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City gets push-back on 12th Ave bike access improvement plans

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 28th, 2011 at 11:51 am

The City is trying to convince central eastside business interests that improving bike access on the NE 12th Avenue overpass won't negatively impact freight truck access.
(Photo © J. Maus)

"Businesses... are concerned that our efforts on facilitating bike commutes have become a zero-sum game, where facilitating bikes equals restricting trucks and autos... Jobs are at stake here in the Central Eastside. We cannot afford to alienate the economic pillars of our community."
— David Lorati, President of the Central Eastside Industrial Council

City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is facing opposition as it tries to improve bike access on the 12th Avenue overpass of I-84 in the Lloyd District. The Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC) has written a letter to PBOT expressing "serious concerns" about the project and has requested a one year delay in the planning process. And today, an opinion piece has been published in The Oregonian saying the project will "strangle freight access."

The project has gotten enough heat that sources say the office of Mayor Sam Adams has now "taken an interest" and his transportation policy advisor is meeting with the CEIC today.

Last week, the CEIC president David Lorati fired off a letter to PBOT project manager Ellen Vanderslice saying, "local businesses still have very serious concerns about the design options being considered."

Here's another excerpt from that letter (PDF here) which gives you a clear sense of the CEIC's perspective:

"Businesses... are seriously concerned that our efforts on facilitating bike commutes have become a zero-sum game, where facilitating bikes equals restricting trucks and autos.

Jobs are at stake here in the Central Eastside. We cannot afford to alienate the economic pillars of our community, whether intentional or not. They will not show up at yet another meeting and announce their dissatisfaction with our plans...they will quietly make plans to find a better place for their employees and vendors to conduct business. We simply can’t allow this to continue to happen."

And today, former City Council candidate and former member of the Portland Small Business Advisory Council, Dave Lister, penned an opinion piece against the project in The Oregonian.

Lister wrote:

"... bicycle infrastructure and traffic changes on Interstate 84's 12th Avenue overpass that could strangle freight access not only for Franz [Bakery] but for the entire central east side. Eleven hundred businesses — including old-time Portland institutions like Standard Dairy, Portland Bottling, Mesher Supply and Wink's Hardware — and the 18,000 jobs they provide could be impacted."

At issue is something we touched on after the project's first open house in early March: how the bike access improvements might impact freight movement on NE 12th.

Currently on 12th, the bike lanes disappear as you ride over the overpass. In order to create better access for all users, PBOT wants to re-allocating space on the overpass to make room for a bicycle only lane (we detailed the options being considered here).

Aerial view of the overpass.

From early on in the project, Franz Bakery and Portland Bottling Co., expressed concerns that bike lanes would inhibit their ability to drive trucks on the overpass — a vital connection between I-84 and their factories. One rep from Franz Bakery I spoke with last month said about 400 trucks per day, some as long as 105 feet make the left turn (southbound) from NE Lloyd to NE 12th.

PBOT has been aware of these issues and has worked extensively with business owners and the CEIC to resolve them.

PBOT's Vanderslice says they take the CEIC's concerns seriously. In an email to BikePortland, she wrote:

"The City of Portland has a long history of supporting the Central Eastside Industrial District as an industrial sanctuary, and we surely wish to retain important inner city employers like Franz and Portland Bottling. I continue to believe that these directly-affected businesses are the most important Central Eastside stakeholders to satisfy..."

With proposed lane reconfigurations drawing concern, PBOT traffic engineers have turned their attention to improving how the traffic signals operate in the area.

"The key to gaining space on the 12th Avenue bridge," Vanderslice says, "is the upgrade to the signals at each end." PBOT's assertion is that by making these signals work together they can reduce the number of vehicles at peak hours that end up waiting on the bridge to turn left (southbound and northbound).

With signals increasing vehicle throughput and decreasing vehicle storage on the overpass, Vanderslice says, "That would allow two left turn bays (north and south) to be fitted into one lane width."

However, the CEIC and other business interests remain unconvinced by PBOT's approach. Here's more from the CEIC letter:

"While signal enhancements to increase throughput would be welcome, truck users remain unconvinced that reducing a lane will not severely restrict their movement on a major entrance and exit to the district."

The CEIC says they'll support the tweaks to traffic signals, but they also have requested that PBOT put a four-lane, (no bike lane) option back on the list of options. In addition, the CEIC was the entire process "to slow down for at least a year to give businesses ample time to contribute to effective outcomes."

While PBOT and the Mayor's Office continue to talk and resolve the CEIC's concerns, engineers are moving forward with signal software upgrades. PBOT plans to implement signal timing changes and then evaluate how those alone impact vehicle throughput, speeds, and delays.

It remains a possibility that, if the CEIC and other business interests successfully argue against any new bike access improvements, signal changes might be the only outcome of this project.

Vanderslice remains optimistic that a compromise can be reached. "I am confident that we will arrive at a solution that improves bicyclists' experience over the bridge without harming the needed truck movements."

If all goes according to plan, PBOT will have an option ready to discuss publicly by the next meeting of their Stakeholders Advisory Committee meeting on May 19th. Stay tuned.

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Comments
  • Dave April 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    What I want to know, is why do businesses need A YEAR to present what the feel is a workable solution? Seriously, they're just trying to kill the whole thing by stalling it. I'm all for active collaboration, but it has to be collaboration and compromise, not just trying to put something off so long it never happens.

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    • Gregg Woodlawn April 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for saying so, Dave. I totally agree. If you are going to lose, stall.

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  • Lance P April 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    As a advisor on the SAC, I would like to point out that all of the changes currently being discussed will be shot down if the cycling community doesn't start calling and writing letters. Money talks... and in this case, it appears that Money is the only voice talking:(

    Please update the article to include the following.

    The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is leading a process to improve bicycle operations on three Lloyd District corridors. Guests from PBOT's project team will provide a brief overview of the three current Lloyd District Bikeway Improvement projects, and will answer commuters' relevant questions in a guided Q&A. Brown-bag (snacks served) presentation by the Lloyd TMA's Bike Committee for Lloyd District employees who commute by bike into the district. Check out the project website for more information. http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=339235&c=53906

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  • Andrew Seger April 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Actually I kinda agree with the central eastside business owners. It really shouldn't be a zero sum game for space. A sullivan's gulch path could include I-84 overcrossings with no bike/truck conflict.

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      yes, let's get those cyclists off the streets altogether

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      • Andrew Seger April 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        Not my point at all, I'd still take the lane. There really isn't enough room on the overpass to satisfy everyone's demands. It's not like PBOTs proposals are particularly attractive, especially with the mandatory sidepath law still in place.

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        • are April 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm

          that is why it is important to continue to push for sharrows, rather than a separate striped lane, and most emphatically _not_ an MUP. this maneuver by freight is likely to have the effect of pushing the MUP alternative.

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          • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 9:41 am

            I'd rather push for the 7th Avenue bike/ped bridge. 12th is really not a desirable crossing point for cyclists - you have to jog over to 9th just to get around Lloyd Center. (and some of the MAX track crossings in that area really suck as well)

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    • was carless May 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

      I completely agree. Cyclists are nothing but terorists in this city, holding American Jobs hostage!

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  • velvetackbar April 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I ride this overpass every day. I am fine with just taking the lane, but it sure pisses off the truck drivers.

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    • Chris I April 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      So if the city phrases this as the alternative, what would their response be?

      1. Work with us on the change, accept some level of inconvenience.
      2. Have to deal with and increasing number of slow cyclists taking the lane

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  • Oliver April 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    The left hand turning trucks on 12th, they are going left on Multnomah, right on OR99, left on Broadway and right on Williams, to I-5?

    Seems convoluted, why don't they go west on Davis and right on OR-99? Or pickup OR-99 Further south if they're coming from deep in the CEID.

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      they are talking about a truck that has exited 84 westbound onto lloyd and is making a left onto 12th southbound

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  • BURR April 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    the proposed options weren't all that good anyway, so it's probably time to just sit back and watch the city cave in on this one.

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    • Andrew N April 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Agreed. I'm embarrassed for PBOT and the mayor, who seems to have zero political guts right now (witness his CRC rollover). Not to mention Alta for accepting such a limited range of study options.
      Maybe the time is right to start over and put the ped/bike bridge at 7th back on the table? A project that will undoubtedly cost more up front but also provide much deeper benefits for all, especially those of us who may qualify as "interested but concerned"?

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      • Art Fuldodger April 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        bike/ped bridge - yes!

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        • dwainedibbly April 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

          I was going to suggest the same thing. Pissing off truck drivers doesn't benefit anyone. If there are that many trucks on that bridge, I'd rather not ride on it if I don't have to.

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  • joeb April 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I take the lane and don't slow anybody down as I sprint to the next red light.

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  • Ed April 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I wrote a letter to PBOT in support of the bike lane installation. I ride the overpass every other day or more. I would feel much safer if they install a bike lane on each direction of the overpassing.

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  • daisy April 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    reduce speed to 10mph over the bridge with all four lanes intact. So simple.

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  • todd April 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    as a business owner in the central eastside industrial district, we depend on truck access. the very idea that bikes in any way restrict truck access is absurd. cars on the other hand, take up virtually as much space on the road as trucks, often carrying no more than a bicycle does. space tight? gotta move stuff? restrict vehicles whose typical payload is less than 50% of vehicular weight, not bikes, which are even more space efficient than most trucks as freight movers.

    everybody on a 4'x2' bike is somebody not in a 15'x7' car.

    reminds me of the portland delegation to the netherlands, who, upon asking how freight interests conflicted with the priority given to bicycle traffic there, were told that there is no conflict because, well, how else would the truckers get to work so conveniently if not for the bike paths?

    this is not an engineering problem. this is a culture clash. scratch a "freight interest" and find somebody who really just wants not to have to give up any space for their car.

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    • Dave April 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Really good point - I remember thinking about this a while ago in relation to emergency vehicles too, and some discussion about how bikes hold up emergency vehicles, and then thinking about crashes on the Ross Island Bridge where nobody can then get to the wreck because there is SO MUCH car traffic blocking the way.

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    • BURR April 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      apparently your business association doesn't agree with you.

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      • are April 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

        the key quote from the CEIC letter is "truck users remain unconvinced." this is without data. go ahead and try changing the signals, but "we remain unconvinced."

        at the SAC meetings i have attended, and at the open house, i have made a point of engaging the freight people on this question (taking the southbound ingress down to one lane under either of the proposed alternatives), and the only concern they have expressed is whether they will be competing with a cyclist trying to enter the same space. i have pointed out that this problem (which, incidentally, requires a cyclist to turn right from lloyd onto the bridge while oncoming traffic has a left arrow, in other words, a bonehead move) already exists in the present configuration, and they have agreed.

        once you are on the bridge, as others have pointed out, what would slow freight are private automobiles, not bikes.

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    • q`Tzal April 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      I this a freight artierial then there is a valid NEED for more road width to safely turn large tractor trailers.

      Cheapest option: remove all on street parking for 12th from Lloyd south 1 mile.

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    • Gregg Woodlawn April 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Brilliant, Todd.

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  • Mork April 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Particularly since the streetcar steel has been occupying a large portion of Lloyd, I have been riding the southern sidewalk on Lloyd all the way from Grand to 12th. I cross the Banfield on the western walkway and then do a 2-stage left to head east on Irving. It's slow and I've had a couple dirty looks from peds when I ding my bell and slowly pass them, but it is a workable solution for now. That said, I don't like riding the sidewalk and I particularly don't like feeling so unsafe that I feel like I NEED to ride the sidewalk.

    The "do nothing" alternative that the CEIC is pushing is unacceptable. I will still be scared of taking the lane and so will many of the other less-confident cyclists that the city is attempting to encourage. Additionally, the request for a year-long wait is mere obfuscation. The CEIC wants the status quo and a year-long wait will likely eat up the meager project budget and they will get exactly that.

    Who should we be writing and calling? Vanderslice? Adams?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      I'd say forward your input to Ellen since she's the project manager (ellen.vanderslice@portlandoregon.gov) and to Catherine Ciarlo in the Mayor's office catherine.ciarlo@portlandoregon.gov

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      • Mork April 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm

        Thanks Jonathan. It's done!

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      • spare_wheel April 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

        also done

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    • Dave April 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      Mork, I do the same thing coming up from Grand. I consider myself a fairly confident rider, and wouldn't necessarily be afraid to ride through here in the road where the bike lane is blocked by the streetcar track, but it's damned unpleasant. The turn onto 12th from there too is just really inconvenient when the bike lane ends and you then have to squeeze in with the car traffic turning right, most of whom are going to the freeway exit on Irving, and view you as an impediment to their forward progress at 35mph.

      Having some separation from all of that would not make me ride my bike more, but it would make me a lot happier about living in the area and having to go through there.

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  • Paul Cone April 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    "Franz Bakery ... said about 400 trucks per day, some as long as 105 feet make the left turn (southbound) from NE Lloyd to NE 12th."

    I'm looking at the proposal, and the southbound configuration looks pretty much the same to me -- one net auto/truck lane southbound. Yeah, there's two lanes starting at the north end right now and that would narrow to one, but an 105-foot truck turning in there isn't going to be sticking to one lane, anyway. Specious argument by the Good Bread folks.

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  • OnTheRoad April 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Sounds like the tried-and-true Central Eastside Industrial Council "the sky is falling if we don't get our way" tactic.

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  • Spiffy April 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    facilitating bikes equals restricting trucks and autos

    and we can say right back that the current configuration is facilitating trucks and autos while restricting bikes...

    it doesn't take a genius to know that a car/truck can much more easily go the 7 blocks east or west to another bridge to cross I-84... 7 blocks! this is a lot of fuss for 7 blocks... which they probably end up traveling once they cross the freeway any way since Lloyd Center takes up 10 blocks right in the middle of that... so really we're talking about them having to go 2 blocks out of the way if they're trying to continue North, and 14 blocks if they're coming off the West-bound freeway...

    closing the bridge to motor vehicle traffic completely would only put people a minute out of their way... that would be my solution, and greatly improve the environment around Holladay Park, Buckman Field, and Benson High... lower traffic, quieter streets, happier kids and park users...

    I'd say a lane configuration change to only allow more room for bikes is a good compromise to that...

    quit letting greedy corporations make decisions for the city that they know are good for the people...

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      the freight people have claimed that this is the only bridge rated for 40 ton trucks

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      • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

        I'm curious what the freight community will do when the bridge is closed for repairs. It's structurally sounds right now, but it's not a young bridge - at least 80 if I remember correctly. It was the first constructed crossing of Sullivan's Gulch.

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    • Kevin April 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Arguably bicyclists wouldn't cause catastrophic economic changes if they were to suddenly vanish from the neighborhood.

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      • are April 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

        except if we stopped buying franz "bread"

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  • Paul Manson April 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I am also an SAC member on this and the decision of the CEID to opt out of the SAC process at this point as we were approaching our final recommendation shows their lack of interest in finding any solution.

    Yes there are challenges with the bridge. But the main cycle issue is not conflict with trucks, but conflict with peak hour commuters. Unfortunately, the I-84 exits that connect to the bridge are the only ones in Portland that ODOT allows triple-trailers to use. This is ridiculous itself.

    Also, PBOT kindly already updated the timing on the lights this past month as offer to the trucking community. This improved wait times on the bridge for trucks. Now that the CEID has what it wants, it picks up the ball and goes homes.

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    • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

      I think you're incorrect on that one - UPS also uses triple trailers, so I'd bet the Going ramps on I-5 to Swan Island also allow triple trailers. As far as I'm aware, Franz and UPS are the only companies in Oregon using triple trailers. They're demonstrably unsafe, and the state should have followed the lead of other states (like Michigan) in banning them years ago.

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  • Babygorilla April 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Love the picture showing both bikes straddling the lane divider and, unless its a point of view illusion, encroaching on the left lane.

    For what its worth, in my three or four years of pretty much daily commutes through that area during morning and evening rush, I never had any negative interactions with motorists. Heading into the city, I always took the left lane and waited patiently for my turn at the light and similar for heading back to Irving (taking the left lane to get to the left turn arrow at Benson). There was so much traffic and the signals were timed such that that moto speeds were not an issue and, accordingly, I never had an impatient motorists honk or swerve or felt threatened in any way.

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      it's a still photo, gorrilla, maybe the cyclist is merging to the left lane

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  • Whyat April 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I ride over this bridge almost every day. I don't honestly see what the big deal is. It's one of many places I have to take my time and be a little more cautious. If the CEID concerns are valid than I'm fine not getting some fancy dancy crossing. Sharing the road means bikes sharing too. Last I checked I can go a few blocks out of my way to get to my destination if I really need to.

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    • Chris I April 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      To where? Cross on Grand with no bike lane and high speed traffic? Or all the way out to 21st? Or the Esplanade?

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    • Paul Manson April 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      The main bike problem is:

      Northbound - Most cyclists make an illegal left from the right lane. Very few line up in the left most lane as required by the current condition. When they do, the queue goes quite a ways back.

      Southbound - Access from Lloyd is confused at best, a battle at the worst. The bike lanes all end a block or two before, turning movements are mixed, and motorists back up around the corner.

      Over 20,000 people work in the Lloyd District area. If we expect real mode split we need better access.

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  • marshmallow April 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Slow riders should just take the W-I-D-E sidewalk as on the hawthorne. Fast ones take the lane as the bridge is so short. Sometimes I take the lane on hawthorne if i've had my daily dose of steroids and can peddle 40 mph across.

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    • spare_wheel April 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Every cyclist has the right to take the lane regardless of their speed.

      Sharing means waiting!

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  • Opus the Poet April 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I have a solution: since putting in bike lanes would eliminate jobs (claimed) then set up a ratio of jobs created per cycling death, and hold them to it. "Leaving the lanes you wanted intact has killed x number of cyclists, we expect to see x*y jobs in place at a living wage within the next 6 months or you lose those lanes to bikes."

    Or a tax could be instated to cover the expenses of cyclists injured because of a lack of lanes, or if cycling mode share fails to reach a reasonable goal through the area (33%?)

    Or just flat out charge them an access fee for the excess road space they want and use the money to create bicycle infrastructure.

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      it is certainly the case that a business that wants to run 105-foot, 40-ton trucks over the bridge should be willing to pay for whatever accommodations are required for other road users.

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      • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

        No, it's not "certainly" the case. There's room for negotiation. Franz has a responsibility to the community, but they've been there since 1906, and they're family owned. They have roots in the local economy, and they've earned the right to be treated fairly, listened to, and a collaborative solution found rather than dictated to them. This isn't Wal-Mart or Kroger, with an absentee board 6 states away.

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  • resopmok April 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    The city should be courageous in the face of these fear mongering businesses and do what is right for the people who live here. I'm not sure who runs their shipping schedules but frankly they are costing themselves money if they are trying to move freight during peak traffic hours. At non peak hours, who cares how many lanes are on the bridge when they aren't full anyway? Maybe instead of incessant whining, Franz and Co. should investigate ways to lower their shipping costs and/or find alternatives to gas burning, polluting trucks. Creativity is a far better use of time than filibustering tactics.

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  • David April 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    The sidewalks are really wide on both sides of the bridge. Why not just shared use paths on both sides? I use them as such.

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    • Steve B April 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      They are not very wide, and are generally jammed with pedestrians often. Ever walk the Hawthorne bridge during a busy time? Let's not create another stressful situation for people walking through the Lloyd Center by cramming bikes onto the walkways.

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    • are April 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      and how do you make a left at the far end? that's what i thought. and am i supposed to watch out for you as i am turning right? thanks.

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  • Lenny Anderson April 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

    The obstacle to moving freight in the peak hours is too many commuters alone in their cars. This is true on Swan Island, on I-5 across the Columbia and in the Central Eastside. Making it safe to commute by bike is an important part of the solution. Its time the "freight community" embraced these facts of life.

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  • jim April 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    How come you ride so close to the traffic lane when there is so much open room to your right. I can see that cars in the next lane need to swerve around you even though you are in the next lane?

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  • Paul in the 'couve April 29, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    jim
    How come you ride so close to the traffic lane when there is so much open room to your right. I can see that cars in the next lane need to swerve around you even though you are in the next lane?

    I can't be specific to a situation you haven't described fully but I can give some examples.

    Firs the general principle of safe riding is to be predictable. Going in - and - out of the travel lane makes it hard for cars to predict where you will be next. So, if there is on street parking, even if the cars are a long ways apart the smart and safe thing for a cyclist to do is to ride in a straight line in the travel lane a safe distance from parked cars. I would say that is the primary reason you will see cyclists riding in the lane even when there is 6 feet of space to the right. But there are several other reasons for this practice.

    Riding far to the right puts a cyclist outside of the visual area where motorists are looking and effective makes the cyclist invisible. This is especially a concern when there are cars entering or crossing the roadway at crossroads and driveways on the right. It is also a factor for oncoming traffic turning left, and for traffic from behind turning right. And when those drivers cause close calls, run us off the road or hit us it is always the same "I didn't see you!" The reason for that is when we are driving cars we don't look for objects traveling 15mph next to the curb - we look for big things in the main travel lane.

    Riding far to the right takes away the room for the cyclist to maneuver because a cyclist can not count on it being safe to move to the left - unless we are already in the lane. By being to the left, we can always move to the right safely to avoid a hazard or let a car go by when it is safe to do so.

    The far right side of the roadway is often - especially this time of year - full of debris and glass.

    In congested areas like the Loyd district, being behind a bicycle is unlikely to cost a car or truck much time because there is always another stoplight. I can't tell you how often I have a car impatiently pass me only for me to stay right behind them or even pass them over the net several blocks.

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    • jim April 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      I'm talking about the picture at the top of the article. The bikes are riding right next to the white line, not center or to the right. Why? Cyclists often complain that cars are passing too close to them, shouldn't they use the same common sense and keep away from the cars?

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      • are April 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm

        as you merge to the left lane in anticipation of a left turn, you will come ever so close to the white line, and then you will cross it. what you do not see in the photo is an overtaking motorist. maybe if there were an overtaking motorist, the cyclist would delay making the lane change.

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      • Paul in the 'couve May 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        jim
        I'm talking about the picture at the top of the article. The bikes are riding right next to the white line, not center or to the right. Why? Cyclists often complain that cars are passing too close to them, shouldn't they use the same common sense and keep away from the cars?

        Okay, it looks like they are heading north on 12h about 1/4 of the way across the bridge over I-84. In the picture it looks like they have a nice clear shoulder. However, in reality about 50 feet further down the road that becomes the right turn lane. Also, often traffic backs up at the light at Loyd about 150 Feet down. When that happens some cars that are turning right at Loyd will move right even earlier.

        So, what these cyclists (in the picture at top) are doing right is being VERY vissible to cars that will be turning right at Loyd and setting themselves up to avoid being buzzed by cars that merge right without seeing them and being right hooked at Loyd. What I think they could do BETTER is just move over another 3 feet and take the lane entirely, especially if they are going left at Loyd. It's less than 200 feet to the light at Loyd. They won't be slowing anyone down. The problem with riding where they are is that a lot of drivers don't look and think far enough ahead. Many drivers see the cyclists to the right of the white line and don't THINK about any need to pass or move left. Sometimes it almost seems like drivers actually move right becuase they turn their head to look at the cyclists. Or, as the driver goes by they just then notice the oncoming bus in the other lane, but now it is too late for them to slow down. By being well into the lane, these cyclists could help the driver realize "hey, I'm going to have to move left - "I better look ahead for oncoming traffic! and prepare to move left or I better slow down."

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    • jim April 29, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      Paul-
      Thank you for your reply and good valid explanation. There is much to be gained from experianced riders that share their experiances.

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  • Harvey April 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I am a business owner, and a cyclist that has been in the neighborhood of the bridge for more than 10 years.

    I am baffled.

    The sidewalks on that bridge are more than 8 feet wide with wheelchair ramps on each end. Why not paint a stripe down the middle of each sidewalk on the bridge and make a cycle lane on that sidewalk? It takes no more resources, allows for truck traffic to move along unimpeded (the Franz bakery is the largest bakery on the west coast people, they have a ton of triple trailers going all up and down the west making deliveries that keep a lot of people in Portland employed), and makes a nice separation for both riders and drivers. Remember, this area is an industrial sanctuary, aimed at keeping jobs and manufacturing capabilities close to the center of town.

    The idea that businesses should suck it, and make more room when there is already plenty of space for everyone is absurd. Sometimes the holier-than-thou attitude that some Portland cyclists have really hurts the cause of cycling in this community. If we could all ride around on our bikes all day like summer break in elementary school, then perhaps I would agree, but most of the people on that bridge are going to generate commerce as employees or customers of businesses that pay people enough money to buy nice bicycles.

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    • eric April 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Harvey
      The idea that businesses should suck it, and make more room when there is already plenty of space for everyone is absurd. Sometimes the holier-than-thou attitude that some Portland cyclists have really hurts the cause of cycling in this community. If we could all ride around on our bikes all day like summer break in elementary school, then perhaps I would agree, but most of the people on that bridge are going to generate commerce as employees or customers of businesses that pay people enough money to buy nice bicycles.

      So, basically because cyclists aren't real transportation like cars then a real transportation problem should be ignored because cyclists are riding around like kids on summer break?
      What about all the people sitting in their cars waiting to get on 84? If we could all sit in traffic in our cars all day like every day commuting on 84, then perhaps I would agree, but most of the people cycling on that bridge are going to generate commerce as employees or customers of businesses that pay people enough money to buy nice cars.

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      • diondatta May 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

        Hey, all those people wasting their time sitting in traffic are free to ride a bicycle if they want to, whether it is a "nice" bicycle or a "beater" bike. It is interesting how some people interpret cyclist as "holier than thou" since that says more about that person's self esteem than anything else. Personally, I think many drivers have a selfish bully's attitude and think just because they are in a big car that they have more rights than those persons on a bicycle. I use both modes of transportation, but prefer cycling simply because it is faster to get from point A to point B in a city and MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE than operating a car. Last last year I save at least $3,000 by NOT buying gasoline. So, please excuse me if I should want to save both my money and time. If you choose to waste both, that is totally up to you and has nothing to do with your fellow citizens commuting by bicycles. Learn to share.

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        • diondatta May 1, 2011 at 7:35 am

          By the way, a bicycle IS REAL transportation. What's not REAL about it?

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    • Paul Manson April 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Harvey - That is on the table. But the width is too narrow for bikes and pedestrians. There is also a Trimet stop on the bridge. The bridge could be widened to safely mix everyone, but that will require more money than this project has. It is a very good option, but we need more money to do it.

      I am convinced PBOT is right about this being a win-win situation. The signal timing has already increased the number or cars and trucks that can get across the bridge and reduces delays. So by changing the lanes we are getting better freight service and better bike service. This part of the story needs to be clear - the whole project is increasing access and safety for all. Primarily because the signals on each end of the bridge never "spoke" to each other. So there is no trade off required!

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      • diondatta May 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

        Maybe a cantilevered cycle track on the side of the existing bridge would be a good compromise; it was a design mistake to build a bridge which ignores the safety of pedestrians, cyclist and other users.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Harvey,

      So.. you are saying we should design our public spaces for corporations? I disagree with this. The primary goal of public right-of-way is to move people — not freight, not vehicles. While I obviously think concerns of business-owners need to be taken into account, they should not be given veto power.

      Using bicycles we can make our system much more efficient and less expensive to operate.

      Putting bicycle traffic on sidewalks is rarely a good idea. Sidewalks are for people to walk on.

      Also, if we can make this area better for bike access, more people will ride.. which will open up space for trucks.

      Equating freight with jobs/economy and bikes as being somehow the opposite is just a false dichotomy that hides larger issues of cultural/personal bias against changing the status quo.

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  • diondatta May 1, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Oh, the fear mongering. I'm sure that 18,000 jobs will be "impacted" and businesses will spend billions to relocate if the city installs a bike lane across the bridge so that the CITIZENS of the city won't get run-over by cars and trucks. Some people are against things just because they want to be contrary. the city government needs to just install it and see what happens. if it doesn't work well, then change it. That's what they do in Copenhagen.

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    • ontheroad May 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      That's CEIC's typical strategy -- remind us of the sacrosanct industrial "sanctuary", threaten to move jobs to the suburbs and take the ball and go home. Instead of working cooperatively. No one is saying ban trucks on the bridge.

      Install and see what happens. Mia Birk used this strategy when she was top bike person at PBOT. Part of the bike lanes on SE Seventh just "appeared" when the striping crews restriped one weekend after paving was done. She said sometimes it is easier to NOT go through the process beforehand, and just deal with the flack after something is there and a constituency starts to grow to keep it there.

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  • are May 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    can someone please quantify this eleven hundred business, eighteen thousand jobs thing? on their "about us" page, http://ceic.cc/about/, CEIC uses roughly these numbers to describe an area extending south all the way to powell. how many of these businesses are at all affected by the 12th avenue overpass? and among those who are (let's say, north of maybe stark), how many actually use 105-foot, 40-ton triples? and among those, how many would actually have to cut jobs or substantially increase expenses if they had to take it down a notch? and/or how many would actually be benefited if we could move some of the private auto traffic through more quickly (or get rid of it)?

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    • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 10:01 am

      I don't have exact figures, but the majority of CEIC members would be minimally impacted or unaffected by this project. They are far more impacted by the current streetcar construction.

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  • BURR May 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Once the eastside streetcar loop is completed the CEID will rapidly gentrify, and the new retail and service oriented businesses will rely a lot less on large tractor trailers for deliveries.

    Smart businesses that rely heavily on trucking have already mostly relocated to other places in the city like the Columbia South Shore anyway.

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    • matt picio May 3, 2011 at 10:04 am

      Most of the businesses already don't rely on the large trucks - they rely on smaller trucks. The impacted businesses are Franz, the Sunshine and Darigold dairies, and the packing industry stuff near the Burnside Bridge, plus a handful of other large businesses with the volume requirements necessitating semi-tractor trailers. That's maybe 20% of the CEIC. The other 80% are using smaller trucks, which are far more impacted by car congestion in the area.

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  • marshmallow May 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Damn, I ate all three products this morning.

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