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Major changes to Sellwood Bridge design: BTA urges county to delay final vote

Posted by on July 13th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Last minute cost-cutting has resulted in proposed design changes to the $268 million Sellwood Bridge project that could have significant impacts on bicycling. With a key vote on the final design set for this coming Monday (7/16) and a decision on the plans set for Thursday (7/19), the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is concerned that there’s not enough time to consider the changes and they are urging the county to delay the vote.

Citing rising costs, the County has proposed $3.2 million in project cutbacks. The biggest ticket item on the chopping block is a $2 million multi-use path bridge. Another $81,000 proposed cutback will shelve plans for “surface treatments” on the bike/walk lanes.

The BTA has been tracking this project closely and has a volunteer on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Here’s more from a BTA blog post yesterday:

“The county, in an attempt to save roughly $2.5 million, is proposing to remove one of the west-side ramps. As a result, most bike/ped traffic is now on the north side of the bridge… These could be good changes, but only if they’re done right and details are addressed. Currently, Multnomah County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on this new “final plan” on Thursday of next week… The Bicycle Transportation Alliance urges its members to tell their commissioners that more time is needed to vet and improve this new design.”

At issue is a new design only made public last week that shows a shift of the biking/walking path to the north side of the bridge and the removal of a mulit-use path ramp on the east end of the bridge that could make bike access to the Springwater Corridor less than adequate.

Here’s the design that was approved after years of public process (and generally well-liked among advocates):

And here’s the new asymmetrical layout the County is putting forward now:

Here’s a look at the list of proposed cutbacks:

The elimination of “bike/ped surface treatments” means that the bike lane will no longer be colored green and there will not be “subtle concrete color changes on the multi-use path” that were intended to “improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by making sure faster travelers are separated from slower travelers.” Below is a look at the surface treatments as they existed in the design that was agreed to after the lengthy public process (note the green bike lane and MUP textures):

The BTA says more time is needed to vet these changes and they’re urging people to contact Multnomah County Commissioners. On Monday, a group of elected leaders from throughout the region (including Oregon State legislators, Mayor Adams, and others) will vote on whether or not to recommend the new design.

See the BTA Blog and SellwoodBridge.org for more information.

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Comments
  • browse July 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I wonder if the county would attempt to remove an entire line of car traffic from a bridge design one week before approval?

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  • Lee July 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    The design plan to eliminate the multi-use path, in the south side of the new Sellwood bridge is wrong it’ goes against Multnomah county’s leadership on urban nature. Experience for people and being a walk able bike able city.
    The Loss of pedestrian access and the compromise made to bicyclist safety, would be the permanent sacrifice for a 1% project cost savings
    Multnomah county ought to Keep the original Well vetted plan, which enhances the environmental experience and accommodates more bike and walking trails for the future.

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  • dwainedibbly July 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    It looks like the total width devoted to cycling is the same, but now half of it is separated. Is that right? In some ways, that’s better.

    OTOH, the loss of the ramp and the other problems at the bridge ends are major.

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  • Rob Anderson July 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    From their own blog: “The Bicycle Transportation Alliance believes this new design can work.” — so why hold it up? Build It!

    The new design is 100% fine with me and would be a vast improvement over the current conditions.

    Please no more delays on this project, BTA. We’ve waited long enough to get this done.

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    • Steve B July 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      6 years of planning to have things completely switched around at the last minute, that’s problematic for public process. This isn’t the design the SAC signed off on.

      Seems like a perfectly good reason to ask questions and look at the details, especially when the ‘cost savings’ comes from bike/ped infrastructure.

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  • Sunny July 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I like the new idea unless it ends up like the Morrison to nowhere. The first design implies Hawthorne like heavy bike traffic, and I don’t ever see that being the case as most bike traffic heads up or comes down through the cemetery. The second design give a more peaceful space for pedestrians and cyclists away from dangerous vehicle traffic. Speed versus livability. Hawthorne demands speed. The Sellwood neighborhood could use some livability as their access to bridges is quite distant. Imagine Sellwooders being able to take an evening stroll without the threat of the child falling off the sidewalk and being run over.

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    • chris July 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

      Its been said that you build the infrastructure for the society you want, not the society you have. You are right, bikes don’t go to Lake Oswego.But having lived near lake Oswego, the lack of transit conectivity seems intentional at times. Having witnessed the trolley to trail plan being shuttered, I fear this may be more of the same insular behavior LO is becoming known for.

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  • D July 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Mr. Anderson,
    If you’d read the rest of the BTA statement, you’d understand why they don’t want to just “Build It!”
    Here it is: “We do not, however, believe that stakeholders have been given a chance to ensure that crucial details of this new plan, particularly its connections to the street and trail network, are worked out.”
    There’s no sense rushing after waiting this long.

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    • Rob Anderson July 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      I read the BTA’s blog post in its entirety. Not buying it, sorry. Seems to me they’re more worried with defending their influence in the process than they are about finishing this project.

      Can’t blame them, I’d be annoyed too after the number of meetings they must’ve sat through, only to see the design they approved changed at the last-minute. The primary concerns they outlined in their post are incredibly minor in nature, and should in no way keep the project going forward.

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      • matt picio July 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

        They’re not. The county bike/ped committee said basically the same thing Wednesday evening. There were years of work to come up with the proposed design, and now it’s being switched in the 11th hour with less than 2 weeks for all the stakeholders to give input before the county commissioners vote. This has nothing to do with the BTA’s “influence” (or maintaining it) and everything to do with maintaining the public process that the county was previously lauded for.

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        • Garlynn July 14, 2012 at 1:04 am

          It looks to me like the new design eliminates the pedestrian path from the north side of the bridge. The nice thing about walking about bridges is that you can walk back on the other side, and get a view out the other direction on the way back. This design would mean that your view the other direction would always be across the bridge and over traffic — you’d never be able to stand at the railing and gaze directly north at downtown Portland.

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          • Garlynn July 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

            Er, or am I confused, and you’d never be able to stand at the railing and stare directly south without having to look across traffic?

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            • Andy July 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

              Correct, it’s the south sidewalk that they want to eliminate – the side where there is no sidewalk on the old bridge either. So the new bridge would basically become a regurgitated enlarged version of the old one. Repeating the mistakes of the past, I think that’s a really bad idea.
              For years I have been looking forward to finally being able to walk on the south side of the bridge. And now they want to eliminate that sidewalk…
              I guess I will have to walk in the bike lane then, sorry!

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          • spare_wheel July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

            please look again. there is a north side sidewalk…just no wider mup.

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        • Rob Anderson July 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

          The process is more important than putting in a bike lane. Can’t have your bike lane without a process. One can argue about the ideal lane configuration all they want, but anything is better than what the current, crumbling bridge offers today.

          Can I ask how long does the process need to take? 6, 7, 10 years? longer? Will I still be physically active enough to ride a bike before the advisory committee finally gets this done? Public process is great, but not when all it seems to do is delay getting anything resolved.

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          • matt picio July 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

            Sure, *anything* is better than what we have now, but people aren’t asking for a 6 year / 7 year process – they’re asking for something more than TWO WEEKS. I appreciate what you’re trying to say, Rob, and I’ve looked at the design drawings, and I don’t think the proposed changes are awful. Consider this, however. The previous design was reviewed by hundreds of people before a consensus was reached. The new design has been vetted by fewer than two or three dozen. What if there’s a fatal flaw we’re missing? Something that given 3 months could be identified by the hundreds of people who looked over the first plans. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

            The real tragedy in this whole endeavor is that the money the county is attempting to save on this project is less than 10% of what’s been spent so far just on *planning* for the CRC. This is like rummaging in the couch cushions for spare change.

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            • Rob Anderson July 16, 2012 at 1:24 am

              BTA started the advisory and advocacy process circa 2006 in their “Blueprint for Better Biking: Sellwood Bridge”. Fast-forward to 2012, and there’s still no consensus on the subject. Frustrating that in a half-decade, we still can’t figure this one out. I think we both agree on that.

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              • matt picio July 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

                Except that’s not what happened – there was a consensus, more than a year ago. Yes, it took 4 years to get there, but a consensus was reached, nearly everyone was happy, and it wouldn’t have happened earlier anyway due to the engineering required, and the EIS, and securing funding. It’s a major project on a key bridge, with serious engineering constraints and property rights issues – 95% of which had NOTHING to do with the BTA. It sounds like you have a beef, Rob, but frankly, I think you’re off-base on this one.

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                • Rob Anderson July 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

                  My beef is how slowly the process takes, and the perceived lack of leadership throughout. All for a bridge we’ve known to be dangerous for decades. So it takes 4+ years to do the EIS, fund the project (except: oops, we didn’t do the math to fully fund it, so now we get to cut bike/ped and annoy the advisory committee and the BTA), figure out how to make Staff Jennings happy, engineer a replacement bridge, and decide where to finally put the bike lanes? Could this have not all been done sooner? If that’s off-base, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree. :)

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  • Lee July 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    There is time to reconsider the drastic bike/pedestrian cuts, and hopefully find some more county money or grants and creative funding solutions. This necessary design planning will not delay the project. They are already working full time on the detour bridge only. The county Council must way the reduction to user experience and safety, and take time to hear citizen and stakeholder concerns about more loss of access.

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  • Rob July 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    It appears the design with East- and West-bound bike lanes together on the North side of the bridge adds a concrete barrier between cars and bikes. That is the most welcome innovation ever! I’d fight for that and fight if they try to take it away now it has been proposed.

    They are going to detail how to manage storm water and bikeway cleaning in the new design.

    Thanks for being on top of this Bike Portland!

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    • Hart Noecker July 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      The barrier is great, but why on Earth throw another bike lane just on the other side of it trapping people between moving cars and a concrete wall? I’ve had to jump onto a curb to avoid reckless motorists before. Here if a car hit you you’d be crushed into that wall.

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      • Jack July 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

        That was my first thought too. Why bother having that second bike lane on the motor vehicle side of the barrier? Who’s going to take that lane when there is a protected, dedicated lane available?

        I can’t imagine why anyone would propose this, rather than just widening all of the other lanes.

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        • Greg July 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

          A comment on the BTA site says: “The bike lanes have an important function as breakdown shoulders and help with emergency access. They will be present in any bridge design.”

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        • davemess July 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

          I would take that lane, the same way I take the lane on the current bridge. If they truly are going to have two sets of bike lanes, some of us will choose the faster, no kids/parents out for a nice ride choice.

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      • spare_wheel July 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

        i am glad they are putting in additional lanes. i am very uncomfortable when cycling in slower protected lanes. ;)

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  • Seth Alford July 14, 2012 at 12:59 am

    “The Bicycle Transportation Alliance urges its members to tell their commissioners that more time is needed to vet and improve this new design.”

    I don’t think my Washington County Commissioner would have jurisdiction.

    How difficult would it have been to sa
    Just one more instance where the BTA represents Portland.

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    • Seth Alford July 14, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Meant to write: “…to say, ‘those of you living in Multnomah County, please contact your County Commissioner.’”

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      • Carl (BTA) July 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Good call, Seth. Thanks for the feedback. Next time you see something eyebrow-raising on our website, feel free to comment on our website. I’m glad I noticed your comment here. I’ve fixed my post.

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  • CaptainKarma July 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

    This will likely be a hundred year bridge, affecting your childrens’ children. More time is needed to ensure the “right” mistakes are made.

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  • Psyfalcon July 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    The bridge is fine either way, but what happens at the end, and is not pictured?

    I have no issue with the Ross Island (at current low bike traffic levels) but lack of connection around the west end of it kills its usefullness. You really can’t get to the sidewalk on the north side from west of the bridge. It would be really bad to repeat that sort of mistake here.

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  • Joseph E July 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I prefer the new asymmetrical version, but only if it is done right. The previous design had only a curb to separate the sidewalks/bike paths from cars, like the Hawthorne, and it would not have felt as safe for kids or other less experienced bike riders. But it all depends on how the bridge connects at each end. How will eastbound bike traffic get on the north-side path, and how will it continue east into Sellwood? Will right-turning cars cut across the bike path at either end? Is there a clear map of this posted?

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  • Sunny July 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    To be fair, there’s really not much to look at on the south side — just a few condo buildings on the left and powers marine park beach on the right. The north side is more interesting with downtown in the backdrop with boater traffic and the park before oaks amusement park.

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  • Sunny July 14, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    The first design looks to be a rehash of Hawthorne with bike lanes — makes me wonder what considerations were taken after “years of public process.” Wondering about the CRC…

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  • Michael Miller July 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I second the comments above that while the profile shown may be desirable in some ways, the devil is in the details, and all of those details occur at the ends of the bridge, not shown. likely likely haven’t even been well-developed yet and therefore the call to delay approval is highly warranted.

    Another, much longer-term concern has to do with a significant change this makes to the vertical profile of the bridge deck: it eliminates the 10 or 12 feet of raised sidewalk on the south side, shifting the bike width previously on raised sidewalks to the roadway level, behind Jersey barriers. Nice separation between peds and bikers, and protected from cars, but now those bike lanes are pretty redundant. Before, you had nice wide pleasant sidewalks on each side, with space for the leisurely ride across the bridge, stopping to look at the river, etc, while serious commuting can happen on the roadway bike lanes. Now, you’ve lost half of the amenity space on the bridge and are left with four bike lanes.

    How long till someone suggests eliminating two of those “redundant” bike lanes, pulling out the barriers, and restriping for two bike lanes and a third traffic lane? This design reduces the amount of roadway width that is permanently dedicated to ped/bike use by 10 or 12 feet.

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    • Andy July 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      You might have hit the nail on the head there…

      The true motive behind this otherwise inexplicable change is to have more street-level width available for adding a 3rd traffic lane in the future.
      Ripping out a sidewalk later on would be prohibitively costly and difficult. Removing a Jersey barrier and re-striping the roadway is cheap and easy.

      So all the talk about sudden budget shortfalls could just be smoke and mirrors. The truth may be that they want to keep their options open for future expansion of automobile use.

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  • Jim Lee July 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

    This project is being run by two people:

    Matthew Garrett, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation;

    Mike Pullen, director of public relations for Multnomah County.

    Garrett bloated the cost by $200 million over the original firm $90 million bid by Bechtel Corporation.

    Pullen sold it to know-nothing local politicians and “stakeholders.”

    Anyone who thinks there is or ever has been any substantial “public process” on replacing the bridge at Sellwood is gullible and ignorant.

    Neither Garrett nor Pullen is a technical person in the slightest degree, let alone registered engineers. Certainly neither knows anything about the planning, design, construction of bridges.

    Organizations like BTA and SMILE never did due diligence on this project and really have no reason to complain now.

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    • matt picio July 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      “Organizations like BTA and SMILE … really have no reason to complain now”

      Perhaps, except for the fact that 2 years of public process generated the previous design, which all parties signed off on, and the county won an award for the level of public involvement, and we were all told that the design was basically set in stone. I was on the county bike/ped advisory committee at the time, and we had a lot of questions and a lot of input, and now everything has been changed in the 11th hour without *any* real public input. That’s really not cool, and I think that’s a *very* valid reason for complaint, whether that complaint is led by BTA, SMILE, the Rototarians, Freemasons or the Campfire Girls. This is the only river crossing between the Ross Island bridge and Oregon City (by road), we should take a little time and effort to ensure it’s right before putting shovel to ground.

      Given that many of the extra expenses are due to the continued instability of the western slope, frankly, I’m doubtful that the bridge has been studies *enough*.

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  • o/o July 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    if streetcar were to be built someday, there would be no room left for bike lanes? That kinda would go back to the same problem as today’s.

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    • matt picio July 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      The plans are to run streetcar in the general traffic lanes. It won’t affect the bike lanes at all. (this is according to Multnomah County Transportation, as stated at the July 11th meeting of the Multnomah County Bike/Ped Citizen’s Advisory Committee)

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  • Andy July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    People see the barrier and immediately react “oh, great for safety”. But I beg to differ…

    In the original design:
    Leisurely bicyclists ride on the raised sidewalk/MUP, where they can easily move over to the railing to stop and rest, take in the views, etc. (on whichever side of the bridge they happen to be on).
    Commuter bikes ride in the designated onstreet bike lane, but still having the sidewalk closeby to get up onto in case of a flat or other emergency situation.

    In the new design:
    Leisurely riders are supposed to ride on the cycletrack behind the barrier, but which is still at street-level, not sidewalk-level. So if they want to stop to take in the views, they’d have to come to a complete stop, then lift the bike onto the sidewalk. That not only inconveniences them, but also other riders who might be behind them, who now have to either stop as well, or swerve into the oncoming bike traffic to avoid hitting them. And eastbound riders? They’d have to cross oncoming bike traffic, stop the bike, facing the wrong way and lift their bike onto the sidewalk. That seems potentially dangerous.
    Commuter bikes on the other hand, are expected to ride in the designated bike lanes on street-level. But this time without the safety of the sidewalk nearby. So what happens if they have an emergency? On the north side, they heave their bike and themselves over the barrier, cross two lanes of cycletrack, then get onto the sidewalk… Seems quite an ordeal. And what if an eastbound bike has an emergency on the south side? God help him, and anyone riding behind him…

    This design will likely encourage commuter bikes to use the cycletrack instead of the on-street bike lane, thereby turning it into a racetrack. Leisure riders will be discouraged from using the cycletrack, and may instead opt to use the sidewalk. So we’d end up with ONE sidewalk, narrower than the original design, being used for two-way pedestrian and two-way bike traffic. Awesome!

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  • Michael Miller July 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Where is the city on this? Section II.J of the COP/MultCo “Intergovernmental Agreement for Funding the Sellwood Bridge Project” (http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/files/phase3/201102_Sellwood_Bridge_IGA_City-County.pdf) states that:

    “The County shall design and construct the new Sellwood Bridge with 12-foot sidewalks and 6.5-foot bike lanes on each side, and shall ensure that the bridge is constructed in a manner that is structurally able to support its use by Tri-Met busses and streetcars.”

    Sounds like they would have to renegotiate the IGA in order to make this change. (Jonathan, what does PBOT have to say about this change?)

    (As an aside, this change presumably wouldn’t prevent the addition of streetcar in the future. But it looks like the travel lanes, where streetcar tracks would run, may be spanning three structural bays instead of two in the previous design. That would very likely significantly increase the costs of adding the necessary structure for streetcar.)

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    • matt picio July 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      What it means is that if City of Portland doesn’t like the new design, they can opt not to pay. The city has NO control over changes, that’s entirely within the purview of the county, since the Willamette bridges are county-owned and maintained. (except for Ross Island, I-5, and I-405 which are ODOT, and the Steel, which is Union Pacific)

      But I agree with you – what does the city think? What was their input on the changes?

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      • Michael Miller July 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        Actually, according to the IGA between the city and the county, the city does have a say in changes that would “materially impact” certain requirements of the IGA. From Section II.K:

        “The County agrees that it will make no change to the design that would materially impact the requirements set forth in Sections II.H, I and J without the prior written consent of the City which shall not be unreasonably withheld.”

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        • matt picio July 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

          They absolutely have a say, but they have no control. No authority. The county can violate the terms of the IGA if they wish, and then the City can refuse to pay. The city has zero authority over the bridges themselves.

          That said, the county hasn’t shown any evidence of unilateral action in the past. I’m very curious what the city thinks of the changes, and whether the current plans were vetted past the Portland BAC and PAC, and PBOT. I’d wager PBOT has already signed off on it – but it would be nice to hear an official opinion from someone involved.

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  • Michael Miller July 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    One more thing: one of the proposed savings is a simplified railing. Currently, there is a reasonably interesting railing along the two sidewalks, as visible on the “symmetric x-section” and especially in the close-up view. The “asymmetric x-section” now shows something unknown but vastly simplified — it could be chain-link, for all you can tell — along the north side. On the south side, where the sidewalk has been eliminated, there appears to be a standard highway crash-barrier railing. The rendering is too indistinct to tell, but that could be an uncomfortably low guardrail to be riding alongside on a bicycle.

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  • Andrew Holtz July 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Having first seen the new proposed design on Wednesday (7/11) at the Multnomah County Bicycle & Pedestrian Citizens Advisory Committee (I’m a member, but writing just my own opinion here)… I’m not sure whether the new design is acceptable, but I am very uncomfortable with tossing aside years of consideration of design options without a chance to examine the consequences.

    Just a couple of examples of the many questions:
    - What will happen at the east end of the new two-way path that would look like the west end of the Morrison Bridge path, where riders are supposed to detour, but some still go straight?
    - How much additional bicycle traffic would the new design send through the crosswalk across the heavily-used westbound-to-northbound vehicle lane? Will there be increased conflicts and delays for both riders and drivers?

    And it appears that all of this round of cuts is being put on people who walk or ride bikes. Is this a fair way to deal with a tight budget?

    Shouldn’t we get answers to important questions before switching designs?

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  • Doug Klotz July 16, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Lost in a lot of this is planning for future pedestrian use, not just current. The south sidewalk has been eliminated (in the 24′ asymmetric design), and with it any even moderate connections to get you to OR 43 to the south. Is the thinking that no one, not now or not ever, will walk south of the Sellwood Bridge, toward Lake Oswego? The south sidewalk would not only give pedestrians more options, but create shorter and less complicated routes for those coming from the south in the future (when reduced traffic makes walking there viable), or from the cemetery parking area now. In addition, the sidewalk on the south side could certainly serve as a refuge for bicyclists in the adjacent bike lane. And who are we to pick the best view?

    In addition, you won’t be able to walk, in any of the options, from the Sellwood Bridge, to Macadam Ave to the north, by walking along Macadam. Not only will you have to leave the curb at the bridge intersection and walk in the travel lane shoulder, but the existing Macadam sidewalk (east side of the road), which ends at the current Macadam Bay driveway, may be cut back further, so you’ll have to walk on the shoulder for a longer distance. Of course, if you don’t mind diving into the woods at night, you could use the out-of-direction switchback ramps down to the West Side Trail.

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  • Oliver July 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Anyone who thinks a different outcome is likely to happen with the CRC is in for a rude awakening as well.

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  • Joe July 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I have kinda off topic question does anyone ride across this bridge now and link up with any effective way to get to the west side. aka Wilsonville or Lake O. * seems Oregon has bike lanes that just end in some areas *lets make this bridge work! with that said lets also link ppl that choose other modes besides using autos.

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    • Lee July 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Good question about Sellwood bridge connection to the Southwest side towards Lake Oswego. That connection is being dropped from the plan. The. Original plan did include a Willamette Greenway trail connection on the Westside, Would be a great start for the Lake Oswego, PDX connection,for bicycles and hikers.

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      • Rob Anderson July 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

        For all practical purposes, the Willamette Greenway Trail currently ends at the Sellwood Bridge. There’s no trail connection directly to Wilsonville / Lake Oswego. The current bridge does an okay (not great) job connecting to the existing trail for connections northbound towards Portland. Personally, I do not anticipate such a trail being extended southbound in the near future, so worrying about such a connection is not really something I’d want to waste resources on at this time. (anyone know if there are plans for this future trail floating around somewhere?)

        If you want to get to Lake Oswego from the bridge, best bet is to ride up the Cemetery and take the Tryon Creek path along Terwilliger. It’s actually pretty scenic and avoids quite a bit of traffic. Highway 43 is awful and not recommended.

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        • Sunny July 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          There’s an unpaved trail that extends along powers marine park that’ll get you pretty close to Radcliffe, and from there one can ride peacefully into Lake O, avoiding 43.

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          • Rob Anderson July 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm

            cool, I’ll have to check that one out, thanks for the tip!

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            • Sunny July 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm

              It’s a terrible way to go now since construction has blocked off powers marine park. I just tried today and it took forever. No go.

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  • takeaspin22 July 16, 2012 at 9:27 am

    One thing I don’t understand is how eastbound bikes from the cemetery would get to the new protected bike lanes on the north side of the bridge. It looks like we would have to navigate several dog-leg turns and crosswalks. Not really world-class.

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  • Joe July 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Lee, thanks for the reply dude. ok this is a call out can we get all City ppl to think alike on bike INFRA. or moving ppl to and from not building more
    HWYS and roads for just car use. * rant over * bikes can save the planet :)

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  • CaptainKarma July 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Click here to see what district you’re in, who’s your commish, contact info and all that. Seems like it all should be easier and more accessible. I didn’t see any permanent links on BP, maybe I missed them? In any case, lotsa good info here:

    http://web.multco.us/document/38070/download

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  • paul July 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I ride this bridge a lot but am mostly a weekend warrior, and run with a large group (Redlizards) that brings 20-40 runners over it every Wednesday evening. I think the current design has a few problems that I think could be reconciled within the current configuration.

    First, I really like the idea of separate travel lanes for peds, bikes, and cars. Particularly when you tell me that streetcar tracks may be going on this bridge, and seeing how car drivers already react to the tracks on 99E, I’d feel pretty exposed in that south side bike lane with cars potentially veering on a streetcar track.

    Second, the statement that the bike lane is needed for car pull off space doesn’t quite jibe with the picture. There isn’t room there to fully pull off a car anyway, so why not simply allow two small pull off lanes but not send bikes down them.

    Third, I don’t quite see the practicality of a street level and raised bike lane on the north side. During most of the hours, most rides ARE commuters. The only time you are going to have leisure riders are in the late afternoons in the summer and on weekends. I don’t see why fast and slow riders can’t coexist during this period in a separated and wide set of two bike lanes. Don’t we ask cars to slow for the short span of the bridge right now (if you are a cyclist who rides in the traffic lane, as I do)? It seems a bit odd that we don’t think cyclists cannot do the same in the unusual circumstance where they could not just slow and then pass a slower rider.

    I’d prefer: N-S: ped lane, low separator, two wide bike lanes, separator, two traffic lanes.

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