City of Portland integrates bus and bike traffic on the same street.

PROJECT NAME: Rose Lane Project
CITY: City of Portland, Oregon
LOCATION: NW 18th and 19th at Flanders
OPENING DATE: June 2020

 

Through the Rose Lane Project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is giving buses and streetcars priority on the road, helping more Portlanders get where they need to go more reliably and quickly using public transportation means. A “Rose Lane” is a transit route where buses and streetcars have priority on the road in congested areas and its vision is a network of transit lines where short-term and long-term fixes improve transit service where it’s most delayed.

Need and project objectives.

As Jonathan Maus from Bike Portland pointed, in his recent post entitled “Two pre-fab bus islands have hit the streets of northwest Portland”, one of the most exciting challenges of the project was how to safely integrate bus and bike traffic on the same street. When bus operators service curbside stops, they often encroach into the bicycle traffic lane, cutting off riders and starting a “dangerous dance”. Curbside bus stops also require bus operators to swerve out — and then back into — other lanes. And because so many people fail to yield to the bus, this causes travel time delays for transit users.

The proposed solution.

The solution is to put the bus stop out in the roadway so that the bus driver does not have to swerve at all. These are called “floating bus islands” and now the Portland Bureau of Transportation has a way of installing them that is relatively cheap and simple. In fact, the new bus islands snap together like Lego bricks.

Just over two years ago, PBOT began looking into the Vectorial® system pre-fabricated bus islands from ZICLA and they’ve finally installed them. Vectorial® system allows the rapid transformation of urban space through the construction of quick-build street configurations. For example, it allows improving accessibility to the buses at bus stops, to resolve the conflict that arises when a bike lane intersects a bus stop, and to build up raised buffers and pedestrian refuges, all of them, in a very short time and with a very low cost.

City of Portland has installed two Vectorial® system pre-fabricated bus islands in place in northwest Portland on NW 18th and 19th at Flanders. 18th and 19th form an important north-south couplet for bicycle and transit users. Both of these locations currently have bike lanes next to a lane of on-street car parking. The addition of these bus stops changes the bike lane slightly by routing it over to the curbside, then up a ramp, onto the bus platform, and down another ramp before merging back over to the bike lane. At the same time, PBOT has made a considerable road signalizing effort in the area to make it highly visible and to prevent accidents.

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