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TriMet eyes ‘bicycle slowing measures’ for Division Transit Project stations

Posted by on October 18th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

The bikeway will go through newly designed transit stations on Division, and that’s raising safety concerns about speedy cycling.

As we reported earlier this month, TriMet is firming up designs for the 41 new stations they’ll build as part the Division Transit Project — a $175 million plan to improve bus service between the downtown transit mall and Mt. Hood Community College. (It started as a bus rapid transit project but has since morphed into just better bus service.)

At last night’s joint meeting of Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees in City Hall, TriMet planners shared even more recent and detailed station designs. They specifically wanted feedback on their “island stations,” where the bikeway (slated to be relatively robust and protected for the length of this project) runs directly adjacent to the bus stops. These island stations are “floating” in the roadway and separated from the sidewalk by the bikeway (see images).

TriMet is looking for “approaches to bicycle slowing” and they want feedback on “bicycle slowing measures” to potentially implement around these stations. The concern is that bicycle riders will come from the six-foot (plus buffer) bikeway and will enter the station areas too quickly and imperil people who are using the bus or otherwise walking in these crowded areas. One slide in their presentation listed a challenge of island stations as: “Requires added design applications to create safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

According to TriMet, some of those design applications could include: reducing bikeway width to encourage single-file riding; a “redirection taper”; raised and marked crosswalks; yield teeth; “yield to pedestrians” signage; curbs and rumble strips.


The bicycle riders’ view.

One member of the bike committee said TriMet should consider narrowing the bikeway “like a chute” to slow people down and prevent them from riding side-by-side. Another member referred to this as “channelizing bikes”. The suggestion to take the bikeway from six feet down to four feet was also discussed. Another member expressed concerns that a four-foot bikeway is too narrow for people with cargo bikes or those who pull cargo trailers.

PBOT Bike Coordinator Roger Geller (who sits on the BAC as the staff liaison) added that he’s not opposed to considering some sort of neckdown in width; but he feels most people would slow down due to the mere presence of other humans in a crowded area. Geller also suggested that TriMet set up video research cameras on SW Moody in South Waterfront where there are already island stations in use.

Another TriMet planner mentioned the possibility of creating a ramp as the bikeway goes from the road to the station area. And if a ramp was built, TriMet wants to know what the ideal incline would be.

As for rumble strips, as you can see in the image these would be — thankfully — placed alongside the bikeway and not perpindicularly across it.

While the concern about jerk riders is real (but dare I say there are no more jerk riders, proportionately speaking, then there are jerks with any mode of travel) and the comfort and safety of people on foot is the highest priority, it seems like a bad idea to further degrade bikeway quality based on the paternalistic perception that bike riders are heathens hell-bent on running people over. It’s hard enough as it is for Portland to build high-quality bike infrastructure. And let’s remember how we approach automobile infrastructure. After all, its drivers who are responsible for the vast majority of injuries and deaths we’re all concerned about. Do we ever consider equally disruptive measures for cars like ramps and chutes and rumble strips on major arterials?

TriMet said they’ll have an online open house comment period coming soon. We’ll post again when that happens. If you want to share feedback directly with TriMet staff and see these designs in person, they’re hosting a Community Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow night (10/19) from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at PCC Southeast Community Hall Annex (2305 SE 82nd Ave). There are also two open houses scheduled for early November. Get those details on the project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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  • John Lascurettes October 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    he feels most people would slow down due to the mere presence of other humans in a crowded area.

    There’s the problem right there. Let’s avoid the “crowded area” mixing zones.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I feel you John, but I don’t think that’s possible – or desired. People always mix in cities. That’s what cities are for. We as humans need to have my empathy and respect for others and embrace this mixing!

      Obviously though, we also need smart designs that respect the needs of different types of road and public space users.

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      • SD October 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        There is a place for mixing, like areas that are destinations, waterfronts, high foot traffic business districts, etc. The places to avoid mixing are areas that are primarily for travel. In travel areas, mixing means conflict.

        “Everybody should handle conflict appropriately” and “Designs that create conflict should be avoided” are both true, and one is not an excuse for the other.

        We are currently in the design phase, so “Designs that create conflict should be avoided.”

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 18, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          yes I agree with that SD. I think it’s important though, that bicycle riders don’t expect a path that will always be free and clear. Mixing will happen eventually, even if it’s mixing with other bicycle riders. From my observations of bike traffic over the years I see far too many American bicycle riders who exhibit a sense of entitlement to “their space” and they don’t share very nicely (I understand why that happens, and I also of course see it very often with drivers). As Portland grows there will be more mixing in more places and I’m just saying that people need to get used to it and not freak out when someone else happens to be in their path.

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          • El Biciclero October 19, 2017 at 10:58 am

            Indeed, all of what you said. However, the approach taken for, e.g., Williams was not to “mix” bike and car traffic and try to come up with ways to “slow cars” for safety, it was to create a complicated lane configuration designed specifically to keep bicyclists “out of the way” so drivers didn’t have to slow down [much].

            As much as some bicyclists try to (and are berated for) trying to be pedestrians when it suits them, DOTs are guilty of the same thing—forcing bicyclists to be pedestrians when clear road space can’t be allocated for them. The “dual nature” of bicycle travel seems to create two mental models of bicyclists: the debilitated/slow driver, or the fast, wheeled pedestrian. Both are reviled. Drivers want us to either go as fast as they do or get out of the way, pedestrians want us to dismount and walk our bikes. Optimal bike travel is achieved somewhere between those two, yet bicyclists are usually expected to operate in spaces that expect either one mode or the other: jet-fast on the street, or walking-slow on MUPs and in “mixing zones”. The best compromise to date has been the humble painted bike lane; doing away with those in favor of constant “mixing” would make me a little sad, and would likely degrade my bicycle travel experience anywhere I encountered it.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty October 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

              I agree — mixing is not a bad thing; the key is to tame the auto traffic to make it safe and manageable.

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      • John Lascurettes October 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm

        I suppose my issue is that aside from paint and rumble strips, the area is wide open to pedestrian meandering — and people waiting for a bus will definitely wander around in that paint zone, smoking, talking of the phone, etc. Meandering is fine in mixed use zone (like the waterfront) but not when it’s directly across what is a specialized lane of traffic.

        The difference, by example, with controlling pedestrians at MAX stations and streets is that they are either grade separated (china/old town mall), fence separated (N Interstate), or both. Or another good example is the MAX platform at Holliday park. A person walking needs to enter the platform at a very controlled spot, the rest is all grade separated and fenced. It’s not a wide open area where people meander across at any spot.

        So why is this different?

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      • JeffS October 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        Really? I don’t see you embracing mixing when it comes to bikes and cars. The very argument that is used to displace bicycles from their rightful place in the roadway could be effectively presented as a case for not running them through a pedestrian crossing.

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    • BradWagon October 18, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      He clearly did not observe vehicle based human behavior to draw this assumption…

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  • John October 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I would point out that several times during the meeting, it was clarified (and re-clarified), that the ruble strips that were discussed were running parallel to the bikeway where curbs couldn’t go–not perpendicular and across the bikeway like a speed bump. So if somebody biking veered too far to the right and onto the walkway, they’d feel a tactile rumble. This came up several times, not sure why it’s being presented as a sort of speed bump in this article (also, see your own image above).

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Hi John.
      I missed that. I guess I wasn’t paying as close attention to the discussion as you were. Thanks for pointing it out. My mistake. I will edit the post accordingly.

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      • John October 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm

        No worries, it was a long meeting!

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    • Andrew Kreps October 18, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      I’m glad to hear that, after the Hawthorne on-ramp rumble strip debacle a few years ago.

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    • Another Engineer October 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

      I think its the choice of wording that is confusing. These are not Rumble Strips, they are tactile warnings most often referred to as truncated domes. They are legally required by ADA to abut all crossings.

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  • eawriste October 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    This is a great separated design. Safety of pedestrian vs bike conflict is a legitimate concern. Unfortunately, the design element that would prevent the most fatalities/injuries is absent: Separated intersections.

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  • SD October 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    I am going to ask the obvious question based on this picture expecting an obvious answer.

    Why is the bike lane between the pedestrian path and the bus stop?

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    • BradWagon October 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      I suppose it’s better to negotiate around a person walking than a bus pulling into the bike lane… but I honestly haven’t made up my mind yet. Bus conflict is only if you just so happen to be riding by as the bus is there, peds will constantly be arriving / leaving / waiting at a bus stop.

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      • SD October 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        I was thinking the order could be Road- Bus Stop- Pedestrian Lane- Bike lane.
        However, the image would need to include more area to see if this is possible.

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        • El Biciclero October 18, 2017 at 5:27 pm

          To do that, the bike lane would still have to cross the sidewalk at some point; the problem would just move to that point—but maybe it would be less of a problem the farther away from the actual stop the crossover was.

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          • SD October 18, 2017 at 9:32 pm

            Exactly. The real risk isn’t when a few people are crossing the bike lane, it is when there are a group of people that are at the bus stop.

            The people will spill into the bike lane and you have a mix of a crowd or people getting on while others are getting off.

            One of the most unpredictable situations for a cyclist is a crowd of people that aren’t together but all have separate agendas. For example, a group of tourists with a guide walking on the esplanade is more predictable than 15 people who don’t know each getting on and off the street car on Moody; some may be in a hurry, some may be standing in the bike lane on their phones, others may be running to get on the street car. A cyclist could be going slowly and still be hit by a pedestrian because one of the biggest sight-line blockers and distractions is other people.

            If the ped/bike paths cross away from the stop, pedestrians are more spread out and there is greater visibility because you don’t have the group of people that are waiting.

            Forcing bikers into a fixed path, like is shown in the image with a curb separating the bike lane and the sidewalk is a huge mistake. This gives the bike rider little options for dealing with the unexpected. A minority of cyclists will go faster than they can handle under conditions like this: Biketown at 10 mph under the control of someone who hasn’t been on a bike in 40 years hitting an octogenarian with osteoporosis isn’t as salacious as the clueless rogue pizza delivery biker that can be shamed with tales of Amsterdam, but it is still something worth anticipating.

            It is crucial to give cyclists space to react to surprises that range from normal pedestrian behavior to a mentally ill person that decides to clothesline a cyclist. Narrowing, rumble strips, 3-4 ft with a curb on either side… all bad ideas for the above reasons. Give cyclists the outside lane and good visibility with clear demarcation. Give pedestrians the space to act impulsively moving from the sidewalk to the bus stop.

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            • El Biciclero October 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm

              Even a barrier or “suggested” barrier to separate an outside bike lane from the rest of the “mixing” zone, broken only at expected crossing points, could be used to further isolate/insulate one kind of traffic from another. Huh. I think you’ve convinced me; I wonder what the “official” opposition to a plan like that would be?

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            • El Biciclero October 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

              Ah. Forgot—plus, the sharper deviation from the original bike lane vector, such as would be required to cross the bike path over the sidewalk, would slow cyclists down at the crossover point, but allow reasonable travel speeds between the “end zones”.

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        • jonnyB October 18, 2017 at 5:29 pm

          Wouldn’t that just put bikes crossing the sidewalk (pedestrian lane) further out? I don’t see a bike lane always to the right of the sidewalk as people would still be crossing in and out of stores and homes…

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        • Doug Klotz October 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

          Once again. The sidewalk is always the furthest away from the road, to be able to serve the buildings and other uses in the private property. And, to create more urban environment, we hope that more buildings on outer Division will be built up to the sidewalk. By code they cannot be behind a parking lot They can be no more than 10′ back, and that 10′ must be paved as a sidewalk. Pedestrians will be going from the buildings onto the sidewalk. This is not just a roadway through the wilderness.

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          • SD October 21, 2017 at 10:34 am

            If there is not a storefront, the bike lane should be the furthest from the road, otherwise no bike slowing measures and pedestrians could yield to cyclists like in the Netherlands bike/bus/ped video that is well-tested and demonstrated to be safe.

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      • Eric Leifsdad October 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm

        Let’s not have 8yo kids playing leapfrog with the bus.

        I think the biggest concern should be whether someone approaching at 20mph can see and anticipate the movements of pedestrians crossing the bikeway. Yield teeth and signage, possibly a 6in speed table would be fine.

        But it looks like the biggest problem is that the bikeway isn’t wide enough.

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        • BradWagon October 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

          I would never let an 8 yo ride on their own the unprotected bikelane like the one shown above. Maaaaybe the short section that is protected from the bus stop to the intersection if the sidewalk is full of peds but I would have them on the sidewalk as I rode along side in the bikelane.

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    • MJS October 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

      It’s a standard Dutch design. This video describes how it’s in use –

      I noted in the video a lot of the sight lines were good because the bike lanes were straight on instead of weaving in and out. The bike lanes also maintained a consistent width so it seems possible to do some avoidance maneuvers if necessary. One other thing I noted is that some stops had a little space between the shelters and the bike path, so cyclists could see pedestrians getting close to the bike lane to cross easier.

      The other consideration is that I’m not sure who has right of way. I think it’s implied that everyone is smart enough to figure it out in the Netherlands, which may not translate well over here in the USA. 😉

      Counterintuitively, I think a wide lane (2m/6-1/2 ft minimum) with angled curbs and well-designed bus islands to improve visibility is what’s needed. No need to try to bring everything to pedestrian level and narrow lanes down. Basically people will figure it out that it’s a bad idea to stand in a bike lane and to look for cyclists before crossing if they can.

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      • rh October 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

        Thank you for posting that video!! Everyone, please watch it!

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      • SD October 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Great video. Two things that stood out was that this design has been in place for 50 years and is well integrated into the culture, and the convention that pedestrian/ transit riders are expected to yield to cyclists.

        Also looked like many of the cycle paths were separated from the road long before the bus stops, and the narrator made a point that the design allowed bike riders to maintain their speed.

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      • Another Engineer October 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

        The bike lane needs to be raised to pedestrian level because of ADA guidelines, if the bike lane were at street level instead of curb level in this design a larger ramp would be needed on either side to accommodate those with disabilities.

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  • glenn October 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Line of sight should be the first thing to maintain..
    Don’t build anything over 2′-3′ tall that blocks view for bikes and peds alike.
    Just look at the failures on the Tilikum Crossing ….

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    • NC October 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      That shelter totally blocks the view to the left of the second ped crossing. Very Bad.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Hi glenn, You’ll be happy to know that TriMet planners are doing very detailed work on stuff like line-of-sight — for all users (bike,car,foot). There will be more posts on this project soon. Stay tuned.

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  • Kyle Banerjee October 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    It’s not safe having bikes at speed in close proximity with peds for a lot of reasons. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that if these are built, there will be an assumption that peds yield to bikes rather than the other way around, but I digress…

    I suspect slower riders will naturally tend to hold speeds down as the sidewalk is adjacent to the bike path which isn’t particularly wide — in other words, this is just an organized MUP.

    Those who want total separation must be willing to sacrifice cycling speed as the nature of the resulting space and riding dynamics demands it.

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  • Buzz October 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Y’all knew this was gonna happen…

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  • Paul Atkinson October 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I feel like I’m missing something.

    On the one hand, this looks effective. I have no problem with it.

    On the other, if that were a road where people could drive cars they’d just put a crosswalk there for pedestrians and be done with it. Why does removing car access imply a *greater* need for safety / slowing? If this is necessary — and it’s not a bad idea — then it should be even MORE necessary where cars are allowed to drive, right? Not less so?

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    • Kyle Banerjee October 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Because they’d use crosswalks as they do with the islands on Interstate. Peds have protected signals and all other traffic stops.

      I suspect there are no plans to put bike stopping signals on these bus islands so peds and bikes will just work things out. Given compliance with the bike signals by islands approaching Tilikum, I’m not sure such signals would have much effect.

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      • Chris I October 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        Haha, that’s a good one. I wasn’t aware that turning traffic on these monster outer-east Portland arterials actually stops when you get the walk signal. I’d take an unsignalized crossing of a sparsely used cycle-track over a walk sign at 122nd and Division any day.

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        • Kyle Banerjee October 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm

          That compliance is low in one location resulting in unsafe situations isn’t justification to intentionally create unsafe conditions elsewhere. Bikes need to operate at safe speeds in close proximity with peds.

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      • Paul Atkinson October 18, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        I’m thinking more of places like this (leapt to mind because it’s right near a friend’s house):

        Prescott is a fast through street and there are bus stops on both sides. Pedestrians are given paint and driver compliance to protect them as they cross. If drivers had to navigate a series of slowing measures where they put transit-bound pedestrians in danger the city would undoubtedly be safer.

        To to be clear, my question is how this bike path mixing zone requires a higher degree of safety infrastructure than, for example, 77th and Prescott.

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        • Kyle Banerjee October 18, 2017 at 6:14 pm

          I’ll go out on a limb and guess it’s because there’s absolutely no way to get on or off the bus without crossing the bike path, there’s less space, and it could be hard for peds and cyclists to make each other out when there are a bunch of peds wanting to cross. In short, because there’s a lot more inherent conflict.

          Why is there so much resistance to attempts to place any sensible limits on cyclists for the sake of improving safety for everyone? I’m not saying this is the best design, but the idea that people shouldn’t be blowing by peds on bikes shouldn’t be controversial.

          If you don’t like having your speed throttled, there are always road options. Speed limits go part and parcel with dedicated infrastructure.

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          • BikeRound October 19, 2017 at 7:04 am

            I agree. In Amsterdam, it is perfectly normal for bike lanes to have speed bumps when approaching crowded pedestrian areas. I don’t see the problem with the proposed devices to slow down bicyclists.

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          • Paul Atkinson October 19, 2017 at 9:31 am

            If you think I’m resisting this design then you didn’t read my post. Rather, I’m suggesting that this level of consideration for pedestrians is applicable in *vastly more places.* Such as *where they are actually in danger from automobile drivers.*

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            • Kyle Banerjee October 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

              I don’t think anyone here disagrees that this level of consideration is applicable in many more places or that the biggest danger peds face is overwhelmingly from motor traffic.

              The basic problem we face is this works like building codes in the improvements happen on a time forward basis. As a practical matter, this means we can expect progress when new things or built or old things are renovated — meaning that the legacy stuff (i.e. the vast majority of everything) stays left behind.

              I personally wouldn’t mind an approach based on cheaper but more widely deployed improvements that reach more unserved and underserved areas.

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  • colton October 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Why is the answer always “slow down the bikers”? I don’t have a problem adjusting my speed when conditions require it, but on new facilities designed for just that purpose? I’m surprised they haven’t suggested installing fences and swing gates (ala SE 11th).

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    • Eric Leifsdad October 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Paternalism must be some kind of underlying engineering value.

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    • J_R October 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Yes. Swing gates. But would they use them to hinder the free movement of pedestrians? Or would TriMet mount the gates so that bicyclists had to swing the gate when they wanted to cross the pedestrian crosswalk? It is becoming more and more obvious that TriMet doesn’t really like bicyclists, they only pretend to.

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  • Maddy October 18, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    We may be at a point that it is necessary to institute and enforce bike speed limits in high traffic and pedestrian areas for safety’s sake. I saw a scary near miss on the waterfront the other day.

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    • BradWagon October 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Bike lanes typically are not considered pedestrian areas.

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        How dare they cross and interfere with the free flow…

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        • BradWagon October 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

          So you’re fine with pedestrians walking in and across bike lanes midblock as they please? I never implied the point your arguing against. If an area makes sense to have pedestrians and bikes share the space that’s fine (waterfront, entertainment/retail areas, squares, major transit centers, etc..) … a dedicated bike lane on a major auto/transit/bike route should not be designed as a shared space.

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          • Kyle Banerjee October 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

            Whether I like it or not is immaterial — the first rule of riding and driving is to avoid all crashes. This means that when in the proximity of peds, sketchy riders, animals, whatever, you have to slow down regardless of who has right of way. Even if over 90% do as they should, you need to be ready for those who don’t.

            I don’t care for it myself and frequently take lanes intended for vehicle travel even when bike facilities are right there specifically to mitigate the issue. One of the specific reasons I don’t tend to care for fully separated facilities in most cases is that it seems to encourage the most careless type of behavior while making passing far more difficult.

            It just so happens that yesterday I rode on the bike paths by PSU, Moody, and Tilikum. On all three, I had to make accommodations for peds on the paths. Motorists are not the only ones who act entitled.

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            • BradWagon October 19, 2017 at 2:28 pm

              So wouldn’t it be best to just design new bike paths in a way that reduced the number of these potential risks? You say yourself you often just take the vehicle lane… what if bike lanes were built in a way that didn’t require this. Instead this seems to promote it more than just a standard street level bike lane in front of a bus stop.

              We’re not talking about PSU, Moody and Tilikum. This is a nearly 10 mile long, nearly dead straight, mostly 4 lane road with few pedestrian crossings and major intersections. There is just no need to slow bicycles down except for reasons created by this very design, why design inconvenience and conflict? How ridiculous to have to slow down and negotiate pedestrians every few block… I don’t ride up on the sidewalk for a reason.

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              • Kyle Banerjee October 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

                I hear what you’re saying — I personally wouldn’t have designed it this way.

                I would much rather just have the buses cross the bike lane like they do so many other places. If these islands are built as represented here, odds are overwhelming I’ll take the lane. For cycling to be viable, you need to be able to cover reasonable distances in a reasonable amount of time.

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              • El Biciclero October 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

                “…what if bike lanes were built in a way that didn’t require this. Instead this seems to promote it more than just a standard street level bike lane in front of a bus stop.”

                The irony here is that the bike path is designed this way because we start with the base assumptions that bicyclists are too afraid to go around the other way (due to fast car traffic and buses), bus drivers don’t want to have to watch for bicyclists before crossing a bike lane, and bicyclists must stay out of the way of drivers. If we assumed bicyclists had to pass by on the other side of this bus stop, what kinds of treatments would we be discussing?

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    • shirtsoff October 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      How many miles per hour was the person driving the bike at?

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      • Eric Leifsdad October 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        No more than 10mph over the posted speed.

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    • mran1984 October 18, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Pedestrians in that area do not pay attention. You do not have a right to be completely involved with your device when navigating any public space. Currently there is zero traffic enforcement in our once fine city. How will this be effective? I will avoid, but not slow down. Well, the inevitable flat tire from all of the street garbage can “slow” a nice ride. It’s not maniacal to actually ride your bike. It’s crazy to think that your device demands complete attention while supposedly being civilized.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy October 19, 2017 at 9:28 am

        You bring up a good point about having a responsibility to others who are also using the system.

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    • Spiffy October 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

      the problem with bike speed limits is that bikes don’t come with speedometers…

      kind of the same problem with requiring bike lights…

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      • CaptainKarma October 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm

        E Bikes need speedometers.

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 20, 2017 at 9:50 am

        How’s that a problem? If your riding conditions require them, you’re obligated to get them.

        It’s like traction tires or chains. Be aware that need is based on actual conditions as well as legal obligations. Some people don’t get this. That’s why PDX drivers are the butt of jokes around the country when we get a light dusting of snow.

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  • John Mulvey October 18, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    The line no longer goes to Mt Hood Community College. That’s just one of many elements that were intended to serve East Portland riders but were subsequently “value engineered” out of the project.

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  • todd boulanger October 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Assuming these are single direction bikeways (same direction as traffic) and that the bus patrons only exit out the rear…then I would suggest that TRIMET lengthen the 90 degree approach to the crosswalk vs the current oblique…just to improve sight lines and reaction time before the crosswalk. Yes this will make the zone longer.

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    • Another Engineer October 20, 2017 at 9:28 am

      The bike lanes are all single direction, buses will load and unload from all three doors of the new articulated buses to reduce dwell time at the platform.

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  • shirtsoff October 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    If a station is especially crowded it may be prudent to leave the bike lane before being directed onto the sidewalk and instead enter the standard traffic lane to avoid conflict. Per the 2015 ORS 814.420, this is permitted when specific conditions are present. “[…]A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:
    “(a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.
    “(b) Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    “(c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.
    “(d) Preparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.
    “(e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.”

    Sections A and C under the right circumstances could apply.

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    • Spiffy October 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

      remember that (e) also applies because there’s a right-turn only lane to the left of the bike lane…

      also, this goes onto the sidewalk so it’s not a requirement to ride on it ever because it’s not in the roadway…

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  • Clark in Vancouver October 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    This is interesting. It looks like a good design to me but I would do a few changes to it.
    There should be a bit of buffer between the bus shelter and the cycle track. This would allow someone time to stop when getting off the island.
    The grade between the walking path and the cycle path should be different outside of the pedestrian crossing area. (Maybe it is. I can’t really tell.) In any case there needs to be some indicator to people walking that they have left the sidewalk and are in a crosswalk.

    There is one similar in Vancouver on Dunsmuir and Cambie.

    It was the first of its kind for Vancouver at the time. Like lots of new things some people didn’t think it would work. People had weird ideas that cyclists were crazed homicidal maniacs and wouldn’t yield. You know, the usual nonsense.
    What of course happened though was people learned how to navigate it. It’s part of the street so you have to look both ways before you cross it. There are cross walks on it so when cycling you slow down and let people cross. It works well.
    What’s important is good sight lines. People intending to cross the cycle track should be able to see a bike when it’s still far away.

    I don’t think the worry that seems to come from hysteria is justified. Having cycled in the Netherlands and in the new cycling infrastructure in Vancouver I know that the nature of cycling is not the same in AAA infrastructure as when on a street having to keep up to the car traffic. When you have your own space you can speed up and slow down as need be.

    The other thing that happened was it took awhile for people who were waiting for the bus to get accustomed to walking with bikes around. They had to learn what to do and learn the nature of civilized cycling.

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  • Kittens October 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Its so frustrating (yet entirely predicable) to see this plan move forward with such a flawed design. Repeating the same fundamental mistakes of the Orange line bike infrastructure. It is obviously past time we get some fresh thinking at TriMet planning/capital.

    Just some of the many issues:
    Why not minimize points of conflict between bikes and peds by having one central crosswalk instead of two?
    Why are there no ped barriers to help define the platform from the bikeway. They are relying on paint and color and we know how well those work when dirty, faded or at night.
    Division is a major thoroughfare, is not unreasonable to imagine someone commuting by bike 80 blocks at moderate speed. What does it feel like to have this slalom course every four blocks? It’s like TriMet planners can only imagine people biking like timid Sunday leisure rides with the tots, think Sunday Parkways.

    I can only hope TriMet is denied the funding by a Trump FTA to build this poorly designed, non-BRT, not-faster, not-bike friendly route.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 19, 2017 at 10:49 am

      It is amazing to me how many people, normally transit supporters, dislike this project (not just those in the cycling community). I don’t know why it has attracted such hate, but it has. TriMet should pause and do a little introspection before pushing forward.

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      • Kittens October 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        Yes, I know many internally who think this is a huge waste like WES. Maybe the departure of Neil McFarlane will help right this ship before it sails off course.

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    • Another Engineer October 20, 2017 at 9:52 am

      True BRT is a political battle that has yet to be won, give us a lane to take and we can design it.

      Stations are being removed along the corridor and the final spacing will be roughly every 0.5 miles, or eight Portland blocks. Additionally, not all stations will be island stations.

      Bikes definitely aren’t prioritized by the double crosswalk design, pedestrians are. With a goal of shorter dwell times and larger buses additional crosswalks were likely determined to be necessary to meet the travel time goals of the project, a 15% decrease in travel time for bus passengers. Travel time goals are set by the FTA and need to be met to receive funding.

      Pedestrian barriers on the sidewalk side are an interesting idea but they would also present a risk to those cycling, especially as their retro-reflective surfaces get dirty. It may be worth asking if they have been investigated as an option for the project.

      I was still a student when the Orange line infrastructure was designed, what are your key frustrations with it?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

        One of my frustrations is that it is impossible to navigate the cluster that is 12th, 11th, and 8th legally without waiting significant amount of time. Ironically, you can get through it in quickly and safely if you ride illegally. The bicycle signal at 11th when you’re heading east is impossible to see unless you stand far back from the intersection. The bike path twists around in a way that is uncomfortable to ride, and can be treacherous when the ground is slippery. Where the bike path crosses the bus way at about 7th, signage presents a logical inconsistency, and the orientation of the stop signs violates best practice in the MUTCD. I could go on, but that’s enough for now.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty October 19, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Hoooooooooootttttttttt Piiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

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  • Jim Labbe October 19, 2017 at 7:35 am

    I don’t know this situation or the issues involved but I would not be surprised that part of the solution here IS that some of us cyclists need to just slow down. It’s the irony so aptly captured by that Portlandia skit of the cyclist that bikes like some drivers drive: rushed, angry, and entitled. The difference of course is that the cyclist doesn’t have a couple tons of metal around them and not going nearly as fast, but it still doesn’t help create safer more humane streets that is one of the best reasons to bike instead of drive if one can. Too many cyclists need to practice the “yield to more vulnerable users” principle.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy October 19, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Jim, it’s an issue of entitlement. “Everyone needs to change their behaviors to accommodate my morally superior mode of transport.”

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      • JeffS October 22, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        I’m confused by your example. I suspect you are targeting bike riders, but in this case, bikes fall at least fourth in the moral superiority priority pyramid, being prioritized below the bus, the peds and the cars.

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  • Jim Labbe October 19, 2017 at 7:50 am

    BTW. Thanks for covering this issue.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 19, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Change of bike path surface material, from smooth concrete to slightly bumpy cobbles, would signal to riders that they are approaching the bus stop, and signal to pedestrians that they are on the bike path. Ample markings on pavement as well.

    Jonathon, in Paris you’ll have seen the bike paths on and adjacent to the sidewalk. They work well. People figure it out.

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  • Gary B October 19, 2017 at 9:52 am

    This sure seems like a solution in search of a problem. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but when I’m cruising at 12 mph with good sight lines, a pedestrian has never crossed my path in a way that surprised me (we’re not talking hordes of people going all directions on the esplanade here). Approaching that bus stop I’d likely, oh I don’t know, slow down and pay attention? I get there will be riders more than casually cruising, but they also seem to be the ones most tuned in to their surroundings.

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    • BradWagon October 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Can confirm I’ve never had to slow down for a pedestrian at a standard curbside bike lane bus stop at much more “intentioned” speeds.

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      • Kyle Banerjee October 20, 2017 at 10:11 am

        You obviously have never ridden anywhere near PSU

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        • BradWagon October 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

          Correct. You obviously keep forgetting we are talking about outer Division, not the places with higher pedestrian density you keep mentioning.

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          • Kyle Banerjee October 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

            Right, but putting the stops there is likely to create tiny but temporary pockets of density if people actually use the service.

            My daily route Interstate where MAX stops are on islands isolated by an auto and bike lane. People just step into the auto or bike lanes all the time — especially when a bunch of people have just gotten off or if someone is running to catch a train. Aside from near these platforms, there are very few peds along Interstate.

            In that situation, the cyclist has good visibility and at least 10 feet (all of the bike and auto lanes) to play with — a way better situation than with these proposed islands. Even so, I find it necessary to slow down.

            Most cyclists do the right thing, but there are a few chuckleheads who will cause issues in such a tight space. I think Kittens nailed it. The basic problem is that these things are designed with the image of a naive and fearful rider plodding along at 8mph on a hybrid who would normally only be comfortable on a MUP when the people likely to ride outer Division are a totally different type of cyclist.

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  • oliver October 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

    If motor vehicle speed in the lanes adjacent to transit stops is slowed to that which they intend bicycles to travel in lanes adjacent to transit stops then I’m for this.

    If not, then I am opposed.

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    • JeffS October 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.

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    • David Hampsten October 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      The equivalent would be 9-foot traffic lanes at the intersections (and preferably throughout) and a 10-foot center or left-turn lane, for cars, trucks, and buses. Jump lane signals for the buses, of course.

      The “standard” lane for PBOT is 11-feet. I don’t know why they go so wide, but they do, the silly buggers. I suppose it’s to increase traffic through-put, though given VZ, I’m mystified why PBOT continues to promote 11-foot lanes.

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  • CaptainKarma October 19, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I keep imagining toddlers, strollers, candy crush players, anti-social **deleted** and more crossing unexpectedly… time for a wheel powered bell.

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  • X October 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Some general thoughts about mixing zones:

    There’s an example in Portland of a place where light rail, crowds of pedestrians, bike riders, and even a few motor vehicle operators interact without guidance of signals, barriers or gates.
    There’s no carnage that I’m aware of. It’s the Skidmore Fountain/Old Town plaza and MAX Station. I’d be interested to hear from a MAX driver what that’s like for them.

    Instead of barriers and paint to give notice of mixing zones, why not art? A statue representing a child, designed to fold or swing away to absorb energy in a collision, could give notice to riders of a change in the environment–pedestrians ahead. Animals or abstract things could also be used. Placement is important–a soft thing in the shy zone can slow people down without creating a hazard the way a post in the middle of a path does. Other possibilities: selected, carefully pruned native plants, or small fountains designed to drain away from the travel path.

    Designers seem to forget that bicycles are largely unsuspended. Instead of raised rumble strips, consider a belt of soft material such as recycled rubber playground material (with a smooth transition) or a else a slight drop in the direction of travel. Repeated signals could be placed with a randomized spacing to avoid causing a harmonic vibration in a passing bicycle. The rumble strips on the Hawthorne actually seemed punitive instead merely designed to give notice. They were harsh at a slower speed, as well as poorly placed on a downhill close to the point of possible conflict.

    Notice could be given to riders by a sort of xylophone built into the pavement, using heavy pavers set a bit loose to create an audible signal, or flush mounted wooden strips over a resonating cavity designed to make a musical note when a wheel passes over them. Again, art. What we don’t need is a repeat of the Tillikum approaches. If you need a crowd of minders to hector users into conformity with your designer’s point of view, that is a fail.

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  • Takethelane October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    “Do we ever consider equally disruptive measures for cars like ramps and chutes and rumble strips on major arterials?”
    Yes! Have you not seen what they did to N Denver Avenue when they wanted to reduce the speed from 35 to 25? Perhaps you have not been living here for that long.

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    • BradWagon October 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Ah yes the major arterial of N Denver… which is still essentially dead straight but with updated pedestrian crossings and some speed humps where it turns into a neighborhood street.

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  • Robert October 20, 2017 at 7:03 am

    The rumble is an ADA requirement. It’s called Detectable Warnings. We need to remember that people with limited vision or legally blind rely on public transit. These strips identify were the platform ends an the road begins. It’s a requirement under the ADA Act.

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  • Boris K October 20, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Take a look at what the TTC has done for streetcar stops in Toronto on Roncesvalles Ave. Here is a link to the Google Streetsview:,+Toronto,+ON/@43.6482673,-79.4497967,3a,75y,340.86h,75.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCdepA7x72sh_SpiOPntDDA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x882b34354c241d9d:0xf2965297464c254e!8m2!3d43.6463163!4d-79.44905?hl=en

    The bikeway itself between stops is not ideal, but the platform design may work.

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  • SD October 20, 2017 at 8:52 am

    With the above design, the other issue to consider during a rush hour bike commute is the bike rider(s) having to stop for people exiting the same bus over and over again.

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    • Doug Klotz October 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Trimet staff addressed that issue, saying that with the stops twice as far apart, there’s less chance of that “leapfrog” behaviour that used to happen on Williams.

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  • Ryan October 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    As someone who occasionally takes the 4 line from Gresham into SE PDX down Division when I don’t feel like biking the whole way, I’m excited at the possibility of reducing my travel time to work (since I’m trying to reduce my car use as much as possible for commuting, this would help a lot). However, it also makes me realize that I’m not likely to change my bike route at all, even though I could shave off a couple miles if I biked down Division most of the way. As is, I think it’ll still be faster (and feel safer) with my current route of Gresham-Fairview/Springwater trails to Holgate.

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