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Planning effort seeks a 'Re-Imagined' North Lombard Street

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 29th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Lombard Ave-1
Residents have resorted to homemade signs
to make people slow down on Lombard.
Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Lombard Street in north and northeast Portland is one of those classic urban arterials that splits up neighborhoods and is entirely unwelcoming to anything but people in cars. Now a citizen-led planning effort, "Lombard Re-Imagined" is working to change that.

Lombard Re-Imagined is the work of Swift Planning Group, a team made up of six graduate students from Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. They've partnered up with the Kenton, Arbor Lodge, and Piedmont neighborhood associations to, "develop a vision for Lombard, focusing on how it can become a more walkable place with a unique identity that better serves the needs and wants of its neighbors."

"There's enough right-of-way for a mix of parking, bike lanes, and a buffer, for example."
— Rebecca Hamilton, Swift Planning Group

Specifically, this project is focusing on a two-mile stretch of Lombard between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and N. Chataqua Blvd (map). Swift started the outreach process in February and they've been busy meeting with neighborhoods and garnering feedback on what it's like to live, work and own a business on Lombard. They've also just released a community survey about the street that had nearly 800 responses. Below are some of the key findings:

  • 87% of respondents said it is unpleasant to walk along Lombard and 10% neither agreed nor disagreed.
  • 58% of respondents indicated that there is no distinct identity on Lombard St and 18% felt neutral about the issue.
  • Only 13% of respondents indicated they feel safe crossing Lombard.
  • 43% want bike facilities for their ideal future Lombard.

Here's how folks answered the question: What would you like to see in the future on Lombard Street?

If you're not familiar with it, Lombard is four standard vehicle lanes (no shoulder or bike lanes) and prone to high speeds. It's also a designated freight route and a major east-west U.S. Highway route. While that fact has deterred ambitions of livable streets activists in the past, there might be more possible on Lombard than you think. According to a statement by Swift Planning Group, they've talked with ODOT and were, "pleasantly surprised." "Many things assumed impossible (due to the over-dimensional freight corridor designation) like curb bump-outs, median islands, or even changes to the lane configurations are possible if done correctly," they say, "There's enough right-of-way for a mix of parking, bike lanes, and a buffer, for example."

Here's how the street looks near N. Albina:

Lombard Ave-3
Lombard Ave-4

I recently emailed a few questions to Swift's Public Outreach Coordinator Rebecca Hamilton to learn more:

How have neighborhood residents responded to the idea of transforming Lombard?

"The response has been astonishing. We've had incredible turnout for our Walk-Alongs and coffee talks, and nearly 800 people have taken the online survey — totally above and beyond expectations. People have written in extremely detailed and thoughtful suggestions. The Piedmont Neighborhood Association sent over a stack of documents from a visioning workshop they held about the street several years ago. People care about their quality of life and issues with this street have been on the minds of North Portlanders for years. They want something better for their neighborhood."

Has bicycling come up much in discussions of Lombard's future?

"Yes it has. Although the public outreach indicates that people's top concerns are with improving the safety and ambiance of the pedestrian experience and developing a stronger business district, we received quite a few requests for bicycle accommodations. It's understandable since Lombard is one of the only direct routes through North Portland that will get you over I-5.

We also received feedback that expressly requested no bikes on Lombard, citing serious safety issues with vehicle speed, volume, and preserving the function of the street as an east-west thoroughfare."

What other projects has Swift Planning Group been involved with?

"Swift Planning Group was formed for the specific purpose of working on Lombard Re-Imagined. This is our capstone project for the MURP degree program at PSU, so it will be our first and last project together. Unless this project goes so well that someone decides that they'd like to pay us all to keep working on this effort full time, in which case of course we will start a firm together and open up an office on Lombard next to King Burrito [a famous Mexican food joint]."

How can people get involved (even if they don't live in the corridor)?

"We're holding an Open House to present some of these ideas on May 7th, 5:30-8pm at the Kenton Masonic Lodge (8130 N Denver Ave) where we'll be asking for feedback on several concepts that we've put together based on the public outreach. There are some big ones that we'll be presenting, including several different ideas for street configurations, ped/bike crossings for I-5, safer on-street parking, and improved pedestrian crossings.

We'd love to see a strong turnout at the Open House so that we can talk to people in-person about starting a "Friends of Lombard" group dedicated to long-term stewardship of the street. Change is possible but it will require some organized, committed action on part of the community. It's time to get that ball rolling and we want to hear from you — we'll have cookies!"

Stay tuned for more on this exciting planning process. For more info on the May 7th open house, see the Facebook event page.

NOTE, 5/3 at 1:08 pm: I've changed the opening sentence of this story after several people said they found it offensive. I originally wrote, "If you haven't heard much about Portland's Lombard Street, that's probably because it's not a place people tend to hang out." I was only trying to make a point from a transportation design perspective and meant no harm to folks who live on and around Lombard.

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Comments
  • maxadders April 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I guess there was only so much inner NE left to gentrify. Had to look northward.

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    • Joe Adamski April 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      So this gentrification thing is partly real estate driven, but think about it: people want walkable streets with sidewalks, community places like stores that meet the daily needs, parks, libraries, schools, all accessible and not having to deal with big multi lane dividers. Neighborhoods developed in the pre-cartopian epoch are more likely to have those things. As more people flock to them, real estate values rise and renters are dislodged when landlords do some calculus. Sadly, those former inner city tenents get relocated to the suburbs where car dependence is foisted on them, the least able to afford it. Big dividing streets and lack of community amenities make life that much harder.
      30 years ago, I could not make inner city living work for me. Lord knows, I tried. But raising a family while the crack war was waged outside my door was too much. We bailed and took the loss, as did many of my neighbors. Sorry we didn't stick it out to keep the ghetto ethnically pure to satisfy your ideals.

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      • spare_wheel April 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        "Sorry we didn't stick it out to keep the ghetto ethnically pure to satisfy your ideals."

        "could not make inner city living work for me. Lord knows, I tried. But raising a family while the crack war was waged outside my door"

        Ghetto?

        Crack war?

        WTF?

        Equating former african american residents of north portland with ghettos and crack dealers is absolutely contemptible.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • q`Tzal May 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

          I didn't see where he mentioned "African Americans" anywhere.
          Besides, our irrational hatred in America is much more diverse and inclusive these days. Now a days white privilege tells me to fear and demonize anyone with dark skin no matter the nationality.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • spare_wheel May 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

            responding to a comment about gentrification with "ghetto" and "crack war" stereotypes is not subtle. especially since gentrification of these former majority african american neighborhoods occurred far more recently than the late 80s crack crisis.

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            • q`Tzal May 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

              Majority - perhaps.
              My point merely was that it your thought process {"ghetto" & "crack war" = "African Americans"} itself appears to be racist.
              You don't have to be racist to have been raised in an environment of bigoted assumptions and assertions.
              Unless we analyze our preconceived notions about race and the way white privilege has reported it we far too easily come off as bigots ourselves.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Andrew K April 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      I seriously do not understand this comment.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

      • longgone April 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        Which one? Because I dont think I like either. I am going to TOTALLY stay away from anymore comments here. Peace out everyone!!!

        ..Oh, and BTW ... as someone who lives off Lombard on an income of less than 28 grand, I welcome ANYTHING to help make it more pleasant.

        Recommended Thumb up 12

        • longgone April 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm

          ...why do i get the special little avitar with spinkles? I didnt ask for it.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • maxadders April 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

        Why wait? Let's get the very productive Portland "dialogue" started right now.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Chris I April 29, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Racist.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Jonah May 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      I am probably not the only person that almost went postal after reading the first sentence of this offensive article. This is 90% of the reason why I moving away from this sad excuse for a "CITY."

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        Jonah,

        I live a few blocks from Lombard (Michigan Ave and Rosa Parks). My first sentence was a reference to the high speeds and inhumane environment along much of Lombard. How many sidewalk cafes do you see on Lombard? Or kids playing with friends? I meant no disrespect at all to people who use and live adjacent to Lombard.

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  • BURR April 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    The bimodal response to bike lanes/facilities (people either love them or hate them, i.e. they either want them or think cyclists shouldn't be present, with very little middle-ground responses), is a common theme in survey results when arterial streets undergo these types of planning efforts (think SE Hawthorne, N. Williams, Sandy Blvd., etc., etc.).

    The key is how the road agencies like PBOT and/or ODOT respond to these bimodal survey responses, and it isn't always favorable to cyclist access and safety.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Jim April 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    It would be interesting to see the racial breakdown of who responded to the survey. That would tell us which "community" is really speaking here.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Ted Buehler April 30, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Love the homemade speed limit reminder signs.

    I think Lombard does have a distinct identity. Though it might not be an identity that people think positively about.

    If you see folks speeding on Lombard, be sure to call the Portland Police nonemergency number and ask for increased enforcement of the speed limit. 823-3333.

    I'd sure like to see Lombard redesigned as a state-of-the-art urban highway. 3 lanes of traffic, bike lanes, bulbouts, the whole business. The 4-lanes, no median, no turn lanes was phased out of highway design manuals at least 40 years ago because it performs poorly and has higher than crash rates than a 3 lane facility.

    Ted Buehler

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    • q`Tzal April 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

      For better police response tell them cyclists are running stop signs.

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    • AndyC of Linnton April 30, 2013 at 7:24 am

      My thought processs was going the route of "cyclists should use Willamette, the neighborhood greenways on Bryant and through Kenton", but yeah, something like this seems like a much better option.
      Really anything to calm the traffic in this area, even if we don't get any bike-specific parts, will be greatly appreciated.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Bettie April 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

    As someone who lives off Lombard and rides 150mi a wk. I have ridden down Lombard and will say that some will purposely try to hit you near the I-5 entryway. I also see a ton of semis and vehicles run the red light at Albina. I try to stay away from Lombard. I feel however, that these raging motorists should have their freedom to rage down at least one street in the neighborhood. Putting in a bike lane will just piss them off further. We cyclists already have Williamette, Rosa Parks, Ainsworth, and Vancouver to ride on. My only suggestion is to make a safer crosswalk at Albina next to the bus stop, and repave the street as it's in terrible condition.

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    • A.K. April 30, 2013 at 9:39 am

      I've ridden on Lombard on sections further east, like to get across I-5, but wouldn't personally ride on it out in the NoPo/St. Johns area... ugh. That road is just ugly.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

    • rider April 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Almost all the roads you mentioned don't extend to the peninsula.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Bettie April 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm

        well get a bike map.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • rider May 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

          You're a riot.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Blake April 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      And a good N/S route is Delaware. Has buttons for crossing at Lombard & Rosa Parks.

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  • John Landolfe April 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I used to walk and bike this neighborhood fairly often. If memory serves, the sidewalks are really uneven and without ramps from the sidewalk to street in many sections, making biking on the sidewalks difficult at best. I can't imaging what people in wheelchairs or scooters do.

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  • q`Tzal April 30, 2013 at 8:55 am

    To solve the speed problem in lieu of law enforcement:
    (1) A neighborhood gets together and purchases at least 2 photo radar units of the same quality as is used by police departments.
    (2) install permanently in set locations on private property to cover public road
    (3) have calibrated and certified by the same organizations that do so for the police
    (4) set software so that no only do the 2 units report individual speeding incidents but calculate the speed in between as the 2 units are a fixed distance so a fixed time beaten indicates speeding in between radar stations.
    (5) have all speed violations auto-post to a public blog/tumbler/twitter feed
    (6) post signs warning that speeding violators are being monitored and that publicly taken photos violators will be posted on line.
    (7) alert all local auto insurers that their low risk drivers are high risk with solid evidence to back up the claim
    (8) sit back and let economics solve the problem

    I was inspired by a report that the US government is doing an end run around wiretapping warrants by granting telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for allowing the government unfettered access to otherwise private info.
    Why should we play fair in the fight for public safety? Aim for the wallet and pocketbook.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

    • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Photo red light costs about $35,000 per intersection.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • q`Tzal April 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm

        How much does emergency room care cost?
        How much are you willing to spend to save the life of your critically injured child when they are hit by an auto going 45 in a 25 zone?

        Now consider a decentralized balkanized Big Brother surveillance system run by each neighborhood funded by parents who are willing to spend the money up front to save their children of the pain and suffering of the injuries and hospital treatments.
        Make each individual surveillance net as unique and UN-interoperable as possible to stymie efforts to unify them in to a government system. I like my privacy (ask about my tin foil hat) but I have no expectation of it in public. If there is any ill of the modern city it is the anonymity afforded by most people not recognizing other people. Small towns: watch out! Most everyone knows what everyone else is up to; usually there is a cadre of elderly folk who have made it their duty to know every detail of everyone's life and share it freely on the gossip circuit. As far as I am concerned that is far worse than any simple camera system.

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  • AkAllerdice April 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Cool down the street. So much of Lombard has
    lost its curb appeal, that which makes a welcoming access point.
    wide side walks, good lighting, trash removable,
    Tree canopy to shade and cool down street and pavement.
    Landlords of unleaded spaces to refresh, and actively Perdue
    A tenant. The problems with Lombard is it ODOT hwy 30
    Distinction, and the width of crossing areas. Some places are on blind curves. Mediums, at extra wide locations could
    Also help.
    As for cyclists, being the first priority? No.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • kittens April 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Forgive me for not toeing the party line, but I hope they don't turn this into anything like the Interstate Ave redesign. I personally find that street annoying from a car, pedestrian AND cyclist perspective. Maybe it is the MAX, the many poorly timed stoplights or the reduced speed, but bottom line: it does not work!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • lyle w. April 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I grew up on Interstate and can tell you it was never a sparkling gem.

      Mom getting propositioned by johns pushing us on our strollers and all.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Redhippie April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Ok, lets hope that they do a comprehensive area study and not just focus on making Lombard pretty. Any slow down or calming on Lombard will directly affect the traffic levels and speed for the negative on Willamette Blvd.

    I live on Willamette and ran an experiment the other day. I drove at the speed limit from St. Johns to Portland Road (I mean Roasa Parks) and had a line of traffic 8 or 9 deep tail gating behind me. Many cars gave up and pealed off heading back over to Lombard.

    The point is that there is a lot of through traffic from I5 to Hillsboro via the St Johns bridge, and this commuter traffic will always be a source of speed and traffic problems. I would suggest the students focus their efforts on some sort of bypass. If this happens, Lombard will take care of itself. Any additional treatment will only increase the traffic on other, more bike friendly arterials.

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  • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 10:28 am

    The math doesn't work. N Lombard from Chatauqua to MLK is mostly 50 ft curb to curb, except a short portion that is 56 ft. ODOT has already told PBOT they want 11 or 12 ft lanes. The peak hour volumes are 600-1200 cars per hour, so the safest configuration is a 3-lane section with some 4-lane segments at major crossings. If you went with 11 ft lanes, you have (50-33 = ) 17 feet left over, at best. That's 8.5 ft for each side of the road so either parking or a buffered bike lane, but not both.
    I love planning efforts that don't include a traffic engineer on the team!

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Peak traffic each direction is 600-1200 cars per hour.

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      • dr2chase May 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Then you only need one lane in each direction. A traffic lane can handle 1500 cars per hour.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

    • zefwagner April 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Just to clarify, we are perfectly aware of the roadway dimensions and the limitations they bring. The article may not have made it clear, but we have determined that if Lombard went from 4 lanes to 3 lanes for auto traffic, there would be enough room for either parking on both sides or parking on one side with 5 foot bike lanes. As you note, on this road there is no way to have parking on both side and also have bike lanes.

      In any case, right now we are in the process of analyzing these alternatives to assess their costs and benefits, and we are also presenting them at our open house and at other neighborhood meetings to see what the community thinks. Sometime in June we will present our final recommendations, not only on these roadway questions but also on strategies for encouraging vibrant business districts and improving the quality of the pedestrian environment.

      --Zef Wagner, Swift Planning Group

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Five foot bike lanes are sub-standard. The standard is six feet and the preferred is 2 meters, or 6 ft 6 inches. The standard parking lane is 8 ft wide.
        17 feet gets you two fives and a seven, two sixes and a five, or two six and a halfs and two twos.

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  • Carlos April 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    We just moved to the Piedmont neighborhood last summer. The neighborhood is pleasantly mixed (age, ethnicity, lifestyle) and everyone is friendly and takes pride in living here.

    I don't think lombard should be a street with bike lanes, but better walkability, more useful shopping and slower/calmer traffic would help a ton.

    Making Lombard better is not an issue of race but livability for all.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Jake April 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    @ Scott B: I'm on the project team and you're right, it's a 50-51 ft curb to curb width. So no, parking would not be possible with 6 ft bike lanes. If they were 5 ft bike lanes there could be 7-8 ft parking on one side of the street, as there is currently. We know 5-ft bike lanes would go against ODOT and PBOT design guidelines, but we're interested to hear from those who bike/would bike on the street if that's even worth considering. We also want to be very clear that bike lanes are merely something we're asking the community about - our final recommendations will hinge on feedback we receive as well as our other research. There are many people with many different perspectives on the issue as you know. Thanks for the interest!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • grimm April 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I live right near Lombard and don't think bikes fit into it's make up. I'd rather effort be put into making something like Bryant a first class East/West street rather than shoe horn it onto Lombard. Lombard needs some help though, it's gross. I can see something akin to MLK's dividers and trees being a good simple solution. But am liking the three lane ideas on here too.

    PS Would someone buy The Barn and turn it into a tap room?

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Joe Adamski April 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    In all of this discussion, a gentle reminder that N Lombard is a State 'owned' bypass for US30. It is the designated 'oversize' route as N Columbia has several low clearance points that prevent it being used for oversize.
    That designation will certainly flavor the discussion of what happens. I look forward to the day that those obstacles on Columbia are resolved ( the two I think of are the pedestrian bridge at George Middle school and the RR overpass near I-5. Those will be big,expensive projects to resolve.
    ODOT is undergoing a bit of culture change regarding 'alt' transport, but all culture changes take time and attitude shift. So don't hold your breath.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Joe Adamski April 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      I should have read before posting. By 'oversize' I am referring to oversized trucks. I was not clear on that initially.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        Overdimensional covers height, width and weight. More importantly, reductions in physical width reduce the hole in the air and likely can only be justified for safety reasons. PBOT has been told by ODOT that painted buffered bike lanes don't count as obstructions. Curb extensions, I'm not so sure.

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        • Joe Adamski April 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          Truth is the majority of oversized freight is in the wee hours of the morning. Most trucks avoid Lombard bypass and go to the truck route first. I live a block off Lombard for the past 10 years, in the St Johns neighborhood. Down in SJ, the street is much wider. Recently we have seen a spate of development: the Dollar Tree, Grocery Outlet, and Ace Hardware, as well as several smaller businesses like the City Farm and Kruegers Emporium of discounted veggies and cart pod. These have encouraged much more traffic of all modes. Looking at how we build a strong commercial district along the length of N Lombard that has the businesses we would want, and how we move along Lombard is a discussion we need to have.

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        • q`Tzal April 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

          Obstructions to my 53' trailer are usually signs, lights, overhead wires, power polls and other similar items.
          While a curb extension itself is not a total obstruction it would necessitate slowing down to less than 2mph to safely make the turn. At that speed all curbs are traverseable. My point being that I don't think that freight lane design engineering standards are written with the concept that truck drivers have to mount every curb and sidewalk everywhere.
          I suspect that any permanent installation will need to take in to account routine freight operations and what 32,000lbs does to that beautiful curb extension when it gets driven over every day.

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  • Blake April 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I live in Kenton, and appreciate the idea of making Lombard less of a highway and a bit more friendly, particularly for pedestrians/cyclists to cross it, but I'm not very interested in riding my bike on it, the same way I feel about Hawthorne for example. I would rather the bike routes north-south (e.g. clearing up bike access around the park on Delaware between Lombard & Rosa Parks, which is bad because it forces riding on the sidewalk with curbs and chains between bollards) and to St. Johns (although Lombard is a fine way to cross the railroad tracks, the connection between that connection and, e.g. the Terry n'hood greenway is difficult particularly when it's nighttime).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Have you tried the N Central Greenway + Houghton/Dana/Kilpatrick/Terry Greenway? Houghton connects to the peninsula crossing trail from Westanna and the two greenways connect at the Lombard crossing of the railroad cut betwen the trail and Gilbert.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Emily May 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      As someone who rides Delaware everyday I both love and don't love the block at Chief Joseph. I LOVE the safety it gives not just my kids, but all of the kids who can run between their school and the playground safely, but I hate riding on the sidewalk. Concord is a good alternative.

      Or just deal with the sidewalk for 1/2 block for the safety of the 5-9 year olds at CJ (at least next year) and ride a little slower since there are uncontrolled intersections up and down Delaware thru that stretch anyway.

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  • Babs April 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    ODOT could move Hwy 30 off of Lombard and onto Columbia if it could bring the condition of the road up to PBOT standards. That would be the real game changer.

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    • ScottB April 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Why would they spend tax dollars to raise structures or rebuild them to handle the overdimensional weights when they control a pathway that works just fine?

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  • Brendan Treacy April 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Interesting historical perspective. The Arbor Lodge development plan from 1993. See page 14-18 for the visions they had back then. Sadly it looks like not many of them happened, though I do think there have been some real improvements made.

    http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/91459

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  • Nate April 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I'm thrilled to see both the Swift Group and all the comments here. At the very least, it's clear that Lombard is NOT working for the community as it currently stands.

    I live 1 1/2 blocks off of Lombard. I don't necessarily think we need bike lanes on Lombard - Dekum / Bryant / Willamette is a pretty good bikeway quite close to the south, similar to Going near Alberta - but strongly feel that it shouldn't be as much of a speedway as it is. If I needed to go two blocks on Lombard, I should feel safe enough to take a lane to do so, as I would on Alberta or Hawthorne.

    Hopefully all of you will show up on the 7th to express support for making Lombard a more accessible place in the ways that count!

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  • lb May 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    As Lombard is a US Hwy and primary thoroughfare across the peninsula, unless there is a bypass considered to relieve the amount of traffic, side streets and other larger avenues such as Willamette and Rosa Parks will likely see a huge increase in the amount of traffic. Dispersal may work for some traffic issues, but in this case, I only foresee other neighborhoods and bike-friendly streets bearing the brunt of the redesign.

    ...though wider sidewalks with some kind of plant/tree barrier would be nice for those who ride the bus and get soaked by spray from cars driving on the poorly designed and paved roadway.

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  • Audrey May 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I live in Piedmont and have use Lombard to cross I-5 to get to the MAX station or Freddies, like a quarter-mile away. It is scary and really discourages biking for these short trips that should be a no-brainer. If I have to ride Lombard I use the sidewalk as much as I can, and pedal furiously and pray when I have to be on the road.

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  • Jason May 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Is it realistic to ask Tri-Met to lose a few stops on N. Lombard? I lived in St. Johns for the last year, and as a vehicle driver, I witnessed multiple occasions where an aggressive driver would become impatient from following a bus that pulls over continuously and then floors the gas pedal and speeds passed it while pedestrians exiting the bus are attempting to cross the street. Could Tri-Met take out some of their less used bus stops?
    Also, as a cyclist, I have ridden on N. Lombard once or twice and decided against it in the future. I think some streets should remain discouraging to cyclists. There is just too high of traffic volume on Lombard, and with Willamette and Rosa Parks so close by, I feel like we don't need to include cyclists in this. Safer pedestrian crossings, getting aggressive drivers to slow down, and encouraging a few more businesses to go in are all good ideas. This sounds less like gentrification and more like letting Lombard reach it's potential. Let's keep this strip of Portland one of our few, almost-racially diverse neighborhoods.

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