TriMet detour near OMSI will come with permanent bike traffic improvement

TriMet detour near OMSI will come with permanent bike traffic improvement

Map of SE Water Ave just north of OMSI in the central eastside. TriMet plans to install a left-turn box for bicycle traffic as part of their light rail project.
(Turn box graphic: TriMet)


TriMet announced yesterday that one part of their detour near OMSI will stick around even after the construction project is over.

As we shared earlier this month, on May 1st, TriMet will close a portion of the Eastbank Esplanade/Eastside Greenway Trail near OMSI for 14 months (through June 30th, 2014). The path will be closed so construction crews can work on the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail bridge. The detour route will take people on bikes from the Esplanade just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, onto SE Clay and then onto SE Water Ave.

To help facilitate bicycle traffic during the detour (this is a very busy artery in the bike network), TriMet is adding reflective bollards between Water Ave and the Esplanade path. They’ll also have maps and signage throughout the detour. And yesterday, TriMet Community Affairs staffer DeeAnn Sandberg said one part of the detour will be permanent: a “left turn bike box” on the northeast corner of SE Water and Clay (they’ll also add bicycle detection to the traffic signal at that intersection).

What Sandberg refers to is more commonly known as just a “Copenhagen left”, or a “two-stage turn queue box” according to the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The box will help people on bicycles who are traveling on SE Water Ave make the left turn onto SE Clay without having to wait in the line of auto traffic in the middle of Water. Instead, they’ll be able to first turn right onto Clay (east) and then re-orient themselves to cross Clay (west).

Cycletrack on SW Broadway-10

Left turn box at SW Montgomery and Broadway.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

There are several places around the city where PBOT has already used the left-turn boxes, most notably at the northwest corner of NW Lovejoy and 9th and at SW Broadway and Montgomery near Portland State University.

Learn more about construction and detour details on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project website.

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