Mayor Adams, PSU President Wiewel open city’s first ‘cycle track’
(Portland, Ore.) – Bicyclists riding down SW Broadway this morning are taking advantage of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s freshest take on bike lanes, the cycle track. At an afternoon event, Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Portland State University President Wim Wiewel officially opened the seven-block long track.
“Portland is known as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the nation – at the cutting edge of making transportation choices that encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes,” Portland Mayor Sam Adams said during the news conference. “Today I’m opening this innovative infrastructure project to help take cycling in Portland to the next level and encourage more people to make sustainable choices.”
A cycle track is a bike lane nestled between the curb and on-street parking, providing a sanctuary for cyclists from fast moving traffic downtown.
SW Broadway was chosen to debut the demonstration cycle track because it’s highly visible location in downtown Portland and relation to PSU. The university is known to do more then just study sustainability; PSU engages directly with the community around them to make sustainability real. The idea for the Broadway location came from conversations between the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and city traffic engineers after visiting Copenhagen last year.
PSU President Wiewel praised the commitment to bicycle infrastructure at the state’s largest university.
“As part of Portland State's commitment to sustainability, we continue to promote alternative transportation through partnerships such as this as well as providing services on campus,” President Wiewel said. “We're pleased that Mayor Adams and his transportation team selected Portland State for the first installment of what we hope will be many more cycle tracks throughout Portland and our faculty look forward to assisting in the ongoing evaluation of its effectiveness.”
The demonstration project is the city’s first cycle track and marks a new phase in Portland’s development as a world-class bicycling city. The Bureau of Transportation and PSU partnered to move forward with the conversion of SW Broadway – between SW Clay and Jackson streets – to create a safer, more convenient arrangement for both cyclists and drivers.
In surveys, Portlanders have said that separating cyclists and vehicles would encourage them to travel and, specifically, commute by bike. Cycle tracks differ from traditional bike lanes by placing a pedestrian buffer zone and space for parked cars between the cyclist and vehicular traffic. The pedestrian buffer zone allows space for people to exit and access their vehicles and open doors safely and are off limits to bikes.
To help cyclists and drivers understand how the cycle track works, PBOT will distribute educational materials to PSU, local bicycle shops, parking enforcement and police officers.