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City puts cycling on sidewalk for safety at tricky northeast intersection

Posted by on August 8th, 2019 at 1:27 pm

This is the route to safely access the crosswalk in the background for people cycling across Prescott at 37th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

An off-set intersection and a sweeping curve combine to make the crossing of Northeast Prescott at 37th very unsettling. To make matters worse, 37th is an important north-south connection in our cycling network.

A before shot to show what PBOT was dealing with.

Three years after we first shared the plans, the Portland Bureau of Transportation finally updated the crossing last month. After reading negative reviews on Twitter and previously reporting skepticism of the initial designs, I rolled over yesterday to take a closer look.

Elements of the $10,000 project include: caution signs on Prescott (a relatively fast neighborhood collector with no dedicated space for cycling) to warn people of vulnerable cross-traffic, painted curb extensions to create a narrower road and provide buffer space for bicycle users, two wide crosswalks that have space for walkers (white) and bicycle riders (green), green bike lanes to direct bicycle traffic onto the sidewalk, and plastic wands and curbs to help define space and protect vulnerable users.

Here’s how it looks in video form:

We were skeptical from the start about a design that forces bicycle riders onto narrow sidewalks and does very little to car users by comparison. In 2016 our former news editor Michael Andersen wrote, “It’s a little odd that instead of doing anything to change the angle of auto traffic or force slower, sharper turns by people in cars, this plan will divert bike traffic on and off of the sidewalks in each direction.” When we reported on the project again in 2018 we shared strong concerns about the design from members of the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee. BAC member Catie Gould (also a BikePortland contributor) pressed PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller on the design because it didn’t go far enough. Initial designs didn’t even include the plastic posts and curbs and people wanted to see more aggressive measures to change traffic flow on Prescott.

But given the project budget and other constraints, PBOT’s hands were tied.

“The issue Roger mentioned was that Prescott is classified as a Major Emergency Response Route and fire trucks would not be able to navigate the turn with significant changes were made to the footprint of the street,” she shared in a comment below a few minutes ago.

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While it’s rare for PBOT to route a bikeway onto the sidewalk, it’s not unheard of. And in this case, PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller said they did it because the sidewalk is, “The one place where it’s possible to see both directions of traffic and be out of the wheelpath [of drivers].”

This man is on the sidewalk headed southbound. He gestures to another road user to signal his intention to cross.

The view across my left shoulder as I crossed northbound.

This is not a welcoming space.

The width of the bikeway at the transition onto the sidewalk.

On the sidewalk headed southbound.

I don’t like being corralled into a narrow space when I’m biking — especially onto a sidewalk. When I’m on my bike (especially my electric bike) I feel much more akin to a car driver than a walker. And as you can see in the photos above, it’s a pretty tight squeeze. I wondered about people carrying kids and groceries on a cargo bike, or pulling a trailer, or riding a tricycle. I don’t think they’d be able to make the transition from street to sidewalk. And this is to say nothing of the problem of trash and debris piling up in a space that the city cannot or will not sweep.

And Geller is right, it is possible to see both directions from that corner of the sidewalk where the new crosswalks have been striped. However, it’s not easy. For many people, it will require a full stop and dismount to make sure there are no people driving by. While I was out there drivers were very polite and would stop as I approached the crosswalk. But that type of behavior cannot be counted on.

Overall, the narrowing of the driving space and addition of the striping, pavement colors, signage and plastic posts will definitely slow drivers down and make them more alert when driving through this intersection.

Have you ridden this? What do you think?

Below are a few more photos to help illustrate the design and context:

— 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

97 Comments
  • Avatar
    Buzz August 8, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Another new garbage ‘experimental’ design from PBOT. When will it finally end?

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    maxD August 8, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    that is beyond unacceptable, it actually seems negligent! Geller should get a pay cut for this! This takes a bad situation and makes it worse. It does almost nothing to address the problem of cars driving too fast down Prescott and it creates a truly dangerous situation for people on bikes and on foot. Imagine a wheelchair user trying to use that sidewalk while someone on a bike also tries to use it! I get that Geller thinks there are ways to creatively re-allocate space for low-cost, creative solutions, but this is unacceptable.

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      Betsy Reese August 8, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      Yes! This is one more example of BS masquerading as a MUP.

      MUP – definition: Multi-Use Path. A shared pathway for bicycles and pedestrians which is either
      1. very low traffic,
      2. very scenic,
      3. very long, or
      4. has pathway and access/exit structures that are wide enough so that bikes and pedestrians are not in conflict.

      MUPs are good for transportation, recreation, and novice bicyclists who are not yet ready to ride in the street.

      Examples of MUPs:

      Springwater Corridor
      Eastside Esplanade at non-peak travel times
      Banks-Vernonia Trail
      SE 38th Ave. just south of Taylor 1/2 block ped/bike path at dead end

      BS – definition – Bikes on Sidewalk. A work-around when designers can’t figure out what to do about bikes or when bikes are an afterthought or lowest priority in allocating space. A BS
      1, puts bikes and pedestrians together in a situation that causes conflicts
      2. makes enemies out of people who should be friends and advocacy allies
      3. flips the blame to the bicyclists and pedestrians caught in this set-up with the admonishment of “Why can’t everyone just get along?”

      BS is no good for anyone.

      Examples of BS:

      Clinton LRT Station area of Clinton Greenway between 11th and 12 Aves.
      Hollywood LRT Station approaches and freeway overpass
      Hawthorne Bridge sidewalks
      Steel Bridge sidewalks

      And a MUP that is just squeaking by with today’s volume, is tomorrow’s BS.

      No more BS, please!

      Provide proper MUPs, and provide bike infrastructure on streets like
      1. protected bike lanes,
      2. side paths,
      3. low-traffic Greenways, and
      4. traffic law and the corresponding education and enforcement that protects bikes on all streets.

      If you can’t figure out what to do about bikes, don’t just pop them onto the sidewalk. Step up to the challenge and figure it out.

      Let’s be prepared to call BS when we see it in the planning stages. Let’s coordinate with pedestrian advocates and present a unified voice on this issue.

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        maxD August 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

        Betsy, I love your BS designation and examples! I would add the sidewalks on St Johns, which seem to attract more pedestrians every year, and the Morrison Bridge which will be woefully undersized if/when they provide any meaningful connections to it for bikes and peds.

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        John Lascurettes August 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

        Comment of the week? No. Comment of the year!

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    PDXCyclist August 8, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    1) seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen when someone gets caught on the sidewalk lip under the railing or caught in the railing
    2) god forbid PBOT add an all-way stop here instead this bizarre design. I’d like Roger and the engineering team to use this exclusively for a month and come back and tell us they really think they designed this well.

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    Catie Gould August 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    I first saw this design at the Bicycle Advisory Committee and had a strong reaction. I sent Roger several alternative designs (one of which in preserved in a Bikeportland article! https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/07/adventures-in-activism-tools-of-the-trade-292832). I know that PBOT spent time evaluating them, and tried to find other alternatives.
    At one point it seemed likely the design would change, but then reverted back to the original.

    The issue Roger mentioned was that Prescott is classified as a Major Emergency Response route which and fire trucks would not be able to navigate the turn with significant changes were made to the footprint of the street. This was also supposed to be a small $ change, which also eliminates possible reconstruction of the sidewalk.

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    Doug Hecker August 8, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    The fact that they paid people to design and install this bothers me. My extended family lives 2 blocks away and I refuse to use this section when visiting.

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    Terry D-M August 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Eh, it is about what you expect for $10k. Let us spit the difference between the greenways. 37th, 32nd and 9th. PBOT said no to major diversion on 32nd when the community asked for it.

    Then on 7th and maybe 9th it looks like they may bail on diversion as well. Here since a robust intersection redesign with diversion was never on the table, who know what a real retrofit will happen..

    Thus, I suggest we retrofit 32nd with as much diversion as possible and call it the mainline bikeway. Once the community is used to it, come back and built out another one around 15th. This endless debate will never get consensus and just serves to delay needed projects

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    Eric Leifsdad August 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    I think the headline is missing some quotes around “for safety” since this was clearly built for cars. They really need to stop wasting all of this time, money, and space on “get bikes out of the way” infrastructure which makes new riders unsafe until they learn to avoid it or otherwise work around it.

    If they just put up a couple stop signs, the sightlines wouldn’t matter and we could spend the money on something that doesn’t actively move us away from our Climate Action and Vision Zero goals. $200?

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      Bald One August 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Right, this fits with the city’s master safety plan for bicycles: cram them away from cars into a shared space with peds, scooters, other non-motorized modes, into recreational areas, with buses, uber/lyft zones, delivery truck parking, sidewalk cafes, lamp-posts, signage, hard scaping, garbage cans, etc… Anything they can do to separate bikes from cars for their own safety.

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    Eric in Seattle August 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    It looks like PBOT is prioritizing speed of cars through the curve on Prescott over the safety of other users. This automobile-oriented intersection (with the smooth radius on the corners to allow/encourage fast driving) needs to be changed in a way that slows down the cars.

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    Charlie August 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    I live in this neighborhood and ride this intersection frequently. This is an improvement, but it does not resolve the main issue of aggressive driving. Though it is a low-speed neighborhood route, it is also a major commuter route and passing commuters generally show little concern for our lives. Taking steps to slow traffic would have done more than any amount of rerouting bikes. Cars take that corner all day long at speed and cut through the divider line to reduce the curve. The visibility is slightly improved, but the redesign has done little to convince drivers that they are meant to share that stretch of road.

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      Dave August 8, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Only enforcement of a 20mph speed limit, with enough rigor to create a climate of fear in all drivers, will civilize drivers. And, civilizing drivers is going to do more than all the feel-good paint stripes that could be slapped onto the pavement.

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        Buzz August 8, 2019 at 9:30 pm

        Meh, hardscape is not necessarily better, it all depends on the quality of the design. I think it’s better that they fail with paint rather than with concrete. Then the worst problem is, when will they recognize their failure and change the design (but I’m not holding my breath in this case or any other…).
        🙂

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      JP August 9, 2019 at 11:29 am

      I’ve moved, but I used to live in the Sumner neighborhood and used Prescott to access it frequently between 2013 and 2018. During that period, drivers became noticeably more aggressive, and driving speeds increased, despite a reduction in the speed limit. When I moved to the neighborhood, Prescott provided a quick and low-stress way to get from closer in NE to my neighborhood. By the time I left, I used it only between 81st and 83rd (to cross 82nd) and then would hop off and use side streets. Pretty sad, since it’s one of the only ways for cyclists to cross 205 in the area, and because it’s a connector to the 205 path.

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    John Lascurettes August 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    I haven’t ridden it yet, but I was driven by it as a passenger the other day and thought it was horrible for all the reasons you mention. I told my wife I would definitely still take the lane there as the mount-dismount (particularly southbound) seems rather precarious. And it is particularly disturbing, as you mention, that the behavior of auto traffic has not been modified in any way (aside from more warning signals in the form of paint). I used to live just off Prescott at 41st here and the speed of drivers is habitually much higher than the posted speed limit.

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    • Avatar
      John Lascurettes August 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Also: why bother with the legally meaningless “cross bike” marks if they’re directing you onto the sidewalk anyway? At that point, as long as you slow down first, you’ve got pedestrian right of way in the crosswalk.

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        Another Engineer August 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        I’m with your John, the crossbike seems precariously placed. If I am every out there I will be taking the lane and signaling my turn. I’d prefer to ride the no-build option.

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          Buzz August 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm

          As far as PBOT is concerned the cross bike markings are an experimental ‘success’ and can now be used just about anywhere.
          😉

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            mh August 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

            …including on eastbound Salmon at 20th, where it leads you right into a line of parked cars.

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    John Lascurettes August 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I’m waiting to see how the upcoming proposed changed to the offset intersection at NE Tillamook and NE 21st feels when it goes in. That seems like a near identical setup but the proposed design seems MUCH better there.

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      Catie August 8, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      I argued against the original plan there too! Very glad median refuge islands are going in there.

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        John Lascurettes August 9, 2019 at 11:47 am

        I finally realize why the Tillamook improvement plan feels better on paper than this Prescott execution does in reality. The auto traffic chicane on 21st-20th is a right-left dogleg. The one on Prescott is a left-right dogleg. It changes the nature of the bicycle crossing drastically when trying to use the same treatment. They need a different solution here. https://bikeportland.org/2018/07/16/city-eyes-bike-friendly-enhancements-on-ne-tillamook-285894

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          MTW August 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm

          Good call. I’ve also got a lot of experience traveling through both intersections and the one on Tillamook was always weird but never really bothered me or felt unsafe. I’ve always HATED the intersection of 37th and Prescott (and like others, have shifted to using 35th to cross Prescott; both on a bicycle or walking)

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    q August 8, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    The article (not to mention the design thinking) is missing a key question–how does this impact people walking on the sidewalk? The answer is that of course it makes it more dangerous. It seems like the designers viewed the sidewalk as some sort of vacant lot that’s available to solve a conflict between people biking and driving, instead of a space that’s already important for people walking.

    PBOT seems to have been unwilling to put the burden for achieving safety on the mode that’s most responsible for creating the danger–driving–instead dumping it on people walking, and in the process giving people biking a compromised experience as well.

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      John Lascurettes August 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      The sidewalk in the area is already horrible too. Look at the north sidewalk on Prescott between here and 42nd; it’s only about four-foot wide (where it exists) as it is with telephone poles in the middle of it on each block. When I used to walk my dog here, there wasn’t room for both me and my dog to walk side-by-side. I can’t imagine some wheelchairs being able to pass here at all. https://goo.gl/maps/tFADNhn1wsvmeHXx7

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        maxD August 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

        John, that sidewalk is an embarrassment! Geller/PBOT did not even come close on this. horrible for people using the sidewalk, horrible for people using the greenway. The ONLY thing this does is preserve a widely-abused high-speed short-cut for people driving. Prescott needs to be slowed down.

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          mh August 9, 2019 at 10:31 am

          AND the sidewalk needs to be widened to at least ADA-compliant standards.

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    encephalopath August 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Unacceptable.

    Try again.

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    B. Carfree August 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Designs like this make me want to bang my head against a brick wall until it stops hurting. How do the people responsible for such things manage to not permanently hang their heads in shame? It would have been far better to do absolutely nothing.

    Now that I think about it, I’m inspired. PBOT is making a clear statement that not all types of bikes need to be accommodated; much of what I ride cannot be maneuvered through that maze. Now they can do cars. Time to remake some streets and intersections such that they won’t accommodate motor vehicles that are over a certain size. The precedent is established.

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      Toby August 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      Totally agree. Not sure how this makes navigating the intersection safer when the little ones are in tow in the trailer.

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    ed August 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    So happy to see this featured. I completely ignore this farcical construction and instead cross just right of the center stripe where I can get a good sight-line to eastbound Prescott traffic. (if southbound) I then am in the same position as cars turning onto 37th from Prescott – far safer. The sane thing would have been to put raised dots all along the center stripe of Prescott. Obvious to any regular user of intersection is cars entering it too fast. They inevitably drift, and raised bumps would prevent this, drastically reducing the too high closure rate of Prescott users entering intersection.

    I’ve long cursed the poor design of this intersection and was so looking forward to a change, only to be amazed that they actually made it worse.

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    R H August 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    I have crossed this intersection hundreds of times, doing sos exactly as if Idriving a car. For example, heading southbound, if when I enter the intersection there is eastbound traffic on Prescott I stop, facing west, as though in a car waiting to make a left turn. There is plenty of room for the slow moving westbound traffic to pass me on the right. Going through this intersection north or southbound has never been a problem. This seems like an attempt to give an illusion of safety to people who don’t have the most basic street riding skills.

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    WestRiver August 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I rode through here a few weeks ago and was flabbergasted. Total car-centric design. I refuse to use the new setup and will continue to take the lane as I did before.

    A few street corner mirrors like the ones they have in Japan (I’m guessing they have them in other countries as well, but I just happen to be familiar with the ones in Japan) would have done wonders and a whole lot cheaper than this nightmare design.

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    Christopher of Portland August 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Perhaps every major emergency response route should have firetruck lanes instead of car lanes if we’re not allowed to do anything to slow them down.

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    Keviniano August 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Why was the budget only $10K?

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    Chris I August 8, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    This is literally garbage.

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    pdxhobbitmom August 8, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    This is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen.

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    pdx2wheeler August 8, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Illegal for an e-bike to utilize this infrastructure… they are not allowed on sidewalks!

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      Sam August 8, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      You should be keeping your moped out of bike lanes as it is.

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      mark August 10, 2019 at 8:44 am

      This raises a curious dilemma. Is this now considered a MUP, and not a sidewalk? I know that bikes are legally required to use bike specific infrastructure, with some exceptions, but would e-bikes be exempted from using Bikes on Sidewalk infra?

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        pdx2wheeler August 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm

        Well, that’s my interpretation. If PBOT’s cycling transportation “solutions” involve directing people on their bikes onto a sidewalk then e-bikes are exempt, or more specifically, legally prohibited from utilizing those “solutions”…

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    q August 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    It’s tiresome to hear “low budget” used as an excuse when the agency using it is the one that set the budget.

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    • TonyT
      TonyT August 8, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      This is insulting.

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      • TonyT
        TonyT August 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

        I wasn’t actually trying to reply to your comment. The “insulting” is this project, not your comment about low budget. And perhaps their budget could be more substantial if they hadn’t wasted god knows how much money on the 20s Bikeway.

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    Peter August 8, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    I live not far from this intersection and run, walk, and bike through here regularly… From my experience, the painted bikewalk / crosswalk seems to have marginally increased driver awareness of other road users, but only just barely…

    Riding north on the designated bike “path” is atrocious, especially given the width of the sidewalk ramp, the (now) lane-blocking pylons and the pile of car parts that seems to have accumulated at the base of the ramp. Best option is to divert to 38th or take the lane.

    Its only a matter of time until the pylons and oddly placed handrail gets plowed over by someone who fails to negotiate the turn – something that happens every once in a while.

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    Daily Commuter August 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I ride this new… I have no nice things to call it, twice a day 5 days a week. It’s really terrible, constricting, literally filled with garbage, and going Northbound there is a massive divot in the concrete that they just painted over with green paint. This is not safe, people still fly through here while cutting across the centerline of the road.
    Once I am up on the sidewalk on either sidewalk I still can’t safely see cars in both directions. I have to angle myself to look one direction and then look the other way back over my shoulder.
    There is also traffic entering a third direction from 37th North and Soutbound that quite often turns directly in front of me, without looking both directions. They are only concerned with monitoring one side of the street to see if cars are coming from their right.
    It was actually safer for the first few days before they put in plastic wands and plastic speed bumps for bikes! Because the bikes here in the road were clearly the source of danger. I am really at a loss on this.
    I would have preferred to use that money to fix the dangerous level of cracked concrete further south on 37th. Some of that concrete is like crossing rail tracks, especially when it’s dark and wet and you can barely see the seams in the road.
    #platinum?

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    Hall August 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    > I wondered about people carrying kids and groceries on a cargo bike, or pulling a trailer, or riding a tricycle.

    This is my first thought too. It looks inaccessible or daunting for a lot of riders, and totally inconsiderate of sidewalk users.

    Even for a capable, confident, and unencumbered cyclist, getting up on that narrow sidewalk while looking over my shoulder for speeding cars sounds terrible.

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      Chris I August 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      This absolutely would not work with a trailer or a box bike. I’m not even sure my Big Dummy will be able to navigate it.

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    turnips August 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    pretty bad design. bikes have been routed onto the sidewalk there for years. the new part is the flimsy bollards/plastic curbs and the paint. it’s maybe a marginal improvement because it adds a little visual noise for drivers on Prescott. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a cyclist use the intersection as the engineers envisioned, though, for obvious reasons.

    I think some sort of curb in between the lanes on Prescott through the turn might have helped. drivers like to straighten out that curve. could be mountable by fire trucks. (but do we really need giant fire trucks, anyway?)

    maybe my imagination or coincidence, but since the new work was done, drivers seem a bit more peevish on that stretch of 37th. got honked and yelled at approaching this intersection from the south and honked and yelled at again north of it about 40 minutes later recently.

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    GlennF August 8, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Why not a simple Stop Sign on Prescott St on both sides of 37th.

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    Kimberlee August 8, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I rode this last weekend and thought it was terrible. There happened to be two pedestrians on the sidewalk at the same time, which made navigating the narrow passage tricky. Plus it puts you in a position where you can’t see the cars coming from your left. In the future I will ignore this “improvement” and take the lane as I always have done in the past.

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    J_R August 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    This is an embarrassment for a city that has been designated Bronze, much less, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

    The “City that Works” can’t even keep car parts debris out of the designated (inadequate) bike space and can’t be bothered to trim branches that smack a cyclist in the face or get the property owner to do it.

    I can’t say enough bad about this project.

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    pixie August 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    If I had the ability, I’d bring Dutch policy makers over for a policy makers ride and start with this 2019 improvement.

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    hotrodder August 8, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    I live across the park from this intersection, and I’ll continue to take the lane like I’ve done every time since I moved to the neighborhood ten or 12 years ago.

    The only saving grace is that 37th doesn’t have all that much car traffic in either direction, and drivers have to slow anyway for the dogleg that is Prescott and there’s pretty good sightlines, so usually I feel pretty safe. But this is definitely a PBOT disaster. Try again.

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    Andrew August 8, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    This stretch of Prescott is one of the routes I take to get to work. Frankly this project was totally over engineered. A few stop signs would have made drivers slow down instead of the slalom that takes place now. I prefer Prescott over my other route to work which involves climbing the hill on regents, but at least on regents the likelihood of getting blindsided by a driver cutting a corner is a bit less. Would have been much better off as a couple stop sign controlled T-Intersections IMO, but the city isnt actually serious about increasing bike mode share(or VZ for that matter), if they were there wouldn’t be as much pandering to the motoring public at the expense of the vulnerable.

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    Schrauf August 8, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Agree, total crap, and encourages me to ignore the infrastructure and take the lane, just like I do on 7th now that it’s been deemed “not for bikes” by the City.

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    resopmok August 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Paint is the only actual change to this dangerous intersection. When connecting from Going to Alameda via 37th, I typically use Skidmore then 34th, 35th, or 36th to cross Prescott instead. This way, I can get a clear view of traffic coming from either direction. It is a sad state of affairs though if PBoT is passing off this treatment as an “improvement.”

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    Korrin Weldon August 8, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I ride a cargo bike with a large box (3 kids wide). This intersection is on the bike route to my daughter’s preschool. I avoided it before because it never felt safe riding with kids, and I will avoid it now because it doesn’t feel safe riding there with kids (and there is no way I could fit on that ramp). I prefer using NE 35th Ave to cross Prescott. The sight lines are better and I can see the signal at 33rd and Prescott (as well as the traffic that inevitably gets backed up and stopped there) to easily cross.

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    MH August 8, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    I used to ride through this intersection regularly for years and always hated it. Visibility is terrible and the traffic is heavy. I wrote to PBOT several times requesting they re-route the greenway around it. Ten grand to change nothing. Totally unacceptable.

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      Josh Ross August 9, 2019 at 7:56 am

      This is exactly what needs to happen. There is no way for that intersection to be safe for bikes and the Greenway should be routed around it. The intersection just a block away is much safer.

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    BradWagon August 8, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    lol what is this trash?

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      Wheels61 August 9, 2019 at 8:19 am

      Even a proud parent wouldn’t stick this to the fridge.

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    Asher Atkinson August 8, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Please, just scrape it up and move the crossing to 36th where it should have been all along. The initial design was brought to you by advocates and planners who feel any deviation from a straight line on a map is an affront to cyclists, rather than a reasonable compromise. And this new remediation shows how bureaucracy will double down on bad implementation instead of admitting a mistake and trying something different. I’ve ridden this section of 37th for years and happily spend a few more seconds and pedal strokes to avoid the awkward crossing at 37th by taking 36th between Going and Wilshire park.

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    Toby Keith August 9, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Why cross here at all? Just cross a couple blocks west of this mess and your troubles are over.

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      Chris I August 9, 2019 at 8:07 am

      36th doesn’t continue south of Skidmore or north of Simpson. I will continue to use 37th, and take the lane when I do so. We should not accept meandering greenways. This intersection needs a full traffic signal.

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    Cameron Budd August 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I cant be the only one who thinks this plan makes sense right? Not all projects can be a total change on an intersection. The diversion up on the sidewalk seems like a logical place to direct riders to cross in a safe place. Although a bit out of the ordinary as we have all learned to not ride on the sidewalks.

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      Chris I August 9, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Except that the diversion creates additional hazards and won’t work with trailers and many kinds of cargo bikes. Additionally, it does nothing to slow down the speeding motor vehicles who are responsible for creating the hazard in the first place. The $10,000 would have been better spent on speed bumps, speed reader signs, or better yet, speed cameras here.

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      q August 9, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Even if it made sense for people biking and driving, it doesn’t make sense for people trying to walk on the sidewalk.

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        Cameron Budd August 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm

        I had not thought about cargo bikes or trailers, i do completely agree that this intersection design will not work for them.

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    El Biciclero August 9, 2019 at 11:20 am

    What would be interesting would be to see what would happen if concrete jersey barriers were placed on the centerline of Prescott just east of the crosswalk on the upper “leg”, and just west of the crosswalk on the lower “leg”, along with a single concrete jersey barrier on the centerline of the N-S section of Prescott. Then paint our beloved green “crossbike” stripes right down the middle of both lanes of Prescott on the N-S segment. This would leave openings for turning between Prescott and 37th, ostensibly not impeding traffic in the slightest; just “suggesting” where motor vehicle operators ought to guide their vehicles. It wouldn’t even divert anyone from any current roadway—no detours, no STOP signs, no changes to the “flow” whatsoever. All it would do is make it uncomfortable to speed through this chicane, and impossible to cut across the center line. Might larger vehicles have trouble? Yep. Let the drivers of those larger vehicles “just go a block over” to Going or Skidmore, where they can avoid this difficulty. Might even drivers of smaller vehicles feel cramped through this intersection? Yep. Let them exercise the due care they should be using already. If they don’t care about the safety of others, at least they might care about the paint on their cars.

    My guess is that the outcry would be loud and swift if such a plan were implemented, and it would likely be reversed in short order upon the realization that it was “unsafe” (due to driver incompetence or unwillingness to use appropriate caution). Nevertheless, I would say that if we can foist this low-rent, second-rate, kids’-card-table treatment on bicyclists, we can certainly expect motorists to deal with a taste of it themselves.

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      El Biciclero August 9, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Well, OK, I forgot about the “major emergency response route” problem. So instead of jersey barriers, make it a slightly-higher-than-normal “mountable” median curb so emergency vehicles (and even trucks) can still “navigate” this intersection, just not at high speed, which I doubt even emergency vehicles are able to do now.

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        Johnny Bye Carter August 19, 2019 at 10:48 am

        Prescott is not a “major emergency response route” no matter how much they want it to be. It’s a narrow single lane road that they stripped of parking to force a busy 2 lane road into. Both Killingsworth to the north and Fremont to the south are more appropriate, especially since the fire stations are already located past those streets. There’s never a need for a fire truck to pass through here to another location.

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      mh August 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      This is perfect. I suggested a smaller variation on it for SE 16th & Belmont after two hours of watching driver behavior while doing a city bike count.

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    OGB August 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I’m not completely sure from the pictures, but it looks like the obnoxiously restrictive handrail could be easily unbolted. Also that curb along the long ramp should be painted yellow for visibility. I agree that that this is depressingly bad design.

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    Ted Buehler August 9, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Jonathan or Catie —

    Did PBOT consider putting in a type of bumpy lane striping here? Make the curves nice and tight, with 11′ wide lanes, with either bumpy paint or those raised white/yellow buttons?

    Seems that would slow down a lot of the people that now take the corners too fast.

    If not, we should request…

    Ted Buehler

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    Doug Klotz August 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    The fire truck turning radius is obviously a Bull Sh*t argument. Look at the aerial view! The west-bound turn is much sharper than the eastbound turn. If firetrucks can make the one turn, the city could tighten up the radius on the other turn to match it. Or, maybe/in addition condemn a little bit of a few front yards to have more room to route cyclists safely around this.

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      Johnny Bye Carter August 19, 2019 at 10:39 am

      This location is in the middle of 4 fire station locations (12, 14, 15, & 28). Meaning that fire trucks never even need to go down this street because the stations are all on other main streets with no sharp zigzags like this location has. They can go to any location on any side of this intersection without needing to go through the intersection. They could divert all motor vehicles off Prescott at 42nd or 33rd and there would likely be no difference in fire response times.

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    Bald One August 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Just wait, this improvement can still get better. City needs to finish their work:

    – missing a couple of metal sign posts bolted to the concrete right in the middle of this that reads, “bikes use sidewalk”.

    – still need to apply some slippery-when-wet yellow bumpy mats right in the exact spot where the rider must execute a slow moving turn and jackknife the front wheel across some wet, smooth plastic.

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    John August 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Does anyone know what the legal situation is for e-scooters in instances where bike lanes are routed onto sidewalks? Scooters are permitted to ride in bike lanes, but absolutely prohibited from riding on sidewalks, so when a bike lane is routed onto a sidewalk is the e-scooter legally obligated to leave the bike lane and join the “regular” lane? I don’t think that cars will be too pleased when an e-scooter leaves the bike lane to go over the broadway bridge, for instance.

    Do you have any insight here, Jonathan?

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      John Lascurettes August 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Good pont. Are e-scooters allowed to legally cross any of our bridges downtown without using an auto lane? That would be absurd, particularly for the Hawthorne.

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      mark smith August 10, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      Ummm…who cares? Do what you need to do and be safe.

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        Johnny Bye Carter August 19, 2019 at 10:33 am

        People who are prone to being harassed by the police care. Those are the types of situations that prevent those people from using an e-scooter in the first place.

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    q August 9, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Sadly, this design would be even worse if the home in the top photo didn’t have a totally see-through fence and an almost bare front yard. At any point (maybe to get back some privacy from all the bikes now on the sidewalk) they could make the fence solid and add taller, dense shrubs or trees in their yard, cutting visibility for everyone way down.

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      John Lascurettes August 9, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      The house on the opposite corner has a tall (4 foot-ish) concrete retaining wall; so the sight lines the opposite way are not nearly as generous.

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        John Lascurettes August 9, 2019 at 4:53 pm

        Sorry, I’m wrong — I just watched the video. I was thinking of another house on a corner about a block east. It’s been 7 years since I lived right near this corner. The house on the opposite corner in this case has a typical front-yard lawn.

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      Buzz August 9, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      city code requires a low see-through fence in front yard of corner lot, even though you can park a van/pickup/box truck at the corner with little fear of getting ticketed or towed. Go figure.

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        q August 9, 2019 at 10:04 pm

        The only relevant code I know is the zoning code, which does limit fences to 3.5′ high in front yards (corner or not) but doesn’t limit openness of fences, and doesn’t limit vegetation. I recall seeing something somewhere limiting tall vegetation at corners (some City property maintenance code?) but it only applied (as I recall) within a very few feet of the corner.

        You’re right about the parking-tall-vehicles-at-corners thing. People do it constantly.

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    Merlin August 9, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I go through here 4-5 times a week and the video finally clues me in as to what they want me to do – ie, ride on the sidewalk. The first time I tried it, I was absolutely confused. The next time, I rode the wrong way as it seemed to be safer.
    At least now I know what I am supposed to do, thanks to the video.
    PS – don’t expect anyone to stop when crossing Prescott between 33rd and 37th if you are walking much less riding. For some reason this is a high speed section that drivers think the “own”.

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      X August 18, 2019 at 9:49 am

      ‘Me, slow down? What are you doing in my car commercial?’

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    Dean D August 9, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    I ride this route all the time with my kids on our way to New Seasons and this “improvement” is so stupid I’ve been using alternate routes to avoid it. I’m happy that the city is seemingly trying to improve bike routes but this was a misstep for sure.

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    J Chris Anderson August 11, 2019 at 5:06 am

    As someone who was familiar with the intersection before, and somewhat comfortable taking the lane, this is a slight improvement, FOR RIDERS WHO STILL TAKE THE LANE. I would never ride onto the sidewalk here, even if my bike did fit. So I’m well-practiced at ignoring this infrastructure as NOT FOR ME. That said, having a bunch of wands and green paint there seems to raise driver awareness a tiny bit. So taking the lane feels slightly safer than it did before. The addition of some “bikes may use full lane” signs would be welcome.

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    X August 18, 2019 at 9:46 am

    That photo of the arrow pointing toward the pile of broken car parts is poetic. It belongs in the same gallery as all the images of “Bike Lane Ends” signs, a meme that will never grow stale.

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    Bjorn August 18, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I am wondering if the best solution to this would be a woonerf type situation where cars were funneled into an area that was very narrow requiring very slow travel to negotiate passing any car that might be coming the other way. The additional space could be allocated for a physically protected bike lane up to the crossing.

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    X August 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Cobbles into off-camber flanked by meter-thick basalt pillers. Graphic tippy-car signs, some variant of the bike-in-track sign.

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