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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 20, 2012 4:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was Thank goodness Smith didn't do *this* in college. The next post in this blog is Rim shot!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

In 21st Century, road to Oz is green

A reader who works downtown (in between dodging the undesirables down there) sends this photo, and writes:

This shot is what SW Oak looks like tonight. The city had a report come out earlier this week that said the "bike boxes" actually increased impacts between vehicles and Lance wanna-be's, hipsters, unicyclists, skateboarders, and tricyclists. The solution, apparently, is to paint the entire route with green paint. This goes from Naito to 5th so far, and my guess is it will eventually go all the way to Burnside.

Go by anything but car.

Reader, you should relay this message to the city's transportation director. Since it's the weekend, we suggest that you try the vacation homes of the local real estate developers.

Comments (33)

If you follow the green path far enough, eventually you will find Blumenaur hiding behind a curtain.

I think your on to something - if I may expand on the metaphor -- Randy Leonard is the Cowardly Lion and Sam Adams is Dorothy, natch.

The report said tha at some bike boxes collisions increased not all of them.

"you should relay this message to the city's transportation director."

Go ahead, if you think he cares.

"some bike boxes collisions increased not all of them."

That would normally mean that collisions increased at the green boxes.

Some possibilities...

-CoP wants to make it easier for people to recognize a bike lane from a traffic lane. ("Trucks and cars STAY OUT-THIS MEANS YOU!")

-CoP has run out of room to store green paint and wants to use it up.

-CoP owns the paint company.

-Early preparations for a bike-themed St. Patrick's Day celebration.

-Photoshop

-The painters felt like making a ha-ha that day.

I have others, but I stop here.

That's just unsightly.

Gotta' wonder what the traction on that stripe, versus asphalt composite, is like on wet days. Kinda' looks like a Wham-O Slip-'n'-Slide to me.

Lance wanna bes....lets see those would be the bike Nazis on steroids.
I personally think Randy is more like the witch than the cowardly lion.
Or he could be a flying monkey!? Nah...that's the members of the city counsil.

What are our rules, as car drivers with these green "things".

They are trying to clearly mark the bike lane on a fairly low car traffic street. It's supposed to lure bike traffic off other east/west streets downtown.

Whether it works or if this is the best or only way to do it is clearly open to debate.

A Portland Vanity Street

Is it legal for a car to cross the line into the green zone? Ever? Only for some cause or another?

Forget roads, that's so over. What the local Nomenklatura needs is yet more investment in high-speed passenger rail transit: http://youtu.be/yA83CTHKU6g

This is a sadly obscure but revealing expose' of unrealistic investment, and the unintended public consequences thereof. And a deep dislike for avocadoes.

The fun part will be around 500 years from now when archeologists dig this up and try to figure out what the hell it is.

Why don't they just get it over with and close some streets to cars. Stop messing with "sharrows" and crap nobody can figure out. If the bikes come, fine. If not, stop trying to turn Portland into Amsterdam.

Look at how many bikes are using it. It's just as pictured 90 percent of the time. What a waste.

Of the 11 intersections studied with bike boxes installed 7 had decreases in accidents.

"Of the 11 intersections studied with bike boxes installed 7 had decreases in accidents."

To quote the article:

"The numbers show right hook collisions doubling from 16 in the four years before bike boxes, to 32 in the four years since."

More accidents is more accidents. 90% of drivers (including me and Mr Bog) don't understand exactly what is supposed to happen in these green boxes - Besides there being less car space.

I happened to be downtown Friday and saw a car driving right down the lovely green lane - I believe they thought it was a "Welcome to Oregon" lane for tourists...

Bike Boxes are perfectly obvious:
If traffic is not moving, bicycles move to the head of the line for better visibility.
If traffic is moving everyone has a false sense of security and big things crush little.
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne_effect

"A city study shows bike boxes are working in most intersections, especially when it comes to offering a place for cyclists to queue up. But at four of them, dangerous collisions are way up." The study did state two things not included in this article. Monitoring crash trends at these intersections is complicated by two factors. One: Bicycle use has increased significantly since the boxes were installed. Two: Police investigation and reporting practices have changed resulting a higher rate of reporting bicycle / car crashes. They felt that even with those two factors that they could still make a conclusion that crash data indicate that at 4 intersections with bike boxes accidents have increased. No data was given on how much bike traffic has increased or what percentage of bike accidents are now reported vs before. Basically it's a study that is likely worthless without those two numbers.

How does it smooth traffic flow to gather all the slow accelerating and moving bikes out in front of the other vehicles ?
We already have TRI-MET busses who refuse to move to the curb even when able to clogging up the flow.

It is not intended to smooth car traffic flow. They are supposed to prevent right hooks. Cars turning right in bikes.

By the way that is not green paint either. It's thermo plastic sheeting melted onto the pavement.The sheeting is about one eighth of an inch thick. Much more expensive than paint.

Why is it that bikes can go anywhere on our public streets (and even on sidewalks throughout much of the city), but vehicles can't go down part of a street? A bike is a vehicle. The vehicle exclusion doesn't make sense according to our Oregon driving laws, and more importantly, to common sense.

I was wrong. On Oak street that is green paint. The the bike boxes are thermo plastic.

I seek out streets with the bike "Sharrows" because they tend to have less traffic.

I imagine the tourists will do the same thing with the "Green Lanes"...maybe it's a scenic loop, Marge?

It is legal to cross the green zone if you are pulling into a parking spot or making a turn.

This is only because the painted-on bike lanes they've had for a couple of years were being completely ignored by drivers.

These are actually great streets for bikes, and always have been - relatively low-traffic, useful way to get from the Pearl into Downtown. It's just that a lot of writers, particularly women, don't feel comfortable mixing it up between cars. Traffic volumes seem low enough that having a big bike lane probably won't slow anybody down... it just gives regular folks a way to bike the street comfortably.

As for skid and wear resistance, rest assured that the PBOT spends plenty of time and money researching and testing all of the green paints and whatnot on the market.

When you paint everything a special color, set up different parking rules for every block, move lanes from one side of the street to the other &c. then nobody knows what to do anymore, and now traffic is more dangerous, rather than less.

Also, if that actually is paint, then paint is slippery in the wet, and bikes try to avoid it.

The rules are not that hard to understand. Most people can easily figure it out. As for the paint " According to PBOT, the new paint is called HOTLINE® Fast Dry Latex Traffic Marking Paint with a skid-resistant agent additive known as "Sharkgrip."

Mike wrote: I was wrong. On Oak street that is green paint.

That's what I was referring to when I mentioned paint. If it's paint, then it's slippery. If it's not, then it's expensive and requires a lot of maintenance. If you make downtown streets a colorful crazy-quilt, the green won't be special anymore.

As for understanding the rules, I find them complex and ever-changing, and I'm down there frequently. Portland has become a maze of differing expectations which can bewilder even seasoned drivers. Infrequent visitors must feel even more confused.

Lanes come and go. There are too many signs to absorb. The transit mall sees intruders daily. Parking gets ever wierder. Now we have dining thingies out there, and ped-only Old Town. The recent MAX construction certainly hasn't helped.

If it's paint, then it's slippery. No it isn't it's special paint with an additive called sharkgrip in it so that it isn't slippery. "As for understanding the rules, I find them complex and ever-changing, and I'm down there frequently." Now come on it ain't that hard. Don't drive on the green bike lane. Maybe a few folks drive on part of the mall that they are not supposed to but that's about it.Don't smash into the street seats. It's fairly obvious.


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