Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Message Board General Discussion › Bike Network Audit Ride

Bike Network Audit Ride

John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,531
I'm getting anxious to schedule ­this idea, probably sometime in September. It's taken this long for Public Services to do the restriping this summer.

I've just made ­a map showing locations of all the bike lanes and sharrows that Portland has, according to the latest draft map from the Bike Network Committee. I'm thinking maybe we can arrange 3 different groups, starting at the outskirts and working towards the center of town:

  • One group starts at the end of Auburn and rides inbound to Washington, then down Washington to Ocean, and inbound on Ocean to Forest.
  • One group starts at the end of Forest and rides inbound. Either this group and the first group will continue on to Deering as the bike lanes continue onto that road after Woodford.
  • The third group can do the Back Cove Loop: Baxter, Preble, and Marginal, maybe starting and ending at Baxter/Preble and crossing Tukey's using any means desired. Since this probably won't take as long as the other two groups, this one can also head towards USM on look at Bedford, Deering into Park, and Park over to Forest and up the hill to Congress.
We should probably have a cell phone on each team, so they can communicate where they are. Other useful equipment would be a camera, tape measure, and some means of taking notes, written or verbal.

It would be nice if we could time it so all groups could meet at the end and compare notes/have drinks.

A former member
Post #: 72
I live and work at the north end of Forest so as long as the date works I can help on that ride.
user 5414356
Brunswick, ME
Post #: 194
I'd love to participate if the date and time work out. Any of the three groups would be fine and I can bring a digital camera and a 12-foot tape measure.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,552
When should I schedule? Are Sunday mornings good for people? Can you do next Sunday the 5th? Sorry for the short notice, but September is filling up too much already, and it would be good to do it before we meet with Bruce Hyman on the 15th. I'd like to propose a Saturday also, but both of the next two are already taken up with the TS101 and LCI courses, which I'm assisting with and which I encourage people here to take, especially TS101­.
Lincoln P.
user 12657385
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
I can't meet this Sunday; have to make sure that the last of our summer guests find their way home.

* * *

Oh, Lord, now that our summer visitors have departed, wilt Thou take their places in our hearts.

—Prayer quoted in the Mount Desert Herald, Autumn 1884
A former member
Post #: 73
Sunday should be ok for me, Forest from Riverside to downtown.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,559
Not this Sunday. Sorry for the vacillation.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,603
Ride scheduled! Sunday 11/7, 9 AM to 11 or so. More discussion and suggestions welcome on this thread.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,635
The ride went very well! Thank you to the 9 people besides myself who showed up! We had each route covered very excellently!

We'll continue to use this thread for the post-ride notes and any further discussion anyone wants to have. We'll also be adding to the photo gallery here­.

John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,636
Here are Lincoln Paine's notes on the Forest Avenue route.

Forest Avenue Bike audit: Distances measured inbound from intersection of Riverside Industrial Parkway/Castine Avenue intersection (Mile 0)
Mile 0 Outbound: The bike lane terminates with dashed lines closing to the curb creating a coffin corner. There is no "Bike Lane Ends" sign. There are no sharrows to indicate that this is now a shared road.
Mile 0.4 Just before Newton Street (on left), bike lane eases right to curb to make way for traffic island in middle of street.
Mile 1 Avalon Street: Just past this the bike lane ends in dashed line closing to curb. There is no "Bike Lane Ends" sign before this, but note the "Share the Road" sign. (I think the road here is the entrance to a housing development; there is no street name on Google Maps.)
Mile 1.1 Approaching Warren Avenue. Sharrows are about 0.1 mile apart.
Mile 1.3 Approaching Morrill's Corner. Sharrows to right of center of travelling lane, but apparently centered 5' off the curb.
Mile 1.3 Morrill's Corner. This features a baffling sequence of intersections over the course of a bending 1,150 feet:
1) Warren Avenue - Maggie Lane
2) Eleanor Street (to left)
3) Goodridge Avenue/Allen Avenue
(Where Forest bears right, past Wok Inn, on left, and McDonalds, on right)
4) Bishop Street (to right)
5) Stevens Avenue (with traffic triangle; angled to right)
6) Morrill Street (to left)
Mile 1.3 Morrill's Corner: Note dashed lane separator curving from Allen Avenue into Forest Avenue. This is for traffic merging from Allen into Forest. And on second photo, funky crosswalk around traffic light island. No sanctuary there. And note no sharrows for next stretch of Forest to Bishop Street.
Mile 1.3 Morrill's Corner: Traffic from Allen merging into Forest. Follow the dotted line.
Mile 1.3 Morrill's Corner: Looking down Forest at outbound traffic. Bikes need not apply.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Intersection of Forest and Bishop Street.
Mile 1.3 Morrill's Corner: Looking outbound down Forest Avenue past intersection with Allen. Note sharrow just past intersection.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Forest at intersection of Bishop. Note sharrow in front of boarded up store at corner. This seems to be the first sharrow since Warren Avenue.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Forest & Bishop. No absence of lines.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Forest looking down Stevens Avenue. No lines.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Forest, just past Stevens. Note sharrow and "Share the Road" sign.
Mile 1.4 Morrill's Corner: Forest (outbound), just before Stevens. Note sharrow, but sandwiched between two straight/right turn markings. Too busy?
Mile 1.5 Forest at Arbor, which comes in from the right; according to Google maps there is no corresponding street on the left. The creative yellow-striped bumpout that forces a merge to the right and takes up a full lane seems to serve only Portland Collision.
Mile 1.7 Forest and Waverly. "Bike Lane Begins" sign; lane begins with solid, not dashed, line.
Mile 2.0 Forest just before Walton (to left). Yellow-striped bumpout that forces a merge to the right is to accommodate cars turning left onto Walton.
Mile 2.0 Looking up Forest from Walton; note bike lane closing to right and dashed line.
Mile 2.0 Forest at Walton: Bike lane, solid now, bearing right to accommodate parking. Note "Single Lane Traffic Only." Nothing about bikes.
Mile 2.4 Forest at Clinton. "Share the Road" sign. If this is preceded by a "Bike Lane Ends" sign, none of us noted it. (Should it have been mounted when the left hand line of the bike lane was painted over?)
Mile 2.5 Forest at Concord. First sharrow since "Share the Road" sign at Clinton, two streets back.
Mile 2.5 Forest Ave. train crossing, between Concord and Saunders/Ocean intersection. The train crosses at about a 22* angle, and there is a huge gap between one rail and the street. There is no specific warning to bikers about this, and you would either have to stop short or swerve left to hit it at closer to a 90* angle. Signage and fill necessary.
Mile 2.6 Woodford's Corner: This is a somewhat less insane intersection than Morrill's Corner, but still a bit confusing. The intersection involves four streets:
1) Forest, which bears left going into town.
2) Woodford Street, which crosses right where Forest bends, so at either a 90* angle or 45* angle, depending on your perspective.
3) Deering Avenue, which is what Forest would become if it didn't bear to the right.
4) Revere Street, which actually dog-legs across Deering. This dogleg is further confused by the fact that Deering is one way between Forest and Revere, and two-way beyond Revere. As a result, if you are coming up Deering (i.e., outbound), to get onto Forest, you have to turn right on Revere, and turn left on Forest, where there is a light.
There was some discussion in our group about a delivery person going the wrong way up the one-way part of Deering between Revere and Revere (the gap in the dogleg). This is probably not due to an ignorance of the traffic law (as some suggest), but to the fact that it is much shorter and probably no more dangerous than turning right from Deering onto Revere, going left into the left-hand lane of Forest, and then making a hairpin turn back onto Deering and then right on Revere.
Inbound, the city directs you to get off Forest (by going straight) to proceed via Deering. This is indicated by green "Bike Route" and "Downtown" signs posted just before Woodford. However, there are no sharrows or bike lane markings, and this is a "coffin corner."
Proceeding outbound on Forest is presumably less taxing, but if this is not the preferred route out of town, where is this indicated?
Mile 2.7 Deering Ave. "Bike Lane" begins.
Mile 2.7 Revere Street between Deering and Forest. Sharrows are placed left of center, which suggests that bikes should enter Forest in left lane—a left-hand "coffin corner?" No indication that bikes should or even can turn right onto Forest.
Mile 2.7 Looking up Deering Ave. towards Revere Street, where bikes are directed to Forest.
---------- Deering Ave. bike lane: hazards of the fall.
Mile 3.3 Deering approaching intersection with Brighton and Falmouth. Deering jogs a hair to the left through this intersection.
Mile 3.3 Apart from the pedestrian crosswalks and the "Bike Lane" sign past the intersection, you're on your own—driving or peddling.
Mile 3.3 Looking out Brighton from Bedford/Deering/Falmouth intersection. Dashed lines indicate start of bike lane, but there is no sign.
Mile 3.4 Bedford between Brighton and Forest. This bike lane is poorly marked, if it is a bike lane—which it seems to become.

(See glossary in next posting; this one is too long to fit it.)
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