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30 ‘shared bicycle and pedestrian’ bus stations are coming to SE Division

Posted by on March 8th, 2019 at 11:07 am

TriMet’s latest design for 30 new bus stations coming to SE Division Street.
(Click for larger version)

TriMet is almost at the end of the design phase for the Division Transit Project, and once again they seek our input via an online open house launched this morning.

View from the bike lane entering the station.

This project is a $175 million investment that aims to significantly improve transit service. But this is a much more than just a transit project.

Statistically speaking, Southeast Division is one of the most dangerous and deadly streets in Portland. Five intersections on Division are ranked in the top 20 overall according to the transportation bureau’s high crash network analysis. Four of those five intersections will see major changes as part of TriMet’s project and/or PBOT’s related Outer Division Safety Project.

I’ll share the latest on PBOT’s work in a separate post. For now, let’s look at TriMet’s Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian station design (as shown above).

TriMet plans to build 72 new bus stations on Division in the 12 miles between SE 10th Avenue and the Cleveland Park & Ride in Gresham. 30 of those merit our close attention because they’re a new design that will put cycling traffic between a stopped bus and its passengers. TriMet has been working on this design since 2017 and now is one of our last chances to weigh in before construction starts later this year.

Back in October TriMet did a live demo of this design.

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Here are a few samples of how these new stations will be oriented in relation to the street (note the presence of protected cycling lanes (light green) and center medians):

And here’s the design concept again so you don’t have to scroll:

Compare that with the October 2017 design concept to get an idea of how TriMet’s thinking has evolved:

The Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian station design shows the bike lane narrowing to three feet as it enters the station area. There would be a four-foot wide concrete median on riders’ left side where bus passengers would load and unload. TriMet plans to install a “Bicycle Stop Sign” at the entry point. TriMet says their expectation is that bicycle riders should stop only when a bus is present.

Note that these new Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian stations will only be present east of 84th. The current plans show them at: SE 85th (westbound), SE 87th (eastbound), I-205/Division Max Station (both sides), 101st (both sides), 111th (westbound), 113th (eastbound), 116th (both sides), 122nd (both sides), 130th (both sides), 135th (westbound), 136th (eastbound), 142nd (both sides), 148th (both sides), 157th (both sides), 162nd (both sides), 168th (both sides), 174th (both sides), 182nd (both sides).

These new stations, the 60-foot long articulated buses that will service them, the faster transit operations in general, along with a significant amount of protected bike lanes, new crossings, and center medians (all planned by PBOT in a separate project), could have a major impact on Division.

Service of the new line is expected to open in 2022. Please check out TriMet’s online open house to help them improve this project.

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

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David Hampsten
Guest

Jonathan, did TriMet discuss crossing improvements for people catching the bus? Will the medians shown allow riders to cross at places other than crosswalks?

maccoinnich
Subscriber

This is a bad design that sets up conflicts between transit riders and people on bikes. The only reason it exists is because of the insistence on maintaining 6 vehicular lanes at the intersections.

igor
Guest
igor

Yikes! Routing cyclists between the bus shelter and the bus is really a better solution then sending them behind? Seems like a recipe for problems. Will there be a stop sign preventing bus passengers from stepping into the bike lane when there’s no bus there?

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

These platforms look compatible with existing buses. Please please please build just one of these as a pilot now so we can see whether having a bike lane right through the middle of a transit platform works in practice. If it does, we’ll ready to go. If it doesn’t, it will be much easier to adjust.

dan
Guest
dan

Of course, this is a bad idea for all the same reasons that it would be a bad idea to have a lane of motorized traffic between the bus stop and the bus. Disappointing (but not surprising) that this seems to be hard to understand.

encephalopath
Guest
encephalopath

Is this some kind of joke? TriMet is hiring comedians to design their infrastructure now?

It’s almost as if they don’t take bicycling as transportation seriously at all.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

Looks like another example of granting engineering degrees to Twitter users for logging hours in multimedia.

encephalopath
Guest
encephalopath

When I look at those design images I hear John McEnroe in my head…

“You cannot be serious!?!”

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

Ridiculous. Doesn’t TriMet visualize their ridership’s behavior? With this design, not only will the bike lane be blocked during loading, bu the rest of the time people will stand in it while waiting to get a better view down the street for their arriving bus. The original floating platform solves both issues and is obviously designed for throughput with less friction between users. Someone cheaped out and usability was the first casualty.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Isn’t this design widely used in other countries? From what I have seen in person and online it seems to work fine. I don’t quite understand the the common attitude that things that work in other countries ( like bus stations and health care) won’t work here. Are Americans less cooperative, or more self centered , or more distracted than people in other lands?. Perhaps instead of trying to come up with “American Style Solutions” for everything we should think more about our social stucture, education etc. Or are we at some kind of cultural dead end? Please help me here.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

So basically, they’re setting it up to eventually ban bicycles from Division the first time thete’s a collision between a bicycle and a pregnant mom with a stroller. And of course, then there are the salmon-riders to think of. Both these scenarios will likely happen at the same time.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Don’t worry, TriMet can retrofit the bike lanes through the station areas with swing gates like those they installed along the Orange Line.

SD
Guest
SD

Is this how they get their kicks? The ped vs bike version of cockfighting?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Just amazing how many planning experts there are not working in the field.

Gary B
Guest
Gary B

I think it will work fine. There will be a few weeks of adjustment, ringing bells at peds standing in the bike lane while waiting, then everyone will get used to it and it will work. We can deal with waiting for the 20 seconds that a bus is loading, it’s going to be ok.

Tom
Guest
Tom

The stop sign blocks the view between those exiting the bus and the cyclist. Normal stop signes are elevated so the sign does not obstruct view.

Columbo
Guest
Columbo

Looks like I’ll be taking an auto lane, then.

osmill
Guest
osmill

Note that Trimet’s open house is not asking for our feedback on the station design – the only input requested is on the design of the glass in the shelters. Apparently Trimet sees the station design as a done deal.

Michael Ingrassia
Guest
Michael Ingrassia

So THIS is how you get collisions with pedestrians

David LaPorte
Guest
David LaPorte

The only time I have ever been in a bike/ped collision was when I was biking between a bus and the curb in Guatemala. A young woman stepped out of the back door just as the bus started moving. My bike almost knocked her over, and I felt terrible. Although road space in Guatemala is much less segregated (organized) than it is here, a similar situation will be inevitable with this design. All it will take is a little bit of impatience or confusion on the part of a person walking or biking.

X
Guest
X

Could we get TriMet to come on the show and explain the logic?

J_R
Guest
J_R

This design appears not too dissimilar to the Streetcar stops on Lovejoy and NE 13th. It will be lots worse because of higher transit ridership volumes and greater frequency of transit service.

J_R
Guest
J_R

A sidewalk located behind the boarding area is similar to that used for the Streetcar. Check Lovejoy at NE 13th.

setha
Guest
setha

osmill
Note that Trimet’s open house is not asking for our feedback on the station design – the only input requested is on the design of the glass in the shelters. Apparently Trimet sees the station design as a done deal.Recommended 4

So let’s give them feedback on what to etch on the glass at the stations. Only instead of suggesting some drawing about the neighborhood, as they want us to, let’s suggest something about how bad the station design is for bicyclists and pedestrians. And make no mistake, if they can get away with this poor design here, they will try to replicate it elsewhere. So even if you don’t ride on Division, you should still care.

With that in mind, here’s what I put down on their open house page. Feel free to copy, or copy and edit, for your submission:

Q: What do you love about SE Division Street and its surrounding neighborhoods?
A: “No opinion.

Reason I’m comment is if Tri-Met is able to install this poorly designed station here, then they’ll also try to put it in other areas of the region where I bicycle more often.”

Q: Which specific location would you like to talk about?*
A: (I clicked SE 82nd and Division since I’m not sure where the proposed bad design is intended)

Q: What would you like visitors to know about the communities and neighborhoods for your location?
A: “I would like visitors to know that people who live in Portland are not as stupid as this station design would suggest.

Why would visitors think that? Because this station design is inconvenient and stupid for bicyclists and transit users, because the station designer put the bike lane between the bus shelter and the bus. Transit users stepping off the bus will be unable to see if a bicyclist is coming down the bike lane. Bicyclists won’t be able to figure out if someone is stepping off the bus that stopped at the station. Transit users waiting for the bus will stand in the bike lane looking down the street trying to figure out if the bus is coming. So bicyclists will have to slow or stop for each of these stations, especially if a bus is present, to avoid running into transit users. Transit users will be at greater risk of being hit by bicyclists than if the bike lane were put behind the shelter. This station design represents lawsuits waiting to happen.

I would like visitors to know that Tri-met chose this station design because they are cheap and don’t want to pay for additional right of way to put the bike lane behind the bus shelter as shown on the original 2017 designs, and/or don’t care about bicycle transportation, and/or they just are incompetent when it comes to designing facilities.

The etching in the glass should have a message which explains this.

Also, since the station design represents lawsuits waiting to happen to save people the trouble of googling for the number, the etching on the glass should include Tri-Met’s legal contact.”

Q: Is there something unique (past or present) about this location that should be celebrated?
A: “No opinion”

Q: Is it okay to contact you if we have more questions?*
A: (I clicked yes and included my contact information)

Scott Kocher
Guest

Bikes (30 lbs) and buses (40,000 lbs?) don’t mix.

SD
Guest
SD

This design follows the first rule of bad transportation engineering:

“Design the infrastructure so that users will blame each other for injuries rather than the infrastructure.”

This project is particularly good because people are already blaming future bike riders for collisions that they know are inevitable with this design.

Clark in Vancouver
Guest
Clark in Vancouver

The 2017 design was better. The main reason being the location of the bus shelter and the width of the bus rider waiting area.
The first bus stop bypass in Vancouver, BC was this one similar to the latest design for Division :
https://flic.kr/p/8PE7AZ
It works okay as people became used to it and there’s only one bus route that stops there however the main gripe people have about it is the location of the bus shelter. You cross the bike lane to get to the bus and behind the bus shelter it’s cramped between it and a wall.
The sightlines are very good. People can see someone coming for a long way so it works. The island is wide.
The zebra crossing markings are ignored. People just cross wherever and it’s fine.
For Division it would probably be okay but people should still pressure them for a better design. (There’s a chance that there isn’t room though.)

The waiting island could be longer so when there’s a long line of people waiting to board they have somewhere to do it.
The stop sign should be a yield to pedestrians sign. If TriMet’s expectation is that when people are cycling they only stop when there’s a bus present then the sign should say that. Not a stop sign and then, wink, wink, it’s okay the rest of the time. We all know some busy-body is going to wait there and count how many people are not stopping at other times and use it against cyclists. We’ve had this happen in Vancouver and the only solution is to state what you mean. Have a yield sign so that doing what makes sense is also the lawful thing.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Why not build a single stop of the old and new designs, then take public input before building the rest?

Jason
Guest
Jason

TriMet is a toxic organization. They are putting both cyclists and their customers in harms way with this insane design. TriMet, as an organization, will not be happy until the roads are only populated by their buses and trains.

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

I can’t believe I’m proposing this, but IF this is the chosen design then we need automated gates. Automated gates that keep people in the bus waiting area when there is no bus that then swing open and block the bike path (like a train gate) when the bus is there. Yes it will add seconds (a minute?) onto the stop time for cyclists when a bus arrives/departs but it may actually keep people out of the bike lane and it actually will be a stop for cyclists when walkers are there.

I just think of how many times I’ve had people walking step out right in front of me as I’m riding in a car-parking protected bike lane in both Portland and Seattle (and also along Moody at the bus stop). Because it is protected from car traffic so it feels ok.