Portland streets safer for cyclists
PORTLAND — Six bright green bike boxes — designated areas where cyclists stop at an intersection for a red light — were installed last week, and eight more are on the way. But the biggest changes in Portland’s efforts to make cyclists safer are far less obvious.
The Portland Police Bureau changed its policies for investigating crashes involving cyclists and appointed a liaison officer to work with the cycling community.
The city is retrofitting its truck fleet with “bike guards” to protect riders. It has also invited cyclists and truckers to meet and mingle on Southeast Clinton Street during the evening commute tonight.
Although the bike boxes and other safety measures were on the drawing board for some time, those efforts took on urgency in recent months following the deaths of two cyclists in highprofile crashes in October.
“Those two deaths were a catalyst for positive change,” said Mark Ginsberg, a lawyer who is chairman of the city’s bicycle advisory committee. “It has definitely accelerated.”
Capt. Larry O’Dea, who heads the Police Bureau’s traffic division, plans to meet with lawyers, judges and cycling advocates in May to better understand language in several bike-related state laws.