Reader M.N. sent us this photo. It shows the front window of a house on North Willamette Blvd near Wabash where the resident has a message for bike lane users:
“Citizens. Cut us some slack while we access our driveways! Bike lanes are for everyone. It’s the law.”
The sign also includes the text from Oregon Revised Statute 811.440: “When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane”.
This is clearly a response to the relatively new bike lanes installed on the street outside this house (which is just south of the Wabash intersection). It’s been just less than a year since the Portland Bureau of Transportation re-striped Willamette to include a curbside protected lane for low-impact travelers. This new configuration has caused residents to have to adjust their behavior. They can no longer park on the street outside their house. And now there’s less wiggle room for them to access their driveways because the lack of on-street parking means the entire street is used as a travel lane. They no longer have the breathing room afforded by the space where cars used to be parked.
Without talking to them (I plan to knock on their door next time I go by there), it’s hard to know what exactly spurred their sign. But my guess would be that bicycle riders have vocally informed them they should not block the lane.
As PBOT makes significant changes to our roads, it’s interesting to see how people react. I’ve noticed several people along this corridor that have begun parking on their front lawns or in parking median strips between the sidewalk and the street (despite having a driveway).
And let’s not forget how people in nearby neighborhoods have responded to slower speed limits. Just a few blocks away from this sign on Willamette is where someone defaced and destroyed dozens of “20 is Plenty” signs. And then there was the person who tried to start a campaign against the “impossibly low speed limit” on NE Ainsworth Street.
The man who sent us this photo says while some people might not like losing the ability to park in front of their house, he appreciates the new lane. “As someone who rides with a child in a bike trailer, I like what has been done around here. Now we just need police to enforce the speed limits on Willamette.”
I wonder if the cops will cut them some slack.
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