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BTA: NE Going Street will be focus of bike boulevard effort

Posted by on August 14th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Low-traffic, tree-lined conditions will help
make NE Going a great bike boulevard.
(Photo: Google Streetview)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has announced that NE Going Street will become the first street to receive funding for improvements as part of their Bicycle Boulevard Campaign.

The announcement today of the new “Get Going!” campaign comes just over two years since the launch of the campaign. Since then, they’ve been working to build awareness for the bicycle boulevard concept and to gauge community feedback as to which route should be chosen.

BTA Bike Boulevard Ride
Riders enjoy the SE Lincoln
bicycle boulevard.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Emily Gardner is the BTA’s policy advocate and the organization’s point person for the campaign. She said NE Going received the most support in a survey conducted last summer by a group of urban studies students at Portland State University. That survey asked respondents which low-traffic streets they preferred to ride on.

According to Emily, several factors played into their selection of NE Going Street (besides the fact that it’s name makes for a catchy slogan and Gardner owns a home on it):

“The length of the corridor [four miles], the relative ease of implementation [from an engineering standpoint], and the fact that it would help alleviate the car/bike conflicts on the two closest arterials, Prescott and Alberta.”

Also playing into NE Going’s favor is that it would provide a safe bike route that’s within a 1/2-mile of nine neighborhoods, nine parks, 11 schools and four business districts.

Currently, the only bike boulevard in Northeast Portland is NE Tillamook. Bicycle boulevards are low-traffic streets where bicycles are encouraged and engineering methods make them less appealing to cars.

Gardner says the BTA is excited to get to work on making NE Going a premier bike street. Why? “Because we believe that bike boulevards are the key to encouraging the 60% of Portlanders who are interested in using a bike but have concerns about riding with auto traffic.”

The BTA is planning presentations about the project at the Humboldt, Cully, Sabin, King and Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Associations starting in September.

The City of Portland is currently working on their own bicycle boulevard campaign. Their Clinton Street Bike Boulevard Enhancement Project is well underway and I’m due for an update on that soon.

———

— Read more about The BTA’s Bicycle Boulevard Campaign.
— Read more bike boulevard coverage in the archives.

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Comments
  • jeff August 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Awesome!!!!!! I live off of Alberta and Going is already my prefered route for meandering east and west throught the neighborhood. Great choice, great location.

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  • Skidmore? August 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    So is skidmore not a bike boulevard currently? It has the bike route signage and motor vehicle traffic is diverted at Scott elementary so I assumed it was. The street has lots of problems with potholes, and even some unpaved sections, does this mean that it will be even more difficult to convince the city to fix the roadway since there will be another bikeway a few blocks over?

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  • Ethan August 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    It certainly doesn\’t hurt that that corridor is mostly done with the gentrification/cleaning effect (and affluent) by now, why don\’t we re-name it Cesar Chavez while we\’re at it?

    I get pretty tired of the city pouring money into areas that are basically already transformed, or well on their way. Street Car expansion, paving, bike infrastructure, always the same story. Try riding a bike on the century-old paving on NE Holman.

    That said, I like Going, and if it puts a feather in the City\’s cap to \”transform\” a street that is already a good route, bully for them.

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  • Zaphod August 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I\’ve poked around the BTA site and nowhere can I find details on what portion of NE Going is under consideration. Does it go all the way to Mississippi to the West? Beyond 42nd to the East?

    When connecting Mississippi or Interstate to my house (nearest major cross streets of 15th/Fremont) it\’s OK but far from optimal. I\’ve tried all kinds routes along the grid and have yet to find the perfect route. I think the Going St Boulevard will be the answer if it extends this far.

    If most of the riders funnel towards this route, we\’ll have no problems keeping it full of bikes.

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  • John Russell August 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I would have much preferred Skidmore. They both more or less start around the same place in the East, yet Skidmore continues almost a mile more to the West, all of the way past Interstate Avenue, which is usually where I am headed. Not to mention the fact that there is already lights at MLK, Williams, and Vancouver, which is where Going ends. With a short jog between 49th and 52nd going from Skidmore to Mason, the Bike Boulevard could essentially continue all the way from past Interstate to 82nd.

    In short, I would much rather see Skidmore turned into a Bike Boulevard.

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  • cyclist August 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I formerly lived on Going, it doesn\’t need much of anything with regards to traffic calming because Prescott is one block south and has long, uninterrupted stretches where there are no lights or stop signs… pretty much all Going traffic is local traffic.

    Going does have a number of stop signs, which is one reason a friend of mine says he prefers to ride Alberta (although really, Going is a much nicer ride). If they could reduce the number of stop signs while maintaining the existing amount of vehicle traffic, Going will make for an awesome bike boulevard, otherwise the money\’s probably wasted on making the street more bike friendly.

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  • Oliver August 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Doing most of my riding N/S I don\’t get out that way much but when I do, I have noticed that one of these two streets has an amazing shortage stop signs, and is a very nice ride. My vote is for that street.

    But then if the transformation into a bike blvd also involves the re-alignment of stopsigns then I\’m for the other.

    I\’m just simple that way.

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  • hickeymad August 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    NE needs more bike boulevards! I applaud this effort and also concur with the commentary that discusses the removal of stop-signs. Speed-bumps (big bottom-scraping ones) are way more fun!

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  • N.I.K. August 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Agreed that Skidmore would make more sense. But Going doesn\’t really need *much* other than to get all those blind intersections obscured by trees, hedges, etc. fixed up. Having to move several feet *into* possible cross traffic you can\’t see and then jump back in terror is dangerous and stupid.

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  • Bjorn August 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I wonder how many people who did surveys etc thought that Skidmore already was a \”Bike boulevard\” and were suggesting adding Going, rather than thinking about which of all the streets would be the best to upgrade… A HAWK light at the cully crossing on skidmore would be really nice as the cross traffic is both heavy and fast.

    Bjorn

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  • Mark C August 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I think both Going and Skidmore should be bike boulevards. Going is just a great, well-graded, low traffic street, so the only thing needed is to remove some of the stop signs. Skidmore makes more sense farther west, as there are already signals in place at MLK, Williams, & Vancouver.

    For both of these streets and other bike boulevards, the most important thing is to remove most of the stop signs. There should only be stop signs at major streets such as 7th, 15th, 33rd, etc. That\’s my big beef with Tillamook, there are too many stop signs, so I use Knott instead. To discourage autos install more intersection medians that permit bikes to pass through, but force cars to turn.

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  • BF August 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    @John Russell Skidmore is too high-traffic to become a BB. The goal with these routes is to find safe, quiet streets that make attractive alternatives to the large percentage of would-be bikers who are afraid to mix it up with traffic. Going fits better in this context.

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  • BF August 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Also, I think in terms of BBs, the goal to go farther west then where Going ends at Vancouver would be to head south for just few blocks to Failing, then over the Pedestrian bridge. For experienced bikers comfortable with more direct routes, Skidmore might make more sense. But again, BBs are really targeted at kids and less-experienced riders.

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  • BURR August 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    It sounds like NE Going is already a de-facto \’bike boulevard\’. Exactly what is the city going to do to make it better, other than turn a few stop signs the other way and put up a few route signs?

    The city likes these projects, because they aren\’t controversial, they are easy to do, and they get to put a feather in their cap; but honestly, in the big picture this won\’t really do much to make the city safer for cycling, since it\’s already a pretty darn safe street to bicycle on.

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  • BURR August 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    The goal with these routes is to find safe, quiet streets that make attractive alternatives to the large percentage of would-be bikers who are afraid to mix it up with traffic.

    That\’s fine if all you want to do is ride up and down the bike boulevard all day without a specific destination.

    But once you want to leave your neighborhood, cross the highway or the river, go downtown, or access almost any commercial destination in the city, you\’re going to have to ride your bike on busier streets somewhere along the way.

    Making the arterials safer that cyclists have to ride on to actually go someplace in the city is where PDOT and the BTA should be focussing their efforts, not the neighborhood streets that are already relatively safe.

    PDOT has a long history of doing the easy bike projects and shying away from the more difficult or controversial ones. What this means is that conditions at the most dangerous spots for cyclists are rarely improved.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 14, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    BURR,

    just want to point out that this NE Going Bike Boulevard effort is being spearheaded by the BTA, not PDOT.

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  • Zaphod August 14, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    BURR, I hear you but I think the intent is to create a network that *does* go somewhere and links the city\’s quadrants.

    You have to start somewhere.

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  • peejay August 14, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Agreed with everybody except whoever suggested HAWK crossings. Unless they use a road sensor that only bikes can trip, they are a failure. I hate the one at E Burnside and 40-something. It is not acceptable to have to stop my bike, lean way over, and push a button. A car driver would not tolerate having to get out of their car to trip a signal.

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  • BURR August 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    You have to start somewhere.

    they\’ve been working on it for ~ 20 years already.

    just want to point out that this NE Going Bike Boulevard effort is being spearheaded by the BTA, not PDOT.

    PDOT will approve and construct whatever gets decided on, yes?

    All I want is acknowledgment that an integrated hybrid system is the only thing that\’s going to work in the end; to say that bike boulevards alone will complete this city\’s bikeway network is naive to say the least. To believe that separated paths will be built to link all the bike boulevards throughout the city is equally naive, given the physical, financial and political constraints, IMO.

    We need real solutions that work on the streets we have now, if we want to continue to attract new cyclists, and that includes not only bike boulevards and paths but significant improvements for bikes on many arterial streets. If Sam isn\’t being told this by his staff in PDOT, someone\’s not doing their job.

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  • Bdan August 15, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Main story- Love this news cause I ride Going every day, love Skidmore but Going is more feasible and popular. Agree that other routes might have priority but the nature of planning is demand, not long shots.
    By implementing bike ways on a neighborhood arterial we are laying the groundwork for a wider system of bike networks. There is a philosophy, which relates well to publicly funded budgets: Only with incremental change can you provide the best system at the least cost.
    Going Street is a prime example of an already popular route that could become more efficient with the removal of stop signs.
    Imagine a residential street with non existent traffic for 4 miles in NE Portland, Bliss!(I ride Tillamook and its nothing compared to what Going will be.)
    @Ethan
    Please don\’t play the gentrification card. My family has lived in N Portland since the 1920\’s and my mother\’s side in Oregon City from the mythical age of a video game played on many Apple II E\’s.
    Gentrification = Capitalism.
    My family was lucky enough to be able to keep up with economic pressures and was not forced to move out, most African American residents didn\’t have the same opportunities afforded to them based on their race and as such have a very legitimate problem with current conditions.
    But there is a large group of older white folks who have the same gripe, the problem is that Portland is one of the whitest cities in America and so most of these stories are considered happenstance or coincidence.
    The fact is that almost all of N Portland was a working class neighborhood that is still reeling from the lack of its traditional industrial jobs of steel workers, Dock workers, and jobs associated with the timber industry.

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  • jimbo August 15, 2008 at 2:40 am

    If the stop signs are removed wont that open up problems with cars using the same road for a blvd? or will the street only be open all the way through for bikes only? With so many more bikes than a year ago we really nead safer routes, and if it moves them off of busy streets than even better.I wish that there was a better rt where Alberta crosses I-5

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  • jimbo August 15, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Has anyone taken into consideration the effects of this on the neighborhoods it would pass through? Will there be marked bike lanes for the bikes to stay in or will they be spread out all over the street like a sunday picnic? I would imagine that there would be a signifficant nomber of bikes using this as it sounds like a popular idea. Backing out of a driveway would be much different than it is now. I don\’t like the idea of removing stop signs, there is a reason for them and most cyclists have enough power to stop and get going again.

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  • Duncan August 15, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Jimbo-
    You are responsable for whatever you hit backing up. I back INTO my driveway for that reason.

    Secondly bike blvds increase property values- if you live along their you should be happy. Also those sunday picnic cyclists slow traffic speeds and lower the number or rat-runner on your neighborhood streets. it will make your street quieter too.

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  • Lenny Anderson August 15, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Tillamook is no \”bike boulevard.\” I was part of its creation as a bikeway 10 years ago when we expected signage that would make clear to all users that it was a special street for non-motorized traffic. All we got were the \”bike dots\” and a couple of \”bike crossing\” signs after a 10 year wait! I ride it most days, we get lots of cars, some going way to fast…where is PPB traffic enforcement? Oh, stopping bikes for coasting thru stops signs, which is what we all do on Tillamook, because PDOT got its nerve up to remove exactly ONE stopsign between Flint and 92nd. Cut thru cars or \”cheaters\” are an everyday happening.
    While Tillamook has a lot going for it, it is far, far from a \”Bike Boulevard.\”
    Platinum status should have been awarded to Portland\’s bicyclists, its NGOs and the fantastic bike community, not to PDOT.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 15, 2008 at 9:08 am

    \”Tillamook is no \”bike boulevard.\” \”

    Lenny,

    I hear you… but technically, in PDOT planning maps and according to official city designation, it is a \”bike boulevard\”.

    the quality of that bike boulevard is up for discussion, but in officials terms, that\’s what it is.

    thanks.

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  • Metal Cowboy August 15, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Tillamook a bike boulevard? If Tillamook is a BB it\’s of the ninja variety. That, or my concept of a BB and PDOT\’s are world\’s apart. It\’s the stop signs and cut through traffic that make it less than BB to me.

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  • Emily August 15, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Emily from the BTA chiming in here to provide some additional information on some of the comments above…

    I\’m noting some discussion of Skidmore as a potential route, and questions about why we didn\’t choose it as our first priority for implementation. First, to clarify, the only bicycle boulevard in NE Portland is NE Tillamook. While it\’s true that other streets have bikeway signage on the ground, signage alone does not make a street a bike boulevard. Our website, http://www.bikeblvd.com provides information on the 4 key components required for bike boulevards. If all 4 areas aren\’t addressed in a wholistic manner along the corridor, then you might have a bikeway, but it won\’t be as functional or comfortable as a bike boulevard.

    Looking at Skidmore specifically, stretches of it have high traffic volume and speed (between MLK and Interstate),and there is a difficult crossing at NE 33rd near Wilshire Park. Also, NE Going received a higher level of support from the folks we heard from in our survey and in my visits with neighborhood associations throughout N/NE Portland. And lastly, the BTA does support a bike boulevard on NE Skidmore (see NE Potential Bike Boulevard Map on our site), and 12 other streets, NE Going is only the beginning.

    Some specific comments I wanted to address:

    Poster #3 regarding NE Holman and why we aren\’t working there…we are, NE Holman is one that we\’ve identified and will continue to work on as part of a combined NE Ainsworth/NE Holman boulevard corridor.

    Poster #4 regarding the NE Going corridor parameters…it would run from the Vancouver/Williams couplet east to NE 72nd. There is some potential to continue further to the west, but there are some more significant and expensive to fix challenges along that segment if we want to get \”Going All the Way!\” :)

    Poster #21 regarding the potential for cut through auto traffic once stop signs are turned…it\’s true, turning stop signs is usually paired with traffic diversion to discourage cut through auto traffic. At this point, not having begun any design processes, it\’s hard to say if and where diversion might be needed along NE Going. With Prescott to the south, and Alberta to the north serving as the car arterials through the neighborhood, I anticipate that NE Going will not be used as a cut through street, but again, this is something to sort out in the design process.

    That\’s all I have for now, but please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. I also recommend checking out the following links:

    http://www.bikeblvd.com
    BTA bike boulevard website. Includes bike boulevard \’toolkit\’, information on the Let\’s Get Going! Campaign, maps of potential routes in NE Portland, sample letters of support, etc.

    http://www.safeandsoundstreets.com
    PDOT website about the Safe, Sound and Green Streets Campaign from last fall. It includes the city\’s proposed bike boulevards.

    Emily Gardner
    Bicycle Transportation Alliance
    emily@bta4bikes.org

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  • a.O August 15, 2008 at 10:19 am

    \”Tillamook is no \’bike boulevard\’\”

    This goes to the point we were discussing in the thread about the press conference. They do little dinky things like paint little signs on the road and give it an \”official\” designation. Then all the politicians sit around and take credit for their bikey-ness.

    Meanwhile, the reality is as Lenny says: The street is no more bike-friendly than it ever was. And more importantly, people still don\’t want to ride there because the PPB *still* doesn\’t enforce the speed limits and other laws that protect cyclists.

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  • Michael M. August 15, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I tend to take Skidmore when I\’m over that way, now I\’ll have to check out Going. But re Tillamook, if that\’s a BB, I can\’t say I\’m terribly excited by the prospect of more BBs. I long ago gave up on Tillamook in favor of Brazee, which is less trafficked and takes me right through Grant Park. The only problem with Brazee is a lot of stop signs, but I mind that less than the traffic and noise on Tillamook.

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  • Mark C August 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Maybe what I\’m looking for in a bike boulevard is a lot different. I want a street that\’s lower car traffic with relatively few stop signs so you don\’t have to slow way down every other block. The way to accomplish this is with the raised intersection medians that permit bikes through, but force cars to turn. Going would be great if they can remove about two-thirds of the stop signs.

    As for farther south, I much prefer riding down Knott than either Tillamook or Brazee. The pavement on Knott is nice, and there are only four places you have to stop between MLK and NE 33rd. Large stretches of Brazee still have the original concrete pavement, which is very rough. Who wants to ride on that?

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  • Lenny Anderson August 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Why Tillamook as a bikeway?…I\’m sorry but PDOT\’s calling it a \”bike boulevard\” is Orwellian at best and does NOT make it so. Signal at MLK, traffic diverter at 16th, traffic circles at 7th and 24th, signal on 33rd (at US Grant), bikelanes thru Hollywood; signal at Sandy & 43 with contraflow bike lane to Hancock, bikelanes along golf course, etc. The paint at 21st Avenue \”S\” curve wa, I think, one of our great successes. Curb extensions at 15th, 47th, and 57th. This project was done on a shoestring with curb extensions as the most costly item.
    But NOT one sign telling motorists that they are on the Tillamook Bikeway.
    re Going…the only legal way to Swan Island (10K jobs) is via Going Street where the Swan Island TMA has invested time and money in making the sidewalk a functional off street bike/ped facility. Stil more to do, but we have a short at widening the sidewalk on the Going Street rail overpass in the coming year.
    There needs to be a link between Going Street at Vancouver and Going Street at Interstate for this to work for one of N. Portland\’s major job destinations.
    Diverters and signals at arterials are key to making a real Bikeway…only restricting motorized traffic can qualify a route as a Boulevard, and that will never happen in auto dependent Portland.

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  • Duncan August 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Off the main topic[ I take Tillamook all the time- it seems fast and safe to me.

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  • el timito August 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Going/Tillamook/Skidmore, oh my!
    Compelled to jump in, since I live on Going and was on the Tillamook Bike Blvd committee (east end especially).

    First off, give Tillamook a break. Yes, the City did it on a shoestring, and yes, it was done after the fervor for diversion had been cooled. Hopefully we\’ll see more bold moves toward traffic diversion on Going, to lower traffic volume and speed after the Stop signs are turned. That said, I ride Tillamook most days, and prefer it to those higher-priced spreads.

    And Lenny, what bike boulevard in the city *does* tell motorists \”this is a bike-priority street\”? The Clinton St Project (hi to Jeff & Kirsty) is moving toward this goal, but other than hardcore diversion (like Ankeny at 20th, Lincoln at 39th, & Clinton at 39th), I don\’t know of any specific \”cars welcome elsewhere\” messaging on our bikeways.

    And to all the PDOT-chiders, love your enthusiasm but this ain\’t NYC or Chicago. If you want bolder diversion, please talk to your neighbors and make sure they welcome such an idea. PDOT can\’t start throwing concrete around and restricting car-access just to please us BikePortland readers (though I wish they would). Neighborhoods have to want the changes to their streets, or else the Commissioner in charge is likely to be the former-Commissioner, come next election day.

    Oh, and Skidmore has a nasty hill in the teens. Going is nicer on the non-athletes. \’Nuff said.

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  • BURR August 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    with all due respect, Timo, Transporation Options has very little to do with engineering and enforcement.

    IMO, cyclists themselves are way out in front of PDOT in most respects…

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  • Bjorn August 16, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Emily, is there any possibility that bike boulevards could start having their speed limits lowered to 20 or even 15 mph? I would think that a 15 mph speed limit that was being enforced would be pretty effective at convincing cars not to drive down the street and would also make the bike boulevard safer.

    Bjorn

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  • Lenny Anderson August 18, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Tillamook Bikeway is fine for what it is, but it is NO \”Bike Boulevard.\” It is frustrating, to say the least, when PDOT does so little and then attaches a mis-leading name to what it does do.
    Some basics for BBs..lower speed limits…20 or even 15 mph; signage at every corner on top of streetsigns; local traffic only signs for motorized vehicles; \”Bikes yield\” at all stop signs; quick response signals at all arterial crossings; at least one diversion device per mile to cut down on thru motorized traffic; large pavement markings that are regularly maintained; large directional signs at bike route intersections. This would be a start.

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  • Tasha August 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Since I live on Skidmore, I usually it from Williams. It’s annoying, really, as there is a Stop sign at every other street, some streets with no signs either way, so cars assume they can blow through fast, and the 33rd/Wilshire Park crossing is dangerous, especially in the winter. But it’s a better option than going down Knott (faster) and having to go up that horrible hill at 42nd and Alameda ridge territory!

    And Timo, I’m no athlete (you’ve seen me, you know this) and I don’t really find the 17th/18th hill that bad on Skidmore, except on the worst of days.

    I’ve never tried Going, I’ll have to now, but I hate going out of my way, even if it’s just a few blocks. But if it’s quicker in the long run and less stop signage, I’m willing to give it a whirl. Is there a stop light at MLK and Going?

    BTW, I like Tillamook, but I only ride it from 21st to 7th and then take a left to get to Broadway. Today, on a whim, I took it all the way to Vancouver and found myself having to illegally turn right on Broadway from Vancouver-whoops! Should I have gone across Vancouver? Ah, whatever, it’s always fun to change one’s route-even in a thunderstorm!

    I’m happy for more Bike Boulevards to happen, and I understand that baby steps are better than no steps at all. Thanks to all who put the time and energy into these things to make them happen.

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  • rom August 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I ride on Going every day. As has been mentioned, it\’s already a nice quiet street. But there\’s some room for improvements, and I\’m wondering if these two things will be addressed:

    -East of 16th, the pavement is lousy. Will it be repaved?
    -Will a signal of some sort be put in at the MLK/Going intersection?

    I\’m assuming the intersection will see some upgrades. A HAWK signal would be sweet.

    And Skidmore? Skidmore is busy, narrower, and more hilly. I think Going makes more sense.

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  • Icarus Falling August 18, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Lenny,

    Re: \”\”Bikes yield\” at all stop signs\”

    Do you not realize that this is against the law and will not be included as any part of a Bike Boulevard?

    And until it is presented \”properly\” (as in not how it was last effort) in Salem, it never will be.

    Let\’s keep our heads and eyes on the road, and out of the clouds…

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  • peejay August 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    A HAWK signal would be sweet.

    …except to those who have tried to use them, and realize how bad they are.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record on this issue, but a HAWK is as useful to cyclists as an electric toaster oven is to a backpacker.

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  • Lenny Anderson August 19, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Hey, change the law. We even have a name for a motorized vehicle that coasts thru a stop sign…\”California stop.\” I have never heard of a cop sting at locations where this is common. For bicyclists there is only one rule…\”don\’t get hit by a motor vehicle.\” Everything else is just words and dreams.

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  • Emily August 19, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Hey everyone, thanks for keeping the dialog going on the potential NE Going bike boulevard!

    I\’m canvassing the business districts enhanced by a NE Going Bike Boulevard project this week, so I have limited time in the office, but I did want to respond to several questions that have come up.

    Poster 35 regarding changing neighbhorhood speed limits to 15-20mph…I need to do some research on this…I believe it\’s true that Portland is not allowed to change speed limits on a whim, but I will do some research and find out. Since I\’m out of the office much of this week, please feel free to contact me there next week for an update.

    Posters 37 and 38 regarding the crossing at NE MLK and NE Going…right now it has a planted median on the north side and a turning lane on the south side. I usually use the turning lane as a mid-way stopping point. I cross half the traffic, then wait in the lane for the other half of the road to clear. For the most part I find it to be functional, but not always the most comfortable experience. Do beware that sometimes friendly drivers in one lane will stop for you, and you should NOT cross unless you are absolutely sure that the second lane of traffic has stopped too.

    Relative to improvements at that intersection…it might be possible to beef up the median and provide a more protected space for cyclists to wait mid-way across MLK. Most of the feedback I\’ve gotten on that idea so far is that it could work, but would most likely not be appealing to bikers with kids or trailers or less comfort riding with traffic. Given that there are already traffic signals at NE Prescott 1 block south, and NE Alberta 2 blocks north, I\’m not sure that a new signal is warranted. It\’s also true that the starting price tag for a traffic signal is in the neighborhood of $125,000. The amount of money for that one signal could fund the entire route, or kill it by making the final price too exorbitant. All suggestions for improvements to that crossing are most welcome.

    Lastly, for poster 38 regarding the abysmal pavement quality on NE Going between NE 16th-17th has been noted and I would hope to have it re-surfaced as part of a bike boulevard project. If you want to check out the map of identified \’trouble spots\’ along the route, go to http://www.bikeblvd.com, look for \”Let\’s Get Going!\” along the left hand column and it will take you to a list of materials related to the campaign. If you see that I am missing anything, please send me an email and I will track it with the other feedback that comes in.

    Ciao for now!

    Emily Gardner
    Bicycle Transportation Alliance

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  • rom August 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    peejay,
    I wouldn\’t describe you as a broken record.

    Your implication that I (and every one who supports them) have never used a HAWK signal is incorrect.

    But, still, to take your tactic of dialog: You\’ve obviously never used the HAWK signal on SE 42nd and Burnside. You simply ride up, press the very accessible button, and then wait about seven seconds for your green light. It works well. And the intersection of Going/MLK is similar to 42nd/Burnside, so I thought maybe it would be worth considering. But, as Emily, states, they are pricey, and there are already other signals pretty close by.

    Emily: Maybe I\’m not understanding everything here – I can see the turn lane on the south side being a decent place to stop midway if you\’re crossing from west to east. But if you cross east to west, you\’ll be on the left side of the street if you stop in that lane… right? I\’ll take another look at the lanes when I cross over again today. As for the median, yeah, it\’s pretty narrow right now, and doesn\’t make a good stopping point. A bigger median (like there is on other medians on MLK) would make crossing much more comfortable. Add to that some flashing signs to indicate active ped/bike crossing, and it would be much more comforting.

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  • Emily August 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Rom…It\’s true, you can\’t currently stand on the median on the north side of the Going/MLK intersection, so I try to rest easy in the intellectual knowledge that it must be safe because it\’s as wide as the turning lane. Most times I successfully fool my brain:)

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  • Lenny Anderson August 19, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Emily,
    safe crossing of arterials is key to making a Bikeway work; that\’s why we went with Tillamook years ago, instead of Thompson or Brazee, etc.
    That, plus the question of what happens west of Williams/Vancouver, like at I-5, give me pause.
    Shaver/Failing; Skidmore; Alberta, Killingsworth, Ainsworth, Rosa Parks and Bryant are the only ways across I-5. Wouldn\’t it make sense to work east and west from those crossings? looking for signals at MLK?
    I guess the horse is out of the barn. Good luck.

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  • nuovorecord August 20, 2008 at 11:40 am

    peejay:

    I guess that I too, don\’t understand why you seem against HAWK signals. I\’ve used the one at 41st & Burnside many, many times, with good results. I agree with you that it would be nicer to have a loop detector that would only activate the signal for bikes. Does such a device actually exist? I don\’t know how you could differentiate between a car and a bike, but maybe the technology is available. What is the cost?

    Personally, pushing a button located right at the curb seems easy to me. I\’m stopped anyway, so no big deal. But that\’s just me. What experiences have shaped your opinion of HAWKs? Just trying to learn. Thanks.

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