New diverters aim to rescue Arbor Lodge residents from cut-through drivers

Posted by on May 6th, 2019 at 1:01 pm

*New diverters on North Jessup and Willamette (right). Click to enlarge. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There was a mix of chaos and contentment in the neighborhoods around the bluffs of North Willamette Blvd this morning. Residents seemed thrilled that the City of Portland had finally done something significant to end the scourge of cut-through drivers; while many drivers were befuddled and beside themselves at their newfound inability to use small neighborhood streets as shortcuts on their way to work.

(Graphic: PBOT)

Over the weekend the City of Portland began installing diverters at two intersections as part of their North Willamette Neighborhood Greenway project. In an attempt to create low-stress conditions for walkers and rollers and encourage drivers to stay off residential streets, PBOT has prohibited some turning movements from drivers at N Villard and Willamette and N Jessup and Atlantic. Both diverters are meant to keep drivers on Rosa Parks Way and Greeley.

When I rolled up on the new Villard diverter this morning crews were still putting on the finishing touches.

For the steady stream of drivers coming southbound from Rosa Parks, the inability to turn left (eastbound) at Willamette threw some for a loop. People tried to turn around on the narrow street as soon as they realized they couldn’t go left (because driving around the block would have been too hard?). Others sped away angrily. One man rolled down his window and shouted at me: “This is just going to make people mad! We’re just trying to get to work!”

Chaos!

It’s very tight when both lanes are being used by drivers.

The morning march of cut-through drivers on Villard about to discover the diverter.

Outside the cars however, it was a nice morning and neighbors were out talking to one another and walking their dogs. I met Hazel (a dog) and her owner Dave. We stood in the street (you can do that when drivers aren’t allowed to have their way) and he was clearly happy about the change.

“It’s just so irritating how people use this street to fly through. We call it the ‘flyway’ because drivers have no regard for people with kids or pets,” Dave shared. “Yes, it will affect us too, but we’re willing to make the quote-unquote ‘sacrifice,'” he added.

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PBOT rendering of N Willamette at Villard.

PBOT rendering of N Atlantic and Jessup.

I also overheard two women on the sidewalk: “I just hope they [the drivers] all find a different way to get to work,” one said. “They will, eventually,” replied the other.

As you can see in the final design rendering, the new diverter on Willamette prohibits left turns from Villard. It also forces drivers going east on Willamette from continuing south toward Jessup or Killingsworth. Bicycling access is maintained in all directions and there will be a bike-only lane striped for southbound Willamette.

One design issue PBOT might need to address is that people turning left from Willamette (northbound) onto Villard don’t have much room when someone is also turning right onto Willamette (westbound). It’s very tight. Perhaps forthcoming lane striping will help. Or perhaps it’s fine because

PBOT took this step after a traffic analysis showed unacceptable volumes and speeds of drivers. Two blocks north of the new diverter at Willamette and Villard, 69% of drivers were going over the posted 20 mph speed limit. You might recall Villard was the street where someone ripped down and defaced “20 is Plenty” signs one year ago.

Another diverter has been installed just a few blocks away at N Atlantic and Jessup. Drivers try to avoid congestion on Greeley Avenue by taking Atlantic to Killingsworth. A couple who lives near that corner today was eager to share their approval of the diverter. “This would usually be all backed up by now,” said a man walking his dog as he pointed to Atlantic.

Instead of people in cars idling bumper-to-bumper on small, residential streets, people were out on foot enjoying the sunny morning.

Signs, education, and threats of enforcement can only do so much. Concrete and physical barriers are what it takes to force behavior changes and reduce the harmful impacts of driving.

Let’s do more of this! And when our larger, collector streets become too crowded maybe we’ll finally get the political and public will necessary to dedicate more space to cycling and transit.

UPDATE, 5/7: PBOT has completed the installation. Here’s what it looks like as of today:

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

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95 Comments
  • Avatar
    MTW May 6, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    The third picture of the diverter at Atlantic and Jessup is just perfection. A beautiful day. A school kid riding her bike to school. A woman walking her dogs. Some senior citizens walking down the street. Fantastic

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    pdx2wheeler May 6, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    OMG Yes! Can’t believe these went in. Desperately needed. This little Arbor Lodge nook was plagued by cut-through jerks with no regard for the residents.

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      David Hampsten May 6, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Does anyone have a cost estimate for each of these? I’d like to bug our local city DOT here in NC to do much the same.

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        drs May 6, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        The cost of materials is negligible, but they are only installed after lengthy public engagement processes and traffic engineering studies, which are quite expensive.

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        Todd Boulanger May 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm

        Another easier option to implement are steel stock tanks, as they come in a variety of sizes and functions (large round tanks = traffic circle planters // oval tanks = diverters or bulb out islands)
        An example for discussion only, as you should have other resellers near you: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/search/countryline%20stock%20tank

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        Todd Boulanger May 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm

        Was there no traffic control / advance warning signs for this closure as crews were installing it? (Seems to be a big oversight, if true, and an all too easy way to make more drivers fight such important safety projects.)

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          John Castle May 7, 2019 at 4:17 pm

          There was both — they put up warning signs a few days prior about a traffic control change coming May 6th.

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    kate May 6, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    i gave a good “hell yeah” this morning on my commute. stoked!

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  • Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
    Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) May 6, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    jealous

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    Cameron May 6, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    I saw the prep work for this on Saturday, and as a regular bike commuter through this area, I’m ecstatic that it’s already substantially completed. Having to share Willamette with people in cars trying to get down to Greeley as fast as possible was never pleasant. Strangely, I actually think this change will actually improve traffic flow on Greeley near Adidas, as much of the slowdown has always seemed to me to be caused by people trying to nose their way into the main traffic flow on Greeley from Willamette.

    However, what’s the bet that some unrepentant jerks “just trying to get to work” drive through the Villard/Willamette diverter on the wrong side of the road?

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      drs May 6, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      After living 2 blocks away from one of the diverters on Clinton St for 2 years, I can tell you that there will be a substantial population of scofflaws. People will regularly drive the wrong way through the diverters. But I bet there will be fewer cut throughs.

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    glennfee May 6, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I can’t tell you how happy this made me this morning.

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    Steve B. May 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Glorious! Nice work PBOT!

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    rachel b May 6, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    So great. Love the photos. Take that, Waze. 😉

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    Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Diverters are good stories for those who receive them on their streets and nightmares for others. I wonder where the equity lies when these decisions are made. Because one thing is true, the traffic isn’t going away and the alternatives aren’t viable for “everyone.” I’d be pissed to inherit another streets traffic because PPB won’t step up on their end. And yes, in other places of the world they do have strict enforcement and behaviors are also “changed.” I’ve heard people in those places say “be mindful of your speeds in such and such town or at this spot.” We would think that in a town where the money loves to be spent and grabbed at such a high rate from our elected officials, tickets are a higher priority since they could probably bring in a decent revenue stream.

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      turnips May 6, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      gotta start somewhere, Doug. one would hope that if other residential streets exceed PBOT’s acceptable volumes as a result of this project, they’ll get diverters, too. of course, that wouldn’t fit with the always-accommodate-drivers approach you seem to be advocating (please correct me if I’m wrong about that).

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        Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 3:03 pm

        turnips
        gotta start somewhere, Doug. one would hope that if other residential streets exceed PBOT’s acceptable volumes as a result of this project, they’ll get diverters, too. of course, that wouldn’t fit with the always-accommodate-drivers approach you seem to be advocating (please correct me if I’m wrong about that).Recommended 3

        This could a fun game where every NOPO neighborhood gets a diverter. I’ll sit back and watch and chuckle. But saying something about always accommodating driver approach is simply ignorant considering where we do live. But, pushing people off of one street and onto another seems like so many other bad diverter dreams. It’s called pipedream planning or being in denial of the real issue. Your assumption didn’t include the other statement that included, the other streets that will become the new cut thru’ssss. I particularly feel bad for them. Did I mention that I bike more than I drive? 14 miles daily to be exact 🙂

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        Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 3:04 pm

        Alex
        I live in the area and quit using Greeley because it was unusable. I hope this diverts traffic to I5, where the traffic a) belongs and b) is actually faster.Probably could have avoided it if people driving on Greeley didn’t let every single car making a right at a stop sign in when they wanted to get in. Either way, I am glad to see this happen.I hope they can put some in near the school behind Adidas and cut that traffic that comes off of Denver, too!Recommended 1

        Yes, every block in NOPO needs a diverter. Glad I don’t have to deal with those issues. 🙂

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        Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        idlebytes
        “nightmares for others” I disagree with this. I don’t live on Lincoln but I sure am enjoying the new diverters on it. Since they went in I have had only 1 person pass me going up the hill on Lincoln. They’re only “nightmares” for people looking to save a few minutes on their commute by speeding down residential streets.Also saying alternatives aren’t viable for everyone is an easy way to mask the fact that alternatives are viable for a lot of people who choose to drive. And the people who need to drive would benefit more from those people using alternatives then not having these diverters on residential streets.Finally our tax burden isn’t really all that high compared to other cities and PBOT would need a significant increase in it’s budget to re-surface all our roads so maybe we should be paying more.Recommended 5

        Used to bike it daily, rarely had a car pass me before the diverter on SE 50th while going up any of the the hills. And yes, I was and still am against. Many of the neighbors were too. Hence why PBOT open houses are a scam. But also, let’s not forget why cut through traffic exists…. road diets. I now cycle daily on Clinton, which has had less PBOT intervention and it feels no different then before they added the diverter on it.

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          idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 3:25 pm

          “rarely had a car pass me” Then you must have not been biking during rush hour. I’d go through there at 5pm and people passed me in that spot almost everyday. But then again I would take the lane between the light and the traffic circle so they couldn’t squeeze past me with oncoming traffic like they would for other riders. Or maybe you were biking it 10 years ago when traffic was a lot lighter. The point is of course that impatient people who probably could be getting around without their car were acting dangerously so they could get to a stop sign a few seconds faster and wait in line. It’s that kind of behavior that resulted in the diverter not a road diet. The same goes for those road diets and reduced speeds. People act recklessly and don’t follow the law so they engineer the road to make them drive safer.

          The difference of course in your memory of what a particular road feels like and actual traffic counts is one is actually a useful piece of data that can be used to make road design decisions.

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          Rain Panther May 7, 2019 at 8:27 am

          “why PBOT open houses are a scam.”

          So, Doug, what exactly makes it a scam? Should the noisiest neighbors get their way as a reward for being noisy? (I notice you don’t make mention of the many neighbors who have no problem with the diverters.) Or is it just a way to denigrate a decision that you personally disagree with?

          I ride on Lincoln frequently on my way home, just a few blocks north, and I love the diverters. Personally, I was more or less OK before they went in, but I have a higher tolerance than many people for mingling with cars. When I consider new biking infrastructure, I try not to focus too much on what’s best for me. Instead I try to picture what it will mean for less calloused riders – kids, families, etc.

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            Maddy May 7, 2019 at 2:59 pm

            I agree with Doug. The PBOT open houses are a scam because the feedback from the open houses never influences policy. The noisiest neighbors shouldn’t get their way, but if PBOT organizes an open house to take neighborhood input, and then completely disregards all input, they just wasted everyone’s time and money.

            Surveys seem like a more democratic way to poll majority sentiment.

            That said, I love all the diverters so much. I’ll vote to divert my street. Side streets should only be used by neighborhood cars to drive to an arterial.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm

              If they ignore input from public meetings, they’ll ignore the survey.

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              paikiala May 8, 2019 at 10:01 am

              Seems like a lot of confusion out there about the purpose of individual neighborhood greenway open houses. They have never been about policy change. They are information events. The target outcomes of a greenway project are pre-defined by existing city policy already adopted (2015). The project open house is for feedback on how to achieve those goals (several choices are often provided, if you recall) and is hardly the first time feedback is sought, nor the last time adjustments are made. The design of the Tillamook crossing at 21st changed as a result of feedback from the open house. The original concept for 50th and Lincoln changed as a result of feedback from the direct discussion with the neighborhood associations at their meetings before the project open house.
              Public rights of way are not private streets.

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      Alex May 6, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      I live in the area and quit using Greeley because it was unusable. I hope this diverts traffic to I5, where the traffic a) belongs and b) is actually faster.

      Probably could have avoided it if people driving on Greeley didn’t let every single car making a right at a stop sign in when they wanted to get in. Either way, I am glad to see this happen.

      I hope they can put some in near the school behind Adidas and cut that traffic that comes off of Denver, too!

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 6, 2019 at 3:24 pm

        If I-5 were actually faster, why would people choose the slower alternative?

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          Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm

          Sounds like a valid reason to build a bigger better bridge – it’s for the children…in the neighborhoods.

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          Gary B May 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm

          Because a) they think it’s going to be faster to go through the neighborhood and are wrong, or b) they just prefer moving, even if slow, over stop-and-go on the freeway. No, I don’t have data, please don’t ask for sources. Speculation based on my experiences alone.

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            Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm

            Gary,

            you actually touch on an interesting psychological aspect. It’s been my hunch/anecdotal observation that intermittent starts and stops are far more aggravating to people than constant movement…even if the constant movement results in a longer travel period. People just hate interruptions and it triggers impatience/rage.

            I don’t think it is particular to just cars, I think it is a human condition. I know slow walkers or two-abreast bikers in the multi-use lanes can get under my skin…

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            Jered May 6, 2019 at 9:11 pm

            My self observed anecdotal indicates this is true. I commuted to Beaverton for 15 years. I often biked, but just as often drove. I was a cut through master – it was YEARS before the world was onto my routes and tricks. I’d mark a series of cars and even better trucks and see if my “shortcuts” worked. Often they didn’t but I got greater satisfaction out of moving, so I did it anyway. Also, “TRYING” feels better than just sitting. I-5 sucks, but crawing at 5mph is often faster than weaving through city streets.

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      idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      “nightmares for others” I disagree with this. I don’t live on Lincoln but I sure am enjoying the new diverters on it. Since they went in I have had only 1 person pass me going up the hill on Lincoln. They’re only “nightmares” for people looking to save a few minutes on their commute by speeding down residential streets.

      Also saying alternatives aren’t viable for everyone is an easy way to mask the fact that alternatives are viable for a lot of people who choose to drive. And the people who need to drive would benefit more from those people using alternatives then not having these diverters on residential streets.

      Finally our tax burden isn’t really all that high compared to other cities and PBOT would need a significant increase in it’s budget to re-surface all our roads so maybe we should be paying more.

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        MTW May 6, 2019 at 2:42 pm

        Regarding alternatives, in this particular stretch, the alternatives are really robust too. There’s a MAX line which runs from North Portland to downtown (complete with a park n ride at delta park for WA commuters to use.) There’s a handful of buses which run from North Portland and SW Washington to Downtown. And now (thanks to the diverters) there’s a more pleasant bike route from North Portland to downtown.

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          Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm

          MTW
          Regarding alternatives, in this particular stretch, the alternatives are really robust too. There’s a MAX line which runs from North Portland to downtown (complete with a park n ride at delta park for WA commuters to use.) There’s a handful of buses which run from North Portland and SW Washington to Downtown. And now (thanks to the diverters) there’s a more pleasant bike route from North Portland to downtown.Recommended 1

          You won’t believe this but… they actually need a bigger parking lot at Delta Park 😉

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            turnips May 7, 2019 at 10:19 am

            how about better bus service from Vancouver instead? why on earth should Portland waste space to store more cars, especially on the dumb side of the Columbia River bottleneck?

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    Matthew Van Sickle May 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Cycled through the Villard/Willamette diverter morning, as this is my street and we have been very annoyed by the freeway we get every morning. I still see cars making left turns off of Villard going the wrong way through what is the “Do Not Enter” side of the intersection. The diverter does compromise my family’s use of this intersection as we do own a car, but I feel this is a small sacrifice for us so we as a neighborhood can have safe streets. The “20 is Plenty” sign in our yard was stolen, and the one mounted on telephone pole nearest us was vandalized, so it’s nice to see this semi-permanent message to limit cut-through traffic.

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    Jason Skelton May 6, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    We have similar diverters on SE 30th and Harrison. It is so nice. Only a couple of times have I seen people drive around the barriers.

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    Champs May 6, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Just a few thousand more to go. What I’d give for every Street in Eliot to have some speed bumps, too. We’ve got over sixty feet of pavement and a 1/8 mile drag to the next intersection out front that surely still needs to be “studied” before taking action.

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    more signs please May 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    I’m not sure the best place to ask this question so: anyone know where/how I can get more ’20 is plenty’ signs? My stretch of NE 16th Ave. (between Sandy and I-84) is best described as a racetrack and not an actual street. The posted speed limit is 20, but I’d say 75% of drivers ignore that in their race to get to I-84. Between the Children’s Gym on Sandy and sports almost every day at Benson High School, there are tons of kids and cyclists and pedestrians in this area all the time. I don’t know what the solution is, but maybe replacing the VZ signs is a start. There were a few VZ signs along the street not long ago that have since disappeared and I’d like to replace them if possible.

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      Joe Hand May 7, 2019 at 8:29 am

      I also asked the city how to get more signs, here is their response:

      > Community response to the 20 IS PLENTY sign program has been extremely positive. Unfortunately, the City is all out of 20 IS PLENTY signs. The vendor that made the 20 IS PLENTY signs, BuzWhite Screenprint (https://buzwhite.com) is happy to work with you if you want to purchase signs directly from them or feel free to contact another sign vendor. You are under no obligation to use BuzWhite Screenprint; however, they currently have the 20 IS PLENTY design files. If needed, we can transfer the design files to the vendor of your choice.

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    Brent May 6, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I live in Sellwood and PBOT is taking a much less aggressive approach to Tacoma Street/Sellwood bridge cut through traffic this summer. We are only getting speed bumps. I understand basically why they didn’t want to put in diverters, but I don’t think it will ultimately discourage cut through traffic. It will just slow it down a little bit.

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    bikeninja May 6, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    My dream is as the “wazers” and ” cut through jerks” move on to other neighborhood streets to terrorize the residents these streets too will get diverters and this will continue on as each street that is victimized gets its share of infrastructure protection. This will continue on until one day we realize that all the kids and dogs and cyclists are safe and happy motoring has been snuffed out by the humble planter box.

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      Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Victimized by people using a public thoroughfare and doing nothing illegal?

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        Brent May 6, 2019 at 3:49 pm

        Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm

        “Victimized by people using a public thoroughfare and doing nothing illegal?”

        It’s possible to be victimized by legal behavior. Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean it’s right. And just because the victims have no legal recourse to change things, doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t fight to end their oppression/victimization. And finally, just because it is open to the public doesn’t mean there can’t be proper regulations regarding it’s use to the goal of maintaining its intended purpose for the maximum utility for the most people for the foreseeable future.

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          Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 4:38 pm

          So how are they victims? Simply by thinking they are?

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            Brent May 6, 2019 at 5:03 pm

            I don’t know if (or how) they are being victimized. I don’t ride there. I was mainly responding to your broad, general statement that victimization also involves some sort of illegal activity. It doesn’t necessarily.

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              Q May 7, 2019 at 9:21 am

              He’s just bickering with you because he has nothing else to do with his time, he’s not trying to make a defensible point.

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                Middle of the Road Guy May 7, 2019 at 5:15 pm

                Cool assumption about what I choose to do with my time (but I see you also had time to comment).

                “Victims” was a poor choice of wording. “Mildly inconvenienced resident” might be more applicable.

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                Q May 8, 2019 at 8:58 am

                I don’t have to assume anything, seeing you post at all times every day on every post on this blog tells me all I need to know.

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        Stephen Keller May 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

        Many cut-through drivers speed and ignore (or outright threaten) pedestrians and cyclists. That behavior is illegal. If people slowed down and behaved like they were part of the community they were driving though, I doubt we would be having this conversation.

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          Middle of the Road Guy May 6, 2019 at 4:37 pm

          Yeah yeah yeah…and many cyclists ignore laws also.

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            Stephen Keller May 6, 2019 at 4:44 pm

            I wouldn’t know, not being a scofflaw, but I suspect that all classes of road users could stand a little behavior modification.

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            idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 7:08 pm

            Right but when cyclists and pedestrians ignore laws they rarely cause a threat of death or serious injury to people around them. Not to mention most of the laws and traffic controls are only in place to reduce the amount of collisions caused by drivers. I don’t get how you don’t appreciate that and instead try and equate a scofflaw on a bicycle with a scofflaw in a car. Something equivalent to threatening someone with a wiffle bat and threatening them with a gun.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 6, 2019 at 7:20 pm

              Nonetheless, it’s not your choice whether to be bound by the law or not. If you think the laws should be different (as I do), then the proper course of action is to change them, not ignore them.

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                idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

                First of all thanks for recognizing that there’s an extreme difference in a cyclist disobeying a traffic law and a motorist disobeying the same law. Oh you didn’t you just shifted the goalposts to make this about adherence to the law as a proper course of action instead of the equivalency of the danger imposed. I’ll take your shift as a silent confirmation that you agree there is an extreme difference in those scofflaws; similar to using limited resources to enforce a relatively harmless crime like jaywalking instead of a much more dangerous one like drunk driving. Even if our goal is to get everyone to follow the law precisely we would still start with encouraging the most egregious and dangerous lawbreakers to be compliant.

                Onto your shifted topic. Nope. Literally there are tons of examples where the first step to changing an unfair, unnecessary, or dangerous law in this country are people not being compliant with said law. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it cause it provides real life examples about how the law is flawed and should be changed. If people break laws like speed limits and it causes more collisions then we know that law is valid and we should continue to enforce it but if people break laws like rolling through a stop sign on a bicycle and it doesn’t result in a noticeable increase in collisions then it’s valid to consider changing it.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 6, 2019 at 8:34 pm

                You’re stating that sometimes the most expedient way to have a political argument is to force the issue by breaking the law. That can be true. It doesn’t mean that’s how the system is supposed to work. You don’t choose the laws that apply to you, and anyway, rolling a stop sign is not striking a blow for peace, freedom, and apple pie. It’s just a personal convenience for you.

                But if it makes you feel better, keep telling yourself you’re fighting the good fight.

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                idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 8:57 pm

                “the laws that apply to you, and anyway, rolling a stop sign is not striking a blow for peace, freedom, and apple pie.”

                I didn’t say it was. Good job putting words into my mouth instead of actually responding to what I wrote. I brought up speeding validating a law and rolling a stop sign invalidating its utility. There are literally whole websites devoted to absurd or ridiculous laws that have since changed or stop being enforced because of how unnecessary they are. Do you actually want to respond to what I typed instead of trying to change and shift the conversation so you can be right? Specifically that we have frequently started changing bad laws by disobeying them it’s part of our history and isn’t just for big changes there’s a lot of little ridiculous laws that get changed because of non compliance. Google is your friend they’re quite funny to read about.

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              Middle of the Road Guy May 7, 2019 at 5:16 pm

              That tired argument again?

              If the end result is “nothing”, then there really isn’t any risk.

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                idlebytes May 7, 2019 at 5:38 pm

                What do you mean the end result is nothing? 10 pedestrians have died this year in Portland 8 of those deaths were the drivers fault. 2 were maybe the partially pedestrians. How many people were killed by cyclists this year in Portland? It seems pretty obvious violating the law as a driver is much more hazardous then doing so as a cyclist. I seriously don’t get what you’re trying to claim. Can you explain?

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                Dan A May 8, 2019 at 8:07 am

                Sounds like you don’t know what “risk” means.

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        bikeninja May 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm

        Throughout the course of history, most of those victimized have not been the target of criminals (people breaking the laws in place at the time). Instead they have been made victims by those operating under a cloak of legality. From Native Americans pushed from their lands to kids drinking lead filled water in Flint most of the victimization in history has been carried out by those following the law or above the law. How few are those victimized by burglars compared to poor families pushed from their apartments by greedy landlords, or whole towns pushed to destitution because the local mill moved across the border to make a few extra cents for the stockholders. These thing may be legal , but they are not right, and the people that they hurt are still victims.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 6, 2019 at 4:55 pm

          Never confuse legality with morality. They are different things. There is often overlap, but frequently, not.

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          Middle of the Road Guy May 7, 2019 at 5:18 pm

          That’s quite a leap to link Native Americans with some mildly inconvenienced residents. How DID you manage that?

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      Random May 6, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      “and happy motoring has been snuffed out by the humble planter box.”

      And so long as you never need a police car, a fire truck, or an ambulance, that’s a great plan.

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        turnips May 7, 2019 at 8:27 am

        one of several advantages of good street connectivity is that there are multiple routes to almost all addresses. these particular diverters also appear to be easily passable by smaller emergency vehicles. if a giant fire truck can’t make it through some diverters, it might be a good idea for the city to buy smaller fire trucks rather than sacrifice the utility of our streets and livability of our neighborhoods. last I checked, there were a lot more folks being injured or killed on our streets than in structure fires.

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        paikiala May 8, 2019 at 10:08 am

        Permanent diverters are usually designed to accommodate fire trucks. Its only the temporary ones that impede such responders.

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    Nate Young May 6, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    YEEEESSSSS! Living proof that dogged advocacy can pay dividends!

    Thanks to the MURP students that helped provide the “data” that residents have lived with and been increasingly terrified of for years: that Villard, Atlantic, and Willamette have not looked or felt like neighborhood streets or greenways for some time.

    I’ve been nearly clipped numerous times on Willamette and nearly been T-boned by speeding drivers flying up Villard. I also fielded numerous discussions with neighbors along Villard that the speeding cut-through traffic was so bad during rush hour that they sometimes would have to send a person out into the street to stop traffic so they could back out of their driveways. A few people even reported shouting matches with drivers who were so put out by being slowed down to human speed so someone could leave their own house.

    It’s about time and I can’t wait to experience it for myself!

    Thanks to the neighbors, especially from Arbor Lodge and Overlook, and the now defunct “Go Greeley” traffic safety group that engaged the city to address their very real concerns. Thanks to Scott Cohen at PBOT for following through on his promise to address these concerns!

    Now if we can just get some calming along the next section of Willamette to the north…and maybe a cross-walk or two to meet the < 800ft between crossings rule…

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    Austin May 6, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I freakin luv diverters. Keep putting them in until all the speeding cut through jerks move to the main roads. I also love congestion pricing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX68ym4n7_c) and Amsterdam (https://www.ecowatch.com/amsterdam-to-ban-fossil-fueled-vehicles-2636405358.html)

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    Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    idlebytes
    “rarely had a car pass me” Then you must have not been biking during rush hour. I’d go through there at 5pm and people passed me in that spot almost everyday. But then again I would take the lane between the light and the traffic circle so they couldn’t squeeze past me with oncoming traffic like they would for other riders. Or maybe you were biking it 10 years ago when traffic was a lot lighter. The point is of course that impatient people who probably could be getting around without their car were acting dangerously so they could get to a stop sign a few seconds faster and wait in line. It’s that kind of behavior that resulted in the diverter not a road diet. The same goes for those road diets and reduced speeds. People act recklessly and don’t follow the law so they engineer the road to make them drive safer.The difference of course in your memory of what a particular road feels like and actual traffic counts is one is actually a useful piece of data that can be used to make road design decisions.Recommended 4

    I lived at 60th and Division for 3.5 years. Moved far from that horrible stretch 2 years ago. My memory hasn’t been an issue thus far so I think my opinion and actual experience is pretty good. I applaud you for “taking the lane” as that seems pretty basic. Especially at a PBOT placed roundabout. Think about that idea for a second… a traffics circle that causes you active stress while riding. That’s wild and that’s poor planning. I’ll even toss a shout out to the press that have to cross the street and are covered up by the vegetation that comes with the roundy. If I still lived in that area I’d be pressuring PBOT to remove it. Keep trying/ reaching 😉

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      idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      I’m not reaching. I mean really you’re the one that is claiming your impeccable memory of a street is a more valid means to determine the success of a diverter than traffic counts (actual data). If this is the same memory that rarely remembers being passed on Lincoln before the diverter went in I would really question it. Also that traffic circle causes you stress? I’ve never had an issue with that traffic circle and visibility. I have with some on Salmon but it seems like PBOT listened to complaints and trimmed back the vegetation. The things that cause me unnecessary stress are impatient drivers that do things like pass me in a traffic circle with 3 inches of room forcing me over so they can turn in 100 feet and park a whole two seconds sooner. Which happened on Lincoln before the diverter went in. It’s quite interesting that we can ride the same route and remember it very differently and get stressed out by such different things. Mine being impatient people in 3,000lb vehicles yours with vegetation that I have no trouble seeing through.

      All your comments are along the same lines. If it doesn’t stress you out then there’s no need for infrastructure changes to make it more comfortable for other people or if it hasn’t killed anyone yet then there’s no reason to make it safer. Why don’t you understand PBOT isn’t trying to design roads for you? You generally seem fine with the roads as they are and that’s great. Other people aren’t and feel unsafe because it is unsafe.

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        turnips May 7, 2019 at 9:02 am

        but he rides 14 miles/day…

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      Rain Panther May 7, 2019 at 8:42 am

      Hey Doug, maybe there’s some confusion around the terminology here! I think what you are describing isn’t actually a “roundabout” but a “traffic calming circle”. In other words, it’s not designed to maximize flow, but to help control speeds. Just one of many clues (signage, speed bumps, etc.) for drivers that this section of Lincoln is not intended as a thoroughfare. Too many drivers persisted in ignoring these clues, and subsequently the diverters were installed.

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    Adam May 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Great news!!

    But I am super confused. The location of the diverters makes no sense to me. Why would drivers be driving down Villard and onto Willamette? Where are they coming from, and where are they trying to get to? And why are they using Villard but Curtis or Atlantic? Also, if the diverter is at the south end of Villard, it is doing nothing to stop drivers from driving almost all the way down Villard, then veering off on Ainsworth.

    I’m not knocking the project, I am just utterly baffled at where the cut through traffic is trying to go. Anyone local able to explain things more clearly? I read the article, with the two inch big map, and have more questions than answers.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      Drivers are trying to avoid backups on Rosa Parks, Interstate, I-5 and Greeley. The southbound Villard traffic is people coming off of Rosa Parks and trying to get to N Going/Interstate and beyond. They’re looking to save a few minutes by zooming through residential streets (which end up backing up anyway, so it’s a losing cause). They use Villard because it goes all the way through. Curtis has a jog. They also use Atlantic. And I hear you about it being far south on Villard… But keep in mind that PBOT often puts these where they can get away with them politically first, and where they can install them with as little inconvenience to local residential motor vehicle users, not where they are ideally needed. And people will eventually learn to not even make the turn off Rosa Parks if they know the diverter is at Willamette.

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      PDXCyclist May 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      I think they adjusted the right turn (southbound) signal from Rosa Parks onto Greeley (I haven’t been on Rosa Parks in a while so maybe I’m just wrong lol). When I biked through today, it seemed like the default was to keep the right turn signal on with the East/West signal until a bike user (me) came up to the bike signal loop detector. I also had to wait an entire additional cycle of more right hand turns before I got the green.

      So I think they’re trying to improve timing so going from Villard – Ainsworth – Greeley isn’t worth it vs Rosa Parks/Greeley. I agree with your general sentiment and I too was confused by the placement because it seems easy enough to continue cutting through except theyll just turn off one street sooner at Ainsworth.

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    Doug Hecker May 6, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    idlebytes
    I’m not reaching. I mean really you’re the one that is claiming your impeccable memory of a street is a more valid means to determine the success of a diverter than traffic counts (actual data). If this is the same memory that rarely remembers being passed on Lincoln before the diverter went in I would really question it. Also that traffic circle causes you stress? I’ve never had an issue with that traffic circle and visibility. I have with some on Salmon but it seems like PBOT listened to complaints and trimmed back the vegetation. The things that cause me unnecessary stress are impatient drivers that do things like pass me in a traffic circle with 3 inches of room forcing me over so they can turn in 100 feet and park a whole two seconds sooner. Which happened on Lincoln before the diverter went in. It’s quite interesting that we can ride the same route and remember it very differently and get stressed out by such different things. Mine being impatient people in 3,000lb vehicles yours with vegetation that I have no trouble seeing through.All your comments are along the same lines. If it doesn’t stress you out then there’s no need for infrastructure changes to make it more comfortable for other people or if it hasn’t killed anyone yet then there’s no reason to make it safer. Why don’t you understand PBOT isn’t trying to design roads for you? You generally seem fine with the roads as they are and that’s great. Other people aren’t and feel unsafe because it is unsafe.Recommended 1

    Yeah, I won’t and don’t really on PBOT to make me feel better about biking in Portland. The roads blow. The maintenance is subpar and people like Scott C and Sheila P would be better served to put police uniforms on and enforce the laws we have instead wasting our money with bad ideas like speed bumps in Ladds. I regularly pass the bus on my human powered bike. I could add plenty more but I’ll show a little, very little restraint.

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    idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Hey great job responding to all my points and not going off on some PBOT rant. You really demonstrated how you don’t get they’re not trying to redesign the roads for you. And I already covered why their maintenance is behind they’ve been underfunded for 20+ years and we would need to increase their budget by 30% for 10 years to repair all our roads. Your complaint about how they have enough money falls flat with our overall tax burden being lower then most states including conservative ones.

    Again your “feels” about a road are not data or useful in making infrastructure design decisions.

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    Squeaky Wheel May 6, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    idlebytes
    …equate a scofflaw on a bicycle with a scofflaw in a car. Something equivalent to threatening someone with a wiffle bat and threatening them with a gun.Recommended 0

    idlebytes, you bring a positive and non-aggressive atmosphere to this comment section, telling people “great job” and “good job” in virtually all of your responses, so thanks for being a good example.

    Now, onto my comment. Would you be upset if someone threatened you with a wiffle bat? Or would you brush it off and take the time to put it in the greater context of weapon lethality? Is a gun even that bad, compared to a nuclear missile? Also, remember in Borne Identity when he beats the guy up with a magazine? Yeah, I wasn’t impressed either.

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      idlebytes May 6, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      Haha I just watched that movie again last night. That was a pretty ridiculous scene but still an entertaining movie for background while packing. To answer your questions yes I would be upset but to my point no I wouldn’t expect a similar level of response or punishment for that crime. I wouldn’t brush it off but it definitely factors into my consideration over how severe of a crime it is or how threatening it is. MOTR’s comment seems to want to equate those things but I wanted to point out that one is a wiffle bat and one is a gun.

      I suppose a nuclear missle would be something like stealing a passenger aircraft and endangering people with it. You’d probably get a bigger punishment for that then driving recklessly.

      Thoughts? If there were a rash of wiffle bat attacks and gun attacks which would you want the police to focus on?

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    willis May 6, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Great news.
    Now Clinton between 50th and Chavez please and SE 43rd between Powell and Brooklyn and…

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    Doug Hecker May 7, 2019 at 5:48 am

    idlebytes
    Haha I just watched that movie again last night. That was a pretty ridiculous scene but still an entertaining movie for background while packing. To answer your questions yes I would be upset but to my point no I wouldn’t expect a similar level of response or punishment for that crime. I wouldn’t brush it off but it definitely factors into my consideration over how severe of a crime it is or how threatening it is. MOTR’s comment seems to want to equate those things but I wanted to point out that one is a wiffle bat and one is a gun. I suppose a nuclear missle would be something like stealing a passenger aircraft and endangering people with it. You’d probably get a bigger punishment for that then driving recklessly.Thoughts? If there were a rash of wiffle bat attacks and gun attacks which would you want the police to focus on?Recommended 1

    I don’t waste any time reading random comments on other threads. But pat yourself on the back for that one time you broke down the budget short falls of PBOT. Great work. Did you add the 7.5 million from the so called marijuana tax too over the last 2 years? Or the surplus from the gas tax? Roughly another 7 million over the last 2 years. That should really frighten. All that gas being sold :/ Which I honestly think will get rejected from piss poor PBOT handling of it. You talk of budget shortfalls but that isn’t stopping them from paving projects which seem inequitable. SE 47 gets fresh pavement whereas SE 60th/62nd doesn’t see we continually will not see a bus for the next 20-25 years in what I would call a buss desert in Brentwood Darlington, meanwhile we, BD, fit for low income so by PBOTs “standard” of equity in regards to who should get these items first, we continue to not see them. So really, I could give a flying rats bottom about your desire for street changes because I barely have a street to begin with. Thanks for your time and your pipedreams of redesign. If you don’t live in NOPO, maybe you should 🙂 the privileged ones love redesign while clearly those on NE 7th don’t 🙂

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      idlebytes May 7, 2019 at 9:33 am

      What does this have to do with my comment you quoted? You really are all over the place with your comments. Do you ever take the time to breakdown PBOTs budget to see what it would take to get the changes you want in the area you’re in? I didn’t breakdown the budget short falls for improvement of all our roads. PBOT did they report that information pretty much yearly. What does living in NOPO have to do with this conversation? I’m not sure what discussions you were hearing for the NE 7th improvements but even those opposed to making it a greenway still wanted other safety improvements on that road. Also why are you talking about buses in context of PBOT? Isn’t that largely TriMets decision and is driven by surveys and transit use in the area?

      I did look up commute stats for the Brentwood/Darlington neighborhood though and it’s pretty interesting. Their Commute by public transit % is pretty close to the Portland average at 11.7% compared to 12.3% for all of Portland. Their commute by bike, and walking rates are much lower however only 0.4% commute by bike and 3.2% by walking. It makes some sense though Powell being right there which I wouldn’t say is a particularly bike or walk friendly street. Where would you want a new bus route? Also would you support improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure considering their much lower commute rates?

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    nuovorecord May 7, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Middle of the Road Guy
    Victimized by people using a public thoroughfare and doing nothing illegal?Recommended 7

    Neighborhood streets were never designed to handle the volume of auto traffic that, thanks to Waze and human ingenuity, they are now subjected to. While it may not be illegal to use a neighborhood street as a cut-through per se, people inevitably will drive at speeds faster than necessary or safe. A neighborhood street is designed for the residents who live, visit or have business being on the street; it’s not a by-pass for an arterial or freeway.

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      Middle of the Road Guy May 7, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      Wow, so I cannot ride my bike there since I do not have business being there or live there?

      I think you are misunderstanding the concept of a public good.

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        Dan A May 8, 2019 at 8:14 am

        It’s so weird to me that you think bikes are the same thing as cars. Maybe a visual comparison would help clear up this confusion?

        https://tinyurl.com/yxe9t2yq

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        nuovorecord May 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm

        How on earth you construed my comments in the way you did, I’ll never know. Ride your bike on any street you please. But don’t drive your car on neighborhood streets unless you really have some reason to be there. Otherwise, stick to arterials and freeways. Does that make it any clearer for you?

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 7, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Doug and idlebytes. I appreciate your back-and-forth… But please keep other readers in mind. You have both commented many times and that can make it difficult for other voices to be heard. If you are both local, I’d be happy to connect you offline so you can have your chat in person! Let me know. Thanks.

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    Ken S May 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Can we get some diverters in Sellwood and Johns Landing?

    I spent 45 minutes this morning, going from SE 17th to the Sellwood bridge because so many drivers tried to cut through or around Tacoma and push their way back into traffic.
    That, plus the pointless one lane into two back into one road design that induces needless merging.
    On the SW side, southbound drivers cut around Macadam using SW Virginia, often traveling 40 in a 30mph zone, never yielding to pedestrians.
    Diverters would be perfect there, every 3 or 4 blocks, to turn drivers back to Macadam

    It would be brilliant if all the low volume neighborhood streets had clever diverters or one way streets that would funnel any attempted cut-through driver and route them out of the neighborhood at a traffic light with “no turn on red” signs.
    Make it so people that live there could get to and from their homes, obviously, but make it a no-win endeavor for impatient motorists to look for “short cuts”

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      PS May 7, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      3 years ago we were 2 months from getting a diverter at SE15th and Tenino in Sellwood for this exact reason, but it took one neighbor to have her attorney draft a letter to the mayor to squash that idea. All of the streets in Sellwood should be one-ways, at least streets would only have cut through once a day, since we can’t enforce our laws.

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        Steve Smith May 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

        The Mayor is less than useless on bicycle issues. “Climate Change Ted”. What a joke.

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      Brent May 7, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      I would love to see a diverter at Spokane st and 7th in Sellwood. That intersection is terrible whenever there is even a little traffic because the streets are narrow and don’t easily fit two cars going opposite directions. Cars sit in the middle of the intersection and don’t pay attention to other people walking or biking.

      Spokane is supposed to be a greenway connection to the Springwater corridor. 7th is often used as a cut through for people getting around traffic on Milwaukie or Tacoma. This intersection is two blocks from the pool and a park where kids are crossing the street on foot all the time.

      A diverter at Spokane and 7th would severely reduce the ability of people to cut through. But it would also severely restrict the movements of the local neighborhood (including me), so I doubt it will ever happen.

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    xfs May 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    It’s just a personal convenience for you.Recommended 4

    ain’t it, fam
    https://ggwash.org/view/71937/why-people-biking-should-follow-the-law-more-is-bad-safety-advice

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    Toby Keith May 7, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    This is fantastic! Loved seeing those poor confused motorists. Now if only we could get some of this diverter and speed control loving out on the east side!

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    xfs May 8, 2019 at 9:05 am

    i rode Willamette SE all the way to Greeley this morning (instead of Ainsworth to Concord) and it was a total wonder (other than the construction blocking the lane at Adidas HQ). cheers to everyone who made this happen.

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    Bald One May 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    This diverter on N. Jessup/Willamette is fantastic, and it was perfectly executed. Props to PBOT for this one. I think I can recognize in your photo one of the cut-through drivers that nearly ran me over in this intersection a few months back as they rolled through the stop sign looking to the right – not seeing me coming from the left!

    About the debate over traffic calming islands – do these create an extra aspect of stress for cyclists who are sharing these engineered road pinch-points / bottlenecks with car drivers? You know this issue – getting passed by a car travelling same direction as you when you are trying to negotiate the purpose-built chicane of the traffic calming island on your bike? (Car Driver’s inner Formula-1 racer coming out in the process…) In the bike advocacy community, we really need to think carefully about how the current ideas the city is building for calming traffic for the benefit of pedestrians affect cyclists. It’s not all roses and gravy, here on two wheels.

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      Bald One May 13, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Meant to say the new diverter on “Villard” and N Willamette. That one is perfectly done.

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