So, I’m on the bus, riding through downtown Portland, and I see something I want to check out further. Or, maybe something I want to blog about. I turn my head to get a look at the street sign so that I know which cross street is nearest. Oops! We’re sailing through the intersection and as we go by I get a glimpse of the back of the sign. And, guess what? I have no idea what street it is because Portland is too cheap to print the name of the street on both sides of the sign. ARGH!!
The street sign orientation is designed for cars. In a city that prides itself on being bike and public transportation friendly, it’s still an automotive world. This is frustrating! It’s even frustrating when you are in a car and you ask your passenger to check which street you just crossed and they can’t answer because the street signs are blank on the back. Who thought of that unfriendly cost saving measure? I’m not impressed at all.
And, here’s your second peeve today: Road paint.
Why, oh why Portland, do you skimp on road paint? The lane lines, the crosswalk lines, the arrows, all of that important directional and safety information that is painted on the road is there for a reason. But, in Portland, you can barely see it. It should be bright and reflective but in most neighborhoods and on arterials it is very faint when you can find it at all. In a little traveled area this wouldn’t be too big of a deal. But, come on, on the Broadway/Weidler corridor? On Barbur Boulevard? On Powell and Foster? On Lombard? You have to guess where the lane is supposed to be. If you drive that road often, you are mostly ok. You know where the lanes are even if they are not marked. You’d better be looking out for other drivers though, because it might be someone from another part of town who doesn’t drive there often and might wander into your lane. And, at night? That’s when it’s really tough. It’s a safety concern. On a dark, rainy night it’s anybody’s guess where the damn lane is. Be careful out there.