The Commercial Vista Corridor study might have an answer.
|The two lanes of Liberty are treacherous to cross|
This is intuitive, and many people on bike attempt it. They hide in the bike lane, wait for a break in the traffic, and scamper. We'll call this the "hide and scamper" move.
|Scary, but intuitive and direct: Hide, then scamper|
City Traffic Camera, Commercial at Fairview
|Left turn signed at Liberty and Vista, 2009|
|From the "Draft Transportation Issues Booklet"|
and the "opportunities" map
|Vision 2020, December 2009|
|Vision 2020, December 2009|
|Multiple solutions ranked, Vision 2020, December 2009|
Then there was Bike and Walk Salem. That still didn't result in a solution.
And now we have a third attempt at a solution.
|Summary from Recommendations booklet|
- A bike box at Alice on Commercial
- Jug-handle turn 1: A bike box at Vista (Office Depot)
- Jug-handle turn 2: A bike phase during traffic signal cycle at Vista and Liberty
From the more detailed recommendations memo...
On the bike box at Alice:
When a red light for the southbound movement at the Alice Avenue intersection is displayed, bicyclists could move into the bike box once they reach the intersection and wait in the designated bicycle area in front of the motor vehicles. Once the traffic signal turns green for the southbound movement, bicyclists are already ahead of the motor vehicle traffic, thus, resulting in a safer transition southbound on Commercial Street. If the bicyclists arrive on a green light, they will either have to continue southbound travel with through motor vehicle traffic similar to existing conditions or wait for the southbound red light phase to utilize the bike box and get in front of motor vehicle traffic. The bicycle box option may result in a minor intersection delay due to the reduced saturated flow but future 2035 analysis indicated that this small delay is not anticipated to significantly degrade intersection operations.On Jug-handle 1:
A bike box could also be implemented at the Vista Avenue/Liberty Road intersection which would require southbound bicyclists to travel along Liberty Road through the “Split” to Vista Avenue. Once at Vista Avenue, the bicyclists would travel to the bike box on the west leg of the intersection (in front of Office Depot) and wait until the eastbound phase is allowed to move through the intersection. This option would require Vista Avenue to be widened between Liberty Road and Commercial Street for eastbound bike lanes as well as additional right-of-way to accommodate the bike box entry.On Jug-handle 2:
The bicycle phase at Vista Avenue option requires southbound bicyclists to travel along Liberty Road through the “Split” to Vista Avenue. Once at Vista Avenue, the bicyclists will activate a detector and utilize a bicycle-only phase that will allow them to travel eastbound through the intersection onto Vista Avenue and turn right at Commercial Street to continue southbound. The addition of a bicycle-only phase at the Vista Avenue/Liberty Road intersection would reduce green times for motor vehicle movements however future 2035 analysis indicates that a bicycle phase at this location would still result in the intersection meeting the City of Salem’s mobility standards in the year 2035. This option would require Vista Avenue to be widened between Liberty Road and Commercial Street for westbound bike lanes as well additional right-of-way for the Liberty Road/Vista approach.Notice in two of them how our commitment to hydraulic autoism introduces the possibility that "small delay" could "degrade intersection operations" and fail to meet "City of Salem’s mobility standards in the year 2035."
Never mind that the intersection already badly fails any plausible mobility standard for any user group other than those in automobiles!
(Our analysis here may also be complicated by the fact that the Feds consider this intersection part of the "National Highway System" and that's an additional layer of commitment to hydraulic autoism. Until we develop and formalize evaluations for multi-modal and lower-carbon levels of service, we will be in thrall to antiquated Eisenhower-era standards for autoist mobility.)
From here it seems like a combination of the bike box at Alice + either one of the jug-handle turns is most desirable. "Strong and fearless" cyclists could use the bike box at Alice to continue south; others could use the jug-handle at Vista. These solutions still don't really serve kids and families, but they would be an incremental solution. One problem with the bike box at Alice is that, per the 2009 proposal, it would benefit from the addition of a leading interval when people on bike can proceed, but car traffic remains stopped.
Just implementing one only, either the bike box at Alice or one of the jug-handle turns, is likely to result in lots of free-lancing - the bicycle "anarchy" and "urban deers" that autoists lament and even get hostile about. If the signed movements aren't intuitive and direct, compliance will be low. One reason orderly bicycling isn't universal is because we saddle people on bike with crappy, dangerous conditions like at this intersection. So of course people improvise with non-standard movements.
Hopefully a commitment to a design solution will emerge from the study and get into the queue for funding.
There will be an open house on the 23rd.
For all notes on the Commercial Vista Corridor Study see here.