PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Driving in downtown Portland may have just gotten a little bit easier.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation painted the city's first red transit priority lane on Southwest Main Street between Southwest 1st and 2nd Avenues Wednesday morning.
"I feel like it’s visible enough that commuters will see it and, hopefully, move out of the lane," Isaac Barrow, who commutes to work by bicycle, said.
The lane is to help drivers understand to stay out of the bus lane in an effort to aid congestion and make public transit easier.
The red lane is now officially open! @PBOTinfo crews installed the city’s first red transit priority lane to support more reliable bus service. I guess it’s not clear enough for some people though...already spotted one driver in the red. 👀 @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/Hvq7SEM5VX— Brenna Kelly (@BrennaKellyNews) October 30, 2019
"Really helps distinguish who should be where, within their lanes, and keeps them within those areas," Sara Taylor, who feels the red lanes will be better for her commute, said.
The red lane may help bus drivers, but not everyone who bikes to work feels protected, squeezed between cars and buses.
"It’s a very small step, but quite frankly, it's not nearly enough," Barrow said. "The reality is that paint doesn’t provide the safety that bicyclists need and there has to be separation. Especially in the environment where we live where it's dark and rainy, people can’t see the red most of the time and it just doesn’t provide the separation and safety that we need as bicyclists to actually see an increase in sustainable transportation modes."
PBOT plans to paint more of the red lanes around downtown Portland next year.
You will also see new ones across the river at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lloyd Boulevard, Northeast Grand Avenue and Burnside Street, and Northeast Grand Avenue and Couch Street.
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