Wednesday, June 22, 2022

New Paving and Sidewalks on Wallace at Edgewater Feature Green Crossbikes

Crossbikes and crosswalks at Edgewater and Wallace

On the epic, non-intuitive meander required for the connection between the Union Street Bridge and Edgewater (map below), over the weekend there was a new wrinkle and an unexpected feature.

The janky connection between bridge and Edgewater

For the wrinkle, after emerging from under the off-ramp the other side of Musgrave, a section of the walk had been demolished and there was only a bed of gravel. Obviously they'll be pouring new concrete soon, but it was an additional barrier on top of the other path spaghetti and meanders.

Gravel bed for pouring new sidewalk

At Edgewater were the unexpected features. There were two green crossbikes striped (top image), one across the Wallace on-ramp, the other across Edgewater. These were inline with new channels through the porkchop median refuge at the slip lane.

Locally the crossbikes (the word is formed like crosswalk) first appeared in Portland in the middle of the last decade. At that time they were advisory only and did not have the same legal force or offer the same legal protections as a crosswalk.

Municipalities are generally out ahead of the State on this and other new insfrastructure and markings, so it is interesting to see ODOT using them now for crossing a State Highway. (There might be more to say about this later. Unsurprisingly they are not in ODOT's 2011 Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide. I have not registered, but might have missed, any further guidance from or use by ODOT.)

The project description for the Wallace Road paving had talked about enhanced crosswalks and flashing beacons, but not about crossbikes. It had also clearly called out that "Pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will have access through or around work zones." The graveled way and obstacle course with cones and curbs does not meet a very high standard for "access." This is a kind of #workzonewtf. (Project site and annotated map.)

The crossbikes at these locations do not seem to offer a very great upgrade to the crossings. Crossing Wallace is still janky and annoying, and the logical place for a crossing is on the Second Street alignment along the former railroad. But ODOT is rarely willing to inconvenience those in cars, and is all too willing to inconvenience those on foot or on bike.

Salem, Falls City & Western Line, 1915 USGS map

No at-grade crossing
ODOT, September 2015

The grade-separated crossing that has been talked about for a few years now is expensive, and privileges cars as it would connect with a new Marine Drive. (See this note from February on the latest, which still is quite vague.)

Once the project on Wallace is complete, it will be very interesting to see the whole suite of connectivity for people on foot and on bike.

Update, July 30th

Detection loops at Edgewater and Wallace?

The new path and ramp ODOT built contains cuts and insert for either bike detection for a signal or bike counting. There may be more to say about that later.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added photo of loops in the concrete.