Originally published on sister site Bikocity.
Portland is a bicycling kind of city. It is better than almost every other city in the US in this regard, but it is still adding more reasons for remaining drivers to get on a bicycle. Check out “Cross Bikes: Portland’s New Green Stripes,” for example.
Driving a silent all-electric car, and being an avid pedestrian/bicyclist much of my life, I carefully slow when I see pedestrians and bicyclists. They are often surprised (that a driver notices them), and they smile graciously, indicating for me to go as I wave them on before me. They are always appreciative.
For those who have never biked or even walked much in urban environments, better infrastructure is needed to wake up drivers enough to notice bicyclists (and pedestrians). This recent addition of large green striping is part of Portland’s Vision Zero aim to do just that.
Here’s more from the Portland Bureau of Transport:
- What is a cross-bike?
“Cross-bikes” are green bars that highlight the extension of the bikeway through the intersection.
- What are cross-bikes for?
The green cross-bikes, together with the white crosswalks, are to make it clear to people driving that this is a location where there may be many people walking and biking across the street.
- Do cars have to stop?
People driving are not legally required to stop for people bicycling through the cross-bike.
- Can I still use the white crosswalk when bicycling?
Yes, you can dismount your bike and walk it, or you can ride at pedestrian speed. Under Oregon State law a person driving is required to stop for people walking or bicycling slowly through a crosswalk when the person driving is given adequate time to stop.
BikePortland.org has an in-depth story on the innovative visuals sure to bring attention to a safety solution. “Roger Geller, PBOT’s chief bicycle planner, said it’s just the latest effort the bureau has undertaken to make crossings safer on what are designed to be low-stress, family friendly streets where people on bikes and foot are prioritized.”
Portland does more than create greater safety for bicyclists and drivers in this way. The city is making strides to imitate Copenhagen and Amsterdam intelligently in multiple ways. Also check out “Portland students learn bike safety and leadership at Bike Camp.” The students of this program will be safer as the city encourages more driving awareness of the bicyclist, something Dutch cities do from a very early age.