traffic onto a vehicle lane on the bridge roadway,
instead of the sidewalk.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last week I wondered out loud if we could do better when it came to the disrespectful and dangerous detour for bicycle traffic on the Broadway Bridge. Well, it turns out we can and we just did.
Portland Streetcar Inc., whose project to repair the non-slip coating on the bridge sidewalks is what has caused the detour that began on September 24th, just announced that when they move the project to the south sidewalk this Thursday (10/2), they will convert the eastbound vehicle lane on the bridge into a bike lane.
According to their construction advisory, the work on the south sidewalk will take three days. Here’s more from their statement (their caps, not mine):
– WITH THIS CLOSURE THE NON-TRACK EASTBOUND TRAVEL LANE WILL BE CONVERTED INTO AN EASTBOUND BIKE LANE. PEDESTRIANS WILL BE DETOURED TO THE NORTH SIDEWALK.
· BIKES AND MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE CAUTION AS THEY EXIT THE BRIDGE ON THE EAST END.
· EASTBOUND DRIVERS SHOULD EXPECT LONG DELAYS
I had to confirm that my eyes did not deceive me, so I emailed Julie Gustafson with Shiels Obletz Johnsen (the company managing the project). Sure enough, it’s true! Gustafson said it wasn’t possible to direct bicycle traffic up onto the bridge on the north side “due to the serious right hook issue at Lovejoy,” but they were “able to pencil it out for the south sidewalk closure.”
This is great to see. The current (and past) bicycle detour when the sidewalks close is unacceptable. People riding bicycles deserve to be routed in the most direct and safe way possible, and herding them onto sidewalks with two-way bicycling and walking traffic was not befitting of America’s most bicycle-friendly city. Thanks Portland Streetcar Inc. for listening to the community and doing the right thing.
UPDATE: For more on how this came about, read the BTA’s blog.