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PBOT adds bike lanes, crosswalks to tricky SE Holgate intersection

Posted by on October 30th, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Fresh and green on SE Holgate. (Photos: BikePortland reader)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has finished an update to the intersection of Southeast Holgate and 41st/42nd.

This is an offset intersection that has bike lanes running north-south. But the bike lanes used to disappear on Holgate, requiring people to enter the intersection unprotected (legally and physically) to make the crossings.

Here are two before shots:

To improve bicycle access across Holgate PBOT has striped buffered bike lanes on both sides of the street. The lanes and turn boxes are colored green and plastic wands have been installed in the buffer zone for added protected. PBOT has also added new, “crossbikes” at both intersections to further facilitate bicycle crossings.

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Holgate looking westbound.

The project is part of 12 updates PBOT promised for 2017 as part of their “High Crash Network” projects that are listed in their Vision Zero Action Plan. Funding for the project comes from the Fixing Our Streets program made possible by an increase in local gas taxes.

This is an area that’s not in my normal home/work/play zone so I haven’t seen this myself. Anyone ride here and care to comment about how it’s working?

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

65 Comments
  • John Lascurettes October 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    This is an offset intersection that has bike lanes running north-south. But the bike lanes used to disappear on Holgate, requiring people to enter the intersection unprotected (legally and physically) to make the crossings.

    I fail to understand what would have been illegal [“unprotected legally”] about entering the intersection before the paint job which still fails to actually physically protect a cyclist from the kinetic energy of a car or truck. It would have been a right turn and a left turn as a vehicle just like any other street without a bike lane. Now what they’ve done with the bollards is make it harder for a person on a bike who is confident enough to do it to make a vehicular left turn. It’s also going to reinforce the bad and unsafe habit I see other cyclists do downtown which is turn across the motor vehicle lane from the green lanes on SW Stark and SW Oak instead of making the turn from the motor vehicle lane.

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  • David Burns October 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Well, I guess they didn’t make it any worse. It’s very visible to auto users on Holgate, which goes a long way to helping drivers pay attention.

    I’ve been avoiding this intersection northbound, but heading south it seemed a bit safer because the hill helps you get out of the danger zone much quicker. I’d take the lane and then crowd the double-yellow with my arm out to turn left (south). The new crossbike is further from the crest of that hill and so has better visibility, but it now seems to require two stops to cross Holgate.

    The northbound (uphill) side seems to be a lot better for climbing from the stop sign to the upper crossbike, but it still leaves one stopped and trying to bet when it’s safe to race across.

    This is supposed to be a Neighborhood Greenway, but I wouldn’t take kids or grandparents across here. Maybe it needs a those rapid flash beacons (visible to motorists before they crest the hill) that can be activated with a button press.

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  • Noisette October 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    In the 1990’s, the old streetcar right-of-way that aligns perfectly with 41st (behind that currently vacant building on the NW corner) was the preferred bike route at that intersection, you could zip right across Holgate without all those sketchy turns. I believe the city still owns that bit of ROW, I don’t understand why they closed it.

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    • shirtsoff October 30, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      That would be AMAZING. I hope this idea is eventually adopted. It’s the realm of pipedream at the moment, but I would love to see this implemented as part of the 40s Bikeway and formalized into the TSP.

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      • Lance October 31, 2017 at 9:08 am

        PBOT’s original design for this area did utilize the old streetcar right-of-way. Plans had to change when it was discovered that the easement rights were never legally transferred to the City. The old streetcar line was privately owned and on this segment operated on a private easement over private property.

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    • paikiala October 31, 2017 at 9:10 am

      The land is private.

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    • Betsy Reese October 31, 2017 at 9:23 am

      That public right-of-way was vacated and the land added to each of the three adjoining properties. (See PortlandMaps) Yes, it was the preferred bicycle route through that intersection. It’s a pity that street vacation was granted without concern for bicycles and now we can’t get it back.

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      • Matt October 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        Sure we can get it back. This would be a perfectly legitimate place for the City to employ Eminent Domain.

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      • Betsy Reese October 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm

        It looks like I’m wrong here and I’m sorry. I defer to Lance above, whose comment was not live when I submitted mine.

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  • J_R October 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    As I remember the discussions here, a “cross bike” has no legal meaning, unlike a crosswalk that does. The northbound cyclist who uses the protected bike lane on the south side of Holgate is probably required to yield to motorists on Holgate in both directions. Same problem for the southbound cyclist turning on 41st.

    Confusion is not your friend whether you are in a car or on a bike.

    I will continue to take the lane and make vehicular turns in this area.

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  • tekniklr October 30, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve ridden this several times since the change and find the intersection much more annoying to navigate now- whereas I used to wait until a suitable opening and take the lane, merging left to easily turn north while only being concerned with westbound traffic, now I’m crammed to the right and have to make a much sharper turn, while trying to look backwards constantly, and have to cross both directions of traffic at once. Stopping to literally rotate your bike 90 degrees is the opposite of an improvement.

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    • TonyT
      TonyT October 31, 2017 at 10:12 am

      “Stopping to literally rotate your bike 90 degrees is the opposite of an improvement.”

      Exactly. But if you’re a PBOT engineer who drives into work everyday, you probably think it’s totally cool. “Those bikers should be glad to get what they get! Amirite?”

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      • Alex Reedin November 1, 2017 at 11:51 am

        I’ve met lots of PBOT folks who bike to work daily. But most of the men, who are most of the engineers, seem to have a pretty Vehicular Cycling life experience (PBOT Engineer: “Beg buttons are great!! They reduce delay for me when biking!” Me: “Wait, you’re on streets with traffic signals where you tend to have priority? Oh… you’re a vehicular cyclist, I understand why you have a lack of urgency around increasing comfort and convenience for the interested but concerned.”)

        I bet a lot of them wouldn’t bike down the 40s greenway because it’s too hilly, slow, indirect, and has lots of stop signs; they’d take Chavez or 52nd instead.

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        • Matt November 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

          I don’t know anyone who would choose to ride down 39th if they knew of any other route.

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          • John Lascurettes November 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

            I don’t like even driving on 39th/Chavez between Hollywood District and SE Holgate. Particularly between Stark and Division, it’s a high-speed, lane-changing cluster-ef.

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          • Alex Reedin November 2, 2017 at 8:24 am

            Soren rides down Chavez not infrequently. I’ve done it myself, too. It’s not a big deal (for those who can ride quickly and are into this kind of thing, or at least impatient enough to take the fastest routes sometimes even though they’re more stressful) because there are two lanes, and if you locate yourself in the middle of the right lane, it’s clear to people driving that the only reasonable way to pass you is in the left lane (which also happens to be the only safe way).

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          • soren November 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

            when i bike with others i almost never ride chavez to the hollywood district. for example, my “interested but concerned” partner prefers to detour all the way to se 16th to reach the hollywood district. this multi-mile detour intentionally avoids the 20s and 40s greenways due to their lack of signed/signaled crossings, their hilliness, their indirectness, and dangerous/slow bridge connections.

            i also agree with alex that a major barrier to increasing transportation cycling mode share in this city is a chronic lack of empathy towards the “interested but concerned” from advocates, professional advocates, city staff, and “bike funnists” who tend to be fit, bold, and confident riders.

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    • N-1 November 1, 2017 at 7:40 am

      Agreed. Heading north on 41st/heading west on holgate is very difficult. There usually is a car or recycling bins right up to the egde of the green paint when i ride it everyday. Therefore, you have to go up hill and turn 90 degrees at the intersection from a full stop, while looking backward. If it was just me, single bike, no load or cargo, probably doable. Anyone with kids, long tail, cargo, or a load, trailer, this configuration makes it very difficult. About the same number of cars stop as before to let you turn, which is no better. Wish there was a left turn lane like SE stark has to jog an intersection. This type of infrastructure is “works” for people who already ride. If we ever want to push beyond the status quo and really add bicyclsists, we need to do better. We need to include families, kids, cargo bikes, bike trailers, and adaptive bikes in our plans.

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  • B. Carfree October 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    This is one of the worst implementations that I have ever seen. Good grief.

    I’m imagining cruising along on my normal town rig, which is a tandem with a child’s crank and an attached trail-a-bike so that both of my grand-daughters can ride with me. With the prior design, we simply wait at the intersection for traffic coming from our left to subside and then we pull out into the lane and signal our left turn. When oncoming traffic clears, away we go. Easy peasy, very standard cycling stuff, even with my five-year-old and three-year-old grandkids (their signals are awesome).

    In the new configuration, we’re going to have to negotiate that narrow opening between the concrete, wands, curb, utility pole and garbage cans at an unstable low speed while somehow seeing if the lane is clear behind us and in front of us at the same time (try doing that with two children dancing behind you some time). This change actually makes this intersection MORE dangerous for cyclists.

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  • B. Carfree October 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    The logical way to modify this intersection, if PBoT intended to follow the city’s transportation hierarchy, would have been to place stop signs at SE Holgate. Also, the stop signs at SE 41st/42 could then be signed with those (unique to Oregon, I think) signs that say right turning traffic need not stop.

    Of course that would give people on bikes the right-of-way over motorists, which is apparently a no-no at PBoT (in spite of the virtue-signal traffic priorities).

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    • paikiala October 31, 2017 at 9:10 am

      The transportation hierarchy is not part of the TSP.
      Neighborhood Collectors are not stopped for Local Service streets. Neither are Neighborhood Collectors stopped for Neighborhood Greenways.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 31, 2017 at 7:13 pm

        Though PBOT will be maintaining the 4-way stop at 20th & Harrison, even though 20th will be a collector, and Harrison is a local service street, so it’s not like it’s impossible.

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  • Pat Franz October 30, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I ride through this intersection, usually N to S. It seems an improvement for the “interested but concerned”, but I find I still do what I always have- wait at 42nd for a break in traffic both ways, and go down and left onto 41st. I consider myself pretty bold in traffic, but I’d never wait in the lane on Holgate while signalling. Downhill traffic is way too fast there.

    I only tried it once and it wasn’t raining, but the downhill sloping green zone looks slippery to me.

    I also drive up and down Holgate for work and I do have to say the new markings now make it very clear to drivers that cyclists are crossing there.

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    • soren October 30, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      i don’t understand why the minority of people who ride vehicularly are complaining about infrastructure expressly designed for the interested-but-concerned. nothing is stopping the confident and bold from riding in the lane as usual (it is legal to exit bike sidepaths for turns).

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      • J_R October 30, 2017 at 10:45 pm

        Maybe because the “infrastructure expressly designed for the interested-but-concerned,” appears to put people, especially less skilled riders, in potentially unsafe positions on the roadway in addition to using marking that are legally undefined or ambiguous.

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        • soren October 31, 2017 at 11:12 am

          most bike infrastructure is constructed in an ad hoc fashion legally (e.g. is not described in local or state law). moreover, painted lines at crosswalks make little difference because all intersections in oregon are legal crosswalks.

          this facility encourages the interested and concerned to cross at a legal crosswalk where they have right of way if proceeding at a slow speed (very likely for the interested but concerned).

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          • J_R October 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm

            The design does NOT encourage bicyclists to cross at a legal crosswalk; it encourages them to cross at an ambiguous, legally-undefined “cross bike.” If you cross in the “cross bike” you are NOT located in a crosswalk, but rather BESIDE the crosswalk. Using the “cross bike” YOU are most likely required to yield to the motorist!

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            • CaptainKarma October 31, 2017 at 1:23 pm

              The white crosswalk bars exist, extendind from the ends of the green crossbike bars. It is a legally denoted crosswalk.

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              • shirtsoff October 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

                And *this* is why I ride across in the white, zebra crosswalks with I encounter crossbike bars (and there is not a pedestrian using the space).

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          • soren October 31, 2017 at 12:58 pm

            there is a pedestrian/bike warning sign that has an arrow that clearly indicates a marked crosswalk. absent any state legislation crossbikes are crosswalks.
            ahttps://www.tcnf.legal/oregon-pedestrian-rights/

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            • B. Carfree October 31, 2017 at 1:44 pm

              Read the section on the location of crosswalks and compare it to the location of “crossbikes” and you’ll see that a crossbike, which crosses into a parking lane, is not placed where a crosswalk can be. Therefore, a person on a bike crossing in a crossbike does not have any right of way at all.

              Then again, I’m not a lawyer, so this could be wrong on some trivial level. If so, please show me where this is the wrong interpretation.

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              • soren October 31, 2017 at 2:29 pm

                as far as i can tell there is no restriction on where *marked crosswalks* are placed in the oregon revised statutes. i think it will be up to the courts to decide this…

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      • MJS October 31, 2017 at 9:54 am

        Pardon my ignorance, but is there a law on the books that states that cyclists must use the bike infrastructure when provided except when it’s unsafe, avoiding traffic, or making turns? I ask because that is the statute in California and (I think) Texas.

        In this case one could argue that you’re making turns so it’s not required to use the separated bike lane, but depending on how it’s written the bike lane use might now be mandatory.

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        • soren October 31, 2017 at 11:19 am

          https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.420

          california and texas do not have mandatory sidepath laws.

          imo, oregon has among the most anti-cycling traffic laws in the USA. i suspect this is, in part, due to a long-term history of hostility towards portland at the state legislative level.

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          • Albyn October 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm

            The linked code seems to indicate that it is legal to ignore the stupid and dangerous green bike lane when turning left…
            ====================================================================
            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.

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          • MJS November 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

            California does have a “mandatory” bike lane law: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=21208.

            I put “mandatory” in quotes because it doesn’t apply if you’re keeping up with the flow of traffic or for the exceptions listed in the CVC.

            I’d have to check around Texas but from news reports they have something similar in place.

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      • JeffS October 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        And if you’re not turning?

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        • soren October 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

          1) the mandatory sidepath law is not enforced in pdx.
          2) this half block facility is clearly designed for turns (see arrow in image ).

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  • paikiala October 31, 2017 at 9:45 am

    The land is private.

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  • JJJ October 31, 2017 at 9:56 am

    I wonder if a two way protected bicycle lane in the center would have better addressed the needs of both vehicular cyclists and casual cyclists.

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    • ED October 31, 2017 at 11:42 am

      It could be like the one at SE 41st & Stark, possibly add in some cross-bikes for good measure if PBOT is interested in pushing them (though I agree with many here that they are confusing). This would make it easier to perform the vehicular left movement that most people on bikes are already attempting, with some protection while waiting in the middle of Holgate to turn left.

      I live just a few blocks from here, and it is a tricky spot for pedestrians and bikes. I had hoped this improvement would be, well, an improvement, but I don’t think it makes crossing any easier. The green paint is a plus simply in the sense that it lets drivers know that something different is going on here and possibly they should look for other road users, but that’s about it.

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      • Bill Stites October 31, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        “The green paint is a plus simply in the sense that it lets drivers know that something different is going on here and possibly they should look for other road users, but that’s about it.”

        No matter how you choose to use the intersection, this [paint and bollards] strikes me as a huge improvement.

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    • Adam October 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      I wondered the same thing, and have a similar condition where I live. Pushing the travel lanes to the outside and creating a center turn lane (maybe colored green with a white dashed center line?) would have created a much easier two-stage crossing with only needing one vehicle travel lane clear at a time. A measure of physical protection could be added with raised concrete ‘deflector’ islands (or wands at a minimum) on Holgate before/ after the 41st/ 42nd intersections where traffic would be shifted, which would still allow for turning movements from the side streets. But I’m sure PBoT staff thought of that and dismissed for some valid reason.

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  • TonyT
    TonyT October 31, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Crosswalks were NOT added. Marked crosswalks were added. I’m really surprised that you’re getting this very important detail wrong.

    Also, as was said further up the thread, the following is wrong: “requiring people to enter the intersection unprotected (legally and physically) to make the crossings.”

    Nothing legal has changed at this intersection. Not to mention the legal protections offered by these “crossbikes” is very much up to debate. Once someone on a bike rides across and is hit, we’ll see what happens.

    Because crosswalks already existed there, people were legally protected. But we know how much the legal protection of unmarked crosswalks means. Raise your hand if you’ve been screamed at for crossing at a LEGAL and unmarked crosswalk. And of course, despite what PBOT says, there are NEVER enforcements done at real unmarked crosswalks. They’ll trot out that one mega-signed but technically unmarked crosswalk enforcement they do now and again as evidence.

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    • J_R October 31, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      No. They didn’t add marked crosswalks; they added marked “crossbikes.”

      There were already, and there still are, unmarked crosswalks. But, check the definition of a crosswalk, which is “distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface of the roadway that conform in design to the standards established for crosswalks under ORS 810.200.” The “crossbike” is not for pedestrians; the termination of one end of each the “cross bikes” is in the bike lane, not the sidewalk, so it clearly isn’t “distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing.”

      Further, the definition of crosswalk describes it’s location as “The prolongation of the lateral lines of a sidewalk, shoulder or both, to the sidewalk or shoulder on the opposite side of the street, if the prolongation would meet such sidewalk or shoulder.” Since the “crossbike” does not align with the lateral lines of the sidewalk, it’s clearly not a crosswalk.

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      • TonyT
        TonyT November 1, 2017 at 7:26 am

        Good points!

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      • soren November 1, 2017 at 10:38 am

        Funny how you chose to omit the relevant section immediately preceding the one you quoted:

        “Crosswalk” means any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere that is distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface of the roadway that conform in design to the standards established for crosswalks under ORS 810.200 (Uniform standards for traffic control devices). Whenever marked crosswalks have been indicated, such crosswalks and no other shall be deemed lawful across such roadway at that intersection.

        https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/801.220

        So let’s summarize:

        1. PBOT installed a marked crosswalk that unambiguously conforms to legal standards.
        2. PBOT installed a pedestrian warning sign with an arrow pointing at a crosswalk.

        State standards for crosswalks can be found here:
        https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part3/part3b.htm#section3B18

        And you still want to argue that this is not a legal crosswalk?

        All of this ululation over crossbikes from the “I’m an experienced year round commuter” crowd is silly given that they will almost certainly be provisionally accepted by NACTO. We should be celebrating crossbikes! After all, anything that encourages drivers to yield to vulnerable people should be a goal of active transportation advocacy.

        https://nacto.org/event/full-day-bike-tour-of-portland-or/

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 1, 2017 at 11:19 am

          >>> After all, anything that encourages drivers to yield to vulnerable people should be a goal of active transportation advocacy. <<<

          I generally agree with this statement, but not if that encouragement lures people into exposing themselves to jeopardy.

          I am generally swayed by the idea that the crossbikes are legally meaningless (and hence a hazard), but could be convinced I am wrong if someone from PBOT made a clear statement of their legal status that could be tied back to some actual law. The fact that the argument that crossbikes are legally meaningless has remained unchallenged for so long makes me think it may be true.

          I would really like to hear from a lawyer on this.

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          • soren November 1, 2017 at 12:07 pm

            I am generally swayed by the idea that the crossbikes are legally meaningless (and hence a hazard)

            by this logic, you also believe that bike-specific signals, diverters, rapid flash beacons, greenway sharrows, bike boxes, and quite a bit of cycling-specific signage is also hazardous.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm

              Not at all.

              Rapid flash beacons draw attention to peds in the crosswalk, who have fully defined legal rights separate from the beacons. Bike signals are propersignals as far as I know, and have a clearly defined meaning (and, in any event, they are usually accompanied by an auto signal, usually red, which is in full force). Greenway sharrows make no pretention of having legal meaning; they show users where to most safely position themselves, in full accord with their legal rights. Bike boxes usually have stop lines and turn prohibitions that are in force regardless of the green paint.

              So no, these other items are not hazardous. Only crossbikes pretend to confer legal rights that do not actually exist (or if they do, are unknown to me and others in the target community).

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              • soren November 1, 2017 at 6:52 pm

                “draw attention to peds in the crosswalk”

                crossbikes also function to draw attention to people crossing.

                “they show users where to most safely position themselves, in full accord with their legal rights”

                citation please.

                “Bike boxes usually have stop lines and turn prohibitions that are in force regardless of the green paint.”

                if there are more than 2 people cycling lined up at a bike box they are breaking oregon law.

                “Only crossbikes pretend to confer legal rights that do not actually exist”

                please provide evidence for this claim.

                PS: i just learned that bike signals were granted interim approval by the fhwa. so i cede that point.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

                What citation do you want? That it’s safer to ride where the sharrows are, or that it’s legal to ride where the sharrows are?

                Crossbikes do draw attention to people crossing, but they do not offer any legal protection beyond someone riding across the street absent the crossbike. Specifically, they do not offer the same protections as a crosswalk, marked or unmarked.

                I don’t understand your comment about being lined up in a bike box. Perhaps you could offer a citation?

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              • soren November 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm

                yes, i would love to see a law that indicates sharrows make it legal to violate the AFRAP and slow vehicle sections in the ORS.

                “crossbikes” that have 6+ inch white stripes on either side of the green bar conform to ODOT MARKED crosswalk standards (ODOT uses MUTCD standards for crosswalks –https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part3/part3b.htm#section3B18).
                until someone has evidence to the contrary, i consider these facilities to be legal marked crosswalks and treat them as such.
                you also still owe me a citation from anyone that argues crossbikes/marked crosswalks “confer legal rights that do not actually exist”.

                a bike box with more than two people occupying a single lane is in technical violation of ORS 814.430:

                (e) When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty November 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm

                Where have you seen sharrows placed where using them would violate AFRAP? I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I haven’t seen it anywhere.

                >>> When operating a bicycle alongside not more than one other bicycle as long as the bicycles are both being operated within a single lane and in a manner that does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. <<<

                When I'm in a bike box, I'm not operating a vehicle, nor am I impeding the normal and reasonable flow of traffic. However, my argument sounds weak, and maybe you are right that some users of bike boxes do violate this law. It might be safest (from a legal standpoint) to line up within the box double-file. From a practical standpoint, any legal risk here sounds minimal.

                If crossbikes do in fact create a legal crosswalk, I'd like to hear it from a (real) lawyer, or at least PBOT official. I think it would clarify a lot of confusion in this community about the role of this new type of street marking. If they do not establish a new crosswalk, and you are struck while using one, you may be deemed as having not properly yielded the ROW to passing traffic, and could be held responsible for the collision. That is a very serious legal risk.

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  • JJJ October 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Ed, exactly like SE 41st & Stark, but with green paint and soft hit posts

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  • JeffS October 31, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Another horrible implementation designed to either a) get bikes out of the way of cars or b) trick more riders onto bikes with designs that feel safer, but increase risk.

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  • Maria October 31, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I re-routed my commute to avoid this intersection, which was tricky because of the way 41st Ave is offset, the slight uphill (if you’re headed north) and the hard to see traffic speeding eastbound.

    I’ve started taking this way again and it feels MUCH safer. Paint doesn’t create a real physical protection, but it goes a long way to guide drivers.

    Imagine how many cars could fit into an unlined parking lot, versus how many would fit if spots are striped.

    Thanks, PBOT!

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    • shirtsoff October 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      This too has been my experience. After riding through this intersection for over a year, I gave it up. Now that the markings are in place I’ve been using it again after having previously sworn off the route due to this very intersection.

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  • lop October 31, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    FYI there are recently installed flex posts on NE 1st between NE Oregon and NE Holladay. Also on NE Multnomah to better manage the mixing zones at NE 9th, maybe a couple other spots on the road too.

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    • kathryn November 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      The posts at 9th are part of a research study on mixing zones. I can’t wait to see the results!

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  • Troy November 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve ridden it and found it improved. But, I cross Holgate a little farther east, Holgate and 67th. That intersection, coming from the south side on 67th, is totally blind because of a slight bend in Holgate. I cross it daily on a cargo bike with two kids. I have to turn right onto Holgate, pedal 10-20 meters east until I am sure I can do a U-turn safely, then go back west and right turn onto 67th.

    The intersection is usually marked with orange cones because it is a school crossing, but the cones are very often knocked down and traffic is very fast. Every day it is the scariest part of my commute, which crosses Foster, Powell, and Division too.

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  • Sarah Ryan-Knox October 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

    I use this intersection all the time, heading south to Woodstock. To continue going south on 42nd/41st and to try to cross Holgate in a protected way, I switch to the north bound, east bike lane on 42nd, before getting to the Holgate intersection. Then to cross the street, I’m in the brightly colored, green cross walk on the east side of 42nd, but cars coming from either direction on Holgate, who want to turn either left or right, to head north on 42nd, are confused and mad that I’m standing in the green crosswalk, in their way. You’d think the bright green crosswalk and box would help, but it really doesn’t. I’ve had two close calls already, and I thought I was doing everything right. This intersection needs flashing stop lights, to make cars stop, so pedestrians can get across. This is an epic design fail.

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    • Johnny Bye Carter October 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

      It sounds like you’re breaking multiple laws. Riding the wrong direction in a bike lane, and being stopped in an intersection.

      “I switch to the north bound, east bike lane on 42nd, before getting to the Holgate intersection.”

      You’re riding south in the north-bound lane. This is illegal and dangerous.

      “I’m in the brightly colored, green cross walk on the east side of 42nd”

      You’re in a “cross-bike” going the wrong direction. You’re not in a crosswalk, which would give you the right-of-way. You’re stopped in an intersection, which is illegal. Or if you’re not stopped you’re still riding against traffic, which is still illegal and dangerous.

      You need to stay on your side of the road. If you don’t want to use the correct south-bound lanes (either this new green one or the previously existing ones) to cross this intersection then you need to get on the sidewalk and use the unmarked crosswalk (which extends straight across the road from the sidewalk).

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  • Sarah Ryan-Knox October 29, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I should clarify–the problem occurs when cyclists are on SE 42nd avenue, heading south. They reach Holgate, but they don’t want to continue going south on SE 42nd/41st. Instead, they want to cross Holgate and go further east. Cyclists heading south and east on Holgate most likely avoid using the green crosswalk, because that involves heading west by a block or two (backtracking). I think lights at this intersection would simply solve the problem for everyone.

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    • Johnny Bye Carter October 30, 2018 at 11:34 am

      If you’re heading south on 42nd and want to continue east on Holgate you can:

      1) Get into the regular traffic lane on 42nd and make a left turn onto Holgate just like motor vehicles.

      2) Get on the sidewalk on 42nd and use the unmarked crosswalk to cross Holgate.

      3) Turn right onto Holgate and use this new bike lane to turn left across Holgate and then turn left again after crossing Holgate to continue east on Holgate. This is the worst option.

      I personally don’t like riding up this section of Holgate because I’m slow and there’s no spare room which means cars are passing you illegally and dangerously close. I much prefer to just make a left at Gladstone and take the Center St bikeway. Or if going further south then just cross Holgate at 42nd and then turn left at Long (not Pardee because cars are still racing from Holgate).

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