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New traffic signal (for bikes too) just installed at notorious Marine Drive intersection

Posted by on October 17th, 2019 at 12:47 pm

bike rider crosses with new signal. View is looking north at Columbia River from 122nd.
(Photo: PBOT)

One of the key components of the City of Portland’s effort to address safety issues on Marine Drive is now in place. The Bureau of Transportation announced today that their new traffic signal at NE 122nd is up and running. As recently as March there was a serious injury collision at this location, which used to have only a stop sign (on 122nd only) and a flashing light. In August 28th a woman died after being involved in a collision with a freight truck while trying to turn left at this intersection.

The new signal also includes a diagonal, bicycle-only phase aimed at people approaching from the southeast corner of the intersection with 122nd so they can connect to the westbound bike lane on Marine Drive.

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The signal is part of a $1.6 million project between I-205 and 185th that includes new buffered bike lanes (112th to 185th), two flashing beacons (138th, 185th), and a new section of multi-use path (west of 185th). Marine Drive is designated on the city’s High Crash Network due to its history of speeding and crashes. For some reason people who use the road with cars often drive right over the edge, into the river.

Sadly, within minutes of PBOT posting their announcement of this new signal, we learned of yet another “roadway departure” crash:

Marine Drive has become a thoroughfare for drivers who mistake its good sight lines and long stretches without stop signs or signals as a reason to drive dangerously. One issue that makes more aggressive infrastructure changes difficult here is that Marine Drive sits atop a federally protected flood levee, so all projects must meet additional permit requirements before moving forward. We hope this signal (and all the other things PBOT is doing out there) helps shift the driving environment and allows Marine Drive to reach its potential as a vital part of our regional bicycling network.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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9 Comments
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    Al October 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    So now FedEx and UPS truck drivers will run a red light instead of failing to stop at a stop sign entering Marine! Does it come with a red light camera? Because I do feel like the speed cameras on Marine have had an effect on traffic speeds.

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      Middle of the Road Guy October 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Maybe we can wait and see what happens.

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        David Hampsten October 17, 2019 at 6:36 pm

        … for another 25 years…

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          Middle of the Road Guy October 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm

          Nah, I just think people react differently to signs than they do to lights.

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            Johnny Bye Carter October 18, 2019 at 12:20 pm

            People do react differently. I wouldn’t expect a company driver to run the light, but I expect some drivers will stop at the light and then go while it’s still red when they see that there’s nobody around as far as they can see. They might coast slowly through it. Unfortunately this will lead to the “I didn’t see them” when that driver hits a cyclist they passed over and deemed it safe to proceed through the red light.

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      paikiala October 21, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    Christopher of Portland October 17, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve been waiting years for this to happen and, with the bike signal, it looks to be even better than I expected (I haven’t been through there since the signals came on). Turning left onto Marine Dr was a nightmare in a car so I never even bothered by bike. I’m guessing the no right on red will have the same horrendously low compliance as it does everywhere else in the city.

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    Bob October 18, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Besides the FedEX, UPS, and Amazon traffic on Marine Drive, this road way has also been increasing used to get around the traffic jam at the I-84/I-205 interchange which is usually gridlocked at peak traffic times (sometimes for miles). You can get on Marine Drive at Troutdale and make it all the way to the I-5 bridge over the Columbia with minimal traffic lights. The only thing that really stops the traffic flow is the numerous traffic accidents on this roadway.

    The best thing for cyclists is to extend the bikeway the entire length of Marine Drive from I-5 to the Sandy River bridge at Troutdale. This will enhance all the work being done on the old historic Columbia River highway to the Dalles, which is going to become one of the best bikeways in the nation. All this being said, PBOT has been doing a decent job in moving toward this direction.

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    Toby Keith October 18, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Better late than never! Now we are getting somewhere!

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