home

Mayor Hales floats city takeover of Powell, Barbur, 82nd, Lombard

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on December 26th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Lombard Ave-5
Lombard Avenue, a state "highway"
turned city street.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Mayor Charlie Hales seems to be advancing an idea that's been on advocates' wish list for years: putting the City of Portland, not state government, in charge of the city's biggest streets.

In an interview with The Oregonian editorial board last week, the paper reported, Hales said he "will formally propose local management" for "what are now state highways like Powell Boulevard."

Other state-run roads in the city include the busy corridors of Southwest Barbur Boulevard, 82nd Avenue, Lombard Street, Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard and Southwest Macadam Avenue.

If that happens, it'd set a new direction for these onetime highways enveloped by the city.

These streets have been owned and kept up by the Oregon Department of Transportation since the days before interstate highways became the most popular way of moving across the metro area, but never transferred because neither the city nor state wants to spend the money to bring the roads up to city standards with comfortable sidewalks, smooth pavement and safer crossings.

Though such a change may sound bureaucratic — especially to taxpayers in general, who would be paying the bills either way — it'd be likely to have a big impact on how the roads develop, because ODOT's incentives and culture are so much more focused on rapid car movement than the Portland government's.

This fall, when ODOT was under pressure from the city to more seriously consider the possibility that adding bike lanes to Barbur Boulevard could be done without substantial loss of road capacity — something a lead engineer on the project says is possible — regional ODOT executive Jason Tell replied that ODOT is "open to" handing over control if only "funding [could] be identified for improvements."

ODOT's road system, after all, faces the same paralyzing maintenance backlog that Portland does and would be happy to unload some of those obligations.

So if Hales is publicly open to such possibilities too, that's a sign of progress. But it's far from a deal.

In an email last week (responding to a rumor we'd heard a few weeks ago that these conversations were active), City spokesman Dylan Rivera downplayed the chance that these transfers will actually happen.

Mayor Hales crossing enforcement action-4
Mayor Hales in a city crosswalk enforcement
action on East Burnside last May.

"Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick have said they are interested in taking over all the streets in the City of Portland," Rivera confirmed. "The city naturally would want to control all streets in the city limits. In addition, city design standards are more appropriate for the urbanized communities that have grown up around what were once considered highways."

But Rivera added: "Historically, we have done relatively few transfers. They are rare for many reasons. They’re very expensive. We don’t want to accept anything that’s going to be a burden on the city. So before we accept a transfer, we inspect the pavement, the striping, the traffic signals, sidewalks – everything about the facilities. We try to figure out how much it would cost to bring the street up to city standards. Often, we’re taking on streets that need millions of dollars in work."

Until Hales or Novick actually make a more formal proposal, it's hard to know what's going on here. Hales, after all, was responding to a string of East Portland street fatalities and an excellent Oregonian series detailing the city's planning failures in the area. He was under pressure to say something — and he doesn't seem to have given himself a deadline for execution.

We'll continue to report on this issue. Meanwhile, the many Portlanders who use these streets regularly and are eager for them to be improved might keep two things in mind:

1) Transfers like these have happened before. As Tell noted in his letter, the success stories include inner Martin Luther King Boulevard and Grand Avenue, inner Sandy Boulevard and Interstate Avenue.

2) Both Powell and Barbur are proposed as future TriMet routes. The money that upgraded Interstate Avenue and allowed the city takeover there came from TriMet's Yellow Line project. In his letter, Tell hinted that a high-capacity bus or rail line along Barbur, currently planned as part of the Southwest Corridor project, could do the same.

But are mass transit projects the only way to finance streets that are more human-friendly? We may find out.

Email This Post Email This Post

Possibly related posts


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • TOM December 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I've gotten stuck on se 82nd where there is NO bike lane , fast traffic and the sidewalk is a JOKE. There are some choke points where the front wall of business are only 2-3 feet from the road , leaving about 18 inches for 1 person or a bike being pushed by foot , but not both. (just North of Johnson Creek Blvd.)

    It would be a real embarrassment , if whoever controls it had any pride. :(

    Portland ..The City that works ...(where's that BARF emoicon ?)

    So how are the sidewalk upgrades on SE 136th doing ?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Psyfalcon December 26, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      82nd and Johnson Creek is Clackamas.

      The city boundary isn't exactly clear to me, but its not Portland's road now (state highway), and probably would not be if this happened (It would either have to go to Clackamas or the state keeps it).

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • gutterbunnybikes December 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm

        The boundry is pretty close (a little south of) to the Springwater Trail Crossing. Probably more like the southern edge of Cartlandia -

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Cora Potter December 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

          The southern boundary is Clatsop street - for the most part.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Paul Cone December 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

        The boundary is 82nd & Clatsop.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Oliver December 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

      How many of the property owners on 136th have signed on to the Local Improvement District and agreed to the price of putting in a sidewalk adjacent to their properties?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Oregon Mamacita December 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Are you talking about the wrecked sidewalks near Cartlandia? Be careful for syringes- they could pop a tire.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Psyfalcon December 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Yes please.

    Run the Max straight down Powell while removing lanes.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • Alan 1.0 December 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      I smell rails, too, but I'm guessing streetcar.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Psyfalcon December 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        I'd rather Max considering the amount of through traffic it gets. Make getting from Gresham or 205 faster by train than car.

        Still soured on streetcar since you can walk faster than one downtown.

        Recommended Thumb up 15

        • Nick Falbo December 27, 2013 at 8:11 am

          My concern is that we'll end up with half-baked BRT. Federal funding for rail has gone down, so big budget rail projects might be a thing of the past.

          That said, DON'T GIVE UP. Come to the public meeting and tell them to take light rail seriously on Powell: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan .9 at Mount Hood Community College in the Town and Gown room, 26000 S.E. Stark S

          Also, there will be a variety of technical briefings on the project during the first couple weeks of January: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=42315

          Recommended Thumb up 9

          • sean December 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

            All signs point busward. Their objective says it all. "High demand in the near term..." meaning LRT may never even get serious consideration. To boot, the comprehensive plan shows an alignment that would certainly not include MAX.

            http://www.portlandbps.com/gis/cpmapp/

            Finally Metro and Tri-Met have a corridor that would support LRT more than any other, and shows an apparent need, and it seems it's not on the table. But like Nick says, don't give up. A MAX down Powell would be an incredible catalyst for 82nd and much of SE (As the Blue Line was for some of NE). And this recent suggestion by Hales could be one of the most important things he has done.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Michael Andersen (News Editor) December 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm

              TriMet has been talking very explicitly about BRT being the right solution on Powell for years; Neil McFarlane, who ran the capital projects division before taking over as general manager, mentioned this in his first detailed interview after moving up in 2010.
              http://portlandtransport.com/archives/2010/07/video_feature_-_4.html

              On the other hand, TriMet leadership was saying that BRT would never work for the Southwest Corridor, and now that seems to be an open question due to reduced federal rail funding. So things can change.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

        • wsbob December 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

          "...Still soured on streetcar since you can walk faster than one downtown." Psyfalcon

          Some consideration on your part for many people not able to walk as you say you can, would be decent. Streetcar for some distance along Powell would be fine. It can be noisier than light rail, not real swift, but it's not a private motor vehicle, and is way better than walking for people that aren't able to walk well. Barbur may be better suited to light rail.

          To design, plan and locate funding for managing the four roads the state has authority over, and that are mentioned in this bikeportland story, it could be Portland would have to add a whole new layer of bureaucracy to take the job on.

          People should be thinking about from where all, besides Oregon residents paying taxes, ODOT has been getting the money to maintain these roads, and whether the city would somehow take over that funding as well, if responsibility for the roads were transferred to the city.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Todd Hudson December 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    The city that can't re-pave the streets it *currently* owns is going to take over and do significant work on several major arterials. Right!

    Recommended Thumb up 11

    • Hart Noecker December 26, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Repaving isn't the issue here, it's the lethal environment to pedestrians and cyclists these particular roads pose. Such a transfer would clear the way for the city to do far more to make these corridors safer. For all my criticism of Hales, if such a transfer took place and led to PBOT introducing needed bike/ped improvements, I'd have no problem giving credit where credit's due.

      Recommended Thumb up 23

  • wsbob December 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Consider potential possibilities, obligations and responsibilities that would accompany transfer of a road such as Barbur Blvd, from state custodial duty, to the city instead.

    A first question with regards to this road, would be what the chances are that Portland would be able to dismiss the obligation ODOT has suggested it feels, to reserve into the future, the road's potential motor vehicle carrying capacity. This obligation seems to have been a big hitch for ODOT in being asked to consider reducing number of main travel lanes to make room for continuation of bike lanes.

    Money of course, is a big deal that could block road transfers like this from happening. Portland hasn't exactly been able to do an A-1 job of maintaining and improving roads and streets in its existing inventory, so how adding more miles of road to it, would improve that situation, may be quite a challenge to figure out.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bjorn December 27, 2013 at 12:32 am

    If 82nd ave is taken over by the city who will give the speech asking Mayor Hales to "TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!"? http://www.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/02/17/82nd-avenue-fence-is-berlin-wall

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • q`Tzal December 27, 2013 at 9:42 am

      There are times when I think it would be simpler and safer to just slide the MAX station west so it is centered under the bridge and then duplicate the stairs and elevator for the opposite side of 82nd ave.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Bjorn December 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

        that would solve a lot of the problem, probably could not have been done for the 400k or so they spent on the wall but what a waste of money the wall was!

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Granpa December 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

    82nd is truly pedestrian hell and cycling on it is just short of suicidal. Retrofitting it to serve pedestrians is doable. But a reality check is in order. A retrofit to accommodate cyclists will take more than there is political will to muster. The traffic volume is already very high, so eliminating lanes will result in vocal push back. As noted in another post, there are buildings right up against the too narrow sidewalk, so acquisition of right-of-way would tremendously expensive. Also the model for retail along that stretch (at least in Cklackamas County) is designed for car use, so making a drive to Gadget Warehouse more unpleasant would whack a hornet's nest of opposition as retail lobbyists would swarm out of the woodwork.

    There is a multi-use path only a couple of blocks east of 82nd that is a lot less stressful and dangerous. I have used in dozens of times for trips to Costco or Home Depot.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • OnTheRoad December 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

      82nd is not very ped friendly, but the 82nd busline has one of the highest riderships (in 2011, it was number 2, after Division/Fessenden).

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Todd Hudson December 27, 2013 at 9:13 am

      There is also 81st Ave, which is very wide and low-traffic.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Bjorn December 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

        I know this is sarcasm...but for those unfamiliar with the area under discussion 81st disappears more often than it exists and it does not cross the interstate. The biggest problem with 82nd really is that planners destroyed the grid on both sides of it in such a way that there is no reasonable alternative.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

    • eli bishop December 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      if you're talking about the 205 path, by "a couple of blocks" you mean 10. so to take that route you go up to 40 blocks out of your way to stay safe when trying to access anything on 82nd.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • was carless December 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      ironically, 82nd really needs to be widened to accomodate bicycles and wider sidewalks. unless a parallel hreenway street can be found?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Lascurettes December 27, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Would love to see this. PBOT, while not perfect, does its best to improve things for multi-modal uses. ODOT makes excuses and drags its feet even when it does acknowledge an improvement needs to be made.

    I predict a rebuttal from the shipping lobby in 3 … 2 …

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • nuovorecord December 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

    "But are mass transit projects the only way to finance streets that are more human-friendly?"

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I think that transit needs to be a major component in the redevelopment of these arterials. They still need to move large numbers of people in a fairly rapid manner. But not just in cars.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • J_R December 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I'm in favor of a more balanced approach to transportation in the city and think that the city would implement a balance more to my liking. However, there are two major issues to contend with: funding and the potential for unintended consequences.

    As for funding, I think most people don't realize how expensive it is to maintain a street. Even traffic signals, signs, and pavement markings cost money. The bill for electricity to run the signals at every intersection approach what it costs for the power for your house. Then there's on-going costs for the controller, bulbs, detection systems, etc. Signs wear out (lose reflectivity) just from being out in the weather, plus theft and vandalism. Pavement markings have to be renewed once or twice a year. It's not cheap. Is the city able to squeeze those costs into its budget.

    Now add the cost of making improvements, such as good sidewalks, more pedestrian signals, curb ramps for wheelchair access, audible indicators for blind pedestrians, etc. Where's the money for that? Do you want the city to give up on improvements planned for neighborhood streets to fund those on arterials transferred from ODOT to the city?

    As for the unintended consequences of the "balanced" approach to the arterials, I presume that most people would advocate reallocating lanes from auto traffic to bike lanes, wider sidewalks, etc. Great. But isn't that going to push autos onto our residential neighborhood streets? I live four blocks from a city minor arterial and I already get cut-through traffic that roars down the hill and "eases" through the stop sign in front of my house at 10 mph.

    It's great to think that those auto commuters using the arterials will shift to another mode, move closer to work, work from home, or some other desirable option, but I'm betting that they'll just exhibit bad motorist behavior on different streets. There's a big difference between putting Holgate on a road diet than doing the same for Powell or 82nd.

    Be careful what you wish for. Again, I'm not saying the city wouldn't be a better owner of the arterials, but a simple change in ownership won't solve all our issues with those roads.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Paul Cone December 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Yup. Federal and state funds for local projects are nice and all, but the harder part is finding dollars for ongoing maintenance.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Terry D December 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    On both Powell and 82nd placing bike faciliites or dedicated mass transit lines is just not do able in the near future. There is no way to provide for the diversion as they carry too much traffic. The short term priority should be on safe crossings, sidewalks and parralel bike routes. Long term, things may be different particularly with Powell. I fear that 82nd is a lost cause...redevelope one parking lot at a time? Can we push the used car dealers to the suburbs?....a new form of "landing zones."

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • sean December 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Powell has adjacent parking lots for much of its alignment (particularly from 50th to 82nd), which could be plenty of ROW for expanding its width in order to make room for MAX in the center.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Adam December 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

    None of these roads function as State Highways any longer. Nobody drives on SW Barbur to get from California to Washington State. I would like to see them handed over to the City asap.

    When ODOT handed Sandy Blvd over to the City, the changes were immediate. Pedestrian median islands went in, mild intersection repair and bioswales were installed, repaving was implemented. It was a win-win situation.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • 9watts December 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

      "They’re very expensive. We don’t want to accept anything that’s going to be a burden on the city."

      As we've had occasion to discuss here previously on the subject of Barbur, I'd like to see this spelled out a bit. Some of the funds ODOT currently receives for doing their thing on these roads would, if I'm not mistaken, have to be transferred to PBOT along with the roads. To 'bring these roads up to city standards, and do the improvements being discussed' would of course take additional funds, but everywhere we turn the answer is the same: PBOT has no money, ODOT is completely out of money. The ridiculous street fee sends no useful signal and would not raise anywhere near the kind of money required to do all the things we'd like to do, never mind bank anything for the proverbial rainy day. I keep coming back to the same issue. Why not raise the gas tax, or pursue one of the other, related, methods of both discouraging driving and raising a ton of money. Other jurisdictions are doing this and not complaining.

      British Columbia - fee and dividend*
      Europe - gas tax rates worthy of the name

      *"British Columbia successfully rolled out a fee and dividend scheme in 2008. Per capita consumption of petroleum fuels in the province fell by 17.4 percent... while petroleum fuel use grew by 1.5 percent nationally over the same period."

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Terry D December 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        Yes they did in British Columbia. It is part of their implementation of a providence wide CARBON TAX that is economy wide. Oregon has looked at it as the carbon tax in B.C. does not seem to have a negative economic impact.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • 9watts December 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

          "does not seem to have a negative economic impact."

          I'd argue that reducing fossil fuel use is the single most economically beneficial thing we can do.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fee_and_dividend

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Terry D December 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

            I would as well. My point being that since you are so single minded on the gas tax, B.C.'s is part of an overall carbon taxing scheme, which is what I have been arguing is what we need from the beginning. Locally though, the Portland 'Carbon tax' consisting of a 4.5 cent gas tax and a small carbon tax on utilities did not poll anywhere nearly as well as a street fee. So blame the public.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • 9watts December 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

              "he Portland 'Carbon tax' consisting of a 4.5 cent gas tax and a small carbon tax on utilities did not poll anywhere nearly as well as a street fee."
              I've looked for the results of that survey but didn't find any. Can you point me in the right direction? As for the results, often it matters a lot how the questions are worded.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • wsbob December 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      "...Nobody drives on SW Barbur to get from California to Washington State. ..." Adam

      Interstate highways is what it seems you're thinking of. The function of state highways, is partly to help facilitate travel between points within the state. In that respect, for many years, Barbur's role has been, and continues to serve as part of a main route from Tigard and points further west, Sherwood, Newberg, McMinnville, etc.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • GlowBoy December 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Well, we had ANOTHER high-speed 3am fatality on Barbur last night, exact same spot (Miles St) as the one last month. This road's quasi-freeway design is way too conducive to fast driving. When will ODOT stop dragging their heels and admit that Barbur needs a radical redesign?

    ODOT seems constitutionally incapable of designing and managing safe urban highways. Funding is an open question, but there's no question that in the long term these roads need to be managed by PBOT.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/roadreport/index.ssf/2013/12/portland_commute_update_all_la.html

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Paul Souders December 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Clearly, the problem with late-night/early-morning fatal crashes on SW Barbur is lack of vehicular capacity.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

    • wsbob December 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      "Well, we had ANOTHER high-speed 3am fatality on Barbur last night, exact same spot (Miles St) as the one last month. This road's quasi-freeway design is way too conducive to fast driving. When will ODOT stop dragging their heels and admit that Barbur needs a radical redesign? ..." GlowBoy

      Depends upon the individual nature of the high-speed 3am fatalities. If the fatality is due to people knowingly driving way over the speed limit, possibly intoxicated, and crashing as a result, that's not an indication that the design of the road is responsible for the crash, or that road redesign would be an effective, viable means of combating that kind of road abuse.

      Short summary of the O story you posted a link to: someone drives their car into a tree and survives with injuries, but the passenger in the car does not survive the crash. No mention of speed traveled, or intoxication.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Paul Cone December 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        "Posted on FlashAlert: December 27th, 2013 12:17 PM
        The driver in the fatal crash on S.W. Barbur Blvd. is in custody for Manslaughter, Reckless Driving and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants."

        Recommended Thumb up 3

      • GlowBoy December 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        "If the fatality is due to people knowingly driving way over the speed limit, possibly intoxicated, and crashing as a result, that's not an indication that the design of the road is responsible for the crash, or that road redesign would be an effective, viable means of combating that kind of road abuse."

        I would argue precisely the opposite: there's a clear pattern on this roadway of people operating vehicles at very high speeds, particularly late at night when intoxicated, but also generally. It seems pretty obvious to me that the design of this road contributes to a pattern of excessively fast driving, and that a redesign could very substantially reduce it.

        A lot of traffic calming strategies rely on changing how a road looks so the subconscious mind doesn't see a wide road and think "ok to go fast here". To the subconscious (or, as has been too often the case, semi-conscious) mind this stretch of Barbur looks like a place to go fast.

        It doesn't have to. The designers' original intent here was to make it feel like a country road out in the woods. What it really feels like is a country highway, really not that much different from 99W between Sherwood and Newberg. We can keep the trees and the feeling of being out in the woods, but this part of Barbur needs to feel somewhat more like a country lane in terms of the speeds people feel comfortable attaining on it. Along with improved bike and pedestrian facilities, both to protect us more-vulnerable travelers but also to provide a visual reminder that we may be present.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • wsbob December 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm

          "...there's a clear pattern on this roadway of people operating vehicles at very high speeds, particularly late at night when intoxicated, but also generally. ..." GlowBoy

          The pattern, if one wants to draw one, is of occasional late night thrill seekers that have re-purposed Barbur for some kind of grand theft auto, fast and furious fun and games that participants lack the common sense to refrain from going wild on.

          I suppose if Portland were to take the road over and somehow manage to convert the road into one that physically wouldn't permit speeds over a certain mph, the thrill seekers might designate some other road for their high speed fun, taking the spectacular fatal crashes with them, elsewhere.

          When I read "...very high speeds..." related to incidents like this most recent on Barbur, though a report estimating what the speed was, hasn't yet been published...I think of a rate of speed that exceeds or pushes the extreme capability of the motor vehicle being driven. For most modern motor vehicles in use on Barbur, such a speed would be far and above 10 or 20 miles over the posted speed limit, which may be 35-45mph. Think 80-100+mph

          I love quiet, low traveled country lanes, and would like to think that somehow, counties could gain one instead of losing them regularly to suburban growth. Given what Barbur's purpose has been, and that there's likely to be quite a bit of pressure for it to continue being that, any idea that Barbur Blvd that could acquire some of that character by removing a main travel lane, or two, and continuing bike lanes and adding sidewalks seems like a very distant hope. Good luck and much success to Portland, though, if it decides to give that idea a try.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • GlowBoy December 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        "someone drives their car into a tree and survives with injuries, but the passenger in the car does not survive the crash. No mention of speed traveled, or intoxication."

        When someone crashes into a tree on a curve at 3am, it's not a bit stretch to surmise that intoxication and excess speed were likely factors.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Dwayne Dibbly December 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

    The sooner this happens the better.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • TOM December 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

    se 82nd , south of King has sidewalks and bike lanes ...from King North it is a patchwork of SOME lanes/sidewalks. It's really just a BFM. 81st just isn't through for any length.
    Sure the 205 MUP will do it, but if you are on 82nd and your destination is a mile or 2 down 82nd, then 205 MUP doesn't help much.

    The car/RV lots extending to the street are in terrible condition and full of obstacles. From SpringWater crossing to King really is awful , no matter what county/city it is in. :(

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Daniel L December 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    PBOT could clearly manage these streets better for Portland's need, but I think it would be worthwhile to examine why ODOT is failing so bad at doing it now and address those problems. Portland isn't the only city that has ODOT managed roads and highways within it. Pretty much every city and town in the state does, and an awful lot of unincorporated areas with decent sized populations as well.

    ODOT needs to shift some of their priorities around so the roads they are responsible for are safe for all users and appropriate for their surroundings no matter where they are.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • 9watts December 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      ODOT, like its counterpart in Washington State, has managed to commit a very large and rising portion of the funds it hopes to take in through gas taxes & other user fees (in the future) to paying off the bonds it unwisely (over-)issued (in the recent past) so it could build a couple of projects.

      From a 2011 memo by Matt Garrett:
      "The Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA) and Jobs and Transportation Act (JTA) programs frontloaded resources, authorizing $2.9 billion in bond proceeds that allowed ODOT to build projects much faster than under a “pay-as-you-go” funding approach. However, bonding billions of dollars requires paying significant debt service. By 2015 when all the JTA bonds are sold, ODOT expects to pay over $210 million a year out of the State Highway Fund for debt service. The vast majority of the additional revenue ODOT received from the OTIA and JTA programs will go to debt service or to other purposes specified by the legislature."

      discussed here:
      http://www.blueoregon.com/2011/12/transportation-funding-hole/

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Nick Falbo December 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      What you are seeing is a cold war between ODOT and PBOT. The question is which one of them will break first.

      At a meeting discussing the potential for an 82nd Avenue upgrade and jurisdictional transfer, an ODOT rep said something about how it's hard to justify spending limited state money on what is clearly seen as a Portland area street by the rest of Oregon.

      Never mind that the Portland region is half of Oregon...

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • wsbob December 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

        "What you are seeing is a cold war between ODOT and PBOT. The question is which one of them will break first. ..." Nick Falbo

        There's no war. Andersen in this bikeportland story has basically said, indications are, that if Portland has the money to take the roads on, it may be able to have them. Question, is, does the city really want to take on what's likely to be quite an additional burden onto what it already has.

        On its plate, ODOT seems to have enough roads to take care of across the state, but it likely also has, from state leadership, direction to maintain certain roads, as a first priority, for state rather than interests of the cities they pass through. If Portland can come up with the money to take the roads on, that direction may change...or maybe not, depending upon what other reps around the state think about the idea.

        "PBOT could clearly manage these streets better for Portland's need, but I think it would be worthwhile to examine why ODOT is failing so bad at doing it now and address those problems. ..." Daniel L

        Give us some ideas about how you believe PBOT could do this. The bureau doesn't have enough money to do a quality job of repairing it's pothole overload, so it skimps with a quicky procedure. It's the city that, over the years, may have been remiss in failing to acknowledge sufficiently that certain state roads it has allowed heavy development to occur on, are roads designated to serve as routes to and from areas outside the city.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jayson December 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I pay 2 cents per mile in gas taxes, which is cheap, but increasingly insufficient. I wholeheartedly support paying more to fix our streets - especially these former urban highways that divide communities throughout our city.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Mossby Pomegranate December 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

      A gas tax yes, but not the ridiculous street fee the city wants. VOTE NO on that.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Jeff M December 28, 2013 at 1:07 am

    If Hales could transfer ODOT out of Portland, he would be my hero.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Jeff Bernards December 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

    ODOT has neglected it's reponsibilities regarding SE 82, it's in such poor condition, nearly the entire road needs to be rebuilt. The city can't take care of the roads it oversees now. Hey Iknow have another kid, that will help your situation.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Neilz December 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

    "...the success stories include inner Martin Luther King Boulevard and Grand Avenue, inner Sandy Boulevard and Interstate Avenue." Yep, I love biking on all of those!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • paikikala December 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Adam
    None of these roads function as State Highways any longer. Nobody drives on SW Barbur to get from California to Washington State. I would like to see them handed over to the City asap.

    Adam, you confuse the meaning of the word 'highway' for the civil engineer a highway is any road. The term comes from past practice to raise new road construction above surrounding land to aid in drainage. Since it is higher than the adjacent land it is the high-way. Road classification is what you're thinking of.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.