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Cycletrack in Portland! What is Cycletrack?


This afternoon, City Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield presented his thoughts about applying lessons learned from his trip to arguably the world's most bike-friendly big city, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Burchfield focused his presentation on a bicycle facility that sends the hearts of Portland's bike wonks aflutter: cycletracks.

Copenhagen Cycletrack, courtesy of Alta Planning

Cycletracks are a bike lane that is separated from car traffic to provide the cyclists with a higher level of comfort and safety. As Portland bike planners and engineers look to persuade the approximately 35% of the population that is uncomfortable bicycle in auto traffic, cycletracks are seen as a potential solution.

There are a few cycletracks installed in the U.S. Bend, New York City, and Cambridge are all Yankee towns giving cycletracks a try. Portland's first application will be on Cully Boulevard, which is being completely re-engineered with a sidewalk, curb extensions, bio-swales, and cycletrack.

Burchfield's presentation can be viewed here.  


Cross-section of the proposed re-design of Cully Boulevard, including cycletrack.


Add a Comment


Patricia Freeman

February 23, 2009 at 2:32 PM

I've been wondering why Portland isn't doing this for years! Bike lanes are scary, dangerous places for inexperienced cyclists. Even the most experienced are at risk of right hooks and car doors. Please fund a pilot project! It's not too expensive.


Patty Freeman



February 23, 2009 at 6:40 PM

How exciting! I often bike to work, and do not like the portions of the ride w/out a bike lane. This would be so much safer!!!


Bryan T

September 1, 2009 at 2:05 PM

This is a great idea. Though I'm comfortable riding along side cars, there are a great many who aren't, and whose fear of being hit keeps them off the bike. Hopefully this will increase the already large number of people who commute around PSU by bike as well. I'd like to see more of these around the city. Good job, City of Portland!



November 28, 2009 at 6:17 AM

Prehaps Rob Burchfield should first examine The Copenhague Study of separated facilities before recommened such Bad engineering practices!!


John Brooking

November 28, 2009 at 7:48 AM

"Even the most experienced are at risk of right hooks and car doors."

And how do these "cycle tracks" lessen the risk of right hooks? It seems obvious to me (and studies show) that they actually increase that risk even more, by further lessening the visibility of cyclists and motorists to each other approaching intersections and driveways.

Experienced cyclists don't have a problem with car doors because they know enough to ride outside the door zone, even if that means outside the bike lane altogether.


Laurence Qamar

January 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

The Cycletrack pictured above from Copenhagen is excellent because it includes ALL the elements of a "complete street", and it physically reduces the overall driving space. Contrast this to most of the painted bike lanes that have been required on arterials in Oregon in which the driving space between physical barriers is expanded by the presence of striped bike lanes. By locating the parallel parking between the drivers and the bikers, the driving space is reduced, thus slowing the cars and making it safer for all modes, especially pedestrians. The attitude that bikers must be mixed in with the traffic (as commonly held as it is) really needs serious re-evaluation. Let's work more to do road diets that physically reduce driving lane widths with intermediate curbs and parked cars (not just with painted lines). And let's include all elements of a complete street: sidewalks, street trees, cycletracks, and on-street parking. Please let's not forget on-street parking, which reduces the need for off-street parking lots.


Stephen Hoyt-McBeth

January 14, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Thanks for the comment, Laurence. If you haven't ridden our short cycletrack on SW Broadway at PSU, I encourage you to give it a try.



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