Changes coming at 4 Albany intersections – Hasso Hering
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A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Changes coming at 4 Albany intersections

Written September 1st, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The Queen/Geary intersection: The signasl and bike lanes may see alterations.

Ever heard of a “doghouse-style” traffic signal? It signals when you can make a left turn, and at Queen and Geary and three other Albany intersections, it’s going to be replaced by a different kind.

The city council last week approved an agreement with ODOT under which the state will pay up $387,600 toward the estimated $420,300 cost of making changes intended to enhance safety at four intersections: Queen and Hill, Queen and Geary, Waverly and 21st, and Waverly and Grand Prairie.

“Improvements include converting the existing ‘doghouse’ style protected/permissive signals to 4- or 3-section flashing yellow arrow protected/permissive left turn signals,” a memo to the council said.

“Both signal styles provide a protected phase where left turns can be made without opposing traffic, as well as a permissive phase where left turns can be made as long as there is no oncoming traffic. The flashing yellow arrow design, however, is more intuitive for drivers and results in a much reduced crash rate for left-turning vehicles.”

That’s a “doghouse-style” signal at Queen and Geary.

At Queen and Geary, according to the city staff, the work is supposed to include painting parts of the bike lanes green. Also, they’ll add a “no-pedestrian phase timing feature,” which presumably means a phase where pedestrians are supposed to stay on the curb while other traffic proceeds.

Green bike lanes? Ron Irish, Albany’s transportation systems analyst, explains: “They are typically used to draw attention to locations on the bike system where cyclists and drivers should expect some conflicts.”

This has been done in other Oregon towns. And if they go through with putting green lanes at Queen and Geary, they would be Albany’s first. (hh)

Green bike lanes similar to this one in Medford may be painted at Queen and Geary in Albany.

21 responses to “Changes coming at 4 Albany intersections”

  1. Barb Schoonover says:

    Another thing that should really be done is improving the lighting at the crosswalks so drivers can actually see pedestrians that are crossing at night.

  2. Cindy says:

    I saw a green painted bike lane yesterday in Corvallis next to Taco Time. It really gets your attention as you’re driving! And if the lights are like the ones at Waverly and 14th, I like how it turns yellow and gives you another chance to make a left turn as long as you yield to oncoming traffic.

  3. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I’ve seen the “green bike lanes” in other communities. They *DO* catch your attention – as they are supposed to do. Good call…

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Yes, the green paint is distracting, especially when I’m texting and driving.

      And, please, don’t preach to me about the dangers of texting. Only simpletons are incapable of driving and texting. If a person can’t do two things simultaneously, they shouldn’t even be on the road.

      Driving is a right, not a privilege. Deal with it….

  4. Andrea says:

    I am interested in knowing if this change will include audible pedestrian signals? This new change in regards to pedestrians needing to wait while cars goes seems very dangerous to visually impaired pedestrians if no audible signal will be included.

  5. J. Jacobson says:

    The Green Lane markings will cause drivers to be more aware, at least until the novelty wears off. Then, like all stimuli, drivers will no longer get the same urgency and the carnage will return to pre-green markings days. Albany’s Bicycle Antifa will demand new color markings – a rainbow perhaps to promote diversity. The old slippery slope.

    Don’t take my word for it. See below from the Florida Institute of Transportation Engineers:

    “Studies made in cities where such signs were widely posted in residential areas show no evidence of having reduced pedestrian crashes, vehicle speed or legal liability. In fact, many types of signs which were installed to warn of normal conditions in residential areas failed to achieve the desired safety benefits. Further, if signs encourage parents with children to believe they have an added degree of protection–which the signs do not and cannot provide–a great disservice results.”

    TRAFFIC INFORMATION PROGRAM SERIES (TIPS) From the Florida Section (District 10) of the Institute of Transportation Engineers—01-25-2012?bidId=

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      You seem to have ZERO trouble making things up.
      Your quote has absolutely nothing to do with painted bike lanes.

      At first consideration, it might seem that this sign would provide protection for youngsters playing in a neighborhood. It doesn’t.
      Studies made in cities where such signs were widely posted in residential areas show no evidence of having reduced pedestrian crashes, vehicle speed or legal liability. In fact, many types of signs which were installed to warn of normal conditions in residential areas failed to achieve the desired safety benefits……

      • J. Jacobson says:

        Have you considered the possibility that this study in Florida could apply to any and all types of signage?

        • centrist says:

          The case is unproven.
          Applying a cause-effect study as proof for an unrelated case violates the rules of logic.

          • HowlingCicada says:

            Here’s a reliable cause-effect relationship:

            Cause: something done by government benefits bicyclists.
            Effect: Jacobson is against it.

  6. b says:

    make sure there is course grit in the paint…. without it, that stuff gets really slippery when damp

  7. B says:

    Nearly a half million to make minor changes to a few intersections. There is no limit to government spending and waste.

  8. CHEZZ says:

    Dog-House Style Traffic Signals — Just reading that description before reading on—- thought it may be a traffic light with cameras catching those stray drivers running the lights….then we would be in the dog house with a lousy traffic ticket! *LOL

  9. Richard Vannice says:

    Driving and texting at the same time? I hope you were joking Mr. Shadle. It has been proven that NONE can multi-task. Bet you can’t pat your stomach and rub your head in a circular motion at the same time without really concentrating. OOPS didn’t see that other car.

  10. Anon says:

    While I do not oppose these improvements, I am troubled that the city is not focused on street improvements within the city that need serious upgrades that in their current state compromise the public’s safety.

  11. Albany YIMBY says:

    Such a waste of money. Turning these intersections into roundabouts would save money, accidents and time waiting for the lights.

    Anyone that has been to Bend know that they make for a pretty safe and quick flow without having to design complicated intersections and traffic lights.

  12. Ray Kopczynski says:

    While that may be true, “roundabouts” are *very-very expensive* vs. simple changes as outlined in the article…


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