Transportation

Video: Buffered Bike Lanes in Portland

By Jason Leach
Published February 29, 2012

So simple, so cheap, and so effective. More stunning, this video comes from the mayor's office, not some orange-haired hippie protester.

4,200 km away, it's a different world.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:25:39

Wonderful initiatives. (Both the cycle track concept, and the Mayor's office producing and issuing the video.)

Hopefully, we'll be seeing such engagement in Hamilton at some point.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:35:12

This jumped out: "The good news is that other smart communities have road-tested some great solutions to this dilemma."

We think of Portland as an innovator, but it's important to remember that the most progressive cities tend also to be the most open to learning from other places.

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By seasandtrees (registered) | Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:49:31 in reply to Comment 74869

It needs to be ok with being inspired by other places - even "contextually different" other places. People are people and is arrogant to think that something that is a wild success in one place is unadaptable to another place simply becuase of language and culture.

I remember that five or six years ago almost anyone I mentioned it to thought that Bogota's Ciclovia would be a wash anywhere in North America...

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:42:06 in reply to Comment 74869

It's like the civic food chain - Copenhagen/Amsterdam - Portland/Montreal - Toronto/Ottawa - Brantford/Hamilton etc.....

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By Flywheel (anonymous) | Posted February 29, 2012 at 14:38:42

Where would one go locally to get one's bike buffered?

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By rednic (registered) | Posted March 01, 2012 at 13:29:39

Well it looks great BUT; as a life long cyclist I can assure nothing will change here until we can convince the 'thugs' that it is proper for them to ride on the road. I was just coming along king william on my way home from downtown. I was doing a fair clip, when i was overtaken by a cyclist riding on the sidewalk ( young male hooded and tall). Until we as cyclists convince these idiots, that they are part of the problem, you'll never see bike infrastructure built in Hamilton,

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 04, 2012 at 21:01:01 in reply to Comment 74926

>> as a life long cyclist I can assure nothing will change here until we can convince the 'thugs' that it is proper for them to ride on the road.

Classy...

http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=43.256737,-79.859619&spn=0.008626,0.027595&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=43.256659,-79.85933&panoid=dIS_lyb3rYw_S9hgyAcXFQ&cbp=12,225.18,,1,12.3

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 01, 2012 at 13:47:45 in reply to Comment 74926

In terms of what actually works, you've got it backwards. As long as the street network actively discourages and deters cycling, only extreme outliers will ride bikes.

The simple act of creating a continuous, usable bike lane network will dramatically increase the total number of cyclists and dilute the proportion of cyclists who do things like riding on the sidewalk.

Normalizing cycling on bike lanes will also draw some of those people off the sidewalk and onto the street where they belong, even as it feeds a virtuous cycle of more people deciding to ride bikes, declining accident rates (in New York, the number of cyclists has quadrupled over the past decade while the number of injuries has remained constant, meaning the injury rate fell 75%) and further normalization of good cycling practices.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted March 01, 2012 at 23:11:07 in reply to Comment 74928

'In terms of what actually works, you've got it backwards.'

Umm .. I just moved here (3 years) ago from toronto. But i do have a little experience in this field (excuse my formatting )

•lived in kensington for 20 years

•bike courier for 10 years

•made the first poster for a critical mass in Toronto

•organized the World Bike courier championships in '96

•First courier representative on toronto city cycling committee

I could go on ...

I don't have it backwards This argument (bike infrastructure) doesn't work until the voices wanting bike lanes (etc) are louder than the voices wanting bikes off the sidewalk.

That takes (grass roots) activism

I say King William for Bike Highway! and I'll gladly write an article on how & why.

Start small ... Think Big!

Comment edited by rednic on 2012-03-01 23:17:50

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 02, 2012 at 06:10:48 in reply to Comment 74944

I say King William for Bike Highway! and I'll gladly write an article on how & why.

That would be excellent! My email is editor@raisethehammer.org and I look forward to it.

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By We need to address the outlaw bicycle ri (anonymous) | Posted March 01, 2012 at 13:53:21

Like the miniscule number of drivers that are insanely dangerous don't taint the conversation here? OK. This is not nearly as simple as making the same number of clowns a lower percentage by increasing numbers.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted March 02, 2012 at 15:20:43

Great to see a city actively trying to improve the commuting experience for cyclists and drivers.

Still, I'm a bit skeptical about the bike track buffered by a row of parked cars - particularly at cross streets. I know they showed this scenario in the video, saying that drivers turning right just need to look out for cyclists the same way they look out for pedestrians - but cyclists are moving MUCH faster than pedestrians. This to me is the same danger as cycling on sidewalks. I much prefer the second option in the video. I hope that this is the model that the city implements when bike lanes are added to Herkimer and Charlton.

I hate to sound like one of those 'it won't work in Hamilton even though it works elsewhere' people, but thinking about my daily downtown commute route, there are too many intersections due to Hamilton's short blocks. The cycle track option would also eliminate the ability to create 'bumpouts' at intersections (such as those at the corner of Herkimer and Caroline). These bumpouts can really help the streetscape, effectively shortening pedestrian crossing distances and creating great gathering places / bus stops.

Comment edited by kdslote on 2012-03-02 15:22:13

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By grahamm (registered) | Posted March 03, 2012 at 13:06:06

"We're proud to be one of the first cities ... to try this." I'd love to hear that in the Hammer!!!!

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By TnT (registered) | Posted March 04, 2012 at 11:06:29

What about Cannon St? That is one of the biggest cross the city streets going. Or Main or King!

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By Allen (registered) | Posted March 12, 2012 at 01:53:16

Never seen start ever and it was awsome

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By seasandtrees (registered) | Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:45:15

While Portland is not scared to try new things (new to the US or North America), they are also very good at letting others know. Seeing how narrow-minded most other cities are I guess this is a good thing becuase then they realise that "wow that idea from those students/Europe/Asia/Latin America can work in North America".

Monteal has had buffered lanes for a loong time - but they don't self-promote to the rest of the North America (or care what we think), and ergo, never garner the attention that Portland pulls to itself.

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