Postcards from Portland
Portland, Oregon is often pointed to as the poster child of American bike-friendliness. Despite it’s persistently drizzly weather, Portland has the highest rate of bicycle commuting of the 30 largest cities in America. Why is this? On a recent trip to Portland, here’s what we found:
Bike Lanes - Although there is a stereotype that Portland has these everywhere, they are actually used quite sparingly where cyclists need extra protection due to higher vehicle speeds or heavy traffic flow. On most Portland streets bicycles and other vehicles co-exist quite well without any special markings.
Bike Corrals - Fit about 12 bikes where there would otherwise be just 1 car. Corrals makes bike parking very orderly, and keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians. Each corral is designed to match the "footprint" of the parking lane, so that drivers experience a consistent road width.
Reverse Angled Parking - This creates a much safer environment for passing cyclists because drivers can clearly see them when pulling out of a parking spot.
No Right on Red + Special Bike Signal - At certain busy intersections (think Mockingbird @ US75 in Dallas), it is very difficult for cyclist and pedestrians to cross the road because even when the cross street has a red light, there is a steady stream of right-turning vehicles. At these intersections it makes sense to stop all car traffic (even right-turners) and give cyclists and pedestrians their own protected green phase.
Think there’s a place for any of these applications in Dallas? Now’s the time to speak up!