Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bike Signal Press Release - April 7, 2004

FROM THE ARCHIVES of the City's Traffic Signals Division:

Portland Office of Transportation Unveils New Bicycle Signal in Rose Quarter

On Thursday, April 8, at 9:00 AM, the City of Portland’s Office of Transportation (PDOT) will activate a new bicycle-only traffic signal operation at an intersection near the east end of the Steel Bridge. When triggered by cyclists, the “bicycle scramble signal” will stop all automotive movements through the intersection of N Interstate Avenue and Oregon Street, and allow cyclists exiting the Eastbank Esplanade to diagonally cross the intersection and access the north-bound bicycle lane on N Interstate Avenue. The new bicycle traffic signal head,  which has the red, yellow and green lights in the shape of a bicycle, will control cyclist movement through the intersection. Both the bicycle signal head and the “scramble phase,” in which all automotive movement is halted, are firsts for Portland.

The bicycle signal is modeled after similar signals used in Davis, California. It is designed to both ease and make safer cyclists’ transition from the Eastbank Esplanade to the on-street bicycle lanes. Without the signal, cyclists must now cross the intersection in two phases—one of them as a pedestrian. The signal will allow them to cross in one phase. When the bicycle signal is green, motorists turning right onto Lloyd Boulevard from the Steel Bridge will not be allowed to proceed on red.

Roger Geller, Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Portland, said, “People were frustrated by their inability to legally cross this intersection in one movement after coming off the Esplanade. We were also concerned about the speed at which motorists turned right around that corner. The Esplanade attracts a lot of families and we wanted to make it simpler and safer for people to bicycle across the intersection.”

This improvement is funded by a $10,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.

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