After survey and study, bike friendly speed bumps get a thumbs-up

(Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Bike-friendly speed bumps have felt like something of an underdog since they burst onto the scene in 2017. But that would change if Portland’s head bike planner has any say in the matter.

Speed bumps with channels cut through them to ease the way for bicycle riders have elicited a variety of opinions over the years. Some say they make biking more comfortable and attractive, while others find them annoying and worry about costs given other priorities. For the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the jury had been out — even after years of use in the field.

Now results are in from a PBOT survey conducted over the summer: “PBOT recommends that bicycle-friendly speed bumps be the preferred speed bump used for neighborhood greenways,” reads a 10-page report authored by PBOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller published Thursday ahead of a meeting of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee on Tuesday (March 12th).

Background

The first mention of bike-friendly speed bumps on BikePortland was January 2017 when we got wind that PBOT would test them on the SE Clinton Street neighborhood greenway. Since then, PBOT has rolled them out on 10 greenways citywide: N Kilpatrick, Michigan and Wabash; NE Alameda, Davis and Everett; SE Ankeny, Clinton and Woodward, and SW 60th. When they came to a greenway in my neighborhood, I was eager to sing their praises.

[Above: A new “Bike Bump Map” created by PBOT shows bike-friendly speed bump locations (in green) relative to the city’s emergency vehicle corridors.]

The impetus for giving bike riders a break from bumps comes from the irony that in order to get drivers to slow down to the 20 mph speed limit on streets where bicycling and walking is prioritized, speed bumps are a necessary evil. And I say “evil” because hitting a bump while riding is uncomfortable and inefficient — especially when riding at higher speeds on downhills or near the speed limit (much easier these days thanks to electric bikes). Hitting bumps isn’t just annoying, it can cause damage to your property when cargo is jostled and/or falls out of a rack or bag. (Keep in mind that unlike automobiles, most bikes ridden in the city have very little or not suspension.)

In addition to real-world use, PBOT wanted more direct feedback to make a final decision on whether or not to keep bike-friendly speed bumps alive. So they did a survey last summer. The report that will be discussed at the BAC meeting Tuesday night summarizes what PBOT learned from the 543 people who responded to that survey.

Survey says

PBOT’s survey wanted to find out three things: Do people actually like to bike through the channels? Should sharrow markings line up with the channel? And, what should PBOT do if the bikey bumps cost more?

A whopping 80% of the 543 survey respondents said they prefer riding through the bicycle-friendly bumps (note that PBOT refers to the bumps as speed “cushions”). And since Portland’s adopted bicycle design policies encourage them to build the “highest quality bikeways” possible and to, “maximize comfort and minimize delays” for people bicycling; this finding had major sway in PBOT’s recommendation. “This strong preference for the channels suggests that the channels represent a higher quality design than standard speed bumps. In that sense, their use better support our design policies (“Build the highest quality bikeways”) than do standard speed bumps,” states the report.

65% of respondents liked the idea of the sharrow pavement marking being aligned right at the channel to help orient them through.

When it came to cost, a slight majority of respondents recommended installing the cushions despite a potential 10% premium on cost (survey went out before the 20% premium number was known), 40% said to save money, and 9% had no preference.

With funding such a major issue at PBOT, the report took a close look at the cost difference between the bike-friendly cushions and traditional bumps. Geller and his team analyzed nine projects and found the bike-friendly version costs 20% more. But when Geller looked deeper into the numbersand had engineers estimate how many regular speed bumps would have been required for the same project, he found there was actually “no or only minimal cost difference.” In the end, Geller says each project should be evaluated independently when/if cost is an issue.

The report also weighs in on a few key concerns about the bumps expressed by some in the community: That drivers use the channels and swerve dangerously while doing so, and that the channels can cause some riders to crash or bobble and/or be a problem for folks with trikes and other unconventional rigs.

Here’s what the report says about drivers using the channels:

Our speed data indicate that even though people may get one wheel in a channel it does not affect speed. However, that doesn’t mean that people don’t try. . However, the observation is that while people driving may deflect toward the channel when there is nobody else on the roadway. When somebody else is on the roadway, people driving stay in their lane.

And here’s what the report says about bike riders crashing in the channels:

Regarding that the cushions can contribute to crashes: there have been no reported crashes on the cushions to date. When initially deployed, PBOT staff attempted to ride erratically through the channels at different speeds and angles of approach to see if the channels created discomfort in riding. They did not.

This report makes it clear that if PBOT’s bike coordinator has his way, the bureau will make bike-friendly bumps the standard going forward.

Stay tuned for input from BAC members after Tuesday night’s meeting and take a look at the full report yourself here. You can also learn more on PBOT’s website.

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

57 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve C
Steve C
1 month ago

The cutouts make drivers act like unsafe weirdos, swerving into oncoming traffic to even get on tire into a cutout.

If it’s just a question of bicycle riding preference, sure the cutout is better. But I personally don’t find the bumps to be too bad. I just stand up a bit and it’s fine. You can hit the speed bumps on lower Germantown faster than any car and equal any wannabe Baja trophy truck.

Greenways should have diverters every few blocks and few speed bumps/bumps cutouts or not.

Pkjb
Pkjb
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve C

Agree 100%. We should be spending scarce Greenway funds on diverters, not speed bumps. If we’re going to be installing speed bumps, they should be taller and steeper.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  Pkjb

And not have cut outs.

cct
cct
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve C

Safe Routes to School put these along a street that’s become a major cutthrough for suburban commuters avoiding 26. It took 2 weeks for them to figure out that they could bomb straight down the middle at 40 mph as previously.

A waste of money unless the cutouts are spaced too widely for a car to use them. Like cyclists somehow can’t use cutouts spaced a foot over on one side?

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  cct

Sure, if you like getting doored.

John V
John V
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

There must be somewhere you can put the cutout that doesn’t let drivers use both. On narrow greenways that effectively support one vehicle at a time, they could have one cutout in the middle. On wide ones like N Going, have the cutouts both close to the middle so cars can neither straddle them nor do they need to cross the middle to use one of them.

This should be a solvable problem.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  John V

This should be a solvable problem”

You’d think.

As I see it the problem with how PBOT does what they do is they

  • go about infrastructure, like speed cushions, diverters in a not very systematic manner that frustrates various user groups, leaves them/us guessing, or, as here, causing them/us to heap abuse on what they do, whether because it is in fact bad or they/we don’t understand the thinking behind it;
  • no one from PBOT shows up here in a regular format to answer questions from the engaged public (us), whether to clear up misunderstandings, explain why they do what they do, and/or listen to feedback on what doesn’t work. Of course an alternative to coming here and doing a Q&A would be to do some worthy-of-the-name public outreach; explain, for instance, why it is worth spending tax payer dollars on diverters that readily admit cars (SE 15th & Ankeny) or put speed cushions where they serve no purpose (SE 32nd & Ankeny).

PBOT with its existing approach to both infrastructure and outreach loses good will and public buy-in they could easily achieve if they did some of the above.
C’mon PBOT, what do you have to lose?

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  John V

If you think it is an accident that a bunch of PBOT engineers “accidentally” keep placing gaps in the speed bumps that are the exact right width and spacing for cars to use to foil the bump, then you may be deluding yourself. PBOT is providing these gaps FOR drivers- this is classic, typical PBOT greenwashing/bikewashing. It is money spent to shut up cyclists and create promotional maps for our “bike network”

zuckerdog
zuckerdog
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

I think the standard approach the City uses is that it places the gap X’ from the curb line I am sure there are reasons for this. But for streets of a certain width, the left gap and right gap line up perfectly for a standard vehicle wheel base. My suggestion is that they jut put one gap in the center of the speed cushion but that would prevent the gaps from lining up with the paint markings, which I believe is feedback PBOT received.

PBOT says they are looking at the outcomes of the two gap design and despite the gap distance, their initial findings suggest that it slows down cars speeds regardless. I would be curious to see a follow-up study. My hypothesis is that car speeds will begin to increase once drivers figure out that they can line up in the center of some streets and maintain speed.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  zuckerdog

If speed bumps are the only solution, it may be preferable to have a bike slot in the center of each lane and add a plastic wand in the dead center to discourage drivers. But let’s not fooled by PBOT’s false narrative- speed bumps are NOT the only solution. If people could only drive 5 blocks at a time along a greenway before hitting a diverter, speeding would be massively reduced. This is exactly what other cities do and it is the standard design for a greenway- plus it works. The little bike slots are a distraction by PBOT- they refuse to prioritize bikes/peds by making real greenways, but they want to appear to be providing infrastructure for bikes. And then they pretend to wonder why bike mode share is shrinking.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

As I’ve said, before, I miss the days when Portland was *actually* pro bike.

John V
John V
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve C

On lower Germantown, you’re bombing down a hill at high speed, probably tucked and standing. You don’t need to pedal. You can smoothly absorb those bumps with your knees like they’re not even there. On flat or varied terrain, you’re sitting and constantly pedaling. You have to basically stop pedaling to effectively absorb the bump with your legs (and not have your saddle hit you in the butt), which is annoying and slows you down and is harder on your knees. Even more of an impact for undamped cargo as mentioned in the article, and less able bodied people or passengers who can’t stand.

I certainly used to be in the camp of “they’re no big deal” too. But I’ve changed my mind on that. Speed bumps are a (literal) pain in the ass. And back.

It’s not major, obviously I ride over them all the time. But I love the cutouts now.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE ❤️ the bike channels in the speed bumps.

Aaron
1 month ago

I would prefer diverters to “speed cushions” but I guess it’s better than nothing. I find it odd that PBOT uses these broad (and presumably more expensive) “speed cushions” instead of the narrower old fashioned “speed bumps” with a steeper angle of approach. You could still cut a bicycle groove into a traditional speed bump and it would be more effective at slowing cars down because the steeper angle of a narrow speed bump will be more difficult to dampen with their car suspension.

To me it seems like “speed cushions” would have made sense in the 90s when cars were small, now most people drive massive “off-road” trucks and SUVs that can traverse the speed cushions without slowing down at all. It really seems like a waste of money every time I see pickup truck drivers pass me flying down a greenway at full speed seemingly not noticing the effect of the speed cushions at all while I have to make sure to aim for the cutout if I don’t want to have my spine rattled riding down that same street on my bike.

Speed cushions don’t do enough in 2024, unless cars shrink down to normal sizes again we need to stop spending money on “speed cushions” and start using that money to install diverters to keep cut-through traffic off the greenways entirely.

Andrew K
Andrew K
1 month ago

“When somebody else is on the roadway, people driving stay in their lane.” At least on harold st, this is only true if they’re within 50′ of you. The rest of the time most folks seem to have no trouble traveling head-on into oncoming traffic. I wish they’d space the channels so they aren’t exactly the track width of passenger motor vehicles.

Daniel Reimer
1 month ago

I hate speed bumps, whether in a car or on a bike. There’s so many other cheap means to do traffic calming that don’t involve bumps. Speed bumps should really be the last resort.

Todd?Boulanger
1 month ago

Responding to some of the reader comments: diverters and speed cushions as traffic management tools each have their plus & minus…I am assuming that the PDoT staff are using the best tool for each corridor when diverters are allowed.

Now what some readers may not know, is that local fire departments may not permit the installation of low cost diverters on every greenway corridor due to needing thru “access”. Berkeley and other cities have installed fire truck ready diverters on important regional bikeways but these are much more expensive that speed cushions etc.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Todd?Boulanger

I never understand this argument. Portland is laid out on a grid. Emergency vehicles have multiple points of access and can travel along parallel roads. They likely would take a parallel major road anyway until they needed to turn.

Todd?Boulanger
1 month ago

As a long time researcher and advocate for speed cushions, I have never been able to find out why the ~2011 MUTCD only “requires” a chevron stencil on the speed cushion for the car travel lane and not on the outer cushion when the roadway is a bikeway. This outer cushion is often now invisible at night or in low light situations, especially for low wattage bike headlamps.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Todd?Boulanger

Might it be that in most jurisdictions speed humps, tables and pillows are only allowed on low-volume residential stroadways with car parking on one or both sides, and bicycle drivers are expected to share the stroad lanes with car drivers?

maxD
maxD
1 month ago

I hate the speed bumps, especially at night. This “study” is classic PBOT- rigged to get a single result. Portland does a truly horrible job at designing greenways- they rarely use diverters, the routes are convoluted, they lack safe crossing or busy roads and they lack meaningful connections, they are poorly lit and the street surface is often in horrible condition. When I lived in Vancouver BC I realized how transformational Greenways can be IF the City is committed to fully building them. PBOT is just pathetic, and every speedbump is a monument to their complete and utter commitment to preserving driving as the supreme mode of travel in Portland.

Wooster
Wooster
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

I agree the study was worded in a “let’s get the results we want” kind of way. Of course most people will use the cut-outs to ride through the bump if it’s available. That doesn’t mean they think it’s a good idea! I mostly dislike them for a few reasons. First, at night it’s often impossible to see the cut-out and if you hit it wrong it’s pretty jarring. Second, it discourages the kind of side-by-side social riding that is one of the best things about neighborhood greenways, because everyone ends up lining up to go through the cut-outs. Third, drivers swerve to use the cut-outs and they’re clearly a bit less effective at speed management, hence having to use more of them at a higher cost to get the same effect.

Scott Kocher
1 month ago

Is the distance between the channels in “bike friendly” bumps the same as for the bumps PBOT uses on emergency response routes?

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Kocher

no.

Wooster
Wooster
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Kocher

No, they’re aligned with where the sharrows are placed, and have nothing to do with fire truck wheel distance.

Asher Atkinson
Asher Atkinson
1 month ago

I responded to the survey and recall disappointment that it didn’t ask which treatment was better at controlling vehicles.  In the survey comments I expressed my concern that the cushions invite higher vehicle speeds and swerving drivers.  In the report it mentions others had similar concerns, and some comment here do, too.  So while cushions may be the preference for most, when framed with other trade offs I don’t think it’s as much of a slam dunk.  Of course I prefer a smooth ride, but I’ll take the occasional hump over cars weaving through the channels.

footwalker
1 month ago

Funding a traffic calming program is the issue here. The City of Portland should revive a citizen-funded traffic calming program. Costs would cover labor, engineering, material costs, and provide enough fees to provide the same service in equity priority neighborhoods. The City of Vancouver, Washington, for example, has a traffic calming program. Copy it and integrate equity fees. Neighborhoods with sufficient resources get the benefits they seek and they would also finance installations of bike-friendly speed bumps and diverters in areas where the funds are not as readily available. This would be an opportunity for Commissioner Mapps to demonstrate his commitment to serving all of his constituents.

https://www.cityofvancouver.us/government/department/public-works/neighborhood-traffic-calming-program/

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  footwalker

The City of Portland is already “citizen-funded”. We definitely don’t need more questionable programs that only fund administration personnel and empire build bureaus.
NO NEW TAXES

footwalker
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Who said anything about new taxes? This is a bad faith comment on your part, SolarEclipse. You are right about the citizen aspect. Why limit the funding to residents? Crowd-source it and let anyone contribute.

What is proposed is a fee schedule to adequately fund neighborhood traffic calming. Portland’s previous “speed bump program” in prior decades failed to collect the full costs and finding a funding mechanism is necessary to bring the program back.

Mitch
Mitch
1 month ago

The only times I really dislike the bumps are places like the Klickitat Greenway from NE 35th Ave. west, where it’s downhill. https://maps.app.goo.gl/7Z6getpiSpAEGqNC6

Obviously it’s important to slow anyone, car or bike, down before 33rd., but having a channel to get through the bump would be nicer than having to go over it and then brake at the stop sign, especially when you consider how horrible the concrete road surface is on much of this Greenway. Many intersections are practically their own pair of speed bumps. I’m probably not the only one who at times cuts close to the curb in order to get around a speed bump, or occasionally curses the car that decides to park on it in an uphill section and forces me over it.

I think the way Vancouver does them on Colombia St. is also good especially at discouraging cars from trying to stray from their lane. https://maps.app.goo.gl/LG5uKgZzUZwzWiwUA

9watts
9watts
1 month ago

The ones I am especially frustrated by are on
SE Thorburn (S side of Mt.Tabor): easy for cars to straddle, and as others have pointed out they slow autos down but not by much given the prevalence of SUVs with big squishy suspensions. And the third cutout on the center line- what is the point except to give cars a convenient second slot?
SE Ankeny btw 33rd and 32nd Ave: This is a short stub of a street with a diverter at 32nd making it one-way, perhaps the sleepiest half block I know of in SE. No one has so far been able to explain to me why it was worth spending a dime on these speed cushions on that particular stretch. What are they meant to accomplish there?
If you are reading these comments, Roger Geller, can you please weigh in?

Wooster
Wooster
1 month ago
Reply to  9watts

The ones on Thorburn are fire-friendly speed bumps, not bike-friendly speed bumps. They look similar, but they’re actually quite different in purpose and design.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Wooster

You sure about that?

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 month ago
Reply to  9watts

Triple cutouts are for emergency vehicles. Double are for cyclists. The ones on Thornburn are dangerous. They actually made the bumps pretty drastic so you have to slowdown below the speed limit to not bottom out but just makes people swerve into oncoming traffic.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Thanks for the link, idlebytes.
See, this is what makes PBOT’s approach to infrastructure so frustrating and confusing. Their first pair of photos in that report they lead with ostensibly show the emergency vehicle three channel version (SE Thorburn) and the bikeway two channel version (NE Davis). Except that the channels in the Thorburn version are narrow and the channels in the Davis version are wide. If you were going to accommodate the dual wheels on a fire truck would you spec the skinny or the wide channel? And for bikes, the skinny or the wide? You tell me?
Of course, PBOT, in its wisdom, inverts the common sense approach, giving the skinny channels to the emergency vehicles and the wide ones to bikes, leaving the public confused or unimpressed.

Why?!

Scott Kocher
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

My experience is some poor implementations of channels (e.g. NW Cornell) allow drivers to slot into two channels and go way too fast. All the others seem to reduce speed better than any other low cost option, as I have heard engineers say. “Swerving” to get into one channel actually seems to help slow drivers down to a safe speed, maybe because the steering involved makes it the opposite of straightaways that encourage high speeds. With low car traffic volumes, and no centerlines, streets with bumps have potential to be as friendly as any street can be without actually separating the dangerous modes from the human-scale ones.

dw
dw
1 month ago
Reply to  9watts

The one on Ankeny is even more frustrating because it was laid over pavement in really poor condition, so the cutouts just have big crumbly holes in them.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
1 month ago
Reply to  9watts

I live in the neighborhood and travel Thorburn all the time. The speed bumps there have been transformative. Cars go through much slower than before, and more drivers choose Burnside now so there’s less traffic.
And no, they are not bike friendly speed cushions – Thorburn is decidedly NOT a Greenway.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

And no, they are not bike friendly speed cushions – Thorburn is decidedly NOT a Greenway.”

I understand that now. I think the trouble (for me) is mostly semiotic. Knowing that some were to accommodate fire trucks and some bikes I made the (incorrect) inference that the narrow slots were for bikes and the wide slots for trucks, which led me to assume the Thorburn (narrow slots) variety was not for emergency vehicles and therefore, by elimination, for bikes.
I learned right here that these inferences were incorrect but how is one to make sense of these curious choices when PBOT won’t pick intuitive designs or communicate the differences?

Steven
Steven
1 month ago

Comparing the survey results to the responses here, I’m learning that the most vocal BP commenters evidently do not represent the opinions of most bicycle riders.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

Your phrase ‘most bicycle riders’ is premised on PBOT having designed and conducted a quality survey. I haven’t looked closely at this one but in the past (gas tax, e-scooter attitudes) they were done very poorly. So I would hesitate to infer what you have until I satisfied myself that this survey met basic social scientific standards.

BrickLearns
BrickLearns
1 month ago
Reply to  9watts

I recall taking this survey and thinking it was pretty obviously designed to support a particular conclusion.

Pkjb
Pkjb
1 month ago
Reply to  BrickLearns

Yes, very much so. The survey didn’t ask respondents to compare “bike friendly” speed bumps to other possible solutions, nor did it ask people to give an opinion on how effective speed bumps are at calming traffic or reducing speeds. Nor did the survey ask people to weigh in on whether people driving cars are observed to be weaving back and forth to get their wheels in the grooves. I mean, bike friendly speed bumps are clearly better than doing nothing at all, and that is why the survey results came out looking so positive, because the survey really only gave you two options.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 month ago

Our speed data indicate that even though people may get one wheel in a channel it does not affect speed.

They don’t get one wheel they get both. Sit on Harrison between 26th and 30th and watch all the SUVs driving right through the cutouts without a problem.

When somebody else is on the roadway, people driving stay in their lane.

Nope they drive right at me. Seriously I bike that section everyday and drivers more often than not take the cutouts and force me over. Perhaps by “somebody else” they mean other drivers.

Why the city can’t space them further apart is beyond me. As it currently stands most of them are just the right width for large vehicles to cruise right through. In addition it also means cyclists can’t use them when there’s oncoming traffic. They should be at least 3 feet more apart.

When initially deployed, PBOT staff attempted to ride erratically through the channels at different speeds and angles of approach to see if the channels created discomfort in riding. They did not.

This is laughable. You mean people who know there are awkward bumps coming up while riding a bicycle have no problem navigating them… Try it in the dark when you don’t know where it is. It’s no different than a random pothole or rock in the road.

This report is insulting. Liking the idea of something doesn’t mean they implemented it well. All of these speed bumps are completely inconsistent. The channel spacing and width are different on every greenway and more often than not they cause drivers to drive over the center-line at oncoming traffic. I literally see it every day. Is PBOT gaslighting me? If not I’m happy to show them how all their conclusions are wrong.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

COTW

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Is PBOT gaslighting me?

Yes.

Chasing Backon
Chasing Backon
1 month ago

I regularly ride SE Harold from 52nd to 72nd, which has a number of these speed cushions with cutouts and many drivers go right down the middle of the street to place each wheel in a cutout and barely slow down. I haven’t had close calls but see this driver interaction with the speed bumps very regularly. They appear to not function that effectively on SE Harold. At least there is now a 4 way stop at 60th and Harold.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Does this show “cyclists like cutouts in speed bumps”? Or does it show “people avoid going over speed bumps if possible”? Is there a scientist in the building?

Also, from personal experience regarding crashes: I clipped a pedal on a cutout speed bump once when my tires were in the cutout and my pedal was over the bump. Did not crash, but could have. I’ll bet somebody actually has crashed because of them, but did not report it to PBOT.

9watts
9watts
1 month ago

Interesting – here https://bikeportland.org/2020/04/29/heres-what-to-expect-with-portlands-new-slow-streets-plan-314117#comment-7337626
paiki(k)ala explains some of the standards PBOT references (or doesn’t) for these gaps back in 2021.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

These don’t slow people down at all. I have them on my street and people easily space themselves in the cutouts like the bumps aren’t even there.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago

I like the channels but from what I’ve seen on the Greenway street I live on is that speed bumps are only minimally effective at controlling speeding. Yes people can’t haul 50 mph anymore (which did happen so that is very good) but drivers still do 35-40 mph regularly because the speed bumps are very gentle.

JeremyB
JeremyB
1 month ago

I am okay with the bike cutouts, but diverters every 5 blocks should be the norm. The cushions don’t stop cars from using greenways as shortcuts, they just slow the cars down somewhat. This is annoying when I’m commuting on my ebike, travelling at around 20mph being slowed down because cut-through vehicles are slowing down to navigate the cushions. Diverters every 5 blocks would eliminate the cut-through vehicles.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago

When initially deployed, PBOT staff attempted to ride erratically through the channels at different speeds and angles of approach to see if the channels created discomfort in riding. They did not.

HA! Oh man, I just had an image of a PBOT staffer, trying to ride my trike erratically through the channels at speed flash through my head. I would pay money to see that. At dusk.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Serenity

Serenity, this is my personal favorite of all your comments! It’s hilarious.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago

Thank you, Lisa.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Interesting that Geller says they have no reports of crashes as justification. Well yeah, there isn’t an easy way to report bike crashes to PBOT, and unless you file a TORT claim with the city I can’t imagine having any helpful data there. I say this as a person who crashed on the 28th ave bike bumps. The 28th bumps appear to be the worst implementation of all of them as the channels are extremely narrow and deep, leading to pedal scraping which preceded my crash. Newer implementation of bike friendly speed bumps are much better, they need to go back and redo the 28th ave bumps.

Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

…and re-do the Clinton (26-21) bumps. The “shoulders” of the slots are very poorly finished, the asphalt is ragged. Not a big issue uphill, but unsettling downhill.