When you’re on a bicycle, how best to keep going north on Highway 99E when you come to the big Y junction with Santiam Highway? It’s easier than I thought.
Bill Kapaun, a reader who saw my Jan. 8 video on highway bike lanes, suggested that for an encore I make a “video transition from 9th and Geary over to Pacific.”
“I’m not sure that can be done when there’s much traffic,” was my answer to his comment.
“That was my point,” he replied. “There are some areas that simply suck if you ride a bike.”
Thinking of the traffic lanes there, it does seem difficult to go from the Ninth Avenue leg of the Pacific Boulevard couplet over to the lanes that carry traffic to the northward continuation of Pacific.
So let’s see how it actually worked on Thursday, a nice sunny day and a great day for taking on a traffic challenge, starting on Ninth at the Periwinkle Plaza:
The bike lane on Ninth takes us safely across the Geary Street signal, which happens to be green. If we kept in that lane, it would take us east on Santiam Highway. But we want to go left, or north.
Turns out to be no problem, because by now the Geary Street signal has turned red for Ninth and stopped the flood of traffic that otherwise would be blocking the two lanes we have to cross.
There are one or two vehicles that made the right from Geary, but that’s all. We wait for those to pass, then stick out our left arm and switch from the far right bike lane to the bike lane that beckons across two traffic lanes to our left.
That’s all it takes, and we’re on our way. The signal that stops Ninth Avenue traffic at Geary Street makes this possible and, in this demonstration anyway, relatively easy and safe.
So yes, some parts of the Albany road system may suck when you’re on a bike, but Ninth and Geary is not that bad. (hh)