Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 18th, 2011 at 1:35 pm
bike lanes this weekend.
(Photo © J. Maus)
As the comments pouring in on our story yesterday has made crystal clear, bike lanes throughout the city are inundated with wet and slippery leaves right now. The issue isn't simply a sign of disrespect by PBOT — the unpredictable weather has posed some serious challenges — but we wondered if PBOT had a set policy for dealing with bike lane obstructions and/or if they planned to do anything specific about it.
PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says they respond to hazards in bike lanes "as promptly as possible" and that the best number to call is the 24/7 Maintenance Dispatch Line at (503) 823-1700. "Service requests regarding safety concerns take priority," Kuck wrote via email. (Note the difference between that hotline 823-SAFE, which Kuck says should only be used for engineering and infrastructure safety concerns.)
As for the huge mess out there right now, Kuck says PBOT is bringing in extra crews tonight and Saturday night to sweep major arterials with a "focused attention on bike lanes". The City's Leaf Pickup service, which goes into high gear this weekend, should help get the leaves off of residential streets.
Kuck advises that with rapidly changing weather conditions this time of year, citizen reports are more valuable than ever. "It is especially helpful to have reports of specific problem locations for our crews to respond to, whether it's clogged catch basins, leaves in bike lanes, or other safety hazard requiring a maintenance response," she says.
Remember, if you call 823-SAFE it might be several days before someone takes a report; but the 823-1700 number is staffed 24/7. Put it in your speed dial now and if you see something that needs help, give PBOT a ring!