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In Portland, Construction Can’t Kill a Bike Lane

7:00 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 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

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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