The Line 10 bus is off the SE Clinton Street greenway for good

TriMet sign at SE Clinton and 23rd.
(Photo: Betsy Reese)

As of Sunday May 15th, TriMet’s Line 10 has been moved off Clinton Street between SE 21st and SE 26th — much to the pleasure of advocates who have wanted to clear bus traffic from the popular neighborhood greenway route for many years.

The Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway is the only greenway between Division and Powell Blvd. Without it, people biking would have to go out of their way and cross busy corridors in order to move east-west through the Hosford-Abernethy and Richmond neighborhoods.

This greenway is one of Portland’s most beloved, and many people have pushed for more car traffic diverters to keep driving volumes low so that it can live up to the city’s “low-stress, family friendly” promise.

It’s nearly impossible to meet that expectation when people are sharing the street with large, loud, and toxic vehicles.

Line 10 will now go eastbound from SE Ladd and Division to SE 26th Ave (and vice-versa westbound) and avoid Clinton St entirely.

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Looking east on SE Clinton at 25th.
(Photo: Taylor Griggs/BikePortland)

Nearby resident and veteran bike advocacy volunteer Betsy Reese notified us of the change. She said she’s been “working to get the number 10 off our greenway for many, many years.” “Thanks to Covid,” she continued, “it has finally happened.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, the 10 bus was rerouted from Clinton St as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation shutting off car traffic on Clinton between 25th and 26th Avenues as part of their Safe Streets Initiative. As you can see in the photo above taken Monday, the busy intersection has become a carfree plaza with several restaurants teaming up on a Healthy Business permits that has allowed them to make the block carfree.

The plaza is very popular with business owners and many nearby residents. Moving the bus off Clinton not only improves the cycling environment, it makes it much more likely the block at 26th remains carfree forever.

Who climbs over a train when they’re tired of waiting? These guys

Today Portlander Mark Graves (who happens to be a photographer and reporter for The Oregonian) just happened to be waiting at a train crossing at SE Clinton and 12th.

You won’t believe what happened next. Or maybe you will. Heck, maybe you’ve done it?

As you can see in the video he posted to Twitter, several people — tired of waiting for the train to move along – picked up their bikes and then climbed up onto and then over the train!

This seems bonkers to me. I’ve been held behind a few trains in this area over the years and I have to admit I’ve let my mind consider doing this; but I’d be too scared. Scared of the potential injury consequences and scared of getting caught and/or shamed if someone saw me do it (can you imagine the field day on local media and Twitter if “the BikePortland guy” got caught doing this?!).

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When I first saw Mark’s tweet, I figured a lot of people would use the video to confirm their bias against “those stupid bicyclists.” The reality is, behaviors like this are mode-agnostic. People do just as crazy things in their cars. Our friend Jessica Engelman said, “I’ve seen people in cars drive up onto the sidewalk, make a U-turn, then go the wrong way up a one-way street when stopped at that intersection by a long freight train in an attempt to drive around. So yes, some people in cars attempt to do the same thing.”

Long waits for trains is a big issue in the central eastside and inner southeast. The railroad companies still use manual switches, which means a human has to come outo and adjust the tracks by hand. We’ve heard TriMet is trying to get new, automatic switches paid for in their Division Transit Project so their new, “faster” buses, don’t get caught waiting.

Have you ever done this? Any ideas on a better solution than portaging bikes cyclocross-style or doing dangerous things in our cars to get through?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Gal by Bike: How guerrilla artist Dawn Furstenberg started making ‘road signs for the soul’

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Dawn Furstenberg was here.
(All photos: Furstenberg)

— This post is by our Gal by Bike columnist Kate Johnson.

As a wise film character once said, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

While you’ve been sleeping, guerrilla bikeway artist Dawn Furstenberg has been hard at work to remind you of that fact.

Perhaps you’ve ridden down Clinton or Tillamook a million times, your eyes looking straight ahead. Your mind is wandering — thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner or which film Hollywood Theater should play in 70mm next. Then you start to wonder, “what does 70mm really mean anyway? And, “did I remember to marinate the tempeh?” And just like that, your commute is over.

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On SE Clinton, PBOT finishes permanent diverter and readies new ‘bike-friendly’ speed bumps

new permanent traffic diverter on SE Clinton at 32nd-4.jpg

(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

About a year after taking temporary measures, the City of Portland has finished installing a permanent traffic diverter on SE Clinton at 32nd. With the diverter complete, the final piece of the puzzle in reclaiming Clinton as a bike-priority street (a.k.a. neighborhood greenway) will be to install five new speed bumps between SE 17th and 26th.

Here’s a look at the new diverter, followed by some new information about the speed bumps…

BikePortland subscriber Adam Herstein gave us an early look at the new design just before Christmas. Since then PBOT has added several finishing touches including bright yellow paint and more signs. I rolled out yesterday for a closer look.

Compared to what PBOT first installed last year, the new design is a massive improvement. The old design, with its large concrete drums and orange cones, not only looked bad it also didn’t work well. People in cars would routinely drive right through it (into oncoming traffic!) and people would park too close to the gap where bicycle riders were supposed to cut through.

Here are a few more photos:

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City will make Clinton traffic diverter permanent after data shows it’s working

SE Clinton traffic diversion project-5

It worked.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the eve of the Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero Action Plan going before City Council, the City of Portland just released some positive safety news: The traffic diverters installed on Southeast Clinton Street are working very well and the one at 32nd will be redesigned and made permanent in the next few weeks.

The diverters at SE 17th and 32nd were part of a comprehensive effort to tame auto traffic on Clinton that included educational outreach, public meetings, speed bumps, lower speed limits, “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs, and targeted enforcement. As one of the oldest and most used neighborhood greenways in the city, Clinton (which has about 3,000 bicycle users a day) was originally designed to prioritize bicycling; but driving skyrocketed in recent years as the surrounding neighborhoods added new residents, shops, restaurants and offices. In July 2014 we reported on growing rancor among bicycle users who called Clinton a “bikeway in name only.” Those concerns led community activism and became a rallying cry for the fledgling, all-volunteer bike advocacy group Bike Loud PDX.

Just four months after BikeLoud’s activism began, the City’s Bureau of Transportation launched a comprehensive assessment of the neighborhood greenway system (that would later be adopted by City Council) and agreed to meet with representatives from the group to learn more about the issues.

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PBOT removes Hawthorne memorial, responds to Clinton crosswalk controversy

The center turn lane on Hawthorne at 43rd is now available for driving on after PBOT removed a makeshift memorial last night.(Photo: PDX Transformation/Twitter)
The center turn lane on Hawthorne at 43rd is now available for driving on after PBOT removed a makeshift memorial last night.
(Photo: Paul Jeffery)

Last night under the cover of darkness City of Portland transportation bureau crews cleared out the cones, signs, candles, photos and flowers that had created a traffic calming memorial to Fallon Smart on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.

The makeshift memorial in the center turn lane at the intersection of 43rd Avenue had grown from a few flowers on August 19th to a memorial so large that it closed Hawthorne’s center turn lane. In fact, closing the lane was a secondary and symbolic goal of the memorial — since it was that center lane that allowed Abdulrahman Noorah* to speed recklessly past another driver (who had stopped) just before he hit and killed the 15-year-old Smart.

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Activists and PBOT spar over unsanctioned crosswalk in southeast Portland

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Photo on left taken September 20th by @howrad via Twitter. Photo on the right is from this morning (taken by J. Maus/BikePortland).
Looking south across Clinton at 19th. Photo on left taken September 20th by @howrad via Twitter. Photo on the right is from this morning (taken by J. Maus/BikePortland).

An inner southeast Portland intersection is the latest front of a battle between transportation reform activists and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

This time it’s about a crosswalk. The activists (and many nearby residents) think one’s needed, and PBOT thinks it isn’t.

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Peak Hour Bike Traffic on Clinton Street Now Exceeds Motorized Traffic

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Auto and bike counts on Clinton

Auto and bike counts on Clinton

As of the latest traffic counts from May of this year, westbound morning peak-hour and eastbound afternoon peak-hour bike traffic is now greater than motorized traffic. That means, traditional downtown traffic (i.e. traffic heading into downtown in the mornings and leaving downtown in the afternoons) has more bikes than cars on Clinton Street, one of our most popular bikeways.

  • Morning peak hour was 140 motorized traffic, and 206 bikes (346 total)
  • Afternoon peak was 122 motorized traffic, and 210 bikes (332 total)

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