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City Press Release: "New Bike Boulevard Pavement Markings Will Direct Cyclists"

700 BICYCLE SYMBOLS TO APPEAR ON LOCAL STREETS
New Bike Boulevard Pavement Markings Will Direct Cyclists

Small bicycle pavement markings have begun to appear on local streets all
over the City of Portland. Their installation will continue over the next
two months until approximately 700 are installed. These markings, called
"Bicycle Boulevard Pavement Markings," are approximately a foot in
diameter-with some including directional arrows-and will indicate to
bicyclists those local streets that have been developed as "bicycle
boulevards."
Bicycle boulevards are not striped with bicycle lanes, so they are not very
visible as good bicycling streets. They do have amenities that make them
work well for people riding bicycles, including crossing treatments at major
intersections, traffic calming treatments to keep auto speeds slow, and a
stop sign pattern that provides cyclists with a better flow down the street.
The pavement markings will make these bicycling streets as visible to
cyclists as are the streets striped with bicycle lanes.

"It's difficult to refer to your bicycle map while on the seat of a bike,"
states Commissioner Sam Adams who oversees the Office of Transportation.
"These Bicycle Boulevard markings will help cyclists find the best routes.
It is an important part of our overall bicycling strategy to make our
streets safe and convenient for all cyclists, whether you're 7 or 70 years
old."

The Bureau of Maintenance will be adhering the markings on local and
residential streets over the next two months. The symbols are applied using
die-cut material that is sealed onto the street surface with heat. Not
readily visible to motorists over the hoods of their vehicles, cyclists can
see them easily.

"This effort will move Portland toward our goal of Platinum Bicycle Friendly
status - and will ensure our continuing to be the best bicycling city in the
United States," Commissioner Adams added. "Portland is committed to
providing its residents the widest variety of safe and reasonable
transportation options."


Mary Volm

City of Portland
1120 SW 5th Ave. Rm 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Desk: 503-823-7785
Look close, very close, or you will miss them entirely 19.Sep.2005 12:29

Mother

These look like road kill frisbees. A nice gesture, but what the heck good is it really? A better effort would be to make these "Bicycle Boulevards" into primary bicycle routes with motor traffic clearly designated as secondary traffic. In other words, motorists on these streets MUST yield to bikes 100%. Larger signs directed at motorists, with simple and clear language (like the Click it or ticket $99(?) signs) that the even most brain dead can understand.

A better idea 19.Sep.2005 14:01

jason

I've seen these markers, and I agree that they are small, and will be difficult to spot. And as a bicyclist without a car, it frustrates me that all my tax dollers get is little medallions when the city spends so much on car infrastructure.

Why not lay down a solid blue stripe running the whole length of the bike route--the same color as the bike lanes on major streets. If the material is expensive, then the stripe could be only 4 or 6 inches wide.

But if you could make a three foot wide strip of that thick reflective plastic that they blowtorch onto the street, it would provide a smooth riding path for bikes--rather than repaving the whole streets which is prohibitively expensive.

These stripes would be easily visible, and it would be obvious when the bike route turns, which right now can be easy to miss.

I think every fifth street (north/south and east/west) should be designated "bike priority" and only local cars should be allowed--this could easily be accomplished with those car blocker strips that force cars to turn, and have slits to let bikes through--like at se 20th and Ankeny--these car blockers could be lcoated at every second or third intersection so traffic would have to find another route.

A plan like this would really improve the safety of cyclists, the current little street medallions are just political window dressing to avoid the charge that the city council doesn't care about bikers.

this is extremely ignorant 19.Sep.2005 22:40

CaptainPlanet

"A plan like this would really improve the safety of cyclists, the current little street medallions are just political window dressing to avoid the charge that the city council doesn't care about bikers."

If you have ever tried to work with city employees on transportation issues, you would understand that the biggest obstacle to change is that most people drive, and don't want to make sacrifices for those who don't. Selfishness, plain and simple. The Sharrows are a long way from bike-friendly infrastructure, but the best that can be done considering the current political climate. Also, they're part of a wider effort to educate motorists about road use and cycles.

Office of Transportation does care 21.Sep.2005 12:13

Gray

As i actually know most of the people at the Office of Transportation, i will attest that most of the employees are bicyclists themselves, and are doing their best to try to encourage bicycling within the city, even at the expense of autos. However, readers here must keep in mind that biker are still a minority, if not a visible minority, within the city, and thus most portlanders are car drivers, and so the ELECTED officials will always pander to the group with the most votes.

Bicycle forward 21.Sep.2005 17:03

Slep Casey

Any bit of progress to improve bicycle safety is a step forward. Portland biking has grown considerably over the past 20 years. We now have bike traffic (see Burnside or Hawthorne in the morning), and great bike routes (The Esplanade). Although, this summer it has appeared to be "open season" on bicyclers, it is still better than other cities. To continue to improve the overall safety for both motorists and bikers it is going to take a very conscious effort on everyones part. That means as a biker rider, I am going to need to honor all STOP signs, and as a motorist, I need to not cut the corners by driving in the bike lane. These are simple easy things to do. Bikers need to choose safe routes. Sandy Blvd and Hwy 99 are not safe routes. Motorists need to acknowledge that biker riders are part of traffic.

I don't want to pay these high fuel prices,nor do I want ot get hit riding to work, lets move forward and keep it safe.

Berkeley Has these 08.Dec.2005 16:21

Outlander

And they work very well. The streets are dead-ended for local car traffic and intersections are well marked for bicycle right-of-way. Once I learned the routes they were very efficient but the small markers were difficult and some of the signs confusing. Portland has so many nice side streets and Oregon drivers are the best in the nation...of course there are assholes everywhere but actually fewer in Portland...but anything to advantage cyclists is a boon!

I do, however, believe that the greatest advantage to the public and safety for everyone would be if the police actually protected cyclist rights on the road as agressively as they harrass cyclists.

It would be money better spent.