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Diverter at Clinton and 32nd is complete

Posted by on December 20th, 2016 at 10:52 am

Permanent Clinton diverter by PBOT, December 2016

Permanent Clinton diverter by PBOT, December 2016

This post was submitted by BikePortland subscriber Adam Herstein. These posts usually appear on our Subscriber Posts page but we like to share them here on the Front Page when appropriate. — Ted

The permanent Clinton Street diverter at 32nd has been completed. This marks the conclusion of over a year of effort by BikeLoudPDX, planning by the city, and feedback from the community. The diverter is a new design for Portland, featuring two concrete pads that widen as one rides through that prevents cars from getting through, but is wide enough for a large cargo bike. Because of the nature of the diverter that allows for both right and left turns (but no straight movements) by drivers, it is unfortunately still possible to cheat the diverter by driving in the oncoming lane.

There has already been feedback from the community about the sterile appearance of the diverter, and consensus is growing that the diverter could use some “beautification”. Planters, flowers, and paint have all been suggested as ways to improve the look of the concrete pads. Officials from the city seem receptive to this idea, on the condition that it does not impede emergency access. Community members will continue to work with the city on this and hopefully will come up with a design that improves the attractiveness of the diverter.

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I rode through the diverter this morning and it functions much better than the old temporary diverter that was fashioned from gravel-filled garbage bins. The opening is much wider and requires little to no weaving. On my 50 lb. Dutch bike, I had no problem navigating around the concrete pads, whereas with the old design I would often find myself riding in the oncoming lane. Illegal parking was a major issue with the temporary design – there was often a large boat that was parked very close to the opening, making the already tight turn even more tricky. The permanent design addresses this issue by moving the opening further toward the middle of the street. Even if someone was parked right up to the concrete pad, they would not be interfering with bicycle traffic.

Overall, it’s a good design that allows bicycles of all sizes to safely navigate though the diverter. The only issue seems to be about its appearance, and hopefully that can be addressed with a community effort. It’s been a long and bumpy road, but we finally have a safer Clinton Street. Thanks to PBOT, BikeLoudPDX, the Richmond Neighborhood Association, and everyone else who helped get this on the ground.

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paikiala
Guest
paikiala

That photo does not include the permanent striping – a weather related delay, most likely.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Speed bumps west of 26th will be constructed in the spring.

J.E.
Guest

Why? BikeLoudPDX came out against them. Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District came out against them. They go against PBOT’s own policies about when they’re appropriate. Why does PBOT continue to insist on constructing something the stakeholders don’t want and feel will be ineffective?

Ed
Guest
Ed

Richmond NA (where these are) was supportive. PBOT said they received overwhwelmingly positive direct feedback from neighbors when these were proposed. I live on Clinton a few blocks from these and I can attest to how awesome they are.

Alan Kessler
Guest
Alan Kessler

I think they were referring to speed bumps west of 26th (in HAND, not Richmond). I agree that the diverters are awesome. I hope for many more of them.

soren
Guest
soren

some needed context: the area west of 26th has motorvehicle traffic volumes that are too high for the area to be re-signed to a 25 mph speed limit. instead of installing infrastructure specifically designed to reduce traffic volume near 26th, PBOT is *hoping* that a tool designed for speed reduction will discourage driving. it’s unclear if pbot will revisit this decision if the extra speed bumps don’t work.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

20 mph.
and they’re experimental bike friendly bumps.

soren
Guest
soren

thanks…i meant 20.

Chris
Guest
Chris

“it is unfortunately still possible to cheat the diverter by driving in the oncoming lane”

Not a fan for this reason. Some drivers will undoubtedly drive right through it.

todd boulanger
Guest
todd boulanger

Good news.

[Just curious if the issue of modifying this design for the next generation to account for street sweeping has been brought up: by raising the bike bypass up out of the gutter and feathering out the gutter to sweep around the island turned curb extension? I realise with a retrofit project not all things can be accomplished within a realistic budget.]

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The bike bypass is not currently in the gutter, so???
Standard street sweepers are about 10 feet wide, and that much space next to the curb would likely defeat the concept of deterring auto use, or placement of warning/regulatory signs.

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

They could egad, use a broom and a rake to clear that section of the gutter. Our society is full of gadgets that burn fuel, and don’t accomplish much more than the old tools, especially when you factor in the societal cost.

Spiffy
Subscriber

I’m annoyed at the people wielding leaf-blowers downtown moving the leaves and garbage into the street instead of cleaning up the sidewalk…

didn’t know I was allowed to just blow all my problems into the street and forget about them…

I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

Society has brainwashed us into thinking that we need riding lawn mowers, leaf blowers, mulchers, and chainsaws to do yard work. A few good handtools do the trick without burning oil, in a much quieter fashion.

jeff
Guest
jeff

it has? I own an electric lawn mower…that’s about it. everything else in my yard is done by hand. You see one guy with a leaf blower and all of society has been brainwashed?

pengo
Guest
pengo

I wash dishes by hand just to hurt society’s feelings.

Spiffy
Subscriber

our bike lane sweeper is only 7.4 feet wide…

http://bikeportland.org/2013/11/18/meet-portlands-new-bike-path-sized-street-sweeper-97302

but that seems too wide for the diverter opening…

todd boulanger
Guest
todd boulanger

Thanks for pointing that out – I assumed it was since I could not see the signage on the other side of the intersection.

Dick Button
Guest
Dick Button

Come the hour, come the Adam! Thanks for giving us a little xmas content!

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

“there was often a large boat that was parked very close to the opening”

Ha. My travels only very occasionally take me down this way, but that detail brought it right home for me.

Oliver Smith
Guest
Oliver Smith

I often appreciate your comments. It’s not critical, but is there any chance you could use your last name or another word so that readers know which Oliver is which?

Oliver, the other one.
Guest
Oliver, the other one.

Ha. Sure. Thanks though, and I’m also aware that sometimes my comments are considerably less constructive than the general standard around here.

rick
Guest
rick

How will this prevent micro cars from driving through here? I think a vegetated diverter would have been better.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Rick,
How? Any examples you can point to?

rick
Guest
rick

just small micro cars

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

Rick,
How would a vegitated diverter prevented micro-car violations?

Gary B
Guest
Gary B

A Smart fortwo is 5’1″ wide, as an FYI.

I don’t know whether that would fit or not. More importantly, I don’t know whether the outlier that both could fit and would break the law matters all that much, in the scheme of reducing (not eliminating) MV traffic.

Slug
Guest
Slug

I have seen a smart car go through the diverter at 17th. It was tight but they made it.

Caitlin D
Subscriber

Yay! The boys and I used the new diverters for the first time today, with much excitement. I’d love to participate in a diverter beautification event in the future!

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Yea! Great news. Another improvement for Clinton. People are still dying left and right out east and you wonder why people are angry.

pdxdave
Subscriber
pdxdave

Thanks for the excellent report on the installation of the permanent diverter. I am happy to see positive results from PBOT. Good news for all!

Graham Ross
Guest
Graham Ross

Will those curbs have reflectors on them? For night riding, the signs are obvious, but I’m not sure the width of the islands is obvious. Striping might do it.

Bobcycle
Guest
Bobcycle

Diverters are wonderful and I believe for the most part effective, would love to hear about plans to standardize design and implement on more of the city’s greenways. My number one complaint, is after going out of my way to use greenway designated routes for safety reasons, finding myself intimidated by aggressive thru drivers.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

‘testing diversion’ is part of the process. PBOT is developing the knowledge base for what works internally on a greenway, which has different criteria than at major intersections.

lyle w
Guest
lyle w

Doesn’t feel like it’s happening fast enough. Riding on Lincoln right now (especially during rush hour) still feels like a gamble, and it shouldn’t.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Next retrofit?

Bobcycle
Guest
Bobcycle

BTW I ride Clinton from 53rd to 11th on average 3 times a week, and think it’s one of the most relaxing rides in Portland, yes even better than PDX mups

lyle w
Guest
lyle w

If this diverter wasn’t here, the one on 17th didn’t exist, and the bike box/no-turn on Chavez wasn’t there, Clinton on bike/foot/whatever would be an absolute disaster right now.

These things absolutely make a huge difference… it’s just the way it is.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I wouldn’t call the section from 53rd to 39th “relaxing”, but if that’s the word you’re going for…!

John Prentice
Guest
John Prentice

I wear many hats
Society has brainwashed us into thinking that we need riding lawn mowers, leaf blowers, mulchers, and chainsaws to do yard work. A few good handtools do the trick without burning oil, in a much quieter fashion.
Recommended 8

“Society” has “brainwashed us”? We are society, aren’t we? We could also get rid of washing machines and return to washboards. Or dispense with electric drills and use a hand drill. Or even stop using internet forums and just have conversations.

Some labor saving devices are certainly not necessary and wasteful, but if you are trying to move a large quantity of leaves, an electric blower is a lot easier on the arms and back. I don’t know many folks who have chain saws, and those that do use them to manage serious growth on their land. Riding mowers? Depends, are we talking about someone living on acres of land or a 50 x 100? Haven’t seen a lot of riding mowers in the city proper, but in the countryside, a hand tool to cut a few acres of lawn? You are welcome to use a scythe.

Steve Scarich
Guest
Steve Scarich

Comment about ‘beautification’. When you build non-standard shapes (planters, etc.), what ends up happening is a gradual accumulation of debris. It requires hand-cleaning with a broom or hose, to properly clean around weird shapes, something the City does not have the staff or time for. Over here in Bend, I have seen 3 or 4 year’s of accumulation of debris, sometimes inches deep, a foot wide, and very unsightly.

Kittens
Subscriber
Kittens

Great. Now lets make them less ugly! Some of those round concrete planters from the old bus mall would work.
Maybe part of the plan is that “first responders” can drive over this thing in the event of a major incident? I know that is the case elsewhere.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Confused.

It doesn’t look like it’s diverting much of anything, and is completely reliant on the honor system to function.

Seriously PBOT? Come ON.

Paikiala
Guest
Paikiala

A2,
The entire roadway system operation relies on people obeying the rules. All laws are only as good as the people the laws restrict.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Well in that case, let’s just have no diverters at all. Problem solved!!

The whole point of an *engineering* fix, is to engineer people’s behaviors!

Pedal PT
Member

Love those new diverters, and better spacing for all- Cheers to a safer Clinton! ( . . .Now if we could just keep those cars from trying to speed across Clinton coming from the South..)