Comment of the Week: Thank you flaggers!

“I appreciate that they have prioritized our safety.”

Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition.

Comment of the Week

Just off the top of my head, I can think of five comments this week from readers who had recently ridden through an intersection we reported about, or had long experience with an area. You sharing your thoughts finishes the story for us and adds depth to the reporting. This week we show our appreciation by highlighting one of those comments.

Pockets the Coyote wrote a sweet couple sentences in response to our SW Infrastructure update about the courtesy and care which flaggers on Multnomah Blvd have shown them. I liked the comment because it jibed with my experience too. The workers building the basins are friendly, helpful people, and the whole PBOT Capitol Highway project exemplifies excellent community relations.

Here’s what Pockets the Coyote wrote:

I commute through the construction on Multnomah Blvd daily, and in my (morning/evening) experience the flaggers have been wonderful when it was closed to single lane, either giving me and other cyclists priority through the lane, or waving us through the coned off lane.

I appreciate that they have prioritized our safety.

On the subject of safety I would like to see significant changes to the Garden Home/ Multnomah/ SW 69th mess of an intersection at the Old Market Pub.

You can read Pockets the Coyote’s comment and the full comment thread on the original post.

Thank you for the positive comment, Pockets!

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Pockets the Coyote
Pockets the Coyote
16 days ago

Oh Neat! Hopefully this will reach some of them. Thanks for boosting the message.

robert wallis
robert wallis
16 days ago

Thank you for recognizing a group of people who make a lot of difference for those who walk and bike a lot, but seldom get any attention.

Ernest Fitzgerald
Ernest Fitzgerald
15 days ago

That has been my experience with the flaggers too. In fact, they have been so solicitous of my safety that I’m a little embarrassed to use that route, and now divert to Barbur Blvd for that section of my commute.

15 days ago

The flaggers on Multnomah Blvd have been excellent – always calling me to the front of the queue and letting me go first. But they are really the exception, in my experience of riding the roads in the Portland metro area and ESPECIALLY outside of Portland.

A quick rundown of some interactions with flaggers:

  • A flagger near Albany, Oregon, made me wait for EVERY car to go first while she lectured me about how I was slowing down the cars.
  • A flagger out by Tualatin yelled at me to stop stop stop! “Why do you bikers think you shouldn’t have to wait with everyone else?!”
  • A flagger in Beaverton just a few weeks ago was extremely annoyed when I moved near her and eventually told me, in the most annoyed tone, “Just go! I don’t know what you think you are doing.”
  • The all-time low for a flagger was an interaction about five years ago with one of the “Chix with Stix” (that’s a real name for a flagging business) who yelled at me, “The rules apply to you too!” after I cycled very slowly through an area where peds were allowed to walk.

Idea for a column: Send Taylor out to interview traffic-control companies and find out how their employees are trained to interact with cyclists. I’ll bet you’ll find it’s all over the map, with some (probably most) given no training at all. In my experience, most flaggers don’t KNOW how to deal with cyclists and most do not LIKE to deal with cyclists. We fall outside of the metal-death-box paradigm and they just can’t deal with us.

12 days ago

I’m sure that there are better jobs, but people working outside are probably enjoying the weather as much as you are on your ride.

As a solo rider, flaggers can be the only people I talk to for hours at a time. Special shout-out to the guy on a particularly steep section of road in the Gorge who politely “warned” me to keep it under 20. No screens, no electricity, and still a good laugh for the day.