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In Portland, Construction Can’t Kill a Bike Lane

8:12 AM PDT on April 22, 2010

4540400421_b3bf6596d6.jpgThis temporary bike lane
is actually wider than the permanent one that’s being blocked by
construciton. (Photo: Portlandize)

Here’s an indicator of how important bike lanes are in the city of
Portland.

From Streetsblog Network member Portlandize
comes a report on a case in which a bike lane was recently closed
because of streetcar construction. Instead of expecting cyclists to take
their chances by going out into motor traffic, the city actually
striped a new space for bikes — by taking away a lane of cars. And guess
what? The drivers’ world has not come to a screeching halt:

[I]t’s interesting that closing this lane to motor vehicle traffic
for some distance hasn’t created a traffic nightmare. I think a lot of
our roads have a good bit of extra space that could easily be used for
other things (cycle tracks!) without really affecting automobile traffic
much, if at all. Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, it’s just nice again to see cyclists being taken into account
when temporary road changes are made. It seems like they’ve done a good
job of that in general on this project. Keep it up, Portland, we
appreciate it!

Here in New York, I’ve never seen a temporary bike lane created to
replace one blocked by construction, even when that construction goes on
for months. Anyone else out there ever observe anything along these
lines?

More from around the network: Human
Transit
takes on planners who wonder if transit should be slower
(really). Urban
Velo
has the news on how to help a group getting bicycles to people
in the developing world. And the US DOT’s blog, The
Fast Lane
, files a story about how some DOT employees out on their
daily walk came to the aid of a pedestrian hit and injured by a driver.

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