Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Portland Bike Tour with IBPI

The IBPI Bike Tour features several prominent bicycle facilties throughout the City. The features include bike boxes, bike signals, neighborhood greenways (formerly bike boulevards), and other things that we have pioneered in Portland. SE Hawthorne was repaved this past week and the fresh markings from the bike box were a nice site to see.   The crews were installing a bike box at SE 39th & Clinton when we arrived, which was great to see the thermoplastic before it was applied and the foreman carefully inspecting the work of his staff.

I invited Jenna, one of the Signals, Street Lighting, & ITS interns out to see some of the intersections that she is studying as a part of her work. It was good to see her talking with fellow professionals about bicycle treatments and having her gather ideas from people that haven't seen either a HAWK or a Half Signal. We are continuing to study the safety of the Half signals at the City to determine whether we should make changes to the intersections that allow pedestrians to cross busier streets.
We ended up near the Steel Bridge with Roger describing a treatment that was used on N Weidler to provide a jughandle for people desiring to make the left turn from Weilder to Williams. It was fun to see him share the ideas with the participants. Special thanks to Jamie Parks and Hermanus Steyn who helped put the presentations together.
As one of the participants pointed out to me during the Tour, Portland has a lot of great facilities and serves as a national model in a lot of ways. The visit is a bit like an immersion program with all of the various aspects that we have tried over time.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bicycle Detection at N Winning Way/N Williams/I-5 South On-Ramp

On my way to the Maintenance yard I was constantly getting delayed by this signal. I talked to a few friends who mentioned it was a reason they stayed on N Interstate Avenue as an alternate route, but one of the things the City needs to do is to make cycling more attractive for multiple routes, especially ones that are heavily travelled.
So we put in this loop detector to provide some advance notice to the signal, just like we do for cars, buses, and trucks.
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The first picture shows the detection at the stop bar which has always been there. It's not quite in the best spot, which was one of the other reasons for this advance detector.
Special thanks to Kevin Lee for sharing the pictures.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not My Job... No Really, It is....

It is nice to see people on bicycles and afoot on the Steel Bridge. This pathway is part of the Signals, Street Lighting, & ITS Division maintenance responsibility and a critical link in North and Northeast Portland, especially when the Broadway Bridge is closed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bicycle Signal at Vancouver Convention Center

I attended the ITE Annual Meeting in Vancouver BC.
I found a lot of similarities between what Vancouver is trying to create with their traffic signal system and overall transportation network and what we're doing in Portland. I only spent a day there and it was somewhat limited in how much I was able to explore. There were several notable applications that are worth further consideration, yet those aren't specifically coming from the Signals Division of PBOT, it's really based in the Traffic Engineering group which would change the intersection configuration significantly and lead to a need for a bicycle signal. That's not entirely true, but we somehow need to move forward with more improvements to increase the safety and convenience of people on bicycles. In this example, the engineers spent some time finding a way to separate cyclists and pedestrians along the pathway that connects around the entire downtown.
The intersection design principles are fascinating because it is a field that needs some research and there's a great opportunity for increases in participation.

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