Late last year the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) spent $2.7 million on a project to reduce conflicts and crashes on a short stretch of Southeast Division where it passes under I-205. Since the project included upgrades to the bike lanes, I wanted to take a closer look.
The new bike lanes are just slightly better than the old ones. We now have a bit more breathing room, but there’s still no protection from other road users. It’s clear that the vast majority of funding from this project was aimed at making it safer for drivers and toward building 10 ADA-compliant curb ramps (both of which are much-needed things, I’m just pointing out a fact). As you can see in the video, there is still high risk of right hooks in this area, despite the new green coloring and other striping changes.
Before this recent ODOT investment, we had just typical 1990s-era unprotected bike lanes:
And here’s how it looks now:
Keep in mind I only rode in the westbound direction, so I couldn’t assess the changes to the eastbound lanes. In that direction, ODOT made more substantive changes, including changing the shape of the turn to decrease the turning radius (and slow drivers down) in the northbound I-205 offramp where it meets Division (see map of changes above right).
With so much federal money on the way to ODOT and with a new law just announced today by the US DOT that they want more “highway safety” funds to be spent on bicycle and pedestrian safety, we should pay close attention to the outcomes of these type of projects.
Have you ridden or driving this stretch of Division yet? If so, what do you think about the changes?