We’ve been writing for a few months about Portland’s application for $40 million in federal funds that could make it easier to combine services like bike sharing, TriMet, Lyft and so on into a single system of multimodal mobility.
But we haven’t been talking much about another important aspect of Portland’s grant: millions of dollars for connecting vehicles to improve safety.
As city leaders prepare for a personal pitch on Wednesday to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the Portland Bureau of Transportation held a “Connected City Expo” Monday to show off many of the companies that could be bringing their knowhow to a Smart City award here in Portland.
The City of Portland wants you to get more green lights when cycling around the city and now’s your chance to help them do it.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation just flipped the switch on new traffic signals at Northwest Couch and Broadway, 10th and 11th Avenues. The signals on Broadway are on a major bike route where they were first flagged as necessary four years ago. At the intersection of Couch and 11th, PBOT has installed Portland’s first ever “pedestrian scramble signal.”[Read more…]
Golden scissors, a red ribbon, coffee and pastries, television cameras and a large crowd that included Bureau of Transportation staff, business owners and neighborhood advocates.
From the looks of this morning’s event at the intersection of North Vancouver and Cook you’d think the city was celebrating the completion of a major project or milestone.
One of Portland’s busiest bike crossings will flow a little more efficiently thanks to a new bike signal activated last Thursday.
The signal gives a green light to people biking southbound on Wheeler Avenue, preparing to curve around the Moda Center into the Rose Quarter Transit Center area. Northbound bus and bike traffic here has a green signal phase of its own, but that doesn’t conflict with southbound bike traffic.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Have you ever noticed how the “WALK” sign over in a crosswalk sometimes turns green while your signal remains red? This phenomenon has confused a few readers who aren’t sure if they can start riding when the walk sign turns green or if they must wait for the main signal.
Here’s our first question from Dave M.:[Read more…]
in our podcast studio.
When you change something about a traffic signal, people don’t notice. They simply obey.
Maybe that’s why signals have quietly become one of the most important and unique ways that Portland has made itself a better place for walking, biking and driving cars at reasonable speeds rather than at noisy and unsafe ones.
Koonce, the division manager for Portland’s signals and street lighting division and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in municipal government, talked with us about all the tricks in the city’s signal system that you never even noticed. And as always, we close with a transportation tip of the month, Lily’s favorite tweets about TriMet and the uncannily appropriate song that Lily found for the subject of the show.
The pavement marking to the right, which is supposed to tell people where to place the wheels of their bike to trigger a green light, is illegible to about half of Portland bikers, a new study (PDF) finds.
Even worse: Those figures don’t include many people who rarely ride, suggesting that interminable red lights are a particular burden on new bike riders.
Stefan Bussey, a PSU civil engineering student who conducted the survey, said he came up with the idea when he noticed that people ahead of him at the long Seven Corners traffic signals on Southeast Division would regularly stop a few feet away from the traffic signal stencil.
“It would happen three or four times a week,” Bussey said.
Bussey’s research confirmed it: even in Portland, about 55 percent of bicycle riders surveyed don’t know the meaning of the pavement marking.