Missing on NE 57th: 19 plastic posts meant to protect road users

Plastic delineator wands once stood in the buffer zone (marked with red “X”) in the center of this photo of the southbound bike lane on NE 57th north of Fremont. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE, 12/10: PBOT has replaced the missing plastic wands. Reader Joseph E. sent in a pic that you can see at the end of this story.


A few weeks ago I received an email from Mark Falbo, a Portlander who grew up in the Cully neighborhood over sixty years ago. Mark told me about a safety concern on NE 57th/NE Cully Blvd where it curves just north of NE Fremont. He said dozens of white, plastic delineator wands installed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation to protect bicycle riders and walkers, had gone missing.

“They have all been eliminated from cars and trucks running over them,” Mark wrote. “It’s a very dangerous corner to ride a bicycle through because of its history of people running into the chain-link fence after crossing the bike lane.” Mark had seen the video of the horrific collision on NE 21st that led PBOT to install concrete barricades to protect the bike lane. “As with the dangerous situation faced on NE 21st, this particular corner in Cully warrants immediate action by PBOT to prevent a very likely accident.”

When I rolled over on Sunday, I found out Mark had every reason to be concerned. I counted 19 plastic wands that were no longer standing in the buffer zone of the southbound bike lane on each side of the “T” intersection with NE Failing. The result is a bike lane that is unprotected from car drivers — just as they negotiate a curve at around 30 mph (speed limit is 25 mph).

From what I’ve learned, PBOT first installed plastic wands between NE Failing and Fremont in 2017. That’s also when they added width and the buffer zone to the southbound bike lane by removing an on-street parking lane on the northbound side of the street and shifting the lane striping east. I’m not sure how long the bike lane has been left unprotected. They’re all missing in a Google Maps image dated October 2023 and readers have shared that they might have been gone as far back as summer (more on that below).

NE 57th in this area is classified as a Bicycle Parkway (“a bicycle route designed to serve as a bicycle highway providing for direct and efficient travel for large volumes of cyclists”) and Pedestrian Parkway (“high quality and high priority routes for pedestrian activity”) in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It’s a vital north-south connection between retail destinations around Fremont and along NE Cully to the north. When PBOT added space for non-drivers around 2017, they also add a “pedestrian walkway” southbound — a rare treatment that gives space to walkers on the road, instead of a sidewalk separated by a curb. The presence of this walkway should add even more urgency to the lack of protection, as they are/were the only physical separation between walkers and car users.

This location is already squarely on the PBOT radar (or at least it should be). In 2016 a man was killed by a driver as he tried to walk across 57th at NE Mason, just two blocks north of the curve. Following that tragedy, the neighborhood demanded immediate safety investments. In a letter to the Commissioner of PBOT, the Cully Association of Neighbors wrote, “This stretch of Cully Boulevard, between Fremont and Prescott Streets, is particularly hazardous. It is quite wide, encouraging speeds well above the posted 30 MPH, and a blind curve just south of Mason Street invites crashes like this one.” PBOT has since built a new marked crossing with a concrete center median at the Mason intersection where the person was killed. Four years earlier, in 2012, BikePortland identified this section of 57th as a perfect location for a physically protected bike lane.

To their credit, PBOT listened to neighbors and applied for a federal grant through Metro’s Regional Flexible Funds Allocation (RFFA) process. In October 2022 they were awarded $7.6 million for the Cully/57th Complete Street Project. The project will build a real sidewalk on the west side of the street and widen the existing one on the east side (see cross-section drawing above). The project will also narrow the street (which ranges from 65-75 feet today), build new crossings at NE Failing and Skidmore, install a transit island at NE Mason, rebuild and update the signal at Fremont, and add protected bike lanes that will have a concrete curb instead of plastic wands.

That’s great news, but that project isn’t estimated to begin construction until 2027 (federal funding is a bummer that way). So for now, we’ve got to address the conditions on the ground.

While out there on Sunday, it was easy to see that many drivers fail to negotiate the turn. There was clear evidence of a recent crash. The guardrail was bent and shoved up against the fence and its wooden supports were splintered and sheared clean off their bases.

As for what might have happened to all the missing plastic wands, it’s likely drivers hit them and ripped them out. It’s also possible that City of Portland crews purposely removed them and never put them back. Two readers familiar with the location recalled a Water Bureau sewer repair project that opened up the street this past summer where crews took the wands out in order to make room for a detour route.

Today there are at least a dozen of the wands stashed behind the guardrail (which is doing a great job protecting the fence, when it could be in the street protecting the bike lane!). The wands are strewn about, discarded like wounded soldiers unable to perform their duties.

I’ve asked PBOT for more information about this location and will update this post when I hear back.

Regardless of what happened here, this is a pattern we see citywide far too often. Think of the situation on NE 21st, the NW Lovejoy ramp back in 2012, on NW Naito, and so on and so forth. Like I shared in an op-ed in 2016, if we want cycling to be taken seriously, we must build serious cycling infrastructure.

Plastic wands on busy, high-speed streets are not a serious solution. And allowing them to be ripped out so easily and then leaving people exposed to dangerous drivers for months on end is unacceptable.

BikePortland reader Barbara Stedman told us via social media about what’s happening near her home in southwest. “When they put up the bollards on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway between 25th and Bertha, the bollards were mowed down by cars immediately. Some days PBOT would put up new ones in the morning and they were gone by the afternoon.”

“People living close could hear the bang-bang-bang of car mirrors hitting the bollards,” Stedman continued. “In some places PBOT gave up, on others they added a concrete curb to it. That works much better.”

— If you see protected bike lanes where plastic wands, bollards, or other protective elements have gone missing, PBOT urges you to call their 24/7 maintenance dispatch hotline at (503) 823-1700.

Video from our Instagram page below. Follow us there at @BikePortland.

They’re back! Thanks PBOT. (Photo: Joseph E)
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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blumdrew
2 months ago

Always worth remembering that plastic wands are used and preferred by cities because they don’t damage cars when they hit them. Which spells an obvious message that people’s cars are more important than human beings walking, biking, or rolling.

Also – while we are on the topic of “protected” bike lanes it’s worth talking about how useless our city bike map is for determining if a route is safe or not. The thick blue lines indicating “Bike Lane: Protected, Buffered” (or on low traffic streets) imply that conditions on 57th/Cully are just as safe as they are on NW Naito or Rosa Parks. It also marks part of Lombard as this highest level bike lane. This, on top of the confusing “shared roadway” category (aren’t all roadways shared roadways, PBOT?) makes that map functionally useless, and by extension dangerous for anyone on a bike. But it’s especially acute for newbies and recent transplants! I feel like PBOT is just sort of unfamiliar with riding a bike sometimes. If I made a map of bike routes in the city, I would absolutely be distinguishing between a protected and a buffered bike lane, and I would absolutely not be classifying N Lombard, NE Cully, N Rosa Parks, N Willamette, SE 17th, SW Broadway, NW Naito, and NW Everett as all the “same type” of cycling infrastructure.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

My guess is that the wands were more likely taken out by the #71 city bus that uses NE57th at night.

Champs
Champs
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Large buses are theoretically easy to blame, yet in practice the only place where this vertical paint remains intact for years at a time is alongside bus-only lanes.

cct
cct
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

The manuals DOTs use, published by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), clearly state that anything beyond the ‘fog line’ should be designed to protect drivers in any crash; bikes and people there are specifically referred to as “obstacles in the Clear Field.”

Deviating from these car-centric guidelines could lead to – HEAVENS! – a lawsuit. As long as some quivering city legal staff fears being sued by a dented Subaru’s driver more than the survivors of a dead cyclist, nothing will change. As long as AASHTO rules continue to be written by car-centric engineers, nothing will change.

blumdrew
2 months ago
Reply to  cct

Yeah, it’s quite sad. Ultimately, part of what needs to be addressed here is in the university system that accredits engineers. AASHTO and their ilk were created in large part by so-called traffic engineers that have mostly been trained in a school of thought that is kindly described as car-centric. Car only may be a better description though, as these programs were largely invented by automotive interests in the mid 1920s to manufacture a new status quo for superhighways as a means to alleviate traffic in dense urban cores (check out Peter Norton’s excellent Fighting Traffic if you are interested in more details).

Despite the objective failure of this school of thought, it is still widely entrenched. I think this is evident in just the phrase “traffic engineer” – with the word engineer being thrown on to give credibility to a field that is largely divorced from objective reality. It’s like when someone calls themself a “data scientist” – there is no objective reality hiding in data waiting for a specific process to reveal a truth. There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.

But yes – as long as policy is determined by a group of people who are trained specifically to learn how widening roads fixes traffic and road safety means car safety it will be difficult to advance progress through technocratic channels. Which is why there is still such a need for a “cycling community”; no change will happen organically from within: it must be demanded, and demanded loudly.

Nathan
Nathan
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

If we were enforcing traffic laws and not letting addicts drive around without consequences then we’d not be worried about plastic cones.

Dusty
Dusty
2 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

We need streets designed for safety; there’s no amount of enforcement that can deter the dangerous driving our roads encourage.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Dusty

We need both, especially because rebuilding will take time.

Caleb
Caleb
2 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Sober people wander out of their lane every day. Ease up on the myopia, please.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I feel like PBOT is just sort of unfamiliar with riding a bike sometimes.

Bingo! I think I’ve suggested before on BP that PBOT should employ people to ride around the city every week and report back on the state of the biking infrastructure – similar to the way they currently drive all over the city in those shiny white PBOT motor vehicles we see everywhere.

If PBOT and ODOT employees – and especially decision-makers! – had to bike on the infrastructure they have created, they would quickly determine that it needs to be improved. But they don’t so it isn’t.

Let's Active
Let's Active
2 months ago

There is nothing about flexible “wands” that offer real protection to me when I’m biking through there. The word “protection” conveys something powerful. Wands are OK but are nowhere near protection. I wish we could use better language that distinguishes between wands, concrete barrier etc.

Hope the wands are replaced.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

I think that PBOT engineers use the generic term “plastic delineators” instead of wands or candlesticks.

Nick
Nick
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I prefer “car ticklers”

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick

“Chassis Floss”

John V
John V
2 months ago
Reply to  Let's Active

I hope the wands are replaced too, with a concrete barrier (not the kind shown in their concept, which also add zero protection). But nothing short of a full sized jersey barrier is going to stop an out of control truck flying around at high speeds getting into the bike lane. But come on. That’s not what kills people most of the time (although it happens!). Mostly it’s inattentive drivers, and wands absolutely do offer protection against that. It’s impossible to miss as a driver if you start veering into a bike lane. And really hard to miss before you veer in. They offer protection from drivers who aren’t paying attention.

But that said, as I started off with, they should install some taller concrete barriers here.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

A few weeks ago I was driving down I-84 in the left lane and I looked over and realized that the concrete barriers (because of construction) were maybe a foot to 1 1/2 feet away from me. I thought to myself, here I’m going 55 mph and have no problems with them beside me. I can control my vehicle and thought nothing of it.
Then I thought, why the “F” is PBOT so resistant to the idea of these concrete barriers on streets where the speed limit is 20-35 mph? Can’t drivers manage to safely deal with the barriers? If someone gets a boo boo on their vehicle because they were going too fast or driving inattentively then that’s between them and their insurance company (if they even have insurance).
Just insane.

John V
John V
2 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

It is insane. I would think the barriers on I-84 probably seemed closer than they were at that speed, but the point is still valid. I think *especially* on a corner like this where there is enough concern about cars losing control that they put yellow corner arrows and guard rails on the road, that’s a good place to put in a barrier or two. Really, it would only take one or two to get the job done. I think they should be sprinkling them all over the place but with no need for a continuous wall everywhere. Either to save money, allow in street sweepers, the bogus emergency vehicle excuse, whatever. This isn’t a hard problem, nor one that has to inconvenience anyone.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

I agree that cleaning protected bike lanes *shouldn’t* be a problem, but it clearly is for PBOT. Try cycling in almost any so-called protected bike lane almost anywhere in SW Portland right now, and you’ll be riding a slick skin of wet leaves.

I’m not at PBOT so I don’t take the flak from cyclists, but I would not have installed wands, barriers, etc anywhere until PBOT had the ability to maintain those bike lanes.

dw
dw
2 months ago

These plastic wands show how alarmingly incompetent drivers are. If someone can’t pay enough attention to keep their vehicle inside the lines going 25 they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Or at the very least, they deserve to run into something hard that will damage their car.

PBOT should put up jersey barriers or concrete parking curbs until they can install something more permanent. It’s not a question of if but when someone will die or be seriously injured here.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

You are so right. If you examine ANY stretch of road, anywhere, motor vehicles have left the roadway at EVERY location. So every street needs to be designed assuming that motor vehicles will leave it, everywhere.

idlebytes
idlebytes
2 months ago

The most recent google earth photo from 6/15/22 has them in it so it was fairly recently. The were missing since at least October based on google street view. It seems like construction is the most likely case considering all the ones from Alton to Fremont were still there in October. That just makes it even more egregious.

I find that PBOT/BES seems to operate their construction sites with a particular amount of contempt for cyclists. This summer they were doing some sewer work at Harrison and 20th for a month or so. When they weren’t doing any work they’d move the signs diverting drivers but leave the ones up for cyclists including one in between the diverter on 20th so you had to go around through the crosswalk. It’s the same for pretty much any road work the bike lane is the perfect spot for all those warning signs. The worst is when they put those message boards up right in the bike lane after an accident warning drivers to drive safe.

X
X
2 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Bike lanes, where present, are the default place to set up those diamond shaped orange signs intended to notify motor vehicle operators of a hazard. These signs are commonly placed in the area of water drainage and debris accumulation at the side of roads. I’m the person who drags them out into the verge of the mv lane, which is probably some sort of infraction.

John A
John A
2 months ago
Reply to  X

I do the same thing when possible. My favourite was when some sewer access was going on Glisan right before connecting to Sandy. Sign in bike lane, adjacent parking lane which was totally empty. The crew watched me move it and as I passed them, shouted, that’s better, yeah? They looked at me totally baffled why I did that.
Mind you, that was just after the point where an expanded restaurant seating is in the rest of the parking strip, but they put sandbags in front of it so all the water and debris flood the bike lane there, so generally isn’t a first pick of a stretch for biking for me. Neither the restaurants nor the city responded to my concerns about it last winter and is flooding again this season already.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  John A

To be fair to the crew, I don’t think that bikes are on most construction/flagging crews’ radar. More a failure of management I think. I don’t think we should be making enemies out of the working class folks that build and maintain our streets.

Now the car-brained engineers that design them on the other hand…

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  dw

It’s not some “elites vs the working classes” situation: there are all kinds of flagging and road crews. I’ve been yelled at by crews who clearly don’t think bikes and even pedestrians should be on the road outside of cars, but I’ve also been accorded the greatest courtesy by flaggers who recognized my vulnerability outside of car and gave priority to me as a cyclist or pedestrian.

I’d love for some crack reporter at BP to write a piece about road crews and what they are told about interacting with cyclists and ped.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago

It seems the driving is especially bad given that the street is curving to the left. It seems more common to see wands broken, and bike lane paint worn off, on streets curving right, where drivers are cutting in too close. Swinging too wide on a curve seems really out of control.

John V
John V
2 months ago

Other than the need to constantly replace the plastic wands, this is a case where I think they do a better job than the concrete “curb” alone. Maybe they intend to do both? That would be nice because it would protect from casually running over the wands. But on a curve like this the job of the wands is to make drivers actually see where the line is instead of mindlessly veering off. In wet conditions, painted lines are hard to see.

I don’t know. These curbs just suck. They should really be building those short jersey barriers (I forget what they called them) shown in another article. Something a foot or two high that actually meaningfully protects the bike lane.

Daniel Reimer
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

I agree that those curbs suck. The “curbs” PBOT uses in the bike lanes allow for vehicles to roll right over them, and is evident that this happens often by all the smashed up wands on BH Hwy. In some areas the curbs have been hit so many times they are chipping at the corners.

Look at Naito where they use the same low profile curb, yet for the median PBOT uses a regular curb. Why do the trees in the median get right-angle curbs while the bike lane gets curbs designed to get driven over??

It’s like PBOT is allergic to giving bicyclists something that can’t be driven over.

Nick
Nick
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

Or place some actual jersey barriers there. People drive much slower and safer when they think their car might get damaged.

dw
dw
2 months ago
Reply to  John V

It would be easier to see the painted lines if PBOT wasn’t so allergic to using retro reflective paint.

Su Wonda
Su Wonda
2 months ago

Every missing wand in our city represents an incident where a cyclist would have been injured if they were riding in the ‘protected’ lane. I’ve been riding/commuting in Portland for 20 years and I’ve never felt less safe even though we have waaaay more cycling infrastructure than we did in 2003. I think about my death on Portland streets every single day and it’s up to constant visual vigilance, paint and plastic to ‘protect’ me. I feel mentally exhausted even after the shortest of rides, I used to feel mentally invigorated. Everyday I feel less Strong and Fearless and more Interested but Concerned.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Su Wonda

Also 20 years here too. Do we need a new category? I’ll propose: strong and fearful (turns out we value our lives). That said I decided to drive to work today and my car broke down spectacularly and has been a major hassle to deal with. biking is still superior.

Hunnybee
Hunnybee
2 months ago

Needs barriers like the medians on freeways. In the meantime, I recommend being especially vigilant and aware of the motor vehicles approaching from behind as one bikes south at this curve, looking behind as you approach the curve and coming to a full stop before going through the curve if one sees a motor vehicle driving quickly or erratically and waiting until all vehicles have passed before biking through the curve. You’d only need to wait a few seconds. I have personally done this myself at that curve and in other spots as I’ve biked around Portland the past 45 years.

stephan
stephan
2 months ago

Perhaps obvious, but why does the city not just use quardrails to protect bikelanes when building them? It seems like they are a standard feature of protecting whatever is to the outside of the car traffic lanes. What’s so special about bike lanes that they do not receive this type of protection?

stephan
stephan
2 months ago
Reply to  stephan

“guardrails,” sorry for the typo

cct
cct
2 months ago
Reply to  stephan

A few weeks ago I was driving down I-84 in the left lane

and

Perhaps obvious, but why does the city not just use quardrails to protect bikelanes when building them?

Jersey barriers on 84 are to keep you from killing other drivers if you depart your lane; i.e. to protect motorists. It’s difficult to get DOTs to use them to protect non-motorists. Activists have asked why can’t guardrails be placed at fog line between cars and other street users, and have been told ‘a car might hit the guardrail.’

Seriously, Johnathan needs to do an article(s) on the ASHTO rules, which would explain much about the things people here gnash teeth and rend garments over; they allow engineers and lawyers to point to a line of text and say ‘NO’ to protecting anything but a car. Hell, even AASHTO admits some areas require subjective interpretaions, but Portland tends to side with drivers over other users. Also useful for denying that anything can be improved even slightly, like installing a marked crossing, because a rule’s conditions aren’t perfectly and exactly met.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  cct

An article sounds like a great idea. Obviously it can’t be an analysis of the whole code, but it would be interesting to hear from people (like you!) who are familiar with how people use the code to to justify decisions that otherwise may not make sense.

One thing I dislike, but run across regularly with engineers and technical people–especially the poor ones–is when they jump to “Sorry, it’s a code requirement” or “We’d love to do that, but the code doesn’t allow that”. Often, they either don’t know the codes (or are even using the wrong one, in the case of PBOT and the Sellwood Bridge project) or they’re just lying to get out of doing something they don’t want to do. 98% of the time, they get away with it, because hearing “it’s the code” intimidates people.

Most codes and standards have more leeway than people using them to justify bad design will admit, allowing alternative methods or your “subjective interpretations”. Do the AASHTO standards have that? . And of course it would be helpful just to know the role the standards play in transportation decision (for people that like that sort of thing).

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Or you get the converse, which is “There is no requirement for us to do that.”

ODOT uses this line all the time, as in: “We are not going to maintain that [path / shoulder / lane / etc] b/c we are not required to do so.”

I always want to counter, “I’m also not required to be nice to you,” but of course I’m too polite to say that.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Good point–I hear that all the time, too. Often they’re wrong. Also, they don’t like when you point out a dozen examples of things they did do that weren’t required, either.

It reminds me of Lisa’s coverage of the SW Gibbs sidewalk, with the disagreements over what the regulations said were required or not.

Codes can be intimidating, but with some intelligence and determination, non-experts can get enough of an understanding to see where people aren’t being honest with what the codes say.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
2 months ago

I don’t know what PBOT leadership thinks they’re communicating when they put up plastic wands, but what they are actually communicating is “We know this is a place where motor vehicles are likely to kill or injure people, and we realize we ought to prevent that, but we aren’t really prioritizing preventing death or injury. Here you go!”

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

I worked as an intern and later as a technician at PBOT from 2000-2006, back when painted 1980s bike lanes were still considered state-of-the-art, and most plastic delineators were nowhere near the bike lanes yet. Several engineers there explained to me that those plastic delineators were meant to visually encourage drivers to stay in their lane, but were never meant to be a serious barrier – quite the opposite really – something a bit better and more reflective than paint, much the same purpose as those low yellow reflective bumps you see on some Seattle center lanes, though they too get beat to heck.
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6758215,-122.3126822,3a,75y,230.96h,63.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sznH36YSBesfWyMVM38Ywaw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu

Sheilagh A Griffin
Sheilagh A Griffin
2 months ago

The “dlleaneators/wands/candlesticks” on SE 45th (above Johnson Creek, where 45th levels out) are mostly all gone also. Clearly these do not last. And they provide VERY minimal protection. This seems to be happening pretty much citywide wherever PBOT has installed them.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
2 months ago

It appears from reading recent stories on Bike Portland, that PBOT budgets to install infrastructure but fails to budget to maintain bike infrastructure or had not planned for the replacement of plastic wands that are designed to break off when hit, or are easily removable such as on Naito. This should have been anticipated, just like leaves in the bike lane every year

Remington Evert
Remington Evert
2 months ago

I have been bike commuting from Stanton down 57th down Cully to Columbia twice daily on average 4 days a week for over a year now. I know exactly what happened to the wands and it wasn’t drivers running over them.
I like this website and I like that they are pointing out the wands are missing. It is terrible journalism to take some guys email as fact though.
There was a water related repair. There is a small manhole right outside the northbound bike lane right at Failing. Water started seeping from it one day. Perhaps a few days passed and some folks showed up to fix it. In order to keep traffic flowing in both directions they removed the wands and shifted traffic flow to the west. They used the real estate they had. I believe the repairs took two days If I am recalling correctly. This was several months ago now.
As far as the wands being replaced I dont really think they should. Wands are a waste of taxpayer money. I agree with others if the city truly wants to protect cyclists and pedestrians they should install the large concrete barriers you see along highways. Go all in from the state.
Finally in regards to the RTP being championed in this article. I am completely pro cyclist. I am also completely a realist. What I have witnessed over the last year in no way reflects this is a bicycle and pedestrian parkway. I can count on two hands the amount of cyclists I see going north or south on 57th or Cully along the section I highlighted in my first paragraph weekly. Even crossing these streets heading east and west. As for pedestrians it’s even less. I can count those folks on one hand easily on the stretch between Fremont and Prescott.

John V
John V
2 months ago

It is terrible journalism to take some guys email as fact though. There was a water related repair.

– Remington Evert

Two readers familiar with the location recalled a Water Bureau sewer repair project that opened up the street this past summer where crews took the wands out in order to make room for a detour route.

– The article you didn’t fully read

And your whinging about the number of cyclists in this area is just tired. People say stuff like that all the time, and somehow it always conflicts with my own experience, where I see cyclists on that route every single time I’m there. And this is the hardest time of year to bike! Your argument is just bogus. If we stopped treating it as a bicycle parkway it would ensure that it stays not a bicycle parkway. Need to keep the cycling infrastructure in there now so that it doesn’t become a motorist speedway.

kbrosnan
kbrosnan
2 months ago

There are many missing delineators around the city. Places that are a few years old are missing a couple to all of them. There are a couple missing from Hawthorne eastbound before 99E. All are missing from the bike box and right hand turn lane on westbound SE Morrison & Grand. All are missing about 100 feet in front of the Regal Loyd. This results in people parking in the bike lane. The legal parking is to the left of the bike lane.

With PBOTs budget issues that have trashed maintenance budgets I don’t have much hope that these will get replaced.

Nathan
Nathan
2 months ago

Think the city has more important things to worry about. If somehow one of us is so invisible while cycling and/or a driver so intoxicated, these cones are going to do little to save anyone.

Bright lights
Reflecting clothing
Defensive cycling
& Enforcing traffic and intoxicated driving laws!

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

I disagree, Nathan. If PBOT installed them, PBOT needs to maintain them.

It’s not that difficult. Homeowners here in SW Portland will install the wands themselves to mark off parts of the streets that they want for themselves. I always call PBOT to have them removed, which happens eventually.

If Joe and Jill Homeowner can install them and maintain them, PBOT employees should be able to do it in their sleep.

John Nurse-Mayes
John Nurse-Mayes
2 months ago

Thanks Jonathan for this article. I was riding thru that area this morning, as I do daily and was feeling more unsafe on that corner than usual. I have called the hotline and reported the missing posts multiple times and have heard nothing or seen nothing being done.

It’s a bummer there is no other direct way to get up the hill. ‍♀️

John ‍♀️

bjorn
bjorn
2 months ago

Most of these wands were heavily damaged as of early last summer, then there was some sort of sewer or water project that required closing the northbound lane. Whoever was doing the project removed the damaged wands to use the bike lane as a detour when they dug up the road. I assumed initially when the wands weren’t immediately replaced that the city had elected to put in new ones because the old ones were so badly damaged, but instead nothing was installed. Frankly I think based on the continued damage to both the guardrail and fence after the posts were installed it is clear that they are ineffective and do not provide a safety benefit, but they should be replaced with concrete, not paint.

Beth H
Beth H
2 months ago

Please.
Like they would actually protect me in a dicy situation.
I have no faith left in a city, state and country whose elected officials continue to prioritize automotive traffic over bicycle and pedestrian safety.
Going forward I’ll assume I’m on my own when something happens.
So much for the halcyon days of Portland’s “bike culture.”

blumdrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Beth H

The halycon days of Portland’s bike culture had fewer bike lanes and less institutional support. Poorly built, executed, and maintained infrastructure is not a reflection of the people riding.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
2 months ago

People that commit this kind of crime are usually transients and MONIED construction contractors.

Look at jobsites. You regularly see Portland Water Bureau and PBOT a-signs and cones in private properties of MONIED real estate developer projects. I’ve even seen barricades marked “City of Lake Oswego” being used by construction company working on 478 SW Arthur, the old KBNP station. They committed other fraudulent activities, such as telling the permit office they need to reserve spaces for construction equipment, then using it to make employee parking and such.