Follow-up: No ‘Bikes in Roadway’ signage for Sandy Blvd

Riding on NE Sandy Blvd-5-4

PBOT says ‘Bikes in Roadway’ signs
aren’t the right approach for Sandy.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Remember our story last week about NE Sandy Blvd? We shared the experience of riding on that large arterial street through the eyes of Esther Harlow.

Despite a lack of comfortable bike access, many people like Harlow prefer riding on Sandy Blvd because it’s a straight shot into the central city. While more significant bike access improvements on Sandy aren’t in the near-term pipeline, Harlow had an idea to improve bike access she felt would help the situation immediately.

To make the bike/car interactions a bit more pleasant, Harlow wants to have “Bikes on Roadway” signs installed. She made an official request to PBOT with her idea. Harlow heard back from a PBOT civil engineer and she shared the response with us. PBOT declined the request, but the engineer makes a reasonable case for his decision. The reply (below) might help others understand the thinking PBOT does before deciding whether or not to install signage (it’s also cool to see a government agency take someone’s request so seriously)…

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Solutions for Sandy

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Sandy Blvd as it appears in the
Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030.
(Thin orange lines are “City Bikeways”)

Given the existing bicycling environment on NE Sandy Boulevard, you might be surprised to learn that the street officially classified as a “City Bikeway.”

Here’s how the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 (section 2.3.3), defines City Bikeways:

“They establish direct and convenient bicycle access to all significant destinations… and function to allow residents access to Portland’s bikeway network, ideally within three city blocks from any given point. They provide a mobility function and help establish the fine-grained network of a world-class bicycling city…

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For some, riding on Sandy Blvd is a risk worth taking

Despite being dominated by cars and offering no dedicated bike access, many Portlanders choose to ride on NE Sandy Blvd. for the same reasons people like to drive on it — because it’s the most direct and efficient route into the Hollywood District and downtown.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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