Bend’s first protected roundabout was built in 2022 at the intersection of Wilson Ave & 9th St.
In a normal roundabout, bikes can ride in the vehicle lane or use the sidewalk to get across the vehicle lanes at marked crosswalks. The bike lanes approaching the roundabout have ramps onto the sidewalk area to allow a bike to easily enter. There are also ramps down from the sidewalk at each roundabout exit point.
In this protected roundabout, instead of having a ramp into the sidewalk area, the bike lanes approaching the roundabout turn into protected bike lanes and follow the sidewalk around the edge of the roundabout. This keeps the bikes off the sidewalk, separating them from non-bike users. Bikes can still take the vehicle lane, that part remains unchanged.
The city made a video that covers this in more detail.
Things to love
- Bike area is clearly defined. In a normal roundabout not everyone knows they can ride on the sidewalk.
- Bikes don’t have to go up and down ramps when staying outside of the car area. It’s all level.
- Can’t use kid or dog trailers in the protected area because the turns are too sharp.
- In winter the protected area filled with snow and couldn’t be used. Could be improved with plowing.
- It feels too narrow
- When the bike area crosses the car area, the turn is so sharp it’s hard to look over one’s shoulder to see the cars. It’s more difficult to cross than when using the sidewalk.
- Having flashing crosswalk lights is very helpful for roundabouts that are high traffic or more than 1 lane wide. This protected roundabout doesn’t have one.