May 6, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Statement from Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Susan D. Keil:
Bike lane, striping will be changed on NE Couch
It has come to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s attention that the bike lane leading from NE Couch onto the westbound Burnside Bridge may present a hazardous condition for bicyclists.
On Friday, April 30, in response to complaints and a bicycle injury, we closed the bike lane on the Couch approach structure and gave bicyclists exclusive access to a vehicle travel lane while we re-worked the lane configuration. Since that point, we have taken the following actions:
- Ground out the slippery bike lane stripe and replaced it with temporary (non-slip) paint;
- Prepared to re-stripe the street with a wider (6-foot) bike lane using non-slip textured striping;
- Prepared to install a new solid center lane stripe with raised bumps between the vehicle lanes to keep drivers from drifting out of their lane on the curve; and
- Prepared to install a three-foot painted buffer zone between the new, wider bike lane and the vehicle lane on the second curve of the transition. The buffer zone and bike lane striping will have bumps on the vehicle side so drivers receive a tangible warning if they enter the space designated for bicycles.
When these changes are complete, we will conduct a thorough safety evaluation of the new improvements and assess whether additional long-term safety features are needed.
As bicycle ridership increases, the City of Portland remains committed to safety for all modes of travel. As part of our work to decrease traffic congestion and give Portlanders a wide range of transportation options, the City’s goal is to make bicycling safe, inviting and accessible to all types of riders. The Couch transition is a key link between the eastside and the central city, and we are committed to ensuring that it serves as a safe, attractive connection for all users.