Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

PBOT unveils new design for greenway update at SE Lincoln/Harrison and 30th

Posted by on March 13th, 2018 at 11:48 am

PBOT’s new design for SE Lincoln/Harrison at 30th.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced changes to a key intersection on the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway yesterday. They also announced a delay for the infamous traffic diverter planned at 50th and Lincoln.

The project to update and improve this route began late last summer. It was triggered by concerns that the amount of people driving on what is supposed to be a “low-stress, family-friendly, bike route” was too high. The high speeds of auto users also drew the attention of PBOT staff.

Looking eastbound on Harrison today.

The intersection of 30th (where Lincoln becomes Harrison going west) is offset. As such, it has a wide profile that encourages speeding and unsafe driving behaviors. From the get-go, advocates urged PBOT to “square up” the corners to force people to make slower turns. There was also support to prevent people from turning onto Lincoln/Harrison from 30th in order to reduce the overall number of drivers on the greenway.

PBOT’s initial design was to simply make this a “sharrow crossing”:

Then the design evolved into semi-diverter on the east side with enhanced crosswalk striping:

Advertisement

And here’s what PBOT unveiled yesterday:

They new design prevents people from turning eastbound onto Lincoln from 30th or going straight from Harrison. Medians and plastic delineator wants on the southwest corner will slow down auto users while providing pass-through spaces for bicycle riders and walkers.

PBOT says this new design was created in response to community feedback and that it will, “further tighten the intersection and provide shorter crossings for pedestrians.”

At 50th and Lincoln, installation of diverters will be delayed due to the traffic management and paving plans of the contractor hired for a repaving project on 50th between Division and Hawthorne. PBOT wants to make sure any data they collect about traffic impacts due to the new diverter isn’t tainted by closures related to the repaving project. The diverters were initially slated to be installed on an interim basis this spring. Now PBOT says the construction will happen late summer with the permanent diverter to be built in spring of 2019.

In a statement about the delay, PBOT said they weren’t able to anticipate this conflict because they thought the paving project would work in sections and not have to close any lanes. Since a lane will be periodically closed, they felt it best to wait until after the paving project is completed. Learn more about the project on PBOT’s website.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

58
Leave a Reply

avatar
21 Comment threads
37 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
26 Comment authors
Eric LeifsdadSTEVERichardsorenAdam Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Buzz
Guest
Buzz

That will never work, people are going to just drive right through that. And where is the eastbound traffic supposed to go if they don’t just drive right through? North on 30th to the next block and back around to SE Lincoln on SE 31st behind the diverter? Dealing with a plethora of traffic turning left onto SE Lincoln at SE 31st will be even less safe for cyclists, will piss off residents on the diversion route, and you know motorists are going to do it…

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

I don’t even know where to begin on this one. I hate being pessimistic here, and heck I’m a big supporter of traffic calming and diversion efforts in general, but this is a mess. My main complaint is that the plan chops away all the abundant space that actually lets this intersection work fluidly in the first place.

This is a spot I’d advise doing nothing. Second to ‘nothing’ my pick would be to convert to a traffic circle, removing all signs and putting some pretty plants in the middle.

I’ll admit, I don’t live on Lincoln any more, but spent like four years in a house at 48th and Lincoln commuting through this intersection twice a day.

Tom
Guest
Tom

This is in my experience the most sketchy intersection in this project due to excessive space. Drivers see all that space and emmediatly increase driving speed and agressiveness. The design could be greatly simplified by eliminating as much extra space as possible. I don’t see a need for diversion. Center islands and bioswales work great.

SafeStreetsPlease
Guest
SafeStreetsPlease

Well that design is… interesting. Why does PBOT over-complicate everything? This design still gives drivers the opportunity to drive straight, and you damn well know they will. PBOT couldn’t put down some of those barrels, curb spacings, or something more physical and less hideous? This looks like abstract art.

Dolan Halbrook
Guest
Dolan Halbrook

I ride this intersection every day and it just doesn’t seem that problematic.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

To me, this looks like a good proposal. I’m actually shocked that I can’t really find anything of substance to complain about except for the fact that I can’t find anything to complain about (there, now I’m happy). I hope that all that reclaimed asphalt will eventually be planted.

Trout
Guest
Trout

I pass through this intersection frequently and I see this as an improvement. I like that the stop line for northbound drivers on 30th will be extended farther into the intersection. That should give drivers a better opportunity to notice cross traffic before rolling through the intersection. I imagine that some eastbound drivers will go straight illegally but it ought to lessen cut through traffic.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

As the leader of the Idaho Style movement, I am not a fan of putting an except bicycles sign on a stop sign pole unless you mean it.

ED
Guest
ED

Maybe this is petty but why is there light blue paint proposed (or is there a key somewhere that I missed)? Is it supposed to work the same as green paint? Or is just to look pretty? Is there a color scheme for this greenway that I don’t know about?

SD
Guest
SD

It looks like it is big enough for a car/truck to drive through.

Craig Giffen
Guest
Craig Giffen

Good lord. This intersection hasn’t been a problem for me despite biking through it for the last 22 years. But of course…this is Portland where everything west of 50th gets the cycling infrastructure dollars and everything east just gets a stump speech from the mayor.

BB
Guest
BB

This looks like a lot of the new busy “experimental” style (aka not thought out) infra Seattle is putting up that drivers claim to be confused by so they ignore. Let me tell you all about how effective those “no going straight except bikes” signs are..

2012
Guest
2012

To the first-come first-posted commenters here saying, “I cycle through this intersection, and I think it’s just fine as is; this is unnecessary”:

You should maybe stop expressing your opinions as a “strong and fearless” rider for a little while. Let the less confident voices have a chance. Future greenway improvement projects (and mode share goals) are really screwed if PBOT takes you and your poo-pooing seriously. Maybe a good rule of thumb for you is to never label a diverter on a cycling route shared with motor vehicles as “unnecessary.” You can suggest moving it to a more impactful spot, you can suggest changes to its design, but for all of us fighting tooth and nail to get diversion–any diversion at all–on our greenway network, your negativity feels like a stab in the back. Sometimes being an ally means shutting up.

(On that note, Jonathan, BP *really* needs a way to sort comments by something other than “time posted”)

Toadslick
Subscriber

I’m really looking forward to this addition! I hope the paint and bollards are a temporary measure, to be replaced with solid concrete at the earliest opportunity. I suspect that lots of drivers will continue straight through Harrison across 30th unless an actual solid object blocks their path.

By only complaint is about the 90-degree-turning crosswalk. People don’t walk like robots. They’ll walk diagonally across the intersection, and the crosswalk should allow for that.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“They new design prevents people from turning eastbound onto Lincoln from 30th or going straight from Harrison.”

prevents? no, you meant “deters”… paint doesn’t prevent anything…

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

One gigantic flower pot in that triangle will ensure drivers will follow the intended design. Thanks PBOT!

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

All I can think is that PBOT is going to a TON of effort here when they could be making sure the safety infrastructure that currently exists on 26th and Powell doesn’t get taken away.

I feel like I should come through this intersection on foot, because like some others I have actually never felt at all scared or threatened or uncomfortable on my bike in this area (some times with kids and sometimes on the speedy carbon bike, LOL). But it probably is pretty hairy for a pedestrian with all that ground to cover and if there are documented car speed issues, then I’ll believe that too. That said, I still feel like there are so many other places that can use infrastructure more and I’d HATE to see something like the horrid 20s greenway crossing at Stark happen here.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

As a road user you should know the meaning of signs. So you should know the exception relates only to the first rule immediately above the message.

Zoomzit
Guest
Zoomzit

The “Why make this fix? I feel fine going through this intersection” comments are a problematic line of reasoning for three reasons:
1. Subjective and antidotal experience is not a good basis for traffic engineering decisions. Fortunately, PDOT actually has traffic studies in hand that shows that there is way more traffic and way faster traffic on Harrision/Lincoln than what PDOT requires for a neighborhood greenway. That needs to be fixed.
2. The “this intersection is fine, go fix intersection A,B and C,” line of argument is undercutting neighborhood greenways everywhere. Per the PDOT study of traffic at this intersection, this intersection isn’t fine. Your favorite intersection may also not be fine, but if you are arguing to not fix this intersection, you are telling the city to lower its standards everywhere regarding neighborhood greenways.
3. If you are a confident veteran vehicular cyclist, neighborhood greenways may not be for you. But recognize that the share of trips by bike in this city are optimistically stagnant or more realistically they are in decline. We are not attracting new cyclists in this city as we ought. I would argue that our lack of substantive infrastructure improvements for bikes over the past five years has a ton to do with it.

I’m kind of amazed by the overall tone of the comments on this thread. I’m not certain when the active transport community of Portland started encouraging circular firing squads, but our organization and unity as advocates has taken a serious hit over the 11 years that I have been riding in this city. Last I saw, there have been six pedestrian/cyclist deaths in this city since the beginning of the year. Some of that blame falls on us and our inability or organize and agitate for better active transport everywhere.

Richard
Guest
Richard

I frequently ride and walk on this street, and I agree with those expressing how much worse it is to cross on foot, particularly at 30th/Harrison. Drivers rarely stop at any of the marked or unmarked crosswalks as though it’s a main traffic arterial where voluntary stopping, shy of red lights or stop signs, is just a silly expectation — and there are kids trying to cross walking home from school. I watch them wait at intersections to no avail while passing cars mow by with shrugged shoulders. Lessening traffic here is good for this reason alone.

Also, I agree that drivers will easily continue past 30th without a proper barrier. I saw it happen all the time on Clinton/31st before it was improved.

STEVE
Guest
STEVE

There is a similar wide intersection at Woodward and 59th. I’m surprised the city is reducing some of these intersections. In the past, they have cited the need to keep such intersections wide in order to provide turn-around room for large utility trucks or machinery and/or as a staging area for misc projects.