A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Flash: Bike lights on bridge once again blink

Written April 19th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

If you squint, you can just make out one of the bike-on-bridge flashing lights in the “on” position.

In the interest of keeping track, I’d like to report that the bike warning lights on the Ellsworth Street Bridge in Albany have been repaired. I tried them Friday afternoon and found that in fact they do work again.

A boom truck hit some of the lights on the bridge, knocking them out, and evidently the bike-warning flashers were affected as well, as I reported here on March 19.  Even though the lights are ODOT’s responsibility, the city street crew offered to fix them.  But they ran into a snag with the bike lights. Seems like a relay had gone out, and that job fell to ODOT.

This week I noticed an ODOT truck parked there by the side of the road. Whatever was needed to fix things, now it’s been accomplished.

ODOT installed the bike warning when the 1925 bridge got a new deck, sidewalks, and railings in 2002. There’s a button by the side of the road. Cyclists can hit the button before crossing, and this activates lights above a sign that says there’s a bike on the bridge when the lights flash.

ODOT also offset the lane-dividing line slightly so that the right lane is wider than the left. This allows a bit of room on the right for bikes and cars to move side by side. It’s a tight fit sometimes, but it works. (hh)

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