Signs and Signals


Springwater Corridor gets a new bike-only signal – UPDATED

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 22nd, 2012 at 2:06 pm

(Photos: Clackamas County)

A tricky crossing of the Springwater Corridor path in Clackamas County just got a bit easier. This morning, county engineers turned on a new, bike-only signal where the path crosses the intersection of SE Johnson Creek Blvd and Bell Ave (in unincorporated Clackamas County, just south of Portland city limits).

The new signal allows bike traffic to cross diagonally from the northeast corner of the intersection to the southwest corner (and vice versa), instead of having to use two separate crosswalks — a situation that was far from ideal, both from a connectivity and safety standpoint.The $70,000 project began one year ago.[Read more…]

On January 1, bike traffic signals get the green light in Oregon

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 27th, 2011 at 10:36 am

Expect to see more bike signals, like
this one at Broadway and Williams, in 2012.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Starting January 1st, cities throughout Oregon will get the green light on bicycle signals.

Bike-specific signals aren’t new in Portland, the City’s Bureau of Transportation has used them for years now; but technically they’ve been doing so on an experimental basis. This past legislative session, the City helped pass Senate Bill 130, which codifies bicycle signals into Oregon law and makes them official traffic control devices with as much legal weight and respect as standard signals.[Read more…]

To reduce right-hooks, City turns on illuminated bicycle sign at Couch and Grand

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 18th, 2011 at 10:45 am

New sign went up yesterday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) turned on an illuminated bicycle sign on NE Couch at Grand Avenue. As we reported last month, the intention of the sign is to reduce the risk of right-hooks at an intersection where several injury collisions have taken place.

A bike box has already been installed at the intersection, but collisions have continued. The problem is that, even though there’s no right turn on red allowed, that law — and the presence of the colored bike box and lane — don’t work as effectively to deter right-hooks during green lights. This sign is an attempt to address that issue.

The new sign was turned on yesterday and it’s the first of its kind in Portland. I observed it in action as people streamed down Couch during this morning’s rush hour. [Read more…]

Bike-only signal coming to Springwater Corridor in Clackamas County

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 26th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Clackamas County plan drawings show the new diagonal bicycle crossing with a dedicated bike signal that will be installed for Springwater Corridor bike traffic. (Purple line by BikePortland to show Springwater Corridor location)

[Read more…]

Signal detection problems? Wash Co website says roll through after waiting

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 11th, 2011 at 11:12 am

Still from helmet cam footage of light
at Laurelwood and Scholls Ferry.
(Photo: Seth Alford)

Reader Seth Alford has been taking a lot of helmet cam video lately (his video of a TriMet bus rudely squeezing him out of a bike lane in Hillsdale garnered some attention). About a month ago, he waited over two minutes at the intersection of SW Laurelwood/Schools Ferry/Nicol (map) before his left turn light went green; and it likely triggered only after a car pulled up behind him.

Curious, Alford went onto the Washington County website to find information about bicycle detection at traffic signals. The County has a page that addresses the issue, and surprisingly, it includes the following official advice* (See update below — they’ve edited the site):[Read more…]

See PBOT’s latest tweak to Broadway/Williams bike signal

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 28th, 2010 at 11:20 am

Broadway Williams Bike Signal-1

PBOT crew at work this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

A Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) signal operations crew was out at the new Broadway/Williams bike signal this morning. The new signal was installed on October 13th to try and decrease the amount of right-hook collisions that have plagued the intersection for several years.

After over two months, even after some initial tweaks to make it work better, some motor vehicle operators are still not complying with the “no right turn on red” sign.

At issue is a curbside bike lane that is to the right of two right-turn only lanes. PBOT’s new bike signal gives the bike lane its own green light, but the problem is that people in the right-turn only lanes would see the green indicator and assume it was for them — and then make an illegal turn that put non-motorized traffic in danger. [Read more…]

Checking in on the Broadway/Williams bike signal

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 15th, 2010 at 9:51 am

Broadway-Williams bike signal day 3-14

Traffic at Williams this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

It’s Day Three of the new bike signal at Broadway and Williams in North Portland. When PBOT turned on the signal Wednesday, some safety issues became apparent, so they immediately came up with a list of fixes that we shared with you yesterday.
[Read more…]

City flips switch on bike signals at Broadway/Williams (Video) – UPDATED

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 13th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

The new bike signals at Broadway/Williams. As you can tell by the encroachment of this motor vehicle, it will take some time for folks to get used to the changes.

[Read more…]

PBOT: Broadway/Williams bike signal coming next week

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 8th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has just announced details on their project to make the notoriously dangerous Broadway/Williams intersection safer for bike traffic.

PBOT’s solution revolves around a new, bike-only traffic signal. Learn more about the City’s plans in our report last month. The new signal and lane re-striping is slated for installation by next week. Read the press release from PBOT below for more details:

New Bike signal at N Broadway, Williams is part of traffic redesign[Read more…]

Bike Science: Making sense out of traffic signal sensors

Avatar by on September 27th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

How to get a green light-1

A traffic signal sensor in Portland.

Welcome to our newest column: Bike Science with Shawn Small

One of the more frustrating aspects of cycling in an urban environment is not being able to trigger a signal and being stranded at an intersection.

There you are, riding happily along, when you come to a red light and — after an entire signal cycle — you get the sinking feeling that the light is ignoring you. Fortunately, in many cities (including Portland) traffic lights are triggered by the presence of a bicycle. But how does it work? Is there a special technique for getting the green?

To supplement my own understanding of this topic, I got in touch with Peter Koonce, the Division Manager of Signals, Street Lighting, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for the City of Portland (learn more about him here).
[Read more…]