The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

First look at bikeway upgrades on Interstate, Fremont, 2nd Avenue, Morrison and Vancouver

Posted by on October 11th, 2016 at 8:43 am

New SE Morrison bikeway-5.jpg

New one-block section of contraflow protected bike lane on SE Morrison Street between Grand and MLK is one of several new projects PBOT has installed in the past few months.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The merry little elves at the Portland Bureau of Transportation have been busy over the past several months. If you like to bike in the city and are waiting for major projects to be completed (like the 20s Bikeway, the bike lanes on Foster, the protected bikeway network downtown, and so on) you’ll still have to wait. But while those projects are still in the workshop, the elves have pushed out lots of smaller ones.

Today we’ll take a closer look at five places where PBOT has added bicycle access upgrades to the street: North Interstate at Tillamook, North Rodney at Fremont, North Vancouver at Fremont, 2nd Avenue, and Southeast Morrison.

Scroll down for notes and photos on the projects…

North Interstate Avenue between Tillamook and the Broadway Bridge ramp

new striping on Interstate at Tillamook-3.jpg

An improvement to the bikeway at this location has been officially pondered by PBOT for nearly a year. As we reported last November, Portland Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller said the southbound bikeway on Interstate at Tillamook is configuration is “troubling” because, as a bicycle rider “you’re basically in between large and fast vehicles.” Geller presented three striping options that aimed to fix this issue and they decided to go with a variation of Option C. Here’s how we described this option last November:

This option gives bicycle riders the priority throughout; but it doesn’t provide the safety buffer of the other two options. Also, bicycle riders continuing on Interstate will still have 175-feet of exposure to merging traffic. (If you’re wondering why PBOT designed such a large merge opening over to Larrabee, it’s because this is a freight route and their design standards require 175-feet for large trucks to make the turn.)

Reader and dedicated neighborhood transportation activist Ted Buehler commented over the weekend that he thinks the new striping is an improvement. However he added that, “It could probably use some sort of protection to keep cars from driving through it. I watched about 20 cars tonight, and only about 3 blatantly drove through it. And they were all going slower than they used to go with the old paint.” In the end, Buehler feels it’s “still a potentially dangerous place to be on a bike.”

When I rode through it the other day someone in a big truck roared up behind me and swerved (seemingly on purpose) over just before the Broadway Bridge ramp. Here are a few more photos:

new striping on Interstate at Tillamook-4.jpg

North Rodney crossing of Fremont

New bikeway at N Fremont and Rodney-3.jpg

Looking northwest from Rodney at Fremont.

This project is part of the North Rodney neighborhood greenway. The crossing of Fremont is off-set and because it’s a higher volume street without much space in the shoulder, the crossing has always been a bit stressful. To help ease the pain for bicycle users, PBOT has added two crossbikes and buffered bike lanes on Fremont. The new striping definitely helps give an added perception of comfort and slows people down a bit. Here’s how it looks:

New bikeway at N Fremont and Rodney-1.jpg

Looking east from Fremont.
New bikeway at N Fremont and Rodney-2.jpg

North Vancouver between Fremont and Cook

Bikeway on N Vancouver b-w Fremont and Cook-1.jpg

Looking south on Vancouver toward Cook.

Vancouver is a main artery for people bicycling from north Portland into downtown and other points south. With lots of growth in the corridor (N Williams Ave is its couplet one block east), traffic volumes are increasing in the bike lanes and the standard vehicle lanes. The stretch between Fremont and Cook has always been especially hair-raising. There’s a freeway on-ramp at Cook that encouraged a lot of people in cars to have to swerve across a busy bike lane and there wasn’t much in the way of bike-specific infrastructure. It was a daily dance that always made me cringe.

To help improve the situation and add some predictability, PBOT has added solid green coloring to the bike lane. They’ve zebra-striped the green coloring at a point just before Cook to encourage people in cars to crossover at that point. It seems to be working a bit better, but there’s still no physical protection for bicycle riders and you still have to bike between large motor vehicles. It would have been better to create a protected bike lane curbside and then give bicycles a queue jump to Cook where there’s a new signal.

Bikeway on N Vancouver b-w Fremont and Cook-5.jpg

Looking north on Vancouver from Cook.

Cement barrels on 2nd Avenue

Protection on 2nd Ave bikeway

PBOT has added cement barrels with a big caution sign in the middle along the length of their new protected bike lane on 2nd Avenue. When this new bike lane opened two months ago we noted that people in cars would short-cut left turns. This was a concern because the way PBOT designed the bike lane with a floating auto-parking lane, visibility isn’t as good as it should be and these left-turns were a hazard. Now with the cement barriers, people must make sharper left-turns which means they will slow down and hopefully be more aware of people in the bike lane. The new barriers also add an element of refuge for people crossing the street on foot.

SE Morrison between Grand and MLK

New SE Morrison bikeway-7.jpg

Looking east toward Grand.

To help get people on bikes from inner southeast, through the central eastside industrial area and up onto the protected path on the Morrison Bridge, PBOT has squeezed in a short stretch of physically protected bike lane (we first reported about this here). When facing west on Morrison, you can follow green zebra-striping breadcrumbs to find the new contraflow bike lane (adjacent to River City Bicycles parking lot!). The bike lane leads you onto the sidewalk where there’s a signal to cross Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. PBOT has then completed the route by installing sharrows on SE Morrison Street under the bridge viaduct.

New SE Morrison bikeway-1.jpg

Follow the green!
New SE Morrison bikeway-10.jpg

New SE Morrison bikeway-9.jpg

New SE Morrison bikeway-11.jpg

It’s always nice to come across these new sections of bicycle access upgrades.

Have you ridden on any of these? What has been your experience?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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  • Ali Reis October 11, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I ride down Interstate and either go over the Broadway bridge (if I’m heading straight to work) or continue on Interstate (if I’m dropping my daughter at daycare). I like the new striping, but my gripe is that after you cross Tillamook heading straight on Interstate, the bike lane narrows considerably. This isn’t terrible when I’m solo, but if I have the bike trailer with me, it’s a bit unnerving to move into fast traffic. It doesn’t look like there is an easy fix to this, but I was hopeful that something would’ve been done when they were working on the other project.

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 11, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Really really happy to see the cement planter. The others are a minor improvement, but obviously the Interstate/Broadway and Vancouver areas are desperately calling for physical protection. Vancouver always puts me on high alert, knowing cars will merge early or race ahead of me to get over (MGIF!).

    Happy to see the improvements. Just.. I expect more.

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    • BLINKY October 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

      …Happy to see the improvements. Just.. I expect more….

      I am feeling the same. I dig the improvements, and don’t want to come across as a hater, but the line which jumped out most to me in this was `An improvement to the bikeway at this location has been officially pondered by PBOT for nearly a year.` That’s a rough time scale for such superficial changes.. and IMHO doesn’t bode well for substantive works

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      • Blake October 11, 2016 at 10:16 am

        If you want to have a bit more background on the change, I have been advocating for changes in this section of Interstate for 3 years now. This is definitely an improvement, and, like Ted Buehler said, I think having some physical barrier to keep people out of the painted areas is very, very important to making this change safer than it was before.

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      • Ted G October 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        What makes that a “rough timescale”? How long do you think planni g for such improvements should take? How would you make things go more quickly?

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        • BLINKY October 12, 2016 at 10:41 am

          I suppose it’s oversimplification but we’re talking fancy paint here, no? Anecdotally, If my wife identifies some rooms in our house to paint and I tell her I’ll think about it for a year, I’d be laughed at for about as long.
          What about all of this took a year? Identifying the locations, the solutions, the impact? To me it’s a rough time scale because, I can only assume that the planning effort scales linearly, or if we’re unlucky, exponentially with the scope of the project.

          If paint takes a year, how long will bollards take, or cycle tracks.. multiple years?

          So there’s more going on here to be sure, low budgets, rules, politics etc. That said, in my ideal fact based world, “planning” would entail picking the top item from a list of issues (intersections, roads whatever) ranked by descending lethality. Planning would be keeping that list accurate/updated, done. Similarly, groom a list of fact based solutions for given issues. Then we know the problems and have identified solutions so it’s an issue of budget and politics. Maybe fighting for money and jockeying for projects is called planning.

          How would I make things go more quickly? Short of breaking down the barriers to getting things done and begging for money? I suppose the answer is voting for people who we hope will make a change and hold them to it.
          Which, IMHO, has an equally depressing track record / timescale.

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  • galavantista October 11, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Re: Cement barrels on 2nd Avenue – in my experience people in cars are not stopping before they turn, and I have to be very vigilant as I go through those intersections. IMO the only thing that will truly provide a safe situation there would be a separate signal phase for people riding bicycles.

    I’m so glad to have this lane, despite some of the issues (gutter puddles), it’s made a HUGE difference in my commute. I would also like to put in a “Why didn’t this happen?” and plug for starting the 2nd Ave bike lane further south. It’s easy to see how this protected lane could begin at least at SW Main where so many people on bicycles arrive from the Hawthorne.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Connecting to the Hawthorne Bridge should have been a no-brainer. Especially considering 2nd Av went up right around the time Better Naito was removed.

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      • Stephen Keller October 11, 2016 at 1:44 pm

        For purely personal and selfish reasons, I’m glad they didn’t extend it further south. I routinely ride from the Yamhill District MAX Station along 2nd to get onto the Morrison Bridge at Alder. Under the current legal landscape that says cyclists must use bike lanes where they are available, if they had extended it south to Hawthorne, I’d have to cross 2nd twice and enjoy the likelihood of a left-hook at SW Morrison and 2nd just to travel those two blocks. I suppose, for the greater good, I should think otherwise. No thanks, please.

        From my perspective it was plain stupid to put the 2nd Avenue bike lane on the left hand side. It’s hard enough to get drivers to pay attention to bike lanes on the right side where they are sort of expected. It’s done now, I guess I should just man up and like it.

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        • Spiffy October 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

          if you’re only going a few blocks and then turning then you’re not required to use the bike lanes… it’s an exception to the law that you can leave the lane to make a turn… and it’s been proven in court that you can change into the lane for your turn WAY ahead of the actual turn…

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          • Stephen Keller October 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

            Perhaps, but my not having ever been in the bike lane seems like it could lead to a far less satisfactory interpretation of my behavior. It’s true that 814.420.3.d states that person is not in violation of “Failure to use a bicycle lane or path” when “[p]reparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.” The “preparing” part of that exception, however, gives me pause. It suggests I had better be signaling a right turn while I’m riding those two blocks including through a no-right-turn intersection (at 2nd & Morrison). A stickler judge might not see things in the same light as your interpretation.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 11, 2016 at 4:22 pm

              Oh, I think it takes a while to prepare for a turn. It certainly does in a car; you often change to the turn lane long before you execute your turn.

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            • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

              I wouldn’t sweat this. I frequently don’t use bike lanes for a variety of reasons and have never been bugged by any type of authority. If what you’re doing makes sense, the drivers will work with you.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 1:31 pm

                the drivers will work with you

                Work with you?! I was literally yelled at to get out of the neighborhood yesterday by a driver.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 7:26 pm

                Dude, you definitely do something wrong and I seriously doubt you work with drivers.

                I’ve never had a driver yell anything hostile at me in Portland, and I’m a pretty assertive cyclist. The only time I can remember being yelled at in the last 5 years was that someone told me to use Clinton when I was riding up Division.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm

                Your suggestion that I “work with drivers” in this case would involve moving out of my neighborhood. So thanks for that I guess.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 13, 2016 at 5:36 am

                You don’t need to move out and if you do, your problems will follow you. In other posts, you make it very clear you feel no need to make any accommodation for or show any kindness to any driver. And if you foul things up for them, you really don’t care.

                Here’s the thing. In regular life as well as on the road, people are nice to you if they can tell you’re thinking about their needs. If you think their needs are irrelevant, they’ll return the favor.

                I ride on roads and traffic you wouldn’t dare try. And you shouldn’t because it would be genuinely dangerous for you. And yet I don’t experience trouble while you get into really bad situations on some of the easiest streets in Portland. There is a reason for that.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 13, 2016 at 9:09 am

                Have you once – just once – considered that people have different needs and different fitness levels than yourself? This sort of selfish “well I’m fine, so you’re just riding your bike wrong” attitude that plagues the comment section is why people don’t take up riding in the first place. I am so bloody sick of this machismo biker archetype that loves to mansplain to everyone about “proper cycling”. Stop telling me how to ride my bike and stop telling me I deserve everything I get.

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              • dwk October 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

                People tell you how to ride your bike because you are always telling us how you ride your bike. You frankly, ride a bike like a child, which is fine. I take my 7 year old granddaughter riding streets around residential streets in Northeast and she has ridden the waterfront loop.
                Would I take her down Hawthorne?, Downtown?, of course not.
                You want bike structures that children can ride on EVERYWHERE….
                That will never happen (nor should it really, I also would not let 6 or 7 years olds walk downtown unattended.)
                More pedestrians are killed than cyclists, by your reasoning, no one would walk without concrete balusters surrounding them.
                There are different levels of cyclists. there can be different levels of infrastructure for each.
                We seem to ONLY spend money trying to make cycling safe for children.
                Serious commuter cyclists (the ones who really make a difference in commuting traffic in my opinion), get very little and don’t yell loud enough to matter apparently.
                The 7 year old cyclists get really expensive projects like the Tillicum bridge (my granddaughter loves riding over and around it.)
                Those who ride across town have to learn to be a part of traffic, which includes cars.

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 13, 2016 at 11:02 am

                So, leave cycling to the strong and fearless. Anyone else shouldn’t be on the roads on a bike.

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              • dwk October 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

                “So, leave cycling to the strong and fearless. Anyone else shouldn’t be on the roads on a bike.”
                Did you miss the whole part about riding with my 7 year old granddaughter?
                Are you dense or just purposely misleading when it comes to your selective arguments here with your ‘boys’?

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 13, 2016 at 1:26 pm

                How I parsed what you were saying, was protected infra can’t be put everywhere. You want your 7 year old to enjoy the protection of protected infra, but adults shouldn’t expect that.

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              • dwk October 13, 2016 at 2:36 pm

                “How I parsed what you were saying, was protected infra can’t be put everywhere. You want your 7 year old to enjoy the protection of protected infra, but adults shouldn’t expect that.”

                That is pretty much what I said, but you boiled it down in your first reply to something you thought appropriate as a putdown.
                Suggesting that we do not have the funds or the support to provide “adults” who ride longer distances around the city with protective stuff is not out of line or out of reason.
                We can’t and won’t. The tax public won’t even pay to fix the streets they drive cars on….. We can do small cheap things like light changes, a lot of green paint, and a few signs to make longer commutes through the west hills or in east county a lot more safe and get a lot of bang for the buck.

                If Adam H and people like you who dominate this forum had your way (and you mostly do with the city), every penny would be spent 7 year old proofing every tourist bike path and route in the downtown and inner SE areas only. Spending all the public will and city bike resources to make a new safe coffee plaza or some such. Nothing for real cycling as real transportation…

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm

                That was not meant to be a putdown. It was the logical end of what you were saying.

                Yep, we’re running the city.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

                It may surprise you to know, dwk, that I do have a real job and cycle to work every day — rain or shine. Although I do enjoy a hot cup of coffee when I get to work. 😉

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

          Yes, I don’t understand this recent obsession with putting bike lanes on the wrong side of the street. Cycleways go on the right side.

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          • Middle of the Road guy October 11, 2016 at 11:07 pm

            I’ve seen some on the left side. So apparently they don’t always go on the right side of the street.

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          • Beeblebrox October 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm

            Nope. Left side is better on a transit street.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm

              Nope. Floating bus stops solve this problem, while maintaining the bikes-on-right standard.

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    • EmilyG October 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

      I heard from a reliable source that the lane didn’t start farther south because the business owners there were against it.

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  • rick October 11, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I’ve enjoyed riding on the new SE Morrison. 3rd Ave is so much better than in previous years. I’ve seen people walking at NW 3rd and Burnside and get hit by people driving. It is more peaceful to walk and bike in Old Town Chinatown lately, except for the occasional closed sidewalk.

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    • rick October 11, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I meant 3rd Ave in downtown.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 9:32 am

    That Interstate Avenue “improvement” is absolute garbage. That massive mixing zone has terrible sight lines for cyclists, coupled with high motor traffic speeds. That Robert Moses era highway ramp serves no purpose but to give drivers a shortcut to the Broadway Bridge. The only proper solution is to rip it out and install a protected cycleway.

    The N Fremont installation still requires cyclists to turn 90º on a dime. No one will be riding in that green striping, as the cross-bike doesn’t even align with where someone would be riding on Rodney – which is the middle of the lane, not along the gutter. Drivers get wide turning radii in intersections, so why does PBOT think bikes can just turn at a right angle like that?

    N Vancouver looks like a mess. Why is the bike lane in the middle of the street? It needs to be along the curb.

    The cement barrels on 2nd should make that bike lane better and encourage drivers to slow down/ Still needs full signalization, but the city was unwilling to dedicate the funding for them.

    I still do not understand the purpose of the protected bike lane on SE Morrison. It connects a street with zero cycling facilities to the sidewalk of MLK. Who is riding in the travel lanes on Morrison anyway? When I rode over there, cars were perpetually blocking the cross-bike markings. That and the lane is on the wrong aside of the street.

    So, thanks for the paint, but none of these design are world class, nor will convince people to start cycling for transportation. Poor execution all around.

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    • Blake October 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Rather than just hate, perhaps consider the people who are today riding down Interstate who are, by and large, likely to be more comfortable in paint-only configurations. There is also a large project for a separated path in the works (the North Portland Greenway) which will provide a long-term solution.

      While I have some gripes with process (a BAC meeting which considered this section that was not included on the agenda which led to a design I, and many others thought was inadequate). However, with some pressure, the design was changed to one that was better which preserves the default right of way for bikes which cars have to cross over (rather than a car-first design which would have made bikes cross over car traffic).

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 10:29 am

        The Interstate design is still car-first. Drivers can and will simply drive over the paint. Do you honestly think people will wait until they are driving next to the green paint to merge over? No, they will drive in the bike lane ahead of the conflict point.

        Even if they only stick to the marked conflict point. the angle of the bike lane/car lane weaving is atrocious. Merging at such an acute angle is dangerous. Cyclists have to twist their entire bodies to see cars coming from being them, and merging motorists can’t see cyclists that are riding in their blind spots. No way in hell international best practices would allow something like this. A Danish engineer would lose his or her job over this design. Crossing angles should be as close to 90º as possible.

        At any rate, this a highway offramp with high motor traffic speeds. Anything short of a fully-separated cycleway here is criminal.

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        • Blake October 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

          On the point of keeping people from crossing the paint, it would be highly advisable for PBOT to put in physical barriers to prevent it. To counter your point about the angle, this is the same exact angle as it had before, except the cross-over point is much shorter, providing predictability.

          The push-back you would receive asking for a much more major restructuring of the road layout is that it is not a point with much crash history ( and the resources would be better devoted to other projects where the realized danger is much greater (or even on a different part of this area like under the Larrabee overpass (which is not slated to be replaced for the NP Greenway as a part of the Comp Plan, which it was not before I and others started advocating).

          That is frustrating as an activist who has spent 3 years pushing on this, taking the class at PBOT, presenting ideas to many people, including Leah Treat. I get the frustration. But it is reality where there are limited resources devoted to many areas where there are significant safety needs.

          You can poo-poo new changes, but unless you are actively involved in supporting organizations like the BTA who are working on the macro level, to increase the size of the funding pie for active transportation, or the Friends of the North Portland Greenway, to specifically fund a project that would replace this alignment, your complaints come across as sour grapes.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

            As a citizen of Portland (and the US for that matter), it is my right to criticize things without having to be involved in advocacy to improve things. But since you asked, as it turns out, I was involved in an organization that provided input on this design, and I said the same exact thing last time. And yes, I understand the lack of funding, but that is a separate issue that I am also concerned with that should not prevent me from criticizing this specific design. Half-assed, underfunded designs are still problematic.

            I will bet you that the average cyclist is not thinking about funding sources when cycling though here; they are thinking “wow, this feels unsafe, I will never ride though here again!” or “this feel like a highway; I thought Portland was supposed to be bike friendly!” Designs like these are going to convince exactly zero people to take up cycling for transportation, which is the end goal, isn’t it?

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

            Also Blake, please take note of all the people here that do already ride Interstate and still are criticizing the design. It’s not just me “pitching sour grapes”.

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            • Middle of the Road guy October 11, 2016 at 11:10 pm

              You do have a history of criticizing most everything. You can’t be surprised when you get labeled as such.

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              • kittens October 13, 2016 at 4:21 am

                Not everyone has the will, inclination or time to attend the countless committees, panels and advisory groups which regularly form and disband with little to show but wasted time.

                The fact we have had so many passionate advocates engaged in this process for years and have little progress, is proof the process is hopelessly neutered. At this glacial rate of work, we will never get anywhere, doesn’t matter how many letters or meetings I attend.

                I feel like being informed and sharing my ideas is about all I can offer at this point. Call it whining if you must, but if this is the sort of progress which takes a year of contemplation at PBoT I’m discouraged by what the future may hold.

                I also think a little historical perspective might be helpful here. It is interesting to consider that the network of massive public works projects we take for granted today and form our principal urban form, were the result of decision making at huge scale. Not some citizen advisory groups asking for a bit of paint here and a sign there. How can we successfully edit the fatally flawed network of car dependency without an equally grand sense of scale and ambition? We need a Robert Moses of bikes or maybe a just a new generation of planners and designers which are motivated to see big moves.

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          • Spiffy October 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

            if you think that PBOT considers comments from the BTA and other established activism groups to be sweet wine then you’re sadly mistaken…

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          • Steve B. October 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm

            Thanks for all of your hard work, Blake!

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          • David Hampsten October 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

            I too was at the BAC meeting where this project on Interstate was debated, before I left town. We looked at about 5 different configurations. It was a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” on each configuration. Heavy semis are a reality in that location, it is a freight corridor, and the roadway was badly designed way back when. Given the costs and limitations of PBOT, I’d say this looks OK, but it is cheap enough to redo it later, if need be.

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            • Buzz October 12, 2016 at 1:25 am

              doing something bronze now with the anticipation of further changes is better than doing nothing now in the hope of platinum changes in the unspecified future.

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            • kittens October 13, 2016 at 4:24 am

              Sort of reminds me of how people misguidedly embark on home remodeling with no budget and end up doing a crappy job which only a few years later has to be redone and ends up costing a 1/3 more in total.

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      • MaxD October 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

        Thanks Blake! Having the catch basin paved over and those bumps ground down and paved over is also a significant improvement. I wish PBOT would add a green box at Tillamook for southbound Interstate and sharrows from Tillamook past the Larrabee viaduct since there is not room for a bike lane here. The sign says “bikes may use lane” or something, but is is very hard to actually take the lane here. PBOT needs to acknowledge there is no bike lane for the 3 feet or so under the bridge and come up with bonafide, visionzero fix!

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        • Blake October 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

          They did add a green box at Tillamook (today was the first day it was there that I have ridden through). Under Larrabee remains a big issue and the sign they have kept up there is insufficient for reminding people in cars that people on bikes are likely to take the lane. Sharrows, rumble strips + “[Bikes] May Use Full Lane” would be good.

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          • Buzz October 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

            The bike lane on Interstate where it goes under Larrabee has been widened by about a foot from it’s previous dimensions, which I think is relatively generous.

            I would emphatically vote no to rumble strips here, as the area is prone to flooding in heavy rains and frequent other hazards and obstructions including broken glass and loose gravel from the adjacent MAX line rail bed, and it is often necessary to leave the bike lane to avoid these hazards.

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            • Bald One October 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

              Have the full bike lanes been painted yet on this section from Mem. Collesium to Tillamook, or just the guide marks for the paint? By my eye, it seems the guide marks kind of wander in and out of an even distance from the curb, hopefully they can take some extra care when they paint these up so the bike lanes can get a few extra needed inches of width in this section.

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              • Buzz October 12, 2016 at 1:31 am

                yeah, they effed up the guide marks northbound just north of the Larabee-Interstate intersection, where Interstate goes under the Broadway Bridge viaduct. Hopefully that will be corrected with the final line work.

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    • Spiffy October 11, 2016 at 10:53 am

      the Interstate paint is useless without a physical barrier… cars will be driven over the paint to make an easier approach to the fast ramp… jersey barriers are needed…

      the Fremont paint is just plain useless… as are all the green cross-bike markings… they just add tension between modes as uneducated drivers wait for vehicles to cross that don’t have the right of way…

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      • Buzz October 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        Plus all of the green striped zones I’ve seen are too far to the right…

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    • David October 12, 2016 at 8:35 am

      I agree that most of these changes are not “world class.” I’ve spent some time biking in Denmark and the Netherlands, and there’s no comparison to what we have in Portland.

      However, as somebody who bikes N Vancouver daily, even though it’s just paint there, drivers seem to be encroaching into the bike lane and cutting that turn early onto Cook much less frequently. Could it be better? Definitely. But I’m not at all upset that things are now just a little better on my daily rides.

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  • MaxD October 11, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I ride Interstate daily and this seems to be a minor improvement, but since it just paint bikes are the mercy of aggressive and distracted drivers. I wish they would add some wands or turtle-bumps to keep people driving in their lane.

    Fremont- add a 4-way stop sign already! But very pleased they did not go with the bizarre contra-flow thing like Going/33rd.

    Vancouver- There are few enough buses that I think a couple of Jersey barriers at the north end would be worthwhile.

    Morrison- this is bizarre! There is no reasonable way to get to Morrison and Grand on a bike. Getting between Grand and MLK is fine, but crossing MLK is ambiguous and requires a beg button. The sharrows on Morrison is basically down a parking lot with cars backing into you- there are horrible sightlines and the last time I was there they had not turned the stop signs. There are no crossing improvements at Water and people drive very fast around the corner here. The bridge itself is useless- it is the width of one side of the Hawthorne but shared with bi-directional bikes/walkers/etc and it connects to nothing on the west side. You are no even allowed to cross Alder/ Washington on the east side of 2nd! This crossing and route is so bad, I consider that paint an attractive nuisance! Doing nothing would be better, in fact, doing less would better- why are they doubling down on this mess without improving any of the fundamental flaws/dangers?

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    • Blake October 11, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Yeah wands at least, if not some planters in the middle between the Larrabee- and Interstate-bound bike traffic.

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  • Buzz October 11, 2016 at 10:12 am

    SW Second Ave is dead to me as a bike route; at this point I just use SW 4th.

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  • AMA October 11, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I appreciate the upgrades, but they _look_ terrible.

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  • Jay October 11, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I ride Interstate almost daily and this “fix” does nothing for the real problem, the pinch point under the overpass. I noticed they paved over the storm drain at the start of the pinch point (and smoothed the bumps over the expansion joints), which makes it slightly better, but I wonder if there will now be drainage issues… Always a lot of fun when the 35 bus or a semi truck passes right there!

    I give it 2 months before all the green paint is gone due to drivers cutting directly to the overpass.

    But, you know, thanks for trying PBOT!

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    • Catie October 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Sounds like a good time lapse video project.

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  • Spiffy October 11, 2016 at 10:32 am

    hey PBOT, stop making green crosswalks with no legal standing! you’re confusing the hell out of drivers and it’s really annoying having to sit on my bike and wave people by that are illegally obstructing traffic )to let me cross)…

    please, just stop it!

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    • Graham Ross October 12, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Crossbikes teach motorists that dashed green paint does not require that the motorist yield. Well, this is terrifying. To pick one example from many, we have dashed green paint on the Hawthorne Bridge viaduct where the ramp to Sbnd MLK makes a right, and motorists must yield to bikes at this place! If we’re going to have a visual indication that bikes might be crossing, how about a yellow BIKE XING sign and sharrows. Everyone knows what those things mean.

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    • Carrie October 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly. The other effect is that a group of us commuting home were yelled at by a car driver that “bikes aren’t allowed in the crosswalk” as we were crossing SE 17th at the Powell St flyover in the green crossbike hatchings. We really can’t do anything right according to perception!

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  • Spiffy October 11, 2016 at 10:39 am

    more cement barrels please!

    these should be dropped at every intersection with parking up to the intersection in order to prevent fast turns that are dangerous to pedestrians…

    they can stay until they put in a proper curb bulb-out…

    also put them in places where there’s a bus stop before an intersection and cars regularly use the bus stop area to pass illegally on the right…

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  • bikeninja October 11, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I ride this chunk of interstate everyday also, and this is a very small improvement, but it is high time that the city of Portland Lay Down the Law to the Railroad, and improve the cement road through to Swan Island with protected bike lanes, then direct all truck traffic from this area back to Going Street. Get the trucks off this portion of Interstate and Tillamook, and give the riders from Swan Island a flatter and safer route to downtown.This would be safer for everyone involved and help reduce traffic congestion in the entire broadway bridge, steel bridge, rose quarter area for all involved. I know the railroads are powerfull, but it is not the 1800’s any more. Lets join the rest of the developed world and use our railroads and right of ways for the public good and not just for the benefit of Warren Buffet ( major owner of U.P.)

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    • Chris I October 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Uncle Pete is above the law.

      That said, it would be interesting to see if the city could play hard ball and make their lives difficult (oil transportation bans, banning trucks on most of the streets around 17th and Holgate, etc) until UP allows access to Cement Rd. What are they going to do, stop running trains through the city? Close down their yards?

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      • Bald One October 11, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        Agreed. At the very least, city could drop some heavy enforcement of the trucks running UPRR cargo on city streets: step up safety checks, crack down on aggressive driving, check their paperworks and manifests, driver logs, etc. After a while of slowing down the in/out on trucks to the rail yards, they’ll get the message and maybe want to talk about Cement road access. Problem is, I think Ted Wheeler is going to be a pro-trucking kind of mayor….

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        • David Hampsten October 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

          Yeah, they could enforce trucking regulations just like they enforce speeding of cars all over Portland and the bicyclists who run red lights. What a great idea!

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          • Bald One October 12, 2016 at 9:42 am

            I don’t think you understand the targeted nature of how enforcing trucking regulations on the large number of container hauling trucks operating in Portland would send a very specific message to one business owner in particular (UPRR), thus creating a particular negotiation leverage situation for the city. This is distinctive from an enforcement activity against the general and broad population of individuals and private citizens.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

              Honestly, the proper solution here is to unravel the cycling route from the truck route. There really should not be any situation where people cycling have to share the roadway with large trucks. Build an off-street path.

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    • David Hampsten October 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      FYI, Warren Buffet owns BNSF, not UP.

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  • Scott Kocher October 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

    SW 2nd: everyone needs to join in asking for the perma-puddle(s) to be fixed. It will require another storm drain or 2.

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    • Buzz October 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      A good number of those perma puddles are actually depressions made by the tires of parked cars, and what is required is not new storm drains, but rather new paving over a better road base.

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      • Chris I October 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        But since the only users of that particular section are now lightweight cyclists, a simple repaving should do, without the need to reinforce the road base. One of the advantages of bike-specific infrastructure…

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  • Matt October 11, 2016 at 11:24 am

    That Morrison upgrade is just bizarre and probably contrary to US design standards. If PBOT feels they have to put in a wrong-way bike lane (i.e., travelling on the left side of the roadway), it should really be grade-separated (elevated to sidewalk level) and protected with a fence or other serious barrier.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Yep. When I first rode in it, I was coming off the Morrison Bridge heading east and wondered why all the bike stencils has been installed upside-down.

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      • JeffS(egundo) October 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm

        You were riding the wrong way on a one way street..?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

          A reasonable mistake considering the contra flow lane is on the left side, which is contrary to the North American “right-hand traffic” regulation.

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  • Kimberlee October 11, 2016 at 11:50 am

    It may be just paint, but the Interstate improvements are much better than what we had before, including the bike box at Tillamook. I have been nearly right hooked at Tillamook and I don’t know how many close calls where the new striping has been put in. I have definitely noticed cars are moving more slowly there now and it is much appreciated.

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  • brian October 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I voted yes on measure 26-173 and am now having a serious case of voters remorse

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    • rick October 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      How so?

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      • brian October 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        The “fixes” are disappointing

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        • David Hampsten October 11, 2016 at 5:52 pm

          The fixes are old money, from before the gas tax. PBOT hasn’t built anything with the new money yet – still in design.

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  • Catie October 11, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I used to frequently bike west on Morrison to get to that intersection (the days before Digapony had lines out the door) and if we want to encourage bikes to use this street we need more safety improvements! Cars go fast on this freeway sized road, and there is a lot of changeover with cars parking and cabs idling in the rightmost lane that cyclists have to go around. Until there is a protected bike lane along the length of Morrison, this is sadly another bike lane island with no other infastructure connecting to it. I would tell my mother to avoid this route. I hope more improvements are coming!

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  • Eric Leifsdad October 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    About 500-1000 more layers of paint and we’ll have the solid white stripes tall enough.

    Or, put something real there. Maybe even something substantial like a steel post filled with concrete (wearing hi-viz and a foam hat of course, for safety.)

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    • Eric Leifsdad October 11, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      That barrel on 2nd is pretty cool though. Where can we get more of these?

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  • Peter Hass October 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Even with the new signs and barrels, I don’t like using the new bike lane on 2nd between Stark and Burnside. After nearly getting left hooked twice, I decided the safety risk was too great and went back to riding on the far right lane for the few blocks I’m on 2nd. Plus it’s a lot smoother pavement over on that side of the road!

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  • Ted G October 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    “Designs like these are going to convince exactly zero people to take up cycling for transportation, which is the end goal, isn’t it?”

    if you are suggesting that all bike infrastructure be design so tha novice bike commuter will feel safe, then no, I don’t think that is the end goal. If you gave any thought to an opinion different then your own you might have realized by now that not everyone who rides a bike wants the same thing you do.

    While you are free to express your opinion you make yourself out to be the arbiter of what is good or bad and right or wrong and that is not respectful of others opinions. How about you sit back and just listen to what others have to say rather than jumping in ever 2 seconds to make the say the same things…if you have a problem with what PBOT is doing then go tell PDOT. **removed personal attack** -ted

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  • Hebo October 11, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    On Second Avenue – I still hate this change. The bike lane should not be on the left, it should be on the right. I think this is an area that didn’t “need” a bike lane. Traffic speeds were usually slow and with three lanes, there was always room to pass. I rarely dealt with aggressive drivers or dangerous right hooks. I have ridden the Second Avenue bike lane several times and have come close to being right hooked EVERY time, even after installation of the planters. Add to this the terrible pavement conditions and the poorly designed intersection at Burnside, and it’s just not worth it. I have noticed more aggressive auto interactions since the bike lane went in. Also, there was a temporary fix to highlight and add a bulb to a pedestrian crosswalk that has been removed. Why? Just poor design and poor planning all around.

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    • Peter Hass October 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

      I concur. IMO this design should not have been approved. It probably looked good on the computer screen but with the reality of actual use, it fails to provide improved safety or function. Worse than a waste of money, this subpar design created a danger that’s best avoided.

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    • brian October 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

      I agree that the bike lane did not do much for cyclists, but it has made walking and crossing the street on foot dramatically safer

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  • Buzz October 12, 2016 at 1:22 am

    changes coming to Larabee/Interstate and Broadway intersection too, stay tuned. 😉

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  • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve only ridden the Interstate section since the changes as that is part of my daily commute. The wider lane feels nice.

    I absolutely do not favor rumble strips, barriers, etc. Most cyclists move very slowly through this area and barriers and whatnot make getting out in the lane to pass that much worse, particularly when you catch up with a gaggle.

    I understand that the mixing area at Tillamook makes some riders uneasy, but there’s not an easy way to change this substantially. Fortunately, it’s not that bad.

    This stretch of road is generally very good. Before doing more to this area, I’d favor fixing areas that are more dangerous.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      You just disproved your own point. If “most cyclists move very slowly through this area”, then shouldn’t the design accommodate most of the people riding through?

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm

        Design is not a function of speed here. Compared to other sections of road, it’s pretty simple — a line marking the bike lane to the left, not many turns to the right which minimizes hooking and getting cut off by cars.

        There is a fair amount of bike traffic on this corridor except headed towards the Broadway Bridge which is light. Many people are hauling stuff, are on slow bikes, and fitness levels vary significantly.

        From a traffic dynamics perspective, this is an easy area with minimal threats compared to other areas. Traffic is heavy enough that clean passing opportunities are not great for most the stretch.

        If barriers or whatever are added, it could undermine safety by encouraging unclean passes. In any case, the type of money it would take to do anything here would be much better dedicated elsewhere.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm

          Well, I’m glad that you don’t have a problem at this intersection, but I rode though here once and I will never ever do it again. It’s absolutely terrifying; it feels like riding on a highway. These paint upgrades won’t convince me otherwise.

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          • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm

            I agree the paint doesn’t change much. I personally wonder if it’s even an improvement to put down bright green stripes which may distract a driver’s eyes away from cyclists. On an aside note, traction on paint is never as good as regular pavement, particularly in inclement conditions.

            But this is not a hard area and is most definitely not like riding on a highway.

            Having said that, you do need to work with the cars when passing through the mixing area — just as cars have to work with each other in any merge situation.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 3:07 pm

              But this is not a hard area and is most definitely not like riding on a highway.

              Please stop telling me that my personal experiences of riding a bike are wrong. Thanks.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm

                If you consistently have the same negative experience where others do not, you might consider examining differences in what you do and what others do.

                You report being through this intersection once and found it scary. I have been through it many hundreds of times minimum in every kind of weather we get in Portland (including ice) and almost always encounter other cyclists at this point since the lights tend to bunch up people there.

                Number of noteworthy incidents witnessed — zero. The worst thing I’ve seen is drivers in a hurry cut in when they should and maybe make a couple people grab a little brake and that’s something that can happen at any intersection.

                As someone who actually rides urban an rural highways solo, I guarantee you this area is nothing like a highway. The only thing that’s not totally straightforward about this intersection is that you have to cross an on ramp but fortunately the cars play well and move slowly here. Cyclists who don’t want to cross the on ramp can follow the ramp up, cross Broadway, and drop back down to Interstate where they can rejoin at the light. For someone headed to the Steel Bridge, the time difference is negligible.

                I’m all in favor of improving cycling infrastructure. But limited resources should be devoted to roads that are actually bad/dangerous. This is not one of those.

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              • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

                You report being through this intersection once and found it scary. I have been through it many hundreds of times minimum in every kind of weather we get in Portland (including ice) and almost always encounter other cyclists at this point since the lights tend to bunch up people there.

                Number of noteworthy incidents witnessed — zero.

                That is absolutely amazing. I can’t reconcile how you have never ever seen a bad interaction with a driver.

                If you consistently have the same negative experience where others do not, you might consider examining differences in what you do and what others do.

                The reverse is also true here, I think.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 7:33 pm

                I haven’t seen anyone have a bad interaction with a driver at that intersection, though of course I’ve seen people get cut off a bit. Nothing dangerous though.

                In other areas, I have seen cyclists pretty close to me get into confrontations with motorists. I most frequently see this on Broadway since that’s on my commute and a lot of cyclists think it’s a great idea to pull up on the right when it’s obvious that a car is going to turn right and isn’t looking (or is and doesn’t care)

                I consider that sort of thing self inflicted. It’s one thing if you don’t have a chance to react, but anyone who sees a situation unfolding and chooses to do nothing to prevent it caused it as far as I’m concerned. When drivers fail to utilize a clear chance to avoid an accident, they can (and should) be ticketed for it.

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              • Alex Reedin October 13, 2016 at 10:49 am

                Some people who would like to ride bikes can’t, or don’t want to, be on high alert for bad behavior by people driving at all times or even at every intersection. People differ in their ability to pay attention to lots of stimuli for a long time lest they be killed or maimed (and their tolerance for having to do that). Your judgment of people biking who don’t perceive the “obvious” fact that someone driving is going to illegally turn right across the bike lane without ensuring the bike lane is clear doesn’t seem to recognize that other people might not notice this “obvious” thing.

                Personally, I can be on high alert for my whole commute, but I don’t want to. My mental state is worse after 40-45 minutes of constantly watching for people driving dangerously in ways that could grievously hurt me. So, I ride 10.5 miles each way on the Springwater rather than 7 miles each way on surface streets. That’s a sacrifice of my time and energy some days, and taking that much extra time and energy out of their day is not an option for many people, and not a desirable option for most people. That’s why we need better infrastructure.

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          • Chris October 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            you seem so terrified of riding most places… you should get a car.

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            • MaxD October 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm

              Chris, that is a macho and unhelpful comment. Adam H relentlessly points out substandard designs, unsafe riding conditions, and poor driving. I realize it possible to acclimate and anticipate and have a great time riding around Portland, but that is not the stated goal of PBOT. They are supposed to being toward a more safe and more inclusive cycle network, and I appreciate Adam H identifying shortcomings, reminding bikeportland readers of the City’s goal, and his personal dedication to change.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 3:16 pm


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              • Kyle Banerjee October 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm

                Adam H relentlessly points out substandard designs, unsafe riding conditions, and poor driving.

                Good point. Without him, most people would have any idea that Clinton was such a corridor of death or that the greenways most of the streets with significant cycling facilities were so treacherous and most in need of attention.

                They might continue to labor under the impression that deploying cycling infrastructure where it doesn’t exist would be more productive.

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  • JP October 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    My dashcam video from this morning of drivers (not) navigating the new striping at N Interstate & N Tillamook

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      I actually thought the SUV directly in front of you did it right and the one in the distance was wrong.. until I saw you merge.

      To be clear, this is a hazard to drivers even without bikes there- at least sideswipes are generally a relatively safe crash.

      Are you in a cabover semi truck, or a bus, or ..?

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 13, 2016 at 5:12 am

        I’ve seen people do that, but it’s not common and regulars will figure it out. However, what’s the big deal if no cyclists are present as is the case in the video? Presence of cyclists helps people understand what they’re supposed to do here, lack of cyclists makes it less clear.

        Portland is full of all kinds of crazy markings (this intersection being an example) and it’s much more important that people just pay attention to each other. I would much rather drivers watching the cyclists on the road than the road itself.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Adam H.
      The Interstate design is still car-first. Drivers can and will simply drive over the paint. Do you honestly think people will wait until they are driving next to the green paint to merge over? No, they will drive in the bike lane ahead of the conflict point.

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 13, 2016 at 9:28 am

        Serious question here — why is this a bad thing and do you consider it desirable for them to wait until the conflict point to cut over every time regardless of what’s going on?

        As someone who rides here daily, I strongly feel it is safer, faster, and more convenient for everyone if both the bikes and cars figure out the spacing as the approach the intersection based on all factors in the moment and move forward, right, or whatever in the smoothest way possible.

        When cars move in a herky jerky fashion because they’re slowing/stopping for cyclists, it encourages motorists behind to do nutty things like swing around and accelerate when they can’t see what’s going on. This is bad both for cyclists at the conflict point as well as those approaching from behind since the snarl is what has everyone’s attention.

        As I rode through there this morning, I thought a bit more about the paint and how I hoped motorists would react to it. My take is that it’s needlessly confusing and we’ll be better off if cyclists and motorists alike keep an eye on each other rather than the paint as they navigate this section.

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  • Scott Mizee October 14, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Why did they not stripe an “Advisory Bikelane” on Interstate where it goes under the Laramie overpass? …or at LEAST maintain the bike lane width and encroach on the motor vehicle traffic lane? Why does it always have to be the other way around?

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