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Anger at Holgate bike lane meeting: PBOT plans a follow up

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 1st, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Buffered bike lanes on SE Holgate-2
Buffered bike lanes on Holgate.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last week, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) held a public forum in the Lents Neighborhood to get feedback on their buffered bike lanes on SE Holgate Ave. The lanes have stirred a bit of controversy since being installed back in August 2009 and PBOT has heard complaints about the lanes from nearby residents and business owners.

Nearly 100 people showed up to the meeting to voice their feedback. Several people who were there reported that many of them were angry. Lents resident and journalist Nick Christensen said the vast majority "strongly opposed the bike lanes" and the prevailing sentiment in the room was, "We want our street back."

"...this dialogue between the neighborhood and the city has shown that the Bureau of Transportation is still learning how to introduce innovative designs for transportation projects as efficiently and clearly as possible."
-- PBOT

John Carter reported via a detailed comment that there was "a common angry theme" of complaints from what he described as long time residents.

PBOT staff, reporting through a spokesperson, said the meeting went "well." They said there were "mixed responses" to the project and the most popular feedback related to "questions about changes in capacity and volume of traffic on the street" and "the potential for confusion by road users and proper public notification procedures for projects."

Buffered bike lanes on SE Holgate-5

PBOT says they'll bring a host of options back to neighbors, including more analysis of the project (which likely means stats to back up the lane re-allocation) and possible fixes to "common problems." PBOT also acknowledged that they have yet to master the art of communication around these kind of projects...

"If anything, this dialogue between the neighborhood and the city has shown that the Bureau of Transportation is still learning how to introduce innovative designs for transportation projects as efficiently and clearly as possible."

Some of that learning curve was detailed in an article that appeared in the East PDX News a few weeks after the lanes went in. In that story, Mark White, Chair of a nearby neighborhood association, felt the City did not make good on promises to run the final design by them. Here's an excerpt from that article:

“While I truly believe it is important to have bike lanes on SE Holgate Boulevard – what they installed is different than what we were presented,” White commented.

“Many residents here in outer East Portland have deep-seated mistrust of the City,” added White. “Doing things like this doesn’t help; it’s hard to get people involved, as it is. This is an example of a flawed public process.”

There were strong voices of support for bike lanes at the meeting, but from all accounts those voices were outnumbered. East Portland neighborhood activist Cora Potter thinks that's reason for concern. She says if those who are angry about this project don't hear strong support for it, "they continue on thinking they have some sort of moral high ground and represent the majority. They need to be shown that they're at least matched if not outnumbered."

PBOT will host another forum on this project at 7:00 pm on July 22nd at Holgate Baptist Church (11242 SE Holgate).

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Comments
  • bahueh July 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    well, has anyone stopped to think that there may not actually be that much support for it?

    if the Lents residents don't want it, why can't that be validated here? why does it have to be argued against and shoved down their throats?

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  • BURR July 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    This is a harbinger of how cycle tracks will be received by the motoring public.

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  • cold worker July 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    why is it so vital to have more traffic lanes on holgate? if this is a modification that creates a safer traveling environment for cyclists (and auto drivers presumably) then there is no discussion to be had.

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  • Red Five July 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    This was dumb. But typical of a city that only seems to listen to a vocal minority.

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  • lothar July 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I live off Holgate and while I like the bike lane, I don't use it as much as I thought I would and I have to say that I see very few people using it. I don't understand why it isn't used very much considering there isn't a really good east west corridor between the Springwater trail and Division. I have to think,"where does Holgate actually go?". I mean who really wants to take it to, and ride on, 122nd, or at the end on 136th? It's kind of a bike lane to nowhere. I think the bike infrastructure east of 205 sucks so bad that there isn't that many people who will utilize Holgate. Heck, even when I commuted From S.E. 67th to 212th via Springwater every day, I barely passed a 3 people coming the other way.

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  • matt picio July 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Red Five (#3) - All cities listen to a vocal minority. That's because the number of people who bother to comment is invariably less than 50% of the community. If people want the city to listen to them, they should speak up - don't ask, don't get.

    Be part of the process instead of part of the problem. (that remark is not aimed at you personally)

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  • david....no! the other one July 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I remember when this project was rolled out, and it seems there was some displeasure of lack of paint? It seems the neighborhood is displeased about lack of lanes.
    I really like the bikelane as it is, but I have seen cars driving in it for over two blocks also, maybe it should be sharrows instead. What was the original design?

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  • are July 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    what was the original design:
    http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=50350&a=251120
    ten foot travel lanes are a bit narrow for a 35 mph zone, but part of the idea was to bring speeds down. apparently the center turn lane was already only ten feet. they could have gone twelve and fourteen and dropped the parking lane altogether. wonder if the neighbors would have been happy with that. or they could have gone twelve and twelve and dropped the center turn lane. sharrows would have been appropriate in that scenario.

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  • 151 July 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Can't really blame the locals for being upset, that's the most ridiculously marked travel lane I've ever seen, and I've lived in several major American cities. It looks like it can't decide whether it's for bikes, cars, or both. I wonder how much of the "anger" stems from confusion?

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  • Jack July 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    As a resident of inner NE, I'm clearly biased, but I think throwing money at bike infrastructure in outer SE/NE is not an efficient use of funds. If there was a separated bike path from downtown to Mt. Hood, featuring hot shower facilities and free lattes on either end, N Williams would still get more bike traffic.

    Put the money where the cyclists are and watch the # of cyclists grow and then spread. We've all heard the mantra, "build it, and they will come", but that doesn't mean we can't be strategic/efficient about when and where we build.

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  • Joe R. July 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I kinda agree with Jack (#9). I would've guessed this type of improvement would do much better in N/NE Portland or inner SE Portland. I see bikes every day on NE Glisan between 47th and 67th where there are no bike lanes and many of them ride in the sidewalks because the 4-lane street is so scary (even though the outer lane is rarely utilized because it's a part-time traffic lane). Why can't they make this type of improvement on NE Glisan? At least it would carry some of the area bike demand while Sullivan's Gulch Trail stagnants... There's already demand up here for these type of improvements!

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  • Cora Potter July 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    There are bikes all over southeast and outer southeast Portland. They just aren't as visible because the facilities aren't as developed and a lot of the travel does occur away from the main thoroughfares.

    Unfortunately, in a few spots - including the area around Holgate - there aren't really any good side street through route options.

    People seem to be losing sight of the fact that this project isn't just about bikes. It mostly about right-sizing Holgate as a street. The section of Holgate between 88th and 122nd is oversize by an accident of the original 205 freeway planning- that intended for an interchange to occur at Holgate. When the final consensus about 205 was reached - that included making sure that the interchanges were spaced appropriately to discourage local traffic on 205, the Holgate interchange was no longer appropriate for the freeway plan. But, we're left with the bloated roadway that was laid out before they came to that conclusion.

    The result - an extra wide street that encourages over 50% of the vehicle operators to exceed the 35 mph speed limit by at least 10 mph, if not more.

    A normal narrow width bike lane would not have worked because of the excessive speeds. (It's a similar situation on the south end of 122nd, and eastern 4 lane section of Foster). Sharrows would not work - that's apparent in that the existing restricted lane / cycle track is not enough to keep people from aggressively passing on the right.

    There are some spots that need to be tweaked - particularly at 104th - and in extending the lane reduction to 88th so Holgate is consistently a 2 + turn lanes facility for its entire length(easily done with a right turn- bus only in the east bound lanes at 92nd and conversion of the super-wide single lane between 88th and 91st to on street parking).

    As for the - build it in NE/inner PDX argument - that's the same BS that's left East Portland in it's disadvantaged state - focusing infrastructure investment where adequate assets already exist. If anything, we should be directing extra investment to East Portland to get the area back on a level playing field with the rest of the city. East Portland has been a "donor" area of the city paying in to the city's development for 20+ years now. It's about time for the people that have benefited from that inequity to start showing some support for East Portland rather than bagging on it for lacking things that other areas of the city essentially "borrowed" from the tax base in East Portland to build.

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  • kitten July 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I thought the whole idea of this was to be a demo project. Sticking it in the middle of a bike desert (far SE) was surely the dumbest of a string of dumb decisions.
    I am struck by how much this small project can instigate a culture war, and perfectly encapsulates the broader societal dichotomy.

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  • Cora Potter July 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Joe R.

    If you want that four lane road converted - you should be in support of the Holgate project. It's a test to see if this type of facility works for streets that need to be right-sized.

    If the Holgate project turns out to be a success - it's more likely this type of project will be implemented in other areas of the city. Taking the buffered bike lanes away from Holgat does nothing to help advance the acceptance/use of buffered bike lanes on additional facilities.

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  • are July 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    re comment 11, until you get to 58th, glisan is one lane in each direction with a center turn lane and onstreet parking on both sides. sharrows would be appropriate given the lane widths, but not bike lanes. beyond 60th you get the two lanes in each direction with no onstreet parking. again, bike lanes would not be appropriate given the lane widths, but sharrows would be helpful. unfortunately, PBoT is wasting all of its sharrows cred on bike boulevards.

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  • Camp Bike Fun July 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Outer east portland will get the infrastructure. some street has to be first. this one is as good as any. it will make a lot more sense one others are built to support the network. i really hope 100s of cyclists show up to the next meeting on the 22nd!

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  • D.R. Miller July 2, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Pushing into new territory is always necessary, but I'd have to agree with the comment that it is a "bike lane to nowhere", that ends in territory that is unappealing and unsafe even to hardcore bikers. I bike the lane every week or two, but only because I have a friend who happens to live just south of Holgate at 100th. I do think it should exist in some form, but I've never yet seen another bicyclist on it. I agree too with #12 that as a demo project it is in the wrong place, "a bridge too far" as it were in terms of time and place. If we want buffered bike lanes to be broadly accepted (and I certainly do, and love the ones downtown on Oak and Stark), then they need to be implemented in a more thoughtful way. In other words, putting them in a neighborhood that hasn't even seen *regular* bike lanes yet, on a street that has very little bike traffic, does not advance the cause. Also, is there perhaps a way to make them "buffered" in a way that is not visually confusing? Because at first glance they really do make for a strange neither-fish-nor-fowl looking sort of lane.

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  • david....no! the other one July 2, 2010 at 7:26 am

    If you build it they will come
    Just after 205 was connected on both ends, hardly any drivers were using it, at any time of the day.
    I started riding from holgate and 33rd to the holgate and 94? bike path hardly any riders there either, at least few that I passed comming the opposite direction.
    It was quicker and less traffic invasive. Fewer intersections, less speeders, fewer potholes.
    The seperated bike path on holgate while assuredly more inviting than dodging doors and speeders is more invasive to the property owners. Im not saying its not a good idea, just a bit of a shock to someone who may have lived there many years.
    Changes do occur and many will in our own life time. Some people may end up with cell towers in their backyards.

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  • Vance Longwell July 2, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Cora Potter #11 -

    "There are bikes all over southeast and outer southeast Portland. They just aren't as visible because the facilities aren't as developed and a lot of the travel does occur away from the main thoroughfares."

    There are not, "...bikes all over...", southeast. Which is pretty much the whole point. SE Holgate being the street at-topic, so-called 'southeast' then doesn't see a fraction of the bicycle traffic as some of the areas mentioned in other comments. Which is why this anti-car treatment, and bicycle ban from the highway, is encountering disfavor among 'southeast' area residents in the first place. And what, "facilities"? What the heck do, "facilities", have to do with anybody's visibility doing anything? SE Holgate is virtually a boulevard - see: giant-sized expanse of asphault - and looks like broad-daylight after sunset due to the ridiculous amount of lighting. There's great visibility (Vast, flat, wide-open, unobstructed, and well-lit.), and these factors combine to evince, nay, expose, that, wait for it, nobody rides on SE Holgate.

    I really don't think that just saying the opposite isn't any sort of argument, or even a good position to debate.

    "People seem to be losing sight of the fact that this project isn't just about bikes. It mostly about right-sizing Holgate as a street."

    I'm not sure what, "right-sizing", is. I do know that 'people' aren't, "...losing sight...", of anything. They were told a bicycle-ban from the highway would be implemented, which would probably lead folks to assume that any surface treatment installed that banned bicycles from the highway, like they were told was planned, was for, wait for it, bicycles. Seeing as there are no bicycles utilizing the ban - seeing as there were no bicycles utilizing the highway prior to the ban, it's then logical to assume the area residents may have become suspicious this ban was intended to serve some agenda. And wouldn't you know, they're right. You say-so yourself, right there. This is classic bait-and-switch. They agreed to a bicycle ban from the highway, and ended up with a, "right-sized", street instead. Only now watch this resistance to the, "right-sized", street manifest as resistance to the Church of Green's so-called 'urban-livability' mantra; and wind-up disparaged as disingenuous when, in fact, the CoG told the first lie when they stated this bicycle ban from the highway was, "For bicycles.". If at first we practice to deceive, oh what a tangled web we weave.

    "The section of Holgate between 88th and 122nd is oversize by an accident..."

    "...that intended for an interchange to occur at Holgate."

    Well, which is it? Was this expansion an accident, or an intended outcome? Allow me. This hog-wash about, "local traffic", isn't true. 205 was built because of the bottleneck on I-5. Period. That bottleneck was addressed for no other reason than a powerful, rich, tax-base in West Linn bitched until they got their very own freeway, much the same as 217 in Washington county. Stakeholders at the time pounced on the opportunity to clean up traffic on I-5, a massively commercial corridor. That construction over-ran by 9 years. This over-run was due to the outcry from 'local traffic' that wished to access the freeway, and the Enviro-whackos and their dumb bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure. Anyway, SE Holgate was expanded during the mid-80s, a full decade after 205 opened, because that area of town was slated to grow much more than it ever did; and at the time it was pulling traffic off of SE Powell headed to CTC. Pie in the sky stuff from short-sighted developers, is all.
    "The result - an extra wide street that encourages over 50% of the vehicle operators to exceed the 35 mph speed limit by at least 10 mph, if not more."
    Oh malarkey. Like you stood out there with a radar-gun, and a clicker. Why? Why? First of all, 'excessive speed' is 120 m.p.h., mmmmkay, 45 m.p.h. is not excessive, and even if you did stand out there with a radar-gun, and a clicker, you're only making a case that the speed limit is too low to meet service demands.

    "A normal narrow width bike lane would not have worked...cycle track is not enough to keep people from aggressively passing on the right."

    Be that as it may, the laws of physics will. Where do you get this stuff? "Aggressive passing", I mean c'mon. What, in addition to packing around a radar-gun, and a statistician's kit, you also have mastered mental-telepathy? See, this is why I freak about this kind of stuff. I've ridden up and down the full length of SE Holgate more than anyone I know. I have never encountered any of the things you cite, and can't help but conclude, then, that neither have you. It's like some folks don't understand that I can just get on my bike, and go see for myself these deadly, horrible, we-gotta-spend-a-mint-to-fix-it-right-now, riding conditions you pretend exist. I have ridden where you say stuff that is there, in fact, isn't there at all. Dig?

    You go on to whine about not getting the same bicycle bans on the Eastside that the usurpers closer-in get, as if. There's no conspiracy. You ain't getting juked. The streets closer in are smaller. The Eastide streets, for the most part, could service Boeing 747 traffic, 24/7, without so much as a hiccup. Prior to the bans I could ride a bicycle on most streets on the Eastide 10', 12', 20'+ from the nearest motorist. 10-15 years I did this without any ridiculous bicycle ban from the highway to 'protect' my safety. Am I dead? Am I not sitting here writing this? So what's that you say about safety? Puh-leeze.

    Deploying a bicycle ban from the highway on SE Holgate had but one goal. It's the same expectation one might have by erecting a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King in the center of a building occupied by the Ku Klux Klan. Add to this that probably the NA was a little weak, add to this that the location probably provided the 'City' incentive to do this there from an economic stand-point; and viola - A bunch of righteous-anger from the community that got took!

    Cora Potter, if you can't assimilate why won't you move away? You are in a community demanding things that a clear majority in your community don't want. Your moral high-ground doesn't exist anymore because, for the most part, we know now bicycle bans from the highway don't have anything to do with bicycles, and everything to do with building monuments to your Church.

    The tighter your grip, the more sand slips through your fingers. You can have your bike-mecca without pissing all over the locals. 'Tis why Portland is so kool. You do your thing, I'll do my thing, and we'll all get along. SE Holgate absolutely did not need a bicycle ban from the highway. People didn't want it as soon as they found out about it, and they're still complaining. Go frickin' figure.

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  • Cora Potter July 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Vance - maybe you should read the FAQ.

    http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=263080&c=50350

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  • spencer July 2, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Vance-

    Your comments are always so off-base and full of vitriol that I know to only read 10% of them. After reading this post, I know that I can filter more without wasting my time.

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  • Vance Longwell July 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

    spencer #21 - You don't read my comments but have an opinion about them anyway? Check. I'm sure that'll make sense to somebody, somewhere, sometime.

    Cora Potter #20 - Why?

    Ugh. So I click your link, in good-faith, only to end up in the middle of a bunch-o Church of Green scripture. Apropos of nothing. Non-sequitur. I'm complaining that a bait-and-switch occurred and all you did was link me to the evidence. I'm just not following ya.

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  • maxadders July 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I cheered when Lents rejected trading their beloved park for a new Beavers stadium. While there were certainly strong arguments that it would create jobs, drum up business for locals, etc, I was glad to see the residents that it would effect taking a stand against City Hall's (incredibly rushed) strongarm tactics.

    But this is no stadium. There's no Merrit Paulson lurking in the shadows to grab your resource and transform it into something that primarily benefits a private business. It's just a bike lane!

    Seems like Lents wants infastructure and improvements, but isn't yet ready to deal with even trivial changes.

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  • Den July 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Holgate needs sidewalks!

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  • Cora Potter July 2, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Den - the re-striping of the street to decrease the motor vehicle lanes from 5 to 3 helps with future projects to fix/add sidewalks and curb extensions along Holgate. It's not a matter of spending money on paint for the road rather than sidewalks. The paint actually helps us move closer to having better sidewalks on Holgate. (see FAQ link above).

    As part of the 101st/100th bike boulevard project, you should be seeing the start of ped improvements when they put in the crossing for Holgate at 100th.

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  • Roger Averbeck July 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Prior to the June 22 public meeting, to get more familiar with the project, I cycled SE Holgate from I-205 to SE 122nd and back between approx. 5:00 - 5:30 pm, stopping several times to observe and take photos.

    Compared to busy high volume arterials (ie Barbur Blvd, my regular commute) the buffered bike lanes on Holgate felt much safer. Traffic speeds were "normal", in the 30's mph. From my perspective, traffic volume and flow was reasonable, not backed up as stated often in the public meeting. On street parking was very underutilized.

    I did not see any motor vehicles driving in the bike lane, in contrast with the buffered bike lanes downtown on Oak & Stark which receive frequent motor vehicle use. I did not notice any conflicts related to vehicles turning onto Holgate, although this sounds like a valid concern expressed at the meeting.

    I saw 7 other cyclists using the facility, not including others crossing (N-S) at intersections. All were traveling the correct direction, one was riding in the empty parking lane rather than out in the bike lane. I noted one child riding on the sidewalk, in the wrong direction against traffic. I noticed that the north side of Holgate needs sidewalk infill.

    My conclusion: the "facility" was working as intended.

    A concept that was not discussed at the meeting: What is the potential for increased cyclist use of this facility, as the nearby (Bush St.) bike boulevard and other East Portland components of the 2030 bike plan are implemented?

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  • resopmok July 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I live on the eastside and have been looking to buy a house over here for the past few months. I ride regularly between 122nd and 82nd, make liberal use of the 205 path and yes, have ridden the Holgate lane a number of time. Everything I state is based on my own experience and observations as a defensive but assertive, relatively fast moving cyclist.

    The one thing cyclists from the eastside really, really need to make it more popular in the area is a link that connects them from at least the 205 trail straight through to downtown. The Springwater is too far south for most people to use it practically to commute. Unfortunately, the ideal route would pass straight through Mt Tabor. Personally, I think Division (though Holgate would probably be a good option as well) should be converted into an MUP, or at least redesigned to accommodate mostly bike traffic. I know businesses, residents won't like it etc., but for the good of the city and future, public opinion is not always the best voice to listen to. At the end of the day, auto traffic already has the monstrosity that is Powell, Foster, Burnside, and numerous other straight through connections - all of which have no provisions for cyclists. Actually getting around on the eastside is generally pretty easy. The 205 path and 122nd facilitate movements north and south, and streets like Holgate, Harold, Division and Burnside all have bike lanes as well, east of 82nd. The reason they are all "bike lanes to nowhere" is because the only "somewhere" seems to be downtown, or destinations west in general. Frankly I am not surprised, as the city has been ignoring this part of town in general since its annexation.

    We could argue till we're blue in the face about whether the city made the right decision about how to paint Holgate, but two glaring facts stare out to me. First, the likelihood, in my opinion, of the city tearing up and repainting at this point is low simply due to the cost of doing it and budget dollars available. Second, I haven't seen any hard "evidence" that the current paint scheme is doing the neighborhood actual harm. Which businesses have failed? What accidents have been caused by this new striping? How long has wait time at intersections and overall travel time increased? Is all this worth how much it will cost the city to repaint? All the whining coming from residents does nothing but lose my respect for this very vocal minority. The property owners' jobs here are to maintain their own properties - many of whom are so very negligent at doing so in this part of town. The city's job is to maintain the streets - and they do so to the best of their ability with the whole public in mind, not just the lead-footed, self-interested residents who whine like loud children.

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  • Ryan Marquardt July 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

    As an outer SE resident, I second what #12 and #27 have written/observed! I will be there on July 22nd.

    Regarding the use of funds in outer SE - this is about as low-cost of a project as you can get. No curb relocations, no speed bumps, blub-outs, etc. I appreciate the argument of spending bike $ where there are more bikers. However, street connections in this area are bad, and the safer east/west bike routes (springwater and powell blvd) are spaced far apart. This project is a good (not great) benefit with very minimal costs/impacts. I don't think you'd get as much gain for the same amount of money if it were spent in inner NE or SE.

    Vance @19 - "...if you can't assimilate why won't you move away?"
    Ha!! Given that you are in a near- constant state of comment-battle with 90% of the readers on this site, I'm nominating that one for the 2010 BikePortland.org Most Deliciously Ironic Comment Award.

    I hope you're able to appreciate the irony of it a least a bit :)

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  • Vance Longwell July 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Ryan Marquardt #28 - That's awfully clever. Yup, no one has ever figured that out before, nope. You got me.

    Uh, dude, uh, born here. Hello?

    Nah, the encroachers leave, the indigies stay. The fact ya'll outnumber the locals now is merely a coincidence. Let's say you're from here, and all is going according to plan - We're a Euro-Liberal-Utopia. By your logic should an evangelical, far-right, conservative, fascist, group of people start moving here en-mass, you'd be the first one screaming about it. Clever observation, but a lousy point.

    Besides moot. Potter is the minority position in her community, and that's the context my statements were made in. Extracting this statement from its context, and then attempting to impugn me via your conclusions is a straight fail.

    If Portland was kool enough to move here, why ya gotta be so busily changing it?

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  • Cora Potter July 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Just curious Vance - What place do you think is my indigenous home/ place of origin or birth?

    And- how long do you think I have lived in Portland? Lents?

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  • Ryan Marquardt July 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    OK, Vance. Fair enough. I was trying to impart some levity into the thread with an observation about what I thought to be, at least on the face of it, an ironic statement.

    Though I don't agree with most of the rest of your post, I truly wasn't trying to impugn you or imply that your points were any less valid because of it.

    Cheers!

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  • beelnite July 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    How bizarre. What a farce.

    Look, if the people in Holgate don't want their traffic calmed, their neighborhood quieter, safer and more liveable... and if they don't want a bunch of bicycles around and prefer a 4-lane expressway - well shoot - rip it up, turn it back the way it was and PDOT can come on over to SE Stark 108th-122nd and we'll gladly take the neighborhood improvements. Heck, we'll bake cookies and bring the crew hot coffee every morning! Please consider us PDOT - we'll welcome you!!!

    I'll gladly take it because I know a more liveable neighborhood means my house is worth more to me - and another family if I lose my job and have to sell.

    Our 35 mph zone (35? Yeah right!)- cuts right through a residential area with schools, parks, community center, shopping - all bisected by speeding vehicles at speeds of well over 50 mph. Russion mothers run with their baby carriages across the street because the cross-walks are death traps. Every year I see a middle schooler get nailed or nearly so trying to get to Floydd Light.

    Unacceptable. Cars don't need to rule everything. Kids and parents and people need to feel safe walking to school or crossing the street to pick up toothpaste. Comon Holgate - THINKABOUTIT!!!

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  • beelnite July 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hey Vance - Are you sure you actually live in Portland - let alone the outer SE?

    What you see and what I see seem to be very, very different things.

    Let's go riding sometime if you like. Beelnite at Yahoo dot com.

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  • Cora Potter July 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    FYI - I'm a "people on Holgate" and I want 3 lanes and comfy, safe bike facilities. Bonus that it will make it easier to get curb extensions and better sidewalks in the future.

    And, I think the very very best thing about the Holgate (a neighborhood collector street, not a highway) bike lanes is that the traffic on Holgate is a lot saner now. There aren't any less cars (that I can tell) they're just calmed - such a good thing.

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  • Vance Longwell July 2, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    beelnite #33 - Yeah, my primary res as an adult has been in the 201, but I went to Parkrose, and David D. I lived on SE 122nd and Stark, or within a stone's throw, for a lot of my younger years. Back when that was a pristine, working-class neighborhood. However, by what, 1986-87?, I was living on SW Slavin, and commuting by bike to 126th, and SE Division, working for Bob White at night after a day pulling tags. Plus, I commuted by bike from the Gateway/Parkrose area out to CTC for 2 years in the mid 90s. I delivered a craigslist.org sale out to 192 and Powell just a couple of days ago and took Holgate.

    You gotta remember man. I'm 42 and haven't had a car titled in my name in over two decades. Add to this a 4 year long, 250 miles per week training schedge prior to wrecking myself messengering, and one is safe in stating that I have likely skidded down the road on my ass in the 'Holgate' area at topic, more miles than most folks will ever ride it.

    I can remember a time when the 205 trail was my own personal little training ride. I can remember a time 5 Portlanders couldn't tell you where the Springwater Corridor Trail was. I USED to be able to ride a bike all over this city with nary an issue. This isn't ancient history fogie-style, man, this is like 15 years ago. Used to be the best bike city in the country, well, if you don't mind a little rain. Folks here used to treasure us bikes 'cause they thought we were all stone-cold nuts. The novelty, and all.

    It's a damn shame, and it's crud like this here article reports-on wrecking it.

    PS - too many broken bones to 'ride' anymore. I struggle into the saddle, and mostly just wobble along at a jogging pace these days. Hehe. Long-term biking has smashed my knees, kidneys, and lower back something fierce. Just give it a decade or two.

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  • CaptainKarma July 3, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I'm really confused at this point. I thought up was up, and down was down, and the sky was blue (sometimes), but now I'm beginning to wonder whose reality is real.
    Well, anyway, I drove the disputed Holgate route this afternoon. It was very busy and crowded, bumper to bumper, stoplight to stoplight, every where in the outer SE EXCEPT on Holgate, which was, well, calm. Kinda enjoyed it.

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  • Tony Columbo July 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    As I stated from the get go the Lents neighborhood was against this from the very beginning. Forget the Lents Neighborhood Association. Two different things. Give them their Holgate back. Remove the bike lanes. It's been proven no one uses it.

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  • Cora Potter July 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    That's odd- because when I rode out to Dos Amigos at 122nd for some tacos, via Holgate, today, I saw 5 other people using the bike lanes on the way there, and 5 completely different cyclists on the way back. I saw an additional group of 3 on 122nd- seemed like they came from Holgate, but I wasn't there to see them actually turn the corner, so I didn't count them as definite users. This was all over a 2 hour period.

    Yesterday, around 7:30 pm I saw 2 people westbound, and one Eastbound using the bike lanes when I was walking from Lents park to 97th and talking with a friend about how we could make the stretch between 88th and 94th better.

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  • eli bishop July 4, 2010 at 2:16 am

    pbot didn't just randomly assign holgate some bike lanes just to piss people off: residents of powellhurst gilbert and lents ASKED pbot for bike lanes and got them. it was discussed and voted on at the neighborhood meetings. nothing about this process was secret or "shoved down their throats."

    personally, i'd love to see bike lanes extended on holgate between se mcloughlin and se 136th as the most direct east-west route.

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  • pdxbikeworm July 7, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Just a couple of comments from a long time SE commuter:

    #27 - the Clinton St. bike boulevard is a good ride from outer SE to dt. Main hassle, however, is the connection between the I-205 bikepath past 82nd, so it does leave something to be desired.

    I ride the Holgate route regularly as a quick run. I rarely see other cyclists on it, however it does make for a good shortcut if you want to go from S I-205 to E Springwater Corridor.

    I strongly disagree with those who say cycling is not growing or happening in SE. I regularly commute on the Springwater Corridor and see many more riders than some earlier posters have stated, even during extreme weather. The traffic out here notably grew when gas was at its peak - something that will happen again.

    There is a great deal of hurt feelings out here regarding the city - going back to having I-205 crammed down their throats. The bicyling community needs to be sensitive to that. These are working class folks. For example, the recent use of sewer money for bike swales could have been presented a lot more intelligently - as it was, they see their sewer bills increasing exponentially, and it only adds fuel to the fire when our illustrious mayor stumbles on yet another initiative.

    In my experience, the drivers out here are solicitous and courteous to bicylists, many of whom ride because they can't afford the alternative.

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  • Spiffy July 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    just saw a sign on a telephone pole for this website: http://restoreholgate.com/

    just from the name you can tell it's in favor of eliminating the bike lanes...

    the site is filled with misinformation... "they had turned over half of the street to bike lanes", "cars and trucks (yeah, remember us... the real definition of mass transit)", "Try to remember who's paying for those roads", "may have been designed in such a way to coincide with existing traffic lanes. Not so, on our street", and in referring to the 97th Ave crosswalk "This crosswalk has been in need of repainting for a long time" (it has its own traffic light so the crosswalk is just a bonus)...

    I toss this whole anti-bike-lane thing in the "confused and angered" pile...

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  • Lents Homeowner July 27, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I attended the meeting held the other night and I have to say I was very bothered by what was going on. I honestly felt like I was at a Tea Party rally! The amount of disinformation was incredible!
    As a local homeowner, I am thrilled to see the bike lane installed. It has slowed traffic in the area down to the speed limit and stopped some of the drag racing that had been going on. It looks nice and definitely improves the area. All the emotional arguments presented at the meeting that were against the path seemed to be based on very weak evidence. "It now takes me 10 minutes to turn on to Holgate from a side street!" The fact is, traffic on Holgate is lighter now, down by something like 19%! "No one even uses the bike path!" Fact: the week before the meeting, a camera recorded 196 bicyclists using the path on a single weekday. "They wasted taxpayer money to build it!" I think the figure was something like $38,000 and it was federal stimulus money, not local money. Further, none of these folks seemed to think of the fact that to remove the bike path and restore Holgate to 4 lanes would also cost taxpayer money, more than likely local money. This does not seem to bother the path opponents however, showing that their real concern is not actually "the taxpayers money." And by the way, I'm a taxpayer too!
    There were a great many of us present who were pro bike path in addition to the rowdy crowd of anti path folks who's only interest seemed to be to disrupt the meeting with loud outbursts and attempts to filibuster with speeches. One gentleman interrupted while the city folks were presenting the data they had collected asking to skip this part of the meeting because it was "boring!"
    From what I could see, most of the people against the path were senior citizens and people who don't ride bikes, though there were several older folks and non-riders present who are for the idea. All in all it was about 50-50. I think that as time goes on, the opposition will decrease a bit. Several people said they were originally against the idea but now that they've seen the paths effects, they have changed their minds. I believe this trend will continue. In the meantime, we will continue to work to get more bike paths in the Lents area. Our next goal is Holgate from 82nd to 92nd, and then possibly further.

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