Portland’s road grid system is fairly tidy (with some evident exceptions – I’m you, Laurelhurst and Ladd’s Addition). However somebody touring across the metropolis will discover there are locations the place streets be part of at a slight offset, which suggests you may’t go straight throughout an intersection to cross to a connecting road. This downside is at its most disruptive when a delegated bike hall is offset throughout a busy road, which is pretty widespread in Portland. In these conditions, somebody biking down the consolation of a greenway is all of a sudden made to work together with automotive visitors at an advanced intersection, which is inconvenient and provides kinks to an in any other case easy and simple journey.
As a bike owner, these offset intersections annoy me. As a motorbike infrastructure nerd, nevertheless, they’re nice. Planners take this road sample hiccup as a possibility to flex their artistic problem-solving abilities, and in consequence, we have now some very unusual bike crossing designs. Let’s check out a number of significantly notable offset intersection crossings.
SE Stark Avenue and forty first Ave
We checked out this specific intersection final 12 months (and even made a video about it), so you may examine that out for a extra detailed rationalization. However I wished to debate this design once more as a result of it makes for a superb comparability with among the others on this listing. Portland Bureau of Transportation planners selected a really distinctive design right here, which incorporates buffered bike lanes in the course of the busy Stark St to guard folks biking down the forty first Ave greenway at this large, offset intersection.
These bike lanes are properly seen to folks driving on Stark – much more when paired with the yield indicators on the road – and so they make it so folks biking solely must concentrate on automotive visitors coming from one course at a time as a substitute of continually needing to look forwards and backwards whereas crossing a large intersection. It’s nonetheless just a little snag in an in any other case easy journey on forty first, however I’ve had good experiences crossing at this intersection in comparison with different locations.
SE Stark St and thirtieth Ave
This intersection is simply offset sufficient that if folks biking have been requested to make use of a sharrow in the course of thirtieth Ave south of Stark, it might make for a clumsy crossing. As a substitute, a brief two-way bike lane on thirtieth – which is to the left of automotive visitors south of Stark and to the suitable north of Stark – makes the transition easy. This isn’t a possible design for a extra large intersection, but it surely works fairly properly right here to create a easy transition in both course.
E Burnside and thirtieth Ave
The way in which PBOT has tried to take care of this offset intersection may be very fascinating (and PBOT has used an identical therapy at NE thirty third and Going, thirty third and Mason (in progress), NE fifty fifth/54th and Killingsworth, SE 129th/one hundred and thirtieth and Division, and several other different areas). When crossing Burnside on thirtieth, folks biking are directed towards a raised two-way bikeway that serves to separate bike, pedestrian and automotive visitors to keep away from collisions. For my part, the issue with this design is that it’s too tight of a flip to get onto the raised bikeway from the north, and if one other individual was using a motorbike in the wrong way, I’d be terrified of working into them. This might be a superb place for the same answer because the one on Stark and forty first, however since Burnside is such a busy road, I feel it might be tough to implement that.
SE Belmont and forty second Ave
Any try to unravel the issues an offset intersection presents for folks biking is best than nothing in any respect. That is most evident on the intersection of Belmont and forty second, in which there’s nothing to alleviate the ache of crossing the large intersection by bike. This stretch of Belmont is busy with pedestrian visitors, and it might be useful to have separate amenities for folks strolling and biking. As a substitute, folks biking should select between crossing on the crosswalk – which features a tight flip between the hedges on the sidewalk – earlier than getting again onto the road or simply crossing their fingers that folks driving will see them and cease on the crosswalk.
There isn’t any signage right here, and in comparison with the remainder of the crossings on this listing, I’ve had essentially the most unfavourable experiences at this intersection. It’s a disgrace, too, as a result of the far more nice Stark/forty first intersection is only a few blocks north of this! I feel PBOT might determine a artistic answer right here and make it nicer to journey via the Sunnyside neighborhood.
What do you consider these design remedies? Have any concepts for the way offset intersections may very well be higher to bike via? Tell us – and keep tuned for a video these streets.
Taylor has been BikePortland’s workers author since November 2021. She has additionally written for Avenue Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at email@example.com