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Are Portland Streetcar tracks dangerous for bicycles?

by: CITY OF PORTLAND - Warning signs like these haven't stopped all bicycle accidents on Portland Streetcar tracks.Since Portland Streetcar tracks were first laid in city streets, bicyclists have complained that they cause accidents by trapping their tires. Although the city has put up some signs along the tracks warning of such accidents, bike riders have continued to have problems.

According to a new city ordinance, "Analysis of crash history and community feedback indicate there is a safety issue associated with people riding bicycles on or across streetcar tracks in Portland's central city."

Now the City Council will consider requesting a $150,000 to study ways of reducing such accidents. The ordinance before the council on Wednesday says the city and Portland State University will commit $30,000 in in-kind costs as the match for the grant from the Transportation Research Board, a division of the private, non-profit National Research Council.

If the grant is approved, the council must then vote on whether to accept it. There is no schedule in the ordinance for the potential research project.

To read the ordinance, visit www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=50265&a=487324