BikePortland

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


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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