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In Portland, Construction Can’t Kill a Bike Lane

4540400421_b3bf6596d6.jpgThis temporary bike lane is actually wider than the permanent one that’s being blocked by construciton. (Photo: Portlandize)

Here’s an indicator of how important bike lanes are in the city of Portland.

From Streetsblog Network member Portlandize comes a report on a case in which a bike lane was recently closed because of streetcar construction. Instead of expecting cyclists to take their chances by going out into motor traffic, the city actually striped a new space for bikes — by taking away a lane of cars. And guess what? The drivers’ world has not come to a screeching halt:

[I]t’s interesting that closing this lane to motor vehicle traffic for some distance hasn’t created a traffic nightmare. I think a lot of our roads have a good bit of extra space that could easily be used for other things (cycle tracks!) without really affecting automobile traffic much, if at all. Here’s hoping.

Anyway, it’s just nice again to see cyclists being taken into account when temporary road changes are made. It seems like they’ve done a good job of that in general on this project. Keep it up, Portland, we appreciate it!

Here in New York, I’ve never seen a temporary bike lane created to replace one blocked by construction, even when that construction goes on for months. Anyone else out there ever observe anything along these lines?

More from around the network: Human Transit takes on planners who wonder if transit should be slower (really). Urban Velo has the news on how to help a group getting bicycles to people in the developing world. And the US DOT’s blog, The Fast Lane, files a story about how some DOT employees out on their daily walk came to the aid of a pedestrian hit and injured by a driver.

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