Summer construction creates problems for SE cyclists - KPTV - FOX 12

Summer construction creates problems for SE cyclists

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Summer construction on SE Division is creating problems for cyclists who say their bike routes are being bombarded with drivers looking to cheat the detour.

This week crews began grinding and paving SE Division between SE 26th and 34th avenues.

The idea was to reroute all traffic to SE Powell, but instead cyclists say people are turning on to Clinton, which happens to be a neighborhood greenway, according to the city.

"Most drivers are polite, I have to say, but 5 or 10 percent of people don't listen to the detour and pass us unsafely, and that really scares me," said cyclist Alex Reed.

To raise awareness about the issue, Reed and his fellow members of Bike Loud PDX organized a peaceful protest during rush hour traffic.

The group slowly pedaled in front of drivers along SE Clinton, reminding them to stay off their greenway and stick to the suggested detour.

"I understand it's the more convenient way, and I get that, but I feel like the place I had to bike safely and comfortably is being diminished by driving on it," Reed said.

The city of Portland has made efforts during construction to point drivers in the right direction. PBOT says they're even working with the Portland Police Bureau to help randomly enforce the detour.

"I appreciate what they're doing, but I think they could do more," Reed said. "They could put up temporary signs at the end of the block that says, 'Cars stop here,' or ‘Local traffic only.'"

The group says until that happens, they're trying to do their part to make it known to drivers that Clinton is designed to be a street with low traffic volume. 

The city says the grinding and paving between 26th and 34th avenues will take about two weeks to complete, but there will be a final phase of repaving in September.

This work is part of the Division Streetscape Project.

Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation says they are working together to improve the Division Street transportation corridor, repair and replace older sewers, add green infrastructure to manage storm water, make sewers work more efficiently and improve watershed health.

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