In their quest to create a family-friend neighborhood cycling route in the Hazelwood neighborhood of east Portland, the transportation bureau has come up with something new: A double mini roundabout.
The innovative treatment will be installed in May as part of the 100s Neighborhood Greenway project. It’s part of a larger, $11 million effort from PBOT to improve access to jobs and public transit for people who aren’t in cars.
The new double mini roundabout will be installed on NE 108th where it crosses over Everett Street. Here’s more from the PBOT staffer who shared the news in an email today:
So what is a double mini roundabout and why is it going here? Normally, when we want to make streets friendlier for our neighborhood greenways, we’ll flip stop signs so cross traffic is stopped and we give preference to the direction the traffic along the greenway is going. However, because of the way NE 108th Avenue is broken up and jags at Everett Street, our engineers devised a double (mini) roundabout instead. This will have the same effect: calming traffic, making it clear who has the right of way, and keeping the intersection easy to navigate and safer for those travelling north/south along the greenway.
This isn’t the only exciting bit of progress on the 100s greenway.
A few blocks north of the new roundabouts PBOT is building a new bike/walk path across an existing parking lot in order to make a direct connection from neighborhoods to Gateway Discovery Park (an awesome park that I highly recommend checking out). The path will go east-west on NE Wasco between NE 107th Place and NE 106th Ave.
In a recent project update, PBOT called this path the “crown jewel” of the project. PBOT negotiated with the lot’s owner to create what they call, “A brand new carfree public street.”
Stay tuned for a report once both of these pieces of the greenway are ready to ride.
Learn more about these projects on PBOT’s website.
UPDATE, 3/26: A reader shared the PBOT plans below that are being installed on NE 43rd/Royal Ct near Laurelhurst School. They’re part of a Safe Routes to School project but I don’t have many details beyond that. Looks like the roundabout race has begun! Reader says a PBOT staffer referred to the design on the right as an “amoeba”. Will update when I find out more:
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excited for this. It feels like 4 yield signs might be enough, not sure they need 6
Portland is currently “Yield Sign Deficient” so this will help
Portland is the only city I’ve ever been in or traveled through where I’ve seen completely uncontrolled intersections. It’s amazing in the worst way possible
I’d encourage you to look at Hans Monderman, whose theory was to remove signals/signs and “found that the traffic efficiency and safety improved when the street and surrounding public space was redesigned to encourage each person to negotiate their movement directly with others.” Most signs and signals are there to create priority for cars.
Message from Bend: Good luck, Portlanders!
Another novel treatment on a Portland bike route? It’s not even a surprise any more.
The last time I Was almost hit by a car was when a driver passed me in one of the mini roundabouts in Ladds Edition I had to run up onto the sidewalk to avoid being hit. There were words. These traffic calming devices only work with considerate people driving. I expect the success of the twin minis to be mixed.
True, many of these devices only work when actual human beings are behind the wheel of a car. My 50+ years of road cycling tells me that this is an increasingly rare thing!
The original misbegotten Portland traffic calming attempt. There’s just enough room in the line through the corner for a person of modest ability to take it witbout a downshift. Few people can resist this and some don’t even try. If you are not in a car these things are sketchy as hell.
There’s really no reason not to put bollards on the intersection and restrict cut-through traffic. It’s a simple drive around a few blocks. This is the bizarre contortionist phenomenon that seeks to appease every single car driver at the expense of simple, predictable safe design.
*** without a barrier preventing cars from going straight through the middle you are going to end up with a ton of accidents and probably many fatalities. Most drivers are courteous and pay attention, but there are enough jerks who are always in a rush who will think they can just cut straight through that I full suspect there will be many fatalities at this intersection. As was already stated a better design would have been an oval or oblong round about with a full single island in the middle to prevent the “rushing” driver from cutting straight through. ***Portion of comment deleted by moderator***
It will be fun watching the traffic navigate when the weather warms and it gets busy! (fun for both the workability AND confusion–bring a beer!)
Put a beer cart and some cafe tables in the amoeba. If they replace the pavement with cobblestones I’ll dust off my road bike (the cafe racer) and do my best to keep the whole thing solvent.
Even a barrier in place of that square of paint in the middle would help. That would deter the easiest cut-through going north on 108th.
This design is common enough in Europe. My guess is that PBOT is testing this design on an out-of-the-way minor intersection before they do a major one.
I’ve seen them in the UK, but also British road users are more used to roundabouts generally. I really wonder it’s going to be intuitive to the person heading straight on Everett that they need to yield to the person heading in the opposite direction and turning left onto 108th.
Given that this is not a high volume intersections, I’m confused about what the benefit of this design are, relative to just replacing the two existing stop signs with yield signs. (Or just accepting that stop signs are now yield signs for people on bikes anyway, due to the Idaho stop law.)
Ne 108th and Glisan is also where the new walking beacon will be installed if I’m not mistaken? And also on 113th and Glisan?
Too many people haven’t mastered a 4 way stop intersection yet.
Will car interiors light up at night when heads explode trying to puzzle out the six(!) yield signs?
I much prefer the amoeba design. It is completely self explanatory. All of the other designs require a fair amount of attention and forethought prior to action. This will inevitably lead to hesitation on the part of drivers, as well as unpredictable, jerky maneuvers.
I see this all the time at the Cesar Chavez/Burnside roundabout. Hesitant drivers who delay entry into the circle cause backups that can stretch half a mile. Upon reaching the head of the line, frustrated drivers make illegal lane changes or gun the accelerator to try to cut off traffic merging ahead. And this is all on a roundabout that is much less complicated than the double roundabout designs.
I guess you mean Chavez/NE GLlisan.
Wow, those designs for Laurelhurst create a miserable pedestrian environment (especially the first one). There’s a lot of extra walking required, relative to where the implied crossings are currently located.
Right. Do all of those streets actually need to be 2-way through-streets or can some of them have, you know, pedestrian/bike priority? Given the limited traffic at this intersection, why not simply put bollards or even a small park there?
Why are they even bothering in the first place? Probably because one person had a mildly bad experience here and complained vociferously, but I think these resources would be better spent on an actual high crash location somewhere else.
Double mini-roundabouts are fairly common in the UK, although even there they can be intimidating if you don’t encounter one regularly.
But for ultimate roundabout fun, look up the magic roundabout: it’s a roundabout where every entrance is also a roundabout – a meta-roundabout? – which creates interesting flow possibilities. Terrifying for the inexperienced, but quite effective once you get used to it.