Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 4th, 2010 at 12:21 pm
into the Rose Quarter area is one
of the projects PBOT wants help on.
(Photos © J. Maus)
The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has put out Request for Proposals to hire a consultant that will help them further develop five new bikeway projects and to assess the feasibility of three others. The projects were identified in the 2030 Bike Plan and PBOT says this is a first step toward implementing them.
The $185,000 RFP specifically names five projects that would set a new standard for bikeways that PBOT describes are, "envisioned to make riders feel safer and more comfortable than they would feel in standard bike lanes."
In addition to the five projects, PBOT wants help to assess the technical feasibility of three others.
The five projects listed in the RFP for futher development are:
"We know that there's some level of community support for them, but we don't know enough about the solutions to just go implement them."
-- Rob Burchfield, City traffic engineer
- Improvements to N. Williams from Weidler to Killingsworth. We've touched on the need for a better bikeway on Williams before and PBOT has expressed interest in a possible cycle track the length of this corridor.
- N Vancouver Bike Access to Rose Quarter. Currently, people biking south on Vancouver are faced with a gap once they reach Broadway and there is not a safe bikeway to get south from Broadway to connect with the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
- NE Holladay Street. PBOT is looking to develop a "low-stress" westbound bikeway on Holladay from Wheeler to 9th. This project would be part of a larger proposal for a carfree Holladay Street that the Lloyd District Transportation Management Association proposed back in 2009.
- 12th Avenue Banfield Overcrossing. PBOT is aware of the inadequate bikeway on NE 12th as it croses I-84. 12th is a "critical link" (as they describe it) yet the bike lanes drop on the overcrossing.
- N Willamette Boulevard. This is another key link in the bikeway network that needs major help. It has narrow bike lanes and high speed motor vehicle traffic (PBOT data shows the 85th percentile speed -- at which 85% of the traffic goes -- is over the 30 mph speed limit). PBOT is considering a major lane reconfiguration that could include removing on-street parking on the north/west side of the street in order to make room for a wider bikeway.
According to PBOT's head traffic engineer Rob Burchfield, these are all "good projects" but they are complex enough that outside consultants are needed to develop ideas for solutions and design alternatives before the start of any public process. In a phone interview today he said, "We know that there's some level of community support for them, but we don't know enough about the solutions to just go implement them."
Burchfield says outside consultants can also give them a better sense of costs so PBOT can pursue these projects as official capital improvement projects (which would therefore make funding them much easier). "This process will also allow us to further prioritize these projects."
PBOT also wants insights into the feasibility of installing separated bike infrastructure (think cycle tracks) in three areas: an "urban corridor up to 20 blocks long" in downtown; a project on NE Glisan between 22nd and 28th; and a project that would improve access into downtown from southwest via 5th and 6th Avenues and Broadway.
Funding for these projects still needs to be fully secured (although some exists already) but the idea with this RFP is to bring as many of these projects as possible up to shovel-ready status.
Proposals to do this work are due by May 21st and work would begin (on the project development, not on the projects) in July 2010. PBOT staffer Ellen Vanderslice, who just wrapped up her work as project manager for the 2030 Bike Plan, will be managing this project.