Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 22nd, 2010 at 9:15 am
As the former City of Portland Commissioner of Transportation and current Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) does not take criticism of bicycling lying down.
Blumenauer's office, working on facts provided by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, issued a response to allegations made yesterday by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) that a federal grant for bikeway signage in Portland was "wasteful." In his Waste Book 2010 report Coburn mischaracterized the signage project, claiming that $900,000 was spent on bike network wayfinding signs when similar signs were already installed.
In a statement titled, Waste Book 2010 Inaccuracies, Blumenauer's office listed details about the project that Coburn left out of his report:
- Wayfinding signage was a small percentage of the total funds allocated and expended.
- Other advance warning crossing signage at busier streets was added for safety of pedestrians and cyclists. (see photo at top of post)
- The City also removed some existing crossing signage and reinstalled it to improve visibility at existing crossings.
- Total for all signage (wayfinding and safety) with sign posts and footings was $69,180.
- New wayfinding signage was placed in areas without existing signage.
- The City will have constructed an additional 30 miles of new bicycle boulevard facilities in two years by June 2011 – the ARRA grant provided for the necessary wayfinding and crossing signage for these new facilities.
- New wayfinding signage altered the existing design by making the destinations (words and distance) larger and reducing the size of the bicycle symbol. The destinations and distance are the most important information on the signs.
- Existing signage was left in place – new signage is not duplicative but installed in areas that lacked signage.
- MUTCD standard pavement markings (sharrows) were the highest percentage of total funds allocated.
- Other costs included engineering, project management, contractor compliance for pollution control and erosion control, contractor mobilization and traffic control.
Blumenauer's office also included a cost breakdown for materials and installation:
- Wayfinding signage 450 signs - $9,000
- Crossing signage for bicycles and pedestrians 1,180 signs - $18,880
- Removal and installation of crossing signage - $3,000
- Sign posts for above signs - $13,300
- Footings for sign posts - $25,000
- Total for signage - $69,180
- MUTCD standard sharrow pavement markings (2100 markings) - $480,671