Now that I’ve had the opportunity to ride the cycle track both ways, and take some decent photos, here’s a bit of an explanation of how it works.
The new roadway for SW Moody incorporates sidewalk for non-vehicle traffic, two-way cycle track for bicycle traffic, two streetcar tracks (one in each direction) which share space with the two automotive vehicle lanes (one in each direction), and maybe (I’m not exactly clear on this) one motor vehicle lane in-between the streetcar lanes.
Coming from the North, you approach in a standard, painted bike lane. There is a traffic signal at the intersection shown below, and then you proceed straight, onto the cycle track.
Bicycle traffic proceeds up a slight incline on the right-hand side, away from the road. From right to left in the following image, you have South-bound bicycle traffic, North-bound bicycle traffic, and then non-vehicle traffic, then the roadway.
You can see that not everything is finished yet – for instance, areas that I think will be planters currently are just dirt with safety cones in them. But you can see that the two directions of bicycle traffic are separated by a row of bricks, which eventually will have intermittent spots of vegetation of some sort.
Towards the South end of the cycle track, the sidewalk crosses the cycle track, because the cycle track soon ends and has to exit out onto the street again.
At this point, you can either continue straight in the painted bicycle lane on the street, or turn left and cross the street to go to OHSU’s Center for Health & Healing and the Portland Aerial Tram.
Going the other direction, if you’re coming from OHSU/The Aerial Tram, you just cross the street in the crosswalk, and back up onto the cycle track to the right – bicycles take the lower, wider entrance, everyone else takes the one that looks more like a normal sidewalk crossing.
If you’re coming from further South on SW Moody, the bike lane now leads up onto the sidewalk, and you again use the crosswalk here to move across the street onto the cycle track (basically, you do a “Copenhagen left turn” or “box turn”)
From there it continues much as you saw going the other direction, until you get to the other end, where there is a bicycle-only traffic signal, allowing you to cross the street, and continue North on the other side.
Along the way, there are a few spots that have ramps down onto the roadway, where I assume there will be cross-streets or entrances to buildings on the East side of the street once the street project is totally finished.
It’s already attracting quite a few people, and there will definitely be a bit of a learning curve, as there have been plenty of people walking in the cycle track and riding on the sidewalk – hopefully when they finish the signage, that should help some.
Finally, at the north end, you exit via the bicycle-only traffic signal, and continue on your way.
It will be interesting to see how this all works out, but for now I’m optimistic that it will be a really good thing, and it has already made my ride to work so much nicer. I’m looking forward to getting to use this every day! Cheers!