Spiffy
Subscriber

this isn’t a bike lane… as stated it has no legal grounding and is just decoration…

Osric
Guest
Osric

These are so odd, for all the reasons stated above. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put in a raised intersection with a different type of pavement or stripe the whole darn intersection? The tiny stop bar with the bike symbol is bizarre, since it’s after the stop sign and there’s no stop line for cars. If I were going straight across this intersection I would stop in the middle of the lane since the right-hand side of the road across the way is a parking lane.

What this says is that we still don’t know how to do basic intersection design. Everyone should read the CROW Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic to get some ideas about how it’s been done for decades. And it seems it would be simple enough to change the stop signs so that the people using the “neighborhood greenway” don’t have to stop and the cross traffic does.

rick
Guest
rick

Confusing. The poster says “driver do not have to stop” but says Oregon state law requires drivers to stop when bike riders are riding slowly and giving drivers adequate time to stop.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Editor

Read up in the comments- drivers don’t have to stop for bikes in the green stripes (slow or fast), but legally they have to stop for bikes in the white stripes.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Rick,
Part of the confusion is how they have been implemented, immediately adjacent to the legal crosswalk marking.
If they were more in line with the sharrow markings on the greenway – not in the parking lane shadow, the ‘difference’ would be more clear.

Matt
Guest
Matt

While I appreciate the continued efforts on behalf of PBOT, this is poor design. The striping is difficult for drivers to see unless they are close to it and paying attention. If anything this lures cyclists into a false sense of security. I get that it is cheap but spend the money on more effective traffic controls such as lights and physical barriers instead. Seems like the only cycling initiatives we see these days is more paint…

Maxadders
Guest
Maxadders

Ugh, this is maddening. When drivers needlessly stop for my vehicle– which happens to be a bike– while I’m waiting at a stop sign, it pressures me to enter a potentially unsafe intersection, one that I’d rather cross without drivers doing me any “favors.”

I agree with the countless other commenters: ambiguity = danger. This is yet another inconsistency introduced by “forward thinking” PBOT who are seemingly quite out of touch with what cyclists actually need! Less time making cutsie Bowie / Prince lane markings, more actual research and design please!

bendite
Guest
bendite

Ambiguity at intersections means slower and hesitant drivers.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If one driver stops to let you pass, and another doesn’t, it also results in deader cyclists. Ambiguity has its place in road design, but I don’t think this is it. Nor do I think it was the intent of the design to create confusion.

q
Guest
q

…with aggressive drivers zipping around them as they hesitate, which I’d guess is one of the most dangerous situations for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

This seems like a too-clever way to suggest the Idaho Stop. Why not just announce that the Idaho Stop is legal in Portland, and stop enforcing it? We already ignore certain Oregon parking laws in Portland.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

hmm… parking *is* a sort of stopping.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Unless (and until) cyclists have the right of way on them, these will only create confusion, resentment and possibly even extra collisions.

Terrible, awful idea if they aren’t actually indicating that motorists should stop for cyclists using them.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Oh, and they’ll probably reduce motorist compliance with other green zones, since these don’t legally require compliance and all the others do.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Ugggh, I really don’t like this ambiguity when I’m riding my bike or driving my car. So who has the right of way in the first photo: the person riding the bike on Rosa Parks, or the person riding their bike in the green striped section on the cross street (Williams)? The law says the person on Rosa Parks (right?), but I would wager that at least 50% of the folks using this intersection wouldn’t know that. All in all, I think the $4000 could/should have been spent on one of the myriad of other safety issues on our bike paths.

bendite
Guest
bendite

I like it. Confused drivers are a good thing (in these types of situations).

Adam
Subscriber

Yep! See also: when Sweden switched from left-hand driving to right-hand driving and crash rates went down; or the Dutch town that removed all street signs and pavement markings to improve safety.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

search Hans Monderman

q
Guest
q

The thing is, switching driving sides didn’t increase ambiguity as to who has the right of way. Even removing signs and markings doesn’t necessarily reduce that, because there are clear rules governing who has the right of way in the absence of signs and markings, which is why the typical un-signaled, un-signed intersection works fine.

In contrast, “cross bikes” DO create ambiguity as to who has the right of way. If everybody approaching the intersection–drivers and cyclists–doesn’t all conclude the same thing, there will be a problem–cars stopping when they shouldn’t, crashes, etc.

Ironically, if these crossbikes were removed, there would no longer be any confusion. The “solution” is creating the problem.

q
Guest
q

Why?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Because they slow down and pay attention. The reason that driving is so deadly is because we are lulled into a sense of false security. No one drives 40mph down a neighborhood street while lost or looking for a particular house. Confidence kills.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I have to disagree. Impatience kills. Lack of confidence can also be dangerous; this can be seen when drivers are overly tentative, skittish, and thus unpredictable, sending mixed signals about their intention.

q
Guest
q

I know the concept–for instance the “woonerf” idea where everyone’s sharing the street, so drivers are more attentive. But as I understand, initial confusion does generate attentiveness, but once the driver is attentive, there’s no confusion as to whether the driver needs to yield the right-of-way. That’s why those situations are safe.

Here, the markings may generate some confusion to some drivers, and some cyclists, but not others. So you may have one driver stop, but not another, and the biker has to decide whether to proceed. Or, a driver may know he’s not required to yield to a biker approaching the crossbike, but the biker is equally certain the driver is required to stop, so they both confidently proceed into the intersection and the biker gets hit.

So yes attentiveness creates safety, and yes confusion can spark attentiveness, but this also involves confusion after that point, which is not safe.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

and a woonerf has a 9mph speed limit, with gimme maybe 3, not 10.

Eric G
Guest
Eric G

Sometimes drivers stop and expect me to cross at this sort of thing, even when there is moving traffic in the other lanes. I even get honked at every now and then. If I don’t feel 100% safe, I wave the driver through, checking first that another cyclist isn’t going for it.

jered
Guest
jered

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate it when cars stop with no traffic control device and wave me on. Makes ZERO sense. I’ll put both feet down and not budge.

Really, if you just treat bikes like any other car or truck it isn’t that difficult. Don’t tailgate, don’t run into them, pass them carefully, etc. seriously, we just need to be treated like other cars.

jered
Guest
jered

I’m on a bike therefore I follow (or break) traffic laws. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, but green ones are for bikes minus any actual legal status. A color to signal that a bike might be crossing traffic but you don’t have any obligation to stop for the bike.

I will get off my bike and use the crosswalk if I can’t catch a break in traffic, but usually I just wait for a clearing.

This really isn’t that complicated.

bendite
Guest
bendite

You don’t have to dismount your bike in a crosswalk.

Paul Z
Guest
Paul Z

This looks to me like it could be a precursor to legalizing the “Idaho” stop for bicyclists in Oregon.

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

How is this legal since Bicyclists are vehicles not pedestrians!? I sure do not want to hit anybody, but I thought Bicyclists have to be walked across intersections.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Cyclists, when riding at walking speed, enjoy the same protections as pedestrians in crosswalks and on the sidewalk.

But please don’t ride on the sidewalk!*

* Yes, there are situations where it is the only rational thing to do; I’m not talking about those situations.

ethan
Guest
ethan

When you drive on the sidewalk (i.e. pulling into a driveway), do you get out and push your car across the sidewalk?