The Parkway has no good crossings for people traveling by bicycle. Intersections are purposefully spaced far apart, the intersecting roads are all busy, and in order to facilitate right-hand turns towards I-5 all the intersecting roads have right-turn-only lanes that trap bicyclists.
In her October 11, 2009 Statesman LTE, Jackie Lefevre wrote about one of these intersections, Cherry at the Parkway:
As I stopped my bicycle at a red light on Cherry Street in the lane to the left of a "right turn only" lane so that I could continue straight, a women came up alongside me, rolled down her window and admonished me for not being in the bike lane.Not only did she have to navigate the tricky merge left from the bike lane, she has to endure the sometimes aggressive complaints from auto drivers.
The woman obviously holds a misconception about bicyclists' use of bike lanes.
There are a number of exceptions to the requirement that cyclists stay in the bike lane listed in ORS 814.420, including one allowing a bicyclist to leave the bike lane when continuing straight at an intersection where the bike lane is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.
Every intersection on the Parkway going north offers this problem to people who bike!
Here's Broadway at the Parkway after it was paved, but before the striping was applied.
In many ways it is the best candidate for a bike lane or other pavement markings for people who bike. Broadway has somewhat lower auto traffic volumes than Liberty or Cherry, and it connects to the increasingly human scaled neighborhood just north of downtown. Why it was not striped appropriately is a mystery.
Liberty at the Parkway is the most problematic of the three. It has not just one turn-only, but it has dual turn lanes. The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway signing is nice and all, but it is positioned ambiguously and suggests a person on bike might need to remain in the bike lane.
In every way the Parkway crossings are set up for people in autos to make right turns; conversely, in nearly every way, the crossings are made difficult for people on bikes.
The Parkway is a major barrier.
Back to our ride to the meeting, the topper, more ironically amusing than actually perilous like the Parkway, was the incorrectly installed bike rack at Starbucks.
One half of it was positioned without enough clearance in front of a pillar.