Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on November 22nd, 2005 at 11:02 pm
(**For anyone sick of jabbering about the Hawthorne Bridge, stop reading right now and wait for my next post. It will be fun, I promise!).
I feel like I’ve opened a can worms. My posts about the the new bike/ped markings on the Hawthorne Bridge have gotten many comments and I received an email from someone on the County bike advisory committee who said my recent post, “frivolously demeans the efforts of everyone on the County bike and ped Committee.” Then his email was CC’d to all sorts of prominent folks whom I have much respect for. Ouch.
Given all this, I want to clarify a few things.
First, I have not been at the front of this issue. In fact I heard about it for the first time on Monday morning. My thoughts were hastily formed by emails I read from bike advocates who I know and respect as being in-the-loop, rational, and smart. When I realized several of them were not happy with how the County treated them throughout the process which led to these new lane markings, I became concerned.
Based on this concern I posted that the markings were planned with “little or no input from cyclists.” I now realize that that statement is not entirely accurate.
The bridge review committee was full of cyclists (including one person from the PBAC and the BTA). However the issue is more complex and messy than that. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say it seems the PBAC, POOT, and Multnomah County bike and ped planners still don’t see eye-to-eye.
I realize the markings actually work pretty well for most of you…that’s great. I agree, they are pretty cool. But it’s not just about the markings. I feel the County should take more time to gauge public input and listen closely to local experts and advocates when they embark on projects of this much importance. My feelings are shared and more eloquently conveyed by POOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller.
I always try to be accurate, fair and quick with the news, but sometimes those things get in the way of each other. Thanks for reading.