PBOT adds heavy concrete barricades to notorious NE 21st Ave bike lanes

NE 21st Avenue looking north across I-84. (Photo: PBOT)

On Wednesday, crews from the Portland Bureau of Transportation placed four large, 2,000-pound concrete drums (PBOT refers to them as “planters” because they also use them for that purpose) on the southeast corner of the Northeast 21st Avenue overpass of I-84. It’s the exact location where a woman was hit and seriously injured by a car driver while biking in the previously unprotected lane.

In posts on social media, PBOT said the move was aimed at providing “hardening protection for bicyclists.” The bureau added that new signage warning car drivers of a curve in the road and a restriction on truck use on NE 21st Circle is also in the works. This is a great and very welcome upgrade that has very real safety benefits.

PBOT installed the two-way bike lane with plastic flex-posts (aka delineators”) in 2016. When we reported on the project, commenters predicted that head-on collisions were likely. And that’s exactly what happened on August 31st when the driver of a Honda Civic failed to negotiate the curve, slammed into a woman biking in the opposite direction, and then sped off.

If these barricades were in place from the start, that woman would not have been hit. In the video, the driver of the Civic plowed right over the plastic posts as if they were not even there.

That collision was shocking and terrifying. Video taken by a driver’s dashcam and shared with BikePortland showed that the flex-posts were useless as the driver careened into the bike lane and the impact catapulted the rider into the air — flipping her body head-over-heels two times before she landed on her face on the adjacent sidewalk. The woman suffered gashes requiring stitches on her cheek and eyebrow. BikePortland ultimately removed the video and the story (which included a graphic photo of the victim’s bloodied face) by request of the victim*; but not after it had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. (*The victim only wanted it posted to catch the driver and asked me to remove it all after police apprehended them.)

The collision spurred even greater urgency from the community for protected bike lanes. A week later, a group of guerrilla activists placed concrete curbs in the curve. Those curbs were quickly removed by PBOT and the agency said in a social media post that they were “unauthorized safety hazards.” The collision video also inspired a letter from BikeLoud PDX to PBOT staff and Portland City Council members (dated September 12th) that made the following request: “Use physical protection rather than plastic delineators in new bike lane projects, especially at curbs, corners, or where the speed limit is greater than 20 miles per hour.”

This context is why many Portlanders have taken umbrage at PBOT’s claim in their post yesterday that, “There have not been reported traffic deaths or serious injury crashes at this location.” That statement appears to create a narrative that this wasn’t a reactionary move. As if PBOT would have done it even if there wasn’t a violent, predictable collision caught on video.

Beyond any operational, policy, or budget issues PBOT faces in deciding whether or not to harden bike lanes to defend against increasingly reckless drivers, an additional challenge at this specific location was that it is on a bridge surface. That means PBOT engineers need to be careful about doing anything that might erode the structural integrity of the bridge — especially by placing heavy objects and/or drilling into the pavement.

According to PBOT each one of these planters that is filled with concrete cost about $5,000 to build and install.

Asked about their statement that there have been “no reported serious injury crashes at this location,” PBOT Public Information Officer Dylan Rivera told BikePortland that, “To our knowledge the person bicycling in the August crash did not suffer life-threatening injuries resulting in a Major Crash Team investigation by Portland Police. That would be one indication of a serious injury crash. Through the course of our work on traffic safety, Portland Police and PBOT staff are regularly exposed to the horrific details of how traffic crashes impact human beings on our streets. A crash doesn’t have to produce life-threatening injuries to cause very significant harm.” PBOT then explained that they don’t receive official reports of all injury crashes, only the ones that the PPB’s Major Crash Tam responds to and investigates. The other major source of injury data PBOT uses comes from the DMV through the State of Oregon and those reports lag about 18 months due to ODOT’s reporting process. “We share the public’s frustration that it takes so long for this data to be available,” Rivera said.

CORRECTION, 12:22 pm: This story initially said ODOT had jurisdiction of the overpass and had to be notified by PBOT as part of this project. That was incorrect. PBOT owns this bridge. I regret the error and any confusion it might have caused. – Jonathan

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Matt
Matt
6 months ago

Kudos to PBOT for a relatively quick action after the hit-and-run in this location. I give them a B; and can’t wait to see these things start collecting paint from people’s cars.

(For A-level work, PBOT could have foreseen this hazard and installed protection before anybody got hit.)

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

I would like to amend my previous comment, which I must admit was a “hot take” based only on the title and photos. After reading the article, I give PBOT a D- for the disingenuous statement about collisions at this location. Averaging the B I gave for their actions with the D- for their words, we can call this C-level work.

zuckerdog
zuckerdog
6 months ago

While maybe factually true, PBoTs tweet is morally dishonest, at best. And completely not necessary to the point of the work.

Concrete has a density of 140lbs/ft^3, the concrete barrels probably weigh about 5,500 lbs..

Also the Bobcat Telehandler in the photo has an operating capacity of 6,600 pounds and retails around $90k but could probably pick up used for $40-50K

Bjorn
Bjorn
6 months ago

I don’t think they reacted to the violent collision, as nothing changed after that. It was only once people started putting concrete down in the street that they got to work. It doesn’t seem like it should be this way but it certainly seems like these kind of direct actions are the only way to get positive changes out of PBOT under this leadership.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago
Reply to  Bjorn

You nailed it, Bjorn. This iteration of PBOT is all about ELM (embarrassment limitation management).

Keviniano
Keviniano
6 months ago

Fantastic, PBOT! Don’t stop there! There are a lot of places around town that meet the sensible criteria BikeLoud laid out in their request. Go forth and protect bike infrastructure like our future depends on it.

EP
EP
6 months ago

This definitely seems a bit performative as that spot has been a known hazard for YEARS! Why does it take so long to implement real, physical protection? Does PBOT need volunteers to help paint jersey barriers, concrete blocks, and repurposed concrete planters yellow? I don’t think there would be a shortage of people willing to help!

I’m guessing PBOT and the city of Portland have hundreds, maybe thousands of suitable large concrete objects in their inventory that could be easily painted and installed all over town. I dream of seeing them pop up in the middle of busy streets as temporary refuge islands and such.

GET ON IT PBOT!

Watts
Watts
6 months ago

The headline photo makes it look like PBOT placed a concrete obstacle in the “straight line” cycling path (who uses those stupid bike roundabouts?).

Is there any new safety hazard to cyclists from these?

Chris I
Chris I
6 months ago
Reply to  Watts

It looks like these will be hazardous to anyone who can’t maintain their lane, and that includes cyclists. I recommend not crashing into the giant bright yellow objects.

socially engineered
socially engineered
6 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The drums/diverters are located at a bend in the bike lane. Since the straight-line path would send a bicycle rider directly into the path of oncoming cars, it’s quite a good thing to have an obstacle there.

Planter-locations-approx
Watts
Watts
6 months ago

Thanks, the aerial view clarifies things a lot.

blumdrew
6 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I would say the hazard of making a slight turn is substantially lower than the threat of vehicular violence. It’s an improvement, even if the angles are a bit less than ideal.

PBOT bike roundabouts might be the dumbest thing in the entire city though. I feel insane every time I look at one. Like can anyone at PBOT explain why on earth this was needed at Milwaukie/Mitchell? I’m not convinced a roundabout that small would make an intersection safer for cyclists, and this is also a phenomenally bad bit of routing (with PBOT thinking that it makes more sense for a cyclist to cross McLoughlin at grade at 17th, rather than take Milwaukie’s bridge over). Infuriating.

Nick
Nick
6 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Not to mention how hard they are to use on any kind of less maneuverable bike like a recumbent/trike/cargo bike/tandem/hand-cycle etc

dw
dw
6 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Been past there so many times and I agree, it’s really dumb. Makes me think of the beautiful, dutch-style protected intersection on NW Thurman & NW 20th that connects to nothing, nothing, nothing and raised cycletracks (that connect to nothing)

maxD
maxD
6 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

that is hilarious, thanks for the link! I had forgotten about that roundabout, it truly has no purpose. what a waste of space and money

Fred
Fred
6 months ago
Reply to  maxD

Please remember that the people who design these things do not ride bikes. Our cycling infra, such as it is, would look completely different if everyone at PBOT rode a bike for most of their transportation.

dw
dw
6 months ago

For as much as people complain about these concrete planters being ugly, they sure do work. Someone dying is much uglier.

I just really hope that a business owner or “concerned neighbor” doesn’t complain and get these taken out.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
6 months ago
Reply to  dw

Or a “multigenerational household”

John V
John V
6 months ago

Well, this is awesome and I wish they would just put these at all similar locations. They take away nothing from drivers (even perceived), they’re dirt cheap, and they improve safety. It’s win win.

Hard to say for sure, but I credit the guerilla improvements at least in part with the quick action here.

idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago

Beyond any operational, policy, or budget issues PBOT faces in deciding whether or not to harden bike lanes to defend against increasingly reckless drivers, an additional challenge at this specific location was that it is on an interstate bridge surface.

See also Rosa Parks, the Hawthorne Bridge, and generally all diverters. The amount of drivers I see going over or around diverters is appalling and it seems every week at least one plastic wand is knocked over or missing on the Hawthorne Bridge. With the amount of money they’ve spent replacing those useless wands all over the city they probably could have hardened most of the bike infrastructure in town.

At least the Hawthorne is slated for some protection if they ever complete it. They’re supposed to raise the bike lane to the sidewalk level which is better than nothing.

Parking in the bike lane on Rosa Parks is also out of control. Parking enforcement should be there every day writing tickets it would easily pay for itself.

Chasing Backon
Chasing Backon
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

i was told by a parking agent, that when you call the parking enforcement line 503-823-5195 and report a vehicle, to be sure and use the language”blocking the travel lane”. This supposedly moves the complaint to a higher priority.

joan
6 months ago

PBOT’s statement was baffling. They didn’t need to say anything either way. We all saw that horrifying video. The tweet read as almost petulant: “We’re putting in these barriers because we wanted to, not because you asked us to.” I don’t get it at all.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago
Reply to  joan

Because they need to show that they are in charge, not you or me.

mark
mark
6 months ago

Jonathan – can you follow up on the arrest of the hit-and-run driver? I would like to believe there were serious legal consequences for their poor decisions that day.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago

Unless the driver was drunk, he probably got nothing more than a ticket for “leaving the lane of travel.”

Chris P
Chris P
6 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Yep, got left crossed and the driver walked with a ticket for being uninsured. Good samaritans stopped him from fleeing. Changed my life, years of PT.

qqq
qqq
6 months ago

“There have not been reported traffic deaths or serious injury crashes at this location.”

PBOT should welcome people challenging that, and the opportunity to correct it.

The alternative is people could accept it–not that the crash didn’t happen, but that that type of violent crash doesn’t meet PBOT’s definition of “serious injury crash”. Then every time PBOT ever presents any statistics about how it’s creating safer streets, people can remind them that there must be all kinds of crashes like that one that don’t even make it into PBOT’s statistics because PBOT doesn’t define violent crashes as “serious injury crashes”.

Charley
Charley
6 months ago
Reply to  qqq

If the video of the crash were still available, it would make a brutal counterpoint to PBOT’s bureaucratic, tone deaf, and somewhat Orwellian use of language in this case.

I’m not on TikTok, but can you imagine the viral video juxtaposing the crash with PBOT’s tweet?

Quint
Quint
6 months ago

Jonathan, this bridge is owned by PBOT, not ODOT, just like almost every bridge crossing I-84. There is no ODOT jurisdiction whatsoever.

idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago

I’ve asked PBOT and other agencies to create some sort of publicly accessible map that clearly shows who owns and manages what.

Isn’t the Pavement Maintenance Responsibility map on Arcgis effectively that? Although it is notably missing all bridges which is odd. It’s also missing all of Tabor’s roads so it’s difficult to report potholes on it. I’m guessing Parks or the County. Although PBOT does say if it’s not their road they’ll forward the request on to the correct party. I haven’t tried that yet and don’t know if I’ll have much success.

maxD
maxD
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Thanks for the link, super interesting. I poked around a little and notice that Harbor Drive between Naito and River is PBOT-owned! That is the most hostile, unfriendly barrier of a street, PBOT should be ashamed!

Quint
Quint
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

That’s pretty accurate, but the omission of so many bridges and ramps makes it not quite as useful as what Jonathan is asking for. I agree that PBOT should provide a clear map that is just about jurisdictional ownership of all the roads, ramps, bridges, etc in Portland so that people know who to go to for various things.

Dean
Dean
6 months ago

Hey Jonathan. I deal with jurisdiction issues for permitting all the time. For Portland, if it is a ROW within the City limits it is PBOT unless it is an ODOT ROW. There are a few minor exceptions involving railroads and Mult County but they are few.The ODOT Trans GIS website is a great tool for determining which sections of roadways, including bridges belong to ODOT. ODOT TransGIS (state.or.us) In short, If it is not ODOT per the map, and there are no railroad tracks, it is the City of Portland. Hope this helps.

idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

If it is not ODOT per the map, and there are no railroad tracks, it is the City of Portland. Hope this helps.

Or it’s privately owned or it’s an unincorporated county road or it’s an incorporated city within Portland like Maywood Park.

Dean
Dean
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Idlebytes. I recognize your need to comment because you frequently feel the need to do a bit of “GOTCHA!” here to prove how smart you are in this forum. I do not have the time to explain every nuance to trolls. In short though.. There are no unincorporated county roads within the City limits of Portland (hence the term “unincorporated”). The roads within the City of Maywood Park are not in the City of Portland, they are in the City of Maywood Park. Private roads are not public ROWs, they are private property, which obviously ODOT nor PBOT have control of. I was simply trying to provide Jonathan the tool he was looking for. See image that shows the ODOT Trans GIS site that shows who has jurisdiction of any given road with a couple of clicks. This also works for the ENTIRE state of Oregon, including outside of Portland. For this example, which I hope my image attachment works, is the road which is the subject of the article.

 Idlebytes and those like him are the reason why I rarely choose to speak up here. Trying to wade through all the heavy commentors.. and then when you do, they try to drop an “OH BURNED YA BRO!”. This was a simple attempt to provide some help, and an available tool to Jonathan and everyone.

ODOT-Trans-GIS-showing-ownership
idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

I wasn’t trying to burn you or troll you I was just adding additional information you left out. Perhaps my tone was too curt.

Anyway I commented to point out that it’s a little more nuanced than looking at the state map and just assuming the unmarked roads are managed by the City. Living in a neighborhood with private roads every few blocks I think it’s important to not just assume a pothole riddled road is the City’s fault. I brought up the county because Tabor isn’t marked on PBOTs map at all and I wonder if it’s just some weird one off where the City assumed responsibility for taking care of the park but the county is still responsible for the roads.

Quint
Quint
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

The roads in Mt Tabor are owned and maintained by the Parks Bureau.

idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago
Reply to  Quint

Thank you for the info now I just have to figure out how to report all the pot-holes before they kill me.

Charley
Charley
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Oof.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

Thanks for commenting, Dean. Gotcha Bro is the price we all pay for commenting in this forum.

BB
BB
6 months ago
Reply to  Dean

Thank you Dean and this comment is an all time BURN and well deserved.. You Hit the nail on the head here.

Todd/Boulanger
6 months ago

Or ODOT / PBOT can just use a thermo plastic stencil to mark the change in jurisdiction…’entering ODoT’ or ” Caio PBoT”

John
John
6 months ago

Alright Quint, let’s get to it!

EP
EP
6 months ago
Reply to  Quint

But the bridges over I-5 and I-205 are ODOT owned, right?

I know I had to do some running around to find the right ODOT contact to get a Leading Pedestrian Interval added to the walk signal by the I-205 MUP path at Glisan. Amazingly a friendly traffic engineer was happy to help, and gave pedestrians a 5-second head start, instead of the walk signal and green light at the same time. Now, if only people would stop before they make a right on red.

Quint
Quint
6 months ago
Reply to  EP

Correct, most of the bridges across I-5 and I-205 are owned by ODOT, even the ones with PBOT roadways going over them. I think it has to do with the fact that I-84 was built inside a natural gulch. Because it was a gulch, most of the bridges already existed and were owned by PBOT, and I-84 was just built underneath the bridges. Even when a bunch of them were partially rebuilt in the 80s for the MAX project, there must have been some agreement that they remain under PBOT ownership.

From what I can remember looking at the bridge maps that used to be on PBOT’s old website (they seem to be missing from the new one), the only I-84 bridges that belong to ODOT are the ones that carry roads that used to be ODOT highways. So basically there seems to be a practice where even if a highway is transferred from ODOT to PBOT, ODOT keeps ownership of the bridges. So the Grand/MLK bridges are still ODOT, even though Grand/MLK (aka US Hwy 99E) was transferred to PBOT sometime in the 90s (I think). The Sandy Blvd bridge is still ODOT, even though Sandy Blvd (formerly designated as US Hwy 30) was transferred to PBOT in the 00s. And the 82nd Ave bridge is still ODOT even though 82nd Ave (aka OR Hwy 213) was transferred to PBOT last year. The Halsey bridge over 82nd Ave is also ODOT-owned, even though it’s a PBOT roadway, probably because it was built as part of a complex interchange and was not a previously-existing bridge.

I-5 and I-205 were built later, and created new trenches that needed new bridges to cross them, so in those cases ODOT built them as part of the project and kept ownership over them long-term.

Foot Patrol
Foot Patrol
6 months ago
Reply to  Quint

Comment of the week.

Interesting history about Portland overpass ownership.

Mark Remy
Mark Remy
6 months ago

I’ve been saying for years that I would love to see one of these concrete drums/planters/whatever smack dab in the middle of every intersection in the city. Or at least the busiest and most dangerous. Because, as I’ve also been saying for years, the only thing that reliably slows drivers down and makes them pay attention is encountering something that could damage their car.

Imagine the net effect this would have on drivers’ speed and inattentiveness. I like to think that, over time, many drivers would even be “trained,” unconsciously, to slow down and pay attention in places that don’t have such barriers.

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

John V
John V
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Remy

I like the thought but if you imagine them just adding one of these to an intersection, I think the actual effect would be a significant number of drivers barely slowing down but swerving directly into the bike lane or into the path of a bike which is currently crossing.

Hard to visualize, maybe they’re big enough that the drivers would really have to go slow. But even then, this makes every intersection a right hook even if they’re not turning right.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago
Reply to  John V

Good point. You can envision any change to a system you’d like, but until you see how USERS in the system interact with the change, you have no idea of the overall systemic impact of the change. So many well-intended changes have had really bad outcomes, in every system.

EP
EP
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Remy

People love to complain about how hard it is to drive on Division with the new “narrow & swervy” lanes that shift around. Like, yeah that’s the idea. Slow down and be attentive! It seems the majority of drivers are used to driving cars on wide roads with no consequences for not staying in your lane. Thus; all the more reason why we need protected bike lanes!

idlebytes
idlebytes
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Remy

I’ve found the ones they added recently along greenways have certainly helped and think they should add more. You’re right about drivers only caring about damaging their cars which is why they’re fine to pass cyclists too close but will give a wide berth to other drivers.

JR
JR
6 months ago

If only we had traffic enforcement, we might squeeze more awful drivers off the road so incidents like this become more rare. As it stands, it’s amazing incidents don’t happen on a daily basis. Drivers seem to be operating with complete impunity these days and it’s scary as heck. I don’t even like walking on sidewalks near major streets without some physical barrier given the speeds and irresponsible behavior I witness on a daily basis.

Todd/Boulanger
6 months ago

Interesting pre-fabricated units. I have not seen this exact type of unit before in my world wide travels. Does anyone know what it is usually used for (with or without the concrete)? Thx.

maxD
maxD
6 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

I think it is accessway (formerly manhole) riser

EP
EP
6 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

I believe these are precast round planters that are turned upside down, thus the little step/reveal at the top edge. PBOT then anchors signs to the top (bottom) of them. You can see they’ve been around awhile and are all chipped, but with a fresh coat of yellow paint. I wonder how many of these PBOT has, and where they keep getting them from/shuffling around from other projects. There may be a few spots, like up on N Willamette & Villard, that have these planters with actual plants in them.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/PDZ3W8URu2SD6hom7?g_st=ic

PBOT added a bunch of newer, lower, round planters on Multnomah years back that look a whole lot nicer, and actually have plants in them.

IMG_9405
Chris I
Chris I
6 months ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

They installed one of these on NE 53rd, just north of 84. Within the first few weeks, someone had already hooked one of the pegs that stick out and moved the entire thing about a foot.

Brighton West
Brighton West
6 months ago

Are these installed upside down? Normally they are filled with gravel.

Maybe for weight / but they look to be off the bridge surface.

They may look threatening, but I’m guessing they would easily move if an SUV hit them. But I think the driver of said SUV would be way more cautious thinking they are solid and could scratch his paint…

Quint
Quint
6 months ago
Reply to  Brighton West

Usually they are installed right-side-up, with soil in them, if neighbors are willing to plant flowers or whatnot in them and keep the plantings maintained to keep them looking nice. In areas where that is not the case and extremely unlikely it ever will, like this example on a bridge, they’re put in upside-down so that they don’t become weed-filled eyesores.

Max S (Wren)
Max S (Wren)
6 months ago

There have not been reported traffic deaths or serious injury crashes at this location.

I guess this is technically true, but she was extremely fortunate to come out of that “only” needing stitches. A slight change in how she landed could have meant a broken neck.

qqq
qqq
6 months ago
Reply to  Max S (Wren)

Actually, to be precise, it should have had a hyphen–“serious-injury crash”–to be even technically true (a crash that caused a serious injury). A “serious injury crash” (no hyphen) is to me a serious crash involving an injury, which certainly DID take place, because that’s an accurate description of someone getting knocked into the air by a direct hit from a speeding car.

I realize some people could say the hyphen is a petty issue. But unlike PBOT’s writing, your point is 100% perfect. PBOT’s decision to describe it the way they did was bizarre. It would have been much more accurate and honest to say, “At this location, a person riding a bike was recently hit and injured by a hit-and-run driver” or something similar.

Also, although it would still be wrong, it would be understandable if PBOT chose to write so evasively it this were a case of PBOT correcting a blatant design mistake. But most people probably wouldn’t think the lack of barriers at that location was a blatant mistake. The fact that PBOT chose to be so evasive anyway makes it look like avoiding blame and looking proactive has become a real priority for PBOT, which is a bit sickening to me.

Fred
Fred
6 months ago

Is PBOT run by lawyers now?

Imaginary legal counsel: “Whatever you do, do NOT give anyone the impression that those plastic wands are anything but safe! And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER admit that anything bad has happened, anywhere!”

Foot Patrol
Foot Patrol
6 months ago

PBOT, “Being driven into with a 2500-pound machine, catapulting through the air, and then crashing into concrete tis but a scratch for human flesh, no big deal at all!”

Any car driven at speed into a human is serious. It’s absolute luck that Rivera can even say this statement in reaction to recent events. Glad to see PBOT safeguarding all users of the road. Let’s see more proactive protection throughout the system.

Joesurfer
Joesurfer
6 months ago

The protection is good but boy are they UGLY! Looks like an old Soviet Union architect was involved. Could we so sponsor a design contest to come up with something that was effective and not quite so heinous appearing?

maxD
maxD
6 months ago
Reply to  Joesurfer

Instead of using a concrete riser, PBOT could use something designed for control traffic and protect areas
https://www.externalworksindex.co.uk/entry/32219/Furnitubes/Bell-cast-iron-traffic-bollard/

JoeSurfer
JoeSurfer
6 months ago
Reply to  maxD

SO MUCH BETTER! Jonathan how do we get PBOT to use these instead?

mc
mc
6 months ago

I’ve a very serious problem with PBOT’s statement, “no reported serious injury crashes at this location,”

As engineers, they should be designing for safety and for worse case scenarios such as heavy objects made out of metal traveling at speed operated by creatures that are prone to errors and their attention distracted by all kinds of things in an urban environment.

When they build bike infrastructure, they’re literally saying to vulnerable road users, “we’ve designed and built something that makes it safe for you to use the road here.” When are these clowns going to understand that motor vehicles are dangerous to human life and they need to be contained, restricted and start designing for the inevitable death and destruction they and their operators are want to do?!?!?!

If that’s not the standard, and all the “engineers” are doing is figuring out where to put paint, plastic wands, how much it’ll cost and schedule when to do it, they should all be fired and PBOT dissolved because neighborhood volnteer crews could do the same level of work, probably much better and it’d even look a hell of a lot nicer.

If that’s all it takes to be a transportation engineer, I’m going to transportation engineering school and getting me a nice comfy, good paying office job with all the benies and no accountability for the lazy, unskilled, low quality, dangerous work that I do.

PBOT fucking failed and failed badly here and it caused serious injury to an innocent vulnerable road user using bicycling infrastructure they designed, built and ostensibly deemed safe.

I hope the victim sues PBOT into oblivion. Just defund PBOT and start over.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
6 months ago

Compare to the corner of SE Cesar E Chavez and Taylor, where a driver killed Jeanie Diaz in July. Last week, PBOT finally did something at that intersection — something that increases the likelihood of a driver injuring or killing bicyclists and pedestrians. Yup, they put in plastic wands to force all drivers on Taylor to turn right onto Chavez, something drivers must do by looking left at traffic on Chavez to wait for a break to turn right. Many drivers begin that right turn without looking to see if pedestrians are crossing in front of or to the right of them, or if bicyclists are crossing to the right. Nor do these plastic wands do anything to prevent reckless and dangerous driving on Chavez. In fact, they seem to be increasing dangerous driving; within 36 hours of the wands going up, I saw a driver on Chavez who decided to make a left onto Taylor, which they executed by cutting through the crosswalk to swerve around the plastic wands. Honestly, I thought getting PBOT Director Millicent Williams to sit at this intersection for nearly two hours witnessing all the illegal and dangerous driving would lead to improvements. The fact that it led to a cheap change that makes the intersection more dangerous is one more indication of why she is the wrong person to lead PBOT, or any government agency.

I’m sorry to find Williams so incompetent, for many reasons. Among those is the fact that this town is full of misogyny that tears down women in leadership roles, especially women of color. But as someone who cares deeply about equity, I cannot support any leader whose incompetence endangers lives. As data show, vehicular violence takes a greater toll on individuals/communities of color, and on those without stable housing and with fewer economic resources.

Watts
Watts
6 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

PBOT finally did something at that intersection — something that increases the likelihood of a driver injuring or killing bicyclists and pedestrians. 

Yet another reason why riding on sidewalks, especially against the flow of traffic, is dangerous (even if legal). There are always people turning right, so this dynamic plays out at every intersection.

maxD
maxD
6 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Watts,
not sure if this was your intent, but your comment comes off as very patronizing. I think everyone who ridden a bike around for more than one day understands that riding on sidewalks is dangerous: cracks, driveways, cross streets, pedestrians including children and dogs, street furnishings, low branches, puddles, and on and on. People ride on sidewalks because the alternatives suck even worse. If your destination is on Cesar Chavez, very people will exercise their legal right to take the lane and ride down Cesar Chavez to get to their destination- they are going to take the sidewalk because PBOT has designed and maintained a deadly road that has no place in a neighborhood. In the face of injury and death, PBOT has created a situation where people cycling need to choose between the terrible and dangerous conditions an the sidewalk or the even more terrible and more dangerous conditions in the traffic lanes. This street is so poorly designed that it is not even safe to walk down the sidewalk or wait at the bus stop next to the sidewalk. The street is the problem, and PBOT is responsible.

Watts
Watts
6 months ago
Reply to  maxD

There are those on this forum who continue to insist there is nothing wrong with riding on the sidewalk. They are good riders and definitely never pose a threat or intimidate pedestrians, and are always super cautious at any vehicle crossing.

My comment was addressed at them.

(I know everyone (including me) rides on sidewalks once in a while. Knowing it is wrong and dangerous leads me to be more careful, so it generally works out. And I also know it is legal in most places.)

(For the record, I walk along the street several times a month, so I am very familiar with the conditions of the (shockingly narrow) sidewalk immediately adjacent to the (alarmingly fast) traffic. In many places there is no safe way for a cyclist to get around a pedestrian regardless of speed.)

qqq
qqq
6 months ago

I’m thinking PBOT could solve two problems at once by taking all the roadblocks they use to stop good projects, and use them to protect bike lanes.

High Peddler
High Peddler
6 months ago

I’d be more impressed if the police had caught the driver and they were sent away to prison…forever.