ODOT wants to remove bike lane on SE 26th and Powell - KPTV - FOX 12

ODOT wants to remove bike lane on SE 26th and Powell

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The Oregon Department of Transportation wants to shut down the bike lane on one of Portland's most dangerous streets and cyclists are split about the big move.

It's no secret, the intersection at SE Powell and 26th Street can be downright dangerous.

"I think that would be fine, I mean it would be more convenient for me," said Colette Willard. "I'm too afraid to use the intersection at 26th at this point, so that's why I go up all the way to the crosswalk."

On any given day hundreds of cars, trucks, pedestrians and cyclists make their way through the intersection sometimes with dangerous consequences.

According to ODOT, the stretch of Powell between SE 24th and 33rd saw more than 250 crashes between 2009 and 2013.

Three of those involved bikes, and all of those were at SE 26th and Powell.

In May of this year, Alistair Corkett, 22, lost his leg after a pickup slammed into him. The accident sparked demonstrations and demands for change.

Three weeks later, a car hit medical student Peter Anderson as he rode through that same intersection. He ended up with a broken leg.

Now ODOT has come up with a dramatic idea, get rid of the bike lane altogether on 26th and move it to 28th Street instead.

According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, 800 cyclists use that intersection every single day. A spokesman told FOX 12 while 28th would be a safer option, he believes many would continue to use 26th even without a bike lane.

One Portland cyclist agrees.

"It would be nice to have an option, but I don't see why take away the bike lane on 26th, it wouldn't make any sense to me, plus it's part of my commute so I'm just finding this out now so that would really kind of stink for me," said Adam Deem.

ODOT said all of this is part of a larger safety improvement plan along Powell from SE 20th to 34th.

While Powell is a state highway, the side streets are under PBOT's jurisdiction, so they are in discussions with the city now to see if they can move forward with the plan.

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