There are a couple of Albany intersections that come up now and then when cyclists talk about challenging traffic conditions. Let’s take a look at them both.
The first is the intersection of Pacific Boulevard with Albany Avenue on one side and Airport Road on the other. It’s a wide expanse of pavement without lines, and making a left there is awkward because there’s no left-turn signal, and you can’t tell right away which way oncoming drivers are going to turn.
At this month’s meeting of Albany’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, transportation systems analyst Ron Irish said the intersection was on ODOT’s list to be improved. Just what those improvements are, and when they are scheduled to be made, I didn’t catch.
Nearby there’s the gore where westbound traffic from Knox Butte Road feeds into Pacific Boulevard at the same place as the first southbound Albany off-ramp from Interstate 5.
The Knox Butte shoulder, which serves as a bike lane through the freeway underpass, delivers cyclists to the confluence of two high-speed traffic lanes without any easy way of escape.
That’s where patience comes in, as the video shows. Someone on a bike should stop at the point of the gore and try to look straight back over his right shoulder, hoping for a gap in the off-ramp traffic before dashing across. It’s complicated by the fact that drivers coming off the freeway are still going more or less at freeway speed.
There’s no ready solution to this gore situation. If there was, it would be out of the city’s hands because, as you can see on the map below, the point of that gore is outside the city limits. (hh)