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Paving project on NE 28th spurs talk of bikeway improvements

Posted by on April 19th, 2013 at 11:29 am

Riding on NE 28th: A lot of people do it,
but it could be a lot nicer.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A City of Portland paving project (yes, they still do them) on NE 28th Avenue has spurred a discussion among local activists about how to improve bike access on a busy segment of the street.

The project will grind down the existing pavement and then repave the 0.2 mile stretch between Burnside and Glisan. This part of NE 28th features a common cross-section for Portland commercial districts: two narrow standard vehicle lanes and parking on both sides of the street. Because 28th makes a direct connection from southeast to northeast Portland and has a bike-friendly bridge over Interstate 84, it also happens to be a popular bike route. However, without any bike-specific infrastructure, riding on NE 28th can be stressful and it’s certainly not welcoming for novice riders.

That’s why, when word of the repaving project got out this week, some local transportation activists began to wonder: Is now a good time to improve biking conditions on NE 28th? Steve Bozzone, a board member at Oregon Walks and a volunteer with Active Right of Way, shared the PBOT project announcement on the AROW email list and asked others on the list, “Probably a long shot but are there any basic improvements for the restriping we should be looking at?” Bozzone’s email spurred over two dozen responses.

When PBOT repaves a street, it’s often a golden opportunity to reconfigure and restripe lanes. We have seen this many times in the past: The lanes on N Vancouver were re-striped only after a quick-thinking PBOT staffer spoke up during a paving project; and this also how we got the bike lanes on N. Williams widened.

Many people on the AROW list said the new pavement alone would vastly improve biking conditions. Others suggested now would be a great time for PBOT to install sharrows on the street and/or, “Bicycles in Roadway” signs. Both of those measures would help remind road users that NE 28th is an important route for bicycling and help tamp down common road-sharing tensions. Of course, another solution would be to use the existing parking lane as a traffic lane in order to create room for a protected bikeway.

All of the back-and-forth resulted in at least one formal letter to PBOT. Citizen activist Russ Willis wrote to the project manager urging the use of sharrows.

While this seems like an excellent place to use sharrows — which are intended to reinforce correct roadway positioning for bicycle operators and remind people in cars that people have a right to the lane while bicycling — PBOT has been reluctant to use them in these situations. This is because, instead of using sharrows on high-traffic streets that are too narrow for a bike lane (like NE 28th) as they were originally intended, PBOT compromised back in 2010 when they received a federal grant to place pavement markings on bike boulevards (a.k.a. neighborhood greenways). PBOT hoped to use a new type of marking on bike boulevards, but because they were spending federal funds, they were required to use something that complied with the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Sharrows were the only thing that fit that requirement and PBOT used them — even though that type of usage ran directly counter to their own policies. (In 2006, City Bike Coordinator Roger Geller said, “We are placing sharrows only on streets where traffic is relatively heavy, speeds are a little higher, and the streets should be marked with bicycle lanes but cannot be because of demands for on-street parking or the number of travel lanes.”)

Back in 2010, PBOT Traffic Engineer Rob Burchfield told me, while they’d hoped to use a more creative marking on bike boulevards, “In the context of stimulus funding we weren’t going to get it approved within the timeframe unless we did something that was MUTCD compliant… We realized at the time that we probably compromised a little bit. They’re maybe not as unique and creative as we would have wanted to do but we didn’t want to pass up on that opportunity to get the funding for 2,000 markings.”

That compromise has led to something of a conundrum for PBOT: Sharrows are needed on many busy streets around town; but in Portland they’ve become associated with low-traffic, family-friendly streets and PBOT does not want to send mixed signals to the biking public. (Willis believes PBOT erred in using sharrows on neighborhood greenways and has written about that on his personal blog.)

Getting back to the potential for NE 28th, it seems unlikely PBOT will do anything in the near-term. However, NE 28th is part of the proposed 20s Bikeway project, which won over $2 million in a federal grant back in 2009. PBOT spokeswoman Cheryl Kuck said yesterday that, “What we do on 28th will be decided through a public process and will be funded by the grant.” That process is set to start this year. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Bozzone heard back from PBOT’s Roger Geller. Geller said, “It may be that shared lane markings will be the best approach for this stretch of 28th. It may be that we will do something different.” And Geller also referenced the upcoming 20s Bikeway project and added, “Regardless, to do something now could preclude our doing something later.”

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Comments
  • BURR April 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

    East 28th is an essential north-south connection for cyclists from SE Stark all the way to NE Broadway and beyond.

    The fact that it has a narrow cross sectional width has been an excuse for PBOT for at least a decade to do absolutely nothing to improve conditions on this route.

    The entire length of East 28th should at least be marked with sharrows as an interim measure, and there is no reason why this shouldn’t have happened several years ago, when sharrows were approved for use in the MUTCD.

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  • Lance P April 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I ride 28th everyday. So do thousands of other people.

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    • eli bishop April 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      but it’s certainly not pleasant, especially for riders who aren’t terribly confident.

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  • AndyC of Linnton April 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I know the headline is rhetorical, yet-can we make 28th beter? Of course! Will we(PBOT)? mmmmm….most likely not.
    Anyway, smoother pavement will be kinda nice.

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  • Andrew Seger April 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’m really glad sharrows got used as wayfinding devices instead of being the politically easy-and generally useless-fix that they seem to be in many cities. Hopefully the Hales administration can convince people that the foolish parking minimums will be enough of a safegaurd that we can remove some of the on street parking from this street to create some sort of bike facility.

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    • spare_wheel April 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      the increased ridership on SF’s most heavily used bike route suggests that they are not so useless:

      http://sf.streetsblog.org/2011/05/25/eyes-on-the-street-green-backed-sharrows-installed-on-market-street/

      as does the study by alta planning:

      http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/shared_lane_marking_full_report-052404.pdf

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      • longgone April 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        Yeah, sharrow’s are nice. Not useless. Maybe one of the best single returns on investment for increasing awareness IMO.
        How about sharrow’s on 28th that even imply the motion of bike’s taking the lane through the blocks lined with parked cars? They could also lower speed limit between Stark and Sandy? just a thought. What is the posted SL through there?

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      • Andrew Seger April 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

        Confounding variables! Take a look at the first picture again. Those green backed sharrows lead directly to the protected bike lane on Market. Which do you think is a bigger driver of increased biking numbers: the separate facility or the sharrows?

        Between 2010 and 2011 bike counts at 9th & Going jumped from 1,040 daily bicycle trips to 1,585 bicycle trips. (source: http://bikeportland.org/2012/02/17/pbot-counts-show-bike-trips-up-6-4-percent-in-2011-67490)

        This would seem to point to sharrows-as-wayfinding being hugely successful. Granted there are other improvements on Going, but nothing quite as dramatic as the separated market st bike lane. As Roger Geller mentions doing something now (ie, useless sharrows) might prevent something better later.

        Most of 28th only has businesses on one side of the street. It might be possible to remove at least one side of parking and create a two way cycletrack.

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        • are April 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

          assuming sharrows are “useless,” and assuming the “something better” to be done in some possibly remote future will in fact be “better.” directing people to less traveled routes and then having them rejoin 28th at key points if they expect to actually get to a destination is not “better,” except in that it provides an alternative for the less intrepid, which already exists, albeit unmarked. “better” would be both. i am thinking of the planned improvements on williams as a comparative. not that the design is entirely to my liking, but there was plenty of pressure to just mark rodney as a greenway and have done with it.

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        • spare_wheel April 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

          The bike lane ends mid block after brady. From Van Ness on market is a heavily-used sharrowed lane.

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        • spare_wheel April 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

          “As Roger Geller mentions doing something now (ie, useless sharrows) might prevent something better later.”

          Like those bike lanes on Hawthorne. I expect them any decade now.
          And sometimes, pbot’s “better” is SW 3rd and Morrison.

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        • BURR April 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm

          “Most of 28th only has businesses on one side of the street. It might be possible to remove at least one side of parking and create a two way cycletrack.”

          The city was able to do this only once, on SE 26th between SE Clinton and SE Gladstone, the first bike lane they ever built, and the amount of space gained from removing parking on one side of the street only is barely sufficient there for a substandard 3′ wide door-zone bike lane in both directions.

          I doubt they would gain sufficient space from removing parking on one side of East 28th to build a two-way cycle track to modern standards, or that they could even remove parking from one side of the street in the first place.

          I’d prefer to take the lane here anyway, and not be stuck on a sub-standard cycle track or bike lane; sharrows are the way to go here.

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    • are April 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      my letter to PBoT, mentioned in jonathan’s article
      https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/transconpdx/smI6IFWaEj4
      i do not feel the “sharrow” is useless, and i continue to regret that its rollout in portland was as a wayfinder on sidestreets.

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  • Adam April 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I ride on 28th daily for my commute, and hate it. I never feel unsafe, but it is a narrow roadway, and I *always* feel like I am in the way of car drivers.

    I don’t forsee 28th becoming more bike friendly, alas. The business assn will never allow the removal of car parking from the street, not even if you tried to claw it from their clammy, dead hands.

    I think the solution is to provide a bike boulevard a few blocks north, or south. It’s tricky though, as not many of the streets that parallel it go through all the way (many portions of them dead-end abruptly). And then there is I-84, of course.

    I would like to see 24th traffic calmed to the max, since it currently functions as little more than overspill for car-traffic that can’t be bothered to use 28th.

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    • Phil Kulak April 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Make sure you take your lane. I see people riding on 28th all the time, way over to the right, inches from the parked cars. Then, because they are over so far, cars try to pass them in their own lane. It’s terrible and really dangerous. If you take your lane, it’s fine.

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    • Craig Harlow April 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      I feel the same. There are precious few N-S routes over I-84, and this stretch is so obviously in the path from NE to SE Portland. I too always feel like I’m hindering autos when I’m on my bike on this segment of 28th–but I sill hold the land and ride clear of the parked-car-door zone.

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  • Nick Falbo April 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Three words: Advisory Bike Lanes

    http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011transpo/wiki/555b9/images/__thumbs__/30deb.JPG

    This creates traffic calming, preserves parking, and gives bicycles priority over cars. 28th is on the borderline high-end for traffic volumes where this design functions, but man, it would be awesome if it worked out.

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    • bjorn April 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Maybe I am not getting exactly how they work from the article I just read but advisory bike lanes seem like a really bad idea on 28th, we want to get people out of the door zone not encourage them to ride closer to it.

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      • Nick Falbo April 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        Certainly, we don’t want people to ride close to the door zone. I don’t think an advisory bike lane design would be any more risky than a conventional bike lane design. Just like with regular bike lanes, I suspect people would be riding the edge of the advisory bike lane line to make sure they are not putting themselves at a door zone risk. If you don’t like bike lanes, you will not like advisory bike lanes either.

        I’m not against using sharrows, but I don’t think they will do much of anything to make riding on 28th more attractive for most people. 28th is a relative busy street, one than many here have said they don’t find comfortable. Th street would normally warrant regular bike lanes if space permitted.

        Regardless, it’s an experimental facility in the US, and one that should probably be introduced carefully. 28th is probably too busy to be the test case for Portland, but we’ll see if it comes up during the discussion of the 20s bikeway.

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        • are April 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

          of course one would have to do a well controlled study to be certain, but i would think that the presence of the sharrow in the roadway would give motorists the message that the cyclist has a right to claim the lane, while giving cyclists the message that they should not worry if motorists are slowed as a result.

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  • zefwagner April 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I doubt parking will get removed, not with the density of restaurants and other businesses on that stretch. Given that fact, bike lanes are not going to be possible.

    New pavement would make a huge difference, because right now the exact part of the road that is safest for bikes is the part that has terrible wear and tear from all the cars and trucks. I hope they pave it with quality pavement that can withstand the weight of freight trucks, especially the ones serving the Coca-Cola bottling plant.

    Personally I would like to see sharrows on the road from Stark all the way to Broadway. They would let drivers know that bikes are welcome and encouraged to use the street, and other signage could be used to let cars know not to pass bikes. The speed limit is low enough that cars don’t need to be zooming past bikes, and many cars routinely pass even in areas with a double-yellow line indicating passing is prohibited. Better enforcement of that rule would be good.

    I think as long as sharrows are only used on roads like this (narrow, relatively low-speed), it won’t cause too much confusion with neighborhood greenways. It is to PBOTs credit that they don’t throw down sharrows on busy multi-lane roads like other cities do, but PBOT should also not get boxed in to a policy when there are roads like this that are sort of in between busy roads and neighborhood greenways.

    I also think the stretch of 28th from I-84 to where it jogs near Fred Meyer should have parking removed. The parking there only benefits a few people, and if it was removed then the bike lanes could be extended. It would also make that jog in the road a lot safer to not have parking right before it. Right now visibility is a major problem.

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    • Reza April 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      “The speed limit is low enough that cars don’t need to be zooming past bikes, and many cars routinely pass even in areas with a double-yellow line indicating passing is prohibited. Better enforcement of that rule would be good.”

      Better enforcement of what rule? It’s legal for drivers to pass a cyclist on a double yellow line if it’s safe for them to do so.

      http://www.stc-law.com/bicyclepassinglaws.html

      Why would you ever prefer drivers to tailgate you on your bike when they can’t bother to slow down to maintain safe following distance? Seems like a lot of undue stress caused for no reason.

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      • zefwagner April 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        Seriously? That’s a very strange interpretation of the law you link to. The argument boils down to bicycles being an “obstruction” similar to a pothole. I don’t buy it. A bicycle in the travel lane is more like a vehicle, in which case passing in a double-yellow-line situation should be illegal. There are plenty of passing zones on 28th, so it’s not like a car would ever have to wait long to be able to pass.

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        • are April 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

          i actually agree the existing statute does not naturally lend itself to an interpretation that crossing a double yellow line is okay. the statute says a condition that makes it “necessary.” it will rarely be “necessary” to pass until the coast is clear. but i don’t think this stretch of 28th is a designated no passing zone anyway.

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    • Nate April 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      After riding down 28th today (for the first time in ages), the pavement is in rough shape because there is an old streetcar/train track there, now visible after they scraped the top ~2 inches. So the new pavement will help for a while, but tracks will eventually tear up the road again as they give less than the rest of the lane.

      Sharrows would likely be the best option available at this point unless one side goes to no parking to make room for bike lanes.

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  • Mindful Cyclist April 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    If there is any street in the area where sharrows would be appropriate, it is NE/SE 28th. Here is why:

    *There are too many businesses on that street now that will fight parking to the end.
    *The street is too narrow and putting a bike lane will do nothing but created a dooring hazard.
    *There are a lot of bikes on it already and I have talked to people that live in that area and don’t understand why bicycle ride it. Sharrows would show that bikes indeed can.

    I also would not mind at all seeing this be one of the streets that the speed limit gets dropped to 20 (or is it already?). There is a lot of foot traffic and the road it too narrow no matter how many bikes are present.

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    • zefwagner April 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Great idea on the 20mph speed limit! Mostly the city is doing that on neighborhood greenways, but I noticed that they dropped to 20 on NW 23rd Ave as well, so there is precedent.

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    • are April 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      http://www.leg.state.or.us/11reg/measures/hb3100.dir/hb3150.en.html
      the statute permits PBoT to set a 20 mph limit only on a road “located in a residence district” with average volumes under 2k per day and at least 85 pct. of motorists going less than 30 mph already.

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  • OnTheRoad April 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    The rough strip of pavement, roughly where a car’s right wheels traveled in the south-bound direction, actually acted like a blocks-long traffic calming device. If the car stayed in its lane, not crossing the center line, the passenger wheels hit that strip perfectly and it acted like a rumble strip, slowing vehicles down.

    While that strip was also in the sweet spot for cyclists, the bumpiness prodded bikers to take the lane, rather than traveling in the door zone.

    With new paving, this street, at minimum, requires sharrows.

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  • Patty in Portland April 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Related to this story is something I’ve wondered for a lont time: do non-cycling motorists understand sharrows? I never saw one until I started riding just a few years ago, and I was initially puzzled. Is knowledge of sharrows more widespread that my exprience would indicate?

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    • Joseph E April 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      My wife posted a sharrow on her facebook page. Most of her friends (in Arizona, CA and Texas, for the most part) had no idea what they were looking at.

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    • are April 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      it is a relatively new device. people get used to things, especially if you require them to learn them to get and keep a license.

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  • Reza April 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Hot on the heels of yesterday’s story of improvements at the E Burnside and 16th intersection, I would REALLY REALLY like the City to start focusing bike/ped priorities on improving cross-town (north-south) bike connections across I-84 below 39th. 7th and 20th Aves too please.

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  • Hart Noecker April 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Once again, PBOT lacks the vision to do anything but repave a parking lot.

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  • Timur Ender April 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Here is an idea: Put in sharrows but instead of 2 chevrons, put 3 chevrons on top so that people know there is a difference. 3 chevrons would indicate a “higher stress” road like this one.

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  • mork April 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I have been loving riding along 28th these last few days where no-parking signs have gone up in anticipation of paving. I wish we could eliminate ALL parking on 28th and create some buffered lanes. Even eliminating parking on the west side of the street and leaving parking on the east could provide enough space for dedicated bicycle travel lanes. However, I understand the impact that removing parking on 28th would have on the quality of life for those living between, say, 26th and 30th, so I’m torn.

    I also wonder (like Patty) if sharrows actually mean anything to the average automobile driver. I, too, didn’t realize they existed until I started biking daily, and I wonder if that is the norm.

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    • OnTheRoad April 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      While the no parking on one side would be great for riders, the loss of street parking for the restaurants and the theater would move those patrons onto the residential side streets. The stretch by Ken’s Pizza already has people parking well into the neighborhood.

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  • John Liu April 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    28th between Burnside and Glisan is a dense, active, and increasingly vibrant commercial area. Many new businesses have opened there, restaurants and shops. Those businesses need the street parking and I very much doubt there will be support to remove it. There is, therefore, no opportunity for a bike lane of adequate width. So some sort of “share road” marking and perhaps a revised speed limit is all that is feasible.

    I personally think that is also all that is needed. I live in the area and ride that stretch of NE 28th daily on my commute. For the most part cars drive fairly slowly and pass reasonably, and I’ve not had any difficulties.

    As an alternative to NE 28th, perhaps one of the parallel residential streets could be used as a marked and sharrowed bike route. NE 32nd perhaps?

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    • zefwagner April 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      It’s true that the 20′s bikeway could direct cyclists to side streets like 26th or 30th, if the right crossings of major streets were also included, but many cyclists will still prefer the more direct path with more destinations that 28th provides. The city has been focusing a lot on neighborhood greenways, which is great, but we can’t forget that most of the actual destinations are on the main roads, so we need facilities there too.

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    • Reza April 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      That’s great, John. What works for you doesn’t work for everyone. Just because you are comfortable with riding on a high-traffic narrow roadway like 28th doesn’t mean we should resign ourselves to some sharrows and signs and call it good.

      I have always found it ironic that for a street with so many on-street bicycle corrals, 28th is such an unfriendly street for cyclists. Your defeatist attitude unfortunately feeds the stereotype that bikes are somehow bad for business and that without those precious spaces this commercial corridor will start failing. Portland has long struggled with how to accommodate bicycling on its commercial corridors without drawing the ire of businesses. Belmont. Alberta. Mississippi. Division. 23rd. 21st. But maybe 28th can be the place where the city makes a breakthrough, where the retailers make a progressive decision for the good of neighborhood livability and their bottom line. After all, think of how much more business they’ll get from the increase in bicycle traffic.

      We need dedicated lanes on 28th, probably more so than any of those other places. Especially because of the critical link it serves over I-84 and the lack of good alternative routes.

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      • are April 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        no dedicated lanes without removing onstreet parking. this would force cyclists into door zones.

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  • John Liu April 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    We can’t always get what we like. Sometimes dimensions won’t allow it.

    NE 28th cannot accommodate a bike lane in each direction unless all parking is removed, on both sides. Customers visiting those restaurants and shops would have to park on the residential side streets. Those are already fairly full as far as finding parking goes, for the blocks on either side of NE 28th. Customers would be parking 2 and 3 blocks into the residential neighborhoods. That would be negative for the business owners who are revitalizing the street, and negative for the residents who would like to be able to park by their homes and let their kids play ball on their streets in that area. I also suspect the car traffic would speed up, if drivers perceived the street to be wider and more of a express route than a dense shopping/eating district.

    Are those negatives offset by the positives to cyclists who mostly don’t live in the neighborhood, but use NE 28th as a thru-way to wherever they are going? If the street were high speed, really intimidating, or had a high bike accident rate, then maybe so. But it isn’t any of those things. As north-south routes in that area go, from a cyclists’ perspective, I think it is about a “B”. I’d give NE 20th a “C”, NE 39th/Cesar Chavez a “D” or “F”.

    If we want a bike specific north-south route in that area, there are streets on either side that would work. Looking again at NE 32nd/33rd, I do think that would work. It is not busy with cars; crosses Hwy 84; has lights at Sandy and Burnside (though none further south); goes by Laurelhurst Park. It is a bit hilly in spots, if that is a consideration. It could be a designated bike route without disrupting the other users of that street or the residents who live, drive or park there.

    My perspective is as someone who lives in that area, goes to those businesses, and rides that piece of road almost daily. In the last five years, we’ve seen a revitalization of NE 28th between Burnside and Glisan, along with Glisan on either side of NE 28th. I’d hate to lose that momentum to some ill advised attempt to make NE 28th into a four lane connector.

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    • spare_wheel April 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      “Customers visiting those restaurants and shops would have to park on the residential side streets. Those are already fairly full as far as finding parking goes, for the blocks on either side of NE 28th.”

      That parking stress would dissipate quickly if we required motorist moochers to pay for their mostly free parking.

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  • Dabby April 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I have been waiting for this to be smoothed for a long time.
    Should be great!
    However, the rough pavement was the one good excuse to ride way left of the real problem through this area, car doors and car parkers.
    It appears that with the repaving, and no change in street or parking areas besides smoothing, the problems here will simply be multiplied.

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  • Terry D April 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

    There are several issues to unpack here.

    Sharrows as a residential wayfaring device are wonderful, but as someone who has turned into a “greenway activist” I would be the first to admit that one symbol for residential greenways and another one, more aggressively warning like, would be better for dangerous bottlenecks where there is no other choice.

    That being said, we are stuck with them for now, and they work like a charm.

    As far as bike lanes on 28th go, you have to look at 20th and 28th together since they are less than a half-mile away from each other and both lead past the gulch. 28th has lower volume of cars, has possible parallel routes and has turned into a vibrant retail and social center. Adding bike lanes properly, as in removing the door zone and building them to modern standards on EITHER 20th or 28th would require complete parking removal. 28th is vibrant, 20th is a commuter throughway. 28th dead ends at Broadway and Stark, 20th easily connects to the new 17th street overpass at Powell and the 17th street bike lanes, Broadway-Wiedler and points north with perfect conductivity to Lloyd Center and downtown.

    If you put bike lanes on 28th it will turn into a commuter speed zone when not congested, with difficult pedestrian crossings. All the bike corrals and auto parking would be moved over to the congested neighborhood and the street seats program is gone. This also removes the possibility of metered parking in this neighborhood, which is a great idea. Plus, north of the Gulch that S -curve on 28th makes it completely unsafe unless you take the lane.

    The pressure should be on striping bike lanes on 20th with complete parking removal and focus on making 28th a pedestrian friendly retail zone while creating a direct and well marked parallel route. Robust greenway crossings with flashing beacons/ bulb-outs should be put at Ankeny, Couch, Wasco and the connection east-west with Hoyt and Oregon should be cycle-tracked.

    There is a parallel alternative to 28th, our next group ride on May 18th will highlight it.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/355442724576240/

    Hosted by “C.O.P.I.N.G. with Bikes”

    Our master maps (we have received almost 3000 views so far) are here:

    https://tiles.mapbox.com/coping-with-bikes

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    • spare_wheel April 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      I see no reason why a narrow single lane road would suddenly show an increase in speeds simply due to the installation of a bike lane. In fact, the vehicle lane could be further narrowed and traffic calmed to ensure that 28th remains a vibrant commercial-ped-bike zone.

      It always strikes me as odd when cycling “advocates” voice concern about free vehicle storage. After all, if more people biked or walked to 28th there will be less need for free vehicle storage.

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      • Terry D April 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

        I think “free vehicle storage ” is an awful Idea. It needs to be stopped at every congested corridor with meters being introduced and the surrounded neighborhood needs permit parking to prevent spillover.

        Let me be CLEAR. What we are trying to do is create a family friendly 20 MPH system with <500 vehicles a day on as many routes as possible.

        Give a child a safe route to ride to school and a generation later they will ask the question of "what is the best route to ride to work" not "how can I afford a car to get to work."

        Different cyclists have different needs. For the typical adult cyclist a 3 foot wide bike lane with one in the door zone may be fine. It is more than enough for me. For the "Interested but concerned" we need to build for …the 60% of the population or so…they HATE narrow lanes and do not use them. I always support proper biking facilities of any kind, but certain corridors require different treatments.

        28th I find to be a poor choice for bike lanes for the 60% we need to build for, 20th would be excellent.

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    • BURR April 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      I’m sorry, but E 26th isn’t a substitute for E 28th when you consider topography; one of the best features of 28th is its relative flatness when compared to alternative north-south routes to the west.

      Sometimes I think bike routes are selected in Portland with no regard for topography at all; this is a huge mistake when designing for human powered vehicles.

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      • Terry D April 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

        You are correct, but the hilliness is south of Stark going down to Belmont then back up. If this is a problem the residential portion south of Stark the route can slide over to 27th or 28th if diverters were placed preventing southbound traffic. We will discuss the hilliness versus directness when we do the organized ride on May 18th. 26th does however connect the middle school with the high school, schools to the south, and all the east-west greenways. There is also no other route because of the Graveyard that goes straight though. Safe family friendly greenways should have <500 vehicles a day. Clinton has over 2500 which is WAY too much. 26th could easily be controlled to <500 except possibly the block around the high school. It also would connect directly up to the Irving street bike lanes via the 24th avenue light at Sandy.

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        • BURR April 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

          There is plenty of significant topography on E 26 south of Burnside.

          The other problem with E 26th is that the crossings of major arterials are not signalized (e.g. Glisan, Burnside, Sandy etc.) and of course it doesn’t cross I-84; you’d have to go over to 28th to do that.

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          • Terry D April 25, 2013 at 6:17 am

            of course, it is all detailed to the intersection, we
            will have cost estimates as well.

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    • OnTheRoad April 23, 2013 at 5:45 am

      NE 28th does not dead-end at Broadway.

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      • Terry D April 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

        From a commuter conductivity/retail conductivity standpoint it does. From a residential Greenway stand point it has been used for a generation every since they put the diverter in.

        My point was that 20th is superior because of the COMMUTER conductivity to Lloyd district, downtown and the 17th street overpass. Commuters need different facilities sometimes than families with children. Sometimes these routes will over-lap, sometimes they can not.

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        • are April 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

          i have never had difficulty getting even a rather large trailer through the diverter at 28th and schuyler. and i usually experience a moment’s relief when i am clear of following motor traffic. the glitch with 28th occurs a bit farther north, at the foot of the ridge.

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          • OnTheRoad April 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

            I zag over to 26th, then up Regents Drive which is the least steep route up Alameda Ridge that I have found.

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          • Terry D April 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

            Neither have I, but that does nothing to solve the dangerous nature of narrow 28th from Waco to Broadway with that s curve. The 60 % we need to build for will never use that road, a dedicated green way with a HAWK at Broadway would be used, and the neighborhood wants traffic calming already, so they would support improments.

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  • spare_wheel April 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    A bike lane some day would be fine but sharrows and signage are an effective and inexpensive way to communicate that people who cycle belong on 20th…NOW.

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    • BURR April 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Sharrows on E 28th = tens of thousands of dollars invested, immediate benefits

      Cycle track on E 28th = hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, extended planning process and benefits in 10 or 20 years, if we’re lucky

      Parallel bike boulevard on E 26th with signalized crossings of multiple major arterials = hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, extended planning process and benefits in 10 or 20 years, if we’re lucky

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      • Terry D April 25, 2013 at 6:28 am

        Supposedly we have funding, theta was the point of the above article.

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      • spare_wheel April 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

        and we can never afford sharrows or new bike lanes because we have to save funds for the european-style infrastructure that may be funded in 10 or 20 years.

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  • John Liu April 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Hmm, I do like the idea of 20th with bike lanes instead of parking. I use that street already. The problem currently is that it gets clogged with cars waiting to turn left and other cars trying to squeeze by them on the right, holding you up as there isn’t room to pass by. I wonder if a center “turn lane” could fit as well, to eliminate that problem?

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