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Equity Bike Ride will draw attention to I-205 path

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 12th, 2010 at 11:26 am

In their ongoing effort to make the biking and walking path adjacent to I-205 into a "world class facility," the Oregon Department of Transportation has just announced the "Equity Bike Ride" to show off what they've done and what's planned for the future.

Shelli Romero, ODOT's Public Policy & Community Affairs Manager, has been doing a lot of biking this summer and says she has "become passionate" about it. In an email announcing the ride, Romero notes that she has also "thought a lot about how bicycling and the issues of equity and creating/building and supporting communities intersect."

The Equity Bike Ride will bring together ODOT, PBOT, and a host of community organizations including Friends of Trees, Bicyclists of Color, the Community Cycling Center, the Audubon Society of Portland, and others. The ride will highlight the path and will be focused on ODOT and other community groups' efforts in reaching out to and serving "equity populations."

In the past year, ODOT and their partners have made major improvements to the 16.5 mile path that runs from Marine Drive in the north to Gladstone to the south. They used federal stimulus money to add lighting along the path and back in December they planted hundreds of new trees with the help of a Metro grant.

Details:

    Equity Bike Ride
    Thursday, 8/26 at 6:30 pm
    6 miles
    Meet at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (10301 NE Glisan)

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  • Dan August 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Admittedly, I haven't been on the 205 bike path this summer, but lighting and tree planting won't fix its biggest issue: too twisty and too many blind corners to maintain a good training/commuting pace.

    When I hear "world-class", I think of a purpose-built facility, not something that's shoehorned into leftover space not used for automobile traffic (the top priority for U.S. traffic planners).

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  • Nick V August 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    My wife works in Clackamas and she and I have ridden the path back and forth from the Hawthorne/Division area. I would suggest more signage identifying where to catch it and follow it. We usually get on at SE Woodstock and, unless you've done it before, it's easy to miss the entry there. I would also recommend more signage for cyclists/peds heading south between Flavel (I think???) and SE Crystal Springs. It spits you out onto roadways there and you really have to slow down and look closely to find the path again.

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  • John August 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I ride 205 all the way up till Marine Drive from Burnside. The maintenance is poor and the street crossings are hazardous. I wouldnt call it world class more like use at your own risk.

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  • Greg August 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    World Class? Hardly. I recently had the joy of riding the Centennial Trail between Spokane, WA and Coeur d'Alene, ID. It is far superior to the fragmented and poorly marked I-205 path.

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  • el timito August 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    The I-205 Path has its deficiencies, to be sure, but show me a transportation facility that has none.

    I think it is incredibly exciting that ODOT has a renewed commitment to making the Path the best it can be - including a new grade-separated crossing at Division in the works, new plantings, and new lighting.

    We can quibble about whether the Path is optimal for various purposes (training, recreation, casual use), but the fact is it is an essential lifeline for north-south travel in East Portland. There are really no equivalent alternatives. In fact, I can't think of a better north-south connection between I-205 and the Willamette.

    Looking forward to seeing y'all on the ride!

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  • Spiffy August 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    world class facility?! not even close... as soon as they opened the remodeled path after the MAX went in I couldn't believe how horrible of a job they did...

    the most obvious error is not making it and the MAX the same level, which would have been easy to make it the same level as the freeway... all that wasted energy by the MAX and cyclists going up and down the hills from MAX stop to MAX stop...

    and the Crystal Springs disconnect, as Nick V says, is horrible... if you actually follow the path north you dead end at the MAX stop, and if you follow it south you miss the MAX stop... it crosses 92nd with no signal/light at a very busy section...

    they really needed to build the path into each bridge and keep it more level... I tend to avoid it now and take 82nd Ave north to Springwater to 92nd north because even though there's a lot more traffic and fewer bike lanes there aren't any stupid ups and downs like on the 205 path...

    the traffic control signage is horrible or nonexistent... lots of close calls where it crosses other paths because nobody knows who should yield or stop...

    it's also become a magnet for broken glass lately...

    sadly it's the best and biggest north-south connector for casual travel...

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  • JAT in Seattle August 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Dan at 1 hits the nail on the head, and that's why I'm agnostic - skeptical even on the question of bike facilities; they're so often put in as a seeming afterthought (and with deferential yield and stop signs for every other imaginable user and crossing) or perhaps worse designed for a meandering recreational aesthetic rather than purposeful travel.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    i hear you Timo about not complaining about what we have... but there's a risk in always cheerleading sub-par facilities.. .and the risk is that officials and politicians start to believe the cheerleading so they lose the urgency and motivation to make the (sometimes) tough decisions necessary to really back up the "world class" rhetoric. ... and that's exactly what I think is plaguing portland on a much larger scale at this point in time.

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  • El Biciclero August 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    "...or perhaps worse designed for a meandering recreational aesthetic rather than purposeful travel."

    But haven't you heard? Bikes are toys! Nobody on a bike is actually trying to get anywhere...

    Not specifically related to this article, but it bugs me to no end the way it seems most folks think of people on bikes as glorified pedestrians--not using a bike as a tool for travel, but as a toy for recreation. Come on, cyclists--we have to try harder to not look like we're having fun!

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  • el timito August 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I think we (cyclists, humans) can also fall into the trap of "not perfect yet, so humbug."

    I don't see ODOT as describing the path as "world-class", any more than I hear Portlanders describing our fair city as world class. It's the aspiration that is being referred to. If that's what ODOT is aspiring to, I'm all for it.

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  • Machu Picchu August 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    With the enormous resource of the I-205 corridor, an investment in a bicycle facility should be world class. But this town is full of dirty, overgrown sidewalks next to huge roads. This would be a good time to speak up, rather than praise a meager effort.

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  • Jim Labbe August 13, 2010 at 12:11 am

    That would be Audubon Society of Portland.

    Thanks Jim. I thought that looked weird, but I copied it from the ODOT announcement. I've edited the story.

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  • chrisgunn August 13, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Its interesting to me that no one in the comments has yet noted the whole POINT of the ride, which is EQUITY.

    World class or no, the City of Portland has a long way to go if it is really serious about equity considerations. A ride to highlight the I-205 path is fine, but how about the rest of the City of Portland? Where are the equity considerations there?

    The City of Portland needs to make equity considerations before it acts. Equity requires engaging people in the decision making process, not just highlighting equity after decisions have already been made.

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  • Jim August 16, 2010 at 8:41 am

    If PBOT and TriMet are intent on EQUITY, Portland will have to purchase buses that are two feet narrower than those currently in use. Present bus width makes every bus pass on anything but the biggest of Portland streets frightening for bus and car drivers, bicyclers and pedestrians.

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