PORTLAND - Mayor Adams announced he would close the intersection of North Wheeler and Broadway to cars in order to protect bicyclists.
"This is the most dangerous intersection (in Portland) in terms of cars and bikes crashing," the mayor said in announcing his decision. Recent collisions have mostly been “right hooks” when both the bikes and cars are moving, according to the mayor.
“The number of bikers that are using this intersection is going up exponentially," Adams said. "So the intersection hasn't changed except for street car - but the number of bikes using this part of town has."
The mayor's decision drew mixed reviews.
Bob Huckaby owns nearby First Incorporated, a moving and storage company.
"My staff has close calls every day, owning a trucking company we have 20 trucks that go down this street daily," said Huckaby. "This has been frustrating for the entire neighborhood."
Huckaby expressed concern that the closure would hurt local business, and emphasized that his drivers obeyed the posted street signs.
Tuesday morning, an officer was stationed at the stop sign at Flint, just before Wheeler, giving out tickets to cyclists who failed to stop at the stop sign.
"The bicycle violation at that stop sign is the easiest violation to see, that's why it's so attractive - it also plays into the long running thing in the city about bikes versus cars and Mayor Adams and bikes," said Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org. “It's hard to take your camera and see all the people talking on their phone and texting as they come down Broadway, where a few-foot error could result in someone being killed.”
It's not the first section of roadway closed to protect cyclists. A few years ago, Adams closed a section of N. Greeley to vehicle traffic after a fatal collision between a truck and a cyclist.
KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this story
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