First Look: Beaverton installs bike lanes on SW Lombard

Posted by on September 28th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

New bike lanes on SW Lombard.
(Photos: Jim Parsons)

It was a bit of a saga, but bike lanes have finally been installed on a stretch of SW Lombard Avenue in Beaverton (the project also came with some on-street parking removal). After the Beaverton Traffic Commission said no to the project back in April, advocates rallied and made their case to City Council. Last month, the Council voted 5-0 in favor of the bike lanes.

Our West Side correspondent and photographer Jim Parsons was on the scene when crews installed the bike lanes last week. Here are some of his photos (see them all here).

Learn more about the project here.

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  • A-dub September 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I rode down the bike lane yesterday. My only problem is that at major intersections they disappear in order to make way for a left hand turn lane.

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  • wsbob September 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Haven’t ridden them, but walked by Saturday and saw them being used. As time goes by, I hope we get reports from people as to what kind of use they’re getting.

    It was a surprise to me how soon they were installed once city council decided to overturn the traffic commission’s decision to not approve them. There was word of mouth about ‘whether the money was there’, etc., etc., etc. Looks like the money was there.

    So now what of Henry Kane, the tenacious critic of the bike lanes that rallied(well, maybe that’s just my impression) Vose neighborhood residents to object to installation of the bike lanes, even to the extent of possibly suing the city for people experiencing loss of property value due to their not being able to park in front of their houses? Maybe the wind has vanished from the sea those people and HK thought might fill their sails.

    Might take awhile for some of the easier going cyclists to warm up to them, but I hope to see an increase of those riders on the Lombard bike lanes.

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  • Emac September 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I ride this street every day on my way to work. The bike lines don’t really help, in fact, they make it more dangerous as the street is now narrower and cars seem to drive with less care. I’ve commuted by bike on Lombard for the past 7 years, and to other places of work for the last 20 years so I have seen a few bike lanes. This is not a good one. Oh well.

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  • surveyor September 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Emac, the street is not narrower. The paint did not move the curbs closer together. The car travel lanes might seem more narrow but I would think having the cars travel a little closer to the yellow line is a good thing.
    I crossed Lombard on 5th on Saturday and as I looked south, I noticed them right away and thought they’d looked really good.

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  • K'Tesh September 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I love them! I no longer have to weave around the parked cars south of 5th st.

    Cars have their lane, I have mine.

    The final stage (between SW Allen and Why Worry)won’t be finished until mid-October due to the paint material’s requirement that the asphalt be at least a month old for best application. Weather also will play a role.

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  • GlowBoy September 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Whoa, wish I’d looked down Lombard when I rode past it yesterday. Would have taken it if I’d noticed. Nice!

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  • wsbob September 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    “I ride this street every day on my way to work. The bike lines don’t really help, in fact, they make it more dangerous as the street is now narrower and cars seem to drive with less care. …” Emac #3

    I’ve got a 8.5 by 11 foldout photocopy of the huge Lombard bike lanes diagram (about 30′ long) the city put together for this project. The diagram says the bike lanes are 5′ wide and the main travel lanes are 12′ wide between 1st and Allen, 11′ wide between Allen and Denney, except for a short section where they’re 15′ wide(south of Allen, Lombard is a wider than north of Allen.)

    Don’t actually have the ‘before’ dimensions on the map, but I think the main travel lanes are probably very close to exactly the same width as they were pre-bike lanes. The bike lanes replaced the section of the street where cars formerly were allowed to be parked.

    Emac…you said “…cars seem to drive with less care. …”. You’re thinking the bike lanes have something to do with this? How so?

    Not that there was ever many cars parked on the street, but maybe some drivers are less need to be careful because they no longer have to concern themselves with motor vehicle operators opening car doors in their path.

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  • K'Tesh September 29, 2010 at 4:51 am

    If anything the auto lanes should “appear” larger due to the difference in width of a parked car vs a 5′ bike lane.

    One thing I’ve noticed in general, is that motorists will shy away from the center stripe on wide streets where no bike lane is present. This puts them uncomfortably close to me riding on the right. Where bike lanes are installed on similar width roads, it seems like they tend to hug the center stripe.

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  • Paul Johnson September 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    OK, cool. Now do it to Denny.

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  • wsbob September 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    “OK, cool. …” Paul Johnson

    Any other thoughts or observations about the Lombard bike lanes?

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  • Paul Johnson September 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Well, Lombard dumps into Denny. One wouldn’t even need to take Lombard if the Greenway Park cycleway continued north farther along 217, or if 217′s shoulders were better maintained.

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  • wsbob September 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Hey Paul… . “… One wouldn’t even need to take Lombard if the Greenway Park cycleway continued north farther along 217, or if 217′s shoulders were better maintained.”

    All in good time! To the Beaverton bike committee and others, I’ve heard someone bring up the suggestion of a bike route such as you’ve suggested. Response? Silence. Probably because accomplishing that would be quite a major undertaking.

    Getting the Lombard bike lanes in was no small effort. Now that they’re there, it seems like it would be worthwhile for us all to hear how they’re working out for people. With the bike lanes, even for stronger riders, Lombard ought to be a little less stressful ride than it was before.

    As I mentioned in the first comment, I’m wondering how the neighbors that objected to the bike lanes are handling this development. I hope they’ll come to find that the bike lanes, event to themselves, are worth the loss of being able to park on the street.

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  • Paul Johnson October 1, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Well, then to make that an effective connection to the Greenway Park cycleway, Denny must be fixed.

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  • wsbob October 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Paul…try drop in on the Beaverton Bike Advisory Committee sometime to find out where the city is in terms of proceeding on such an improvement to Denney. The city has a transportation plan. I would imagine improvements are intended for Denney. It’s just a matter of public will, time, money, and opportunity,

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  • Paul Johnson October 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I would, except I don’t live in Beaverton (I’m north of Lisa) and it’ll probably be moot in a few days anyway. I’m in Tulsa right now, I’ve more or less given up on my native Portland. Too Californicated, especially in the Tualatin Valley.

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  • elaine October 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I just rode them in both directions Thursday afternoon. It was pretty decent for the most part. In regards to the bike lanes narrowing at Allen and Denney, back when I used to have to commute along Watson and Hall near Allen, I had gotten used to sharing the same lane with cars.

    The only issue I had was a few stretches of broken glass in the northbound lane.

    Riding alongside cars was not a problem.
    Thanks to the Beaverton Bicycle Adv. Council, and others for working on this!

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