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How a potential bikeway on 82nd could impact TriMet’s $150 million BRT project

Posted by on December 9th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

powell-lead
82nd Avenue (a.k.a. State Route 213) north of Woodward.

82nd Avenue is going to change. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. And increasingly, it’s a matter of how.

After years of planning, Metro and TriMet are reaching an important decision point on their Powell-Division Transit and Development project that could dramatically alter the future of 82nd. As we reported last year, this $150 million project will include Portland’s first-ever bus rapit transit (BRT) line and the leading candidate for the alignment between Powell and Division is, you guessed it, 82nd Avenue.

Planners prefer 82nd as the north-south route for the half-mile between Powell and Division for three main reasons: It has strong support from local neighborhood advocates who see 82nd as part of the emerging Jade District; it has very high transit ridership with nearly 18,000 daily boardings; and the potential for improving the walking and biking environment (the existing conditions on the street are extremely harsh for anyone not in an automobile).

At a joint meeting of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee in City Hall last night, TriMet planners sought feedback on the project. They need to decide on a “locally-preferred alternative” for the transit route in order to take the next step in the planning process.

powell-options
The three options on the table as handed out by TriMet last night.

At last night’s meeting, TriMet presented three possible design options for how the new BRT line could impact 82nd: one “no build” option that wouldn’t make any changes to 82nd (except for a few new bus stations) and two other options that would come with BRT. The BRT options under consideration are a “medium build” and a “high build.”

“This will never be anything other than the urban freeway it’s always been if you’re not willing to touch the lanes.”
— Scott Kocher, PBOT pedestrian advisory committee member

The medium and high builds are essentially the same — except for a bikeway. Both would cut transit time through the corridor by more than half by giving buses signal priority, putting them in a special business access and transit (BAT) lane (a compromise between a dedicated lane and a standard lane) and it would add “chamfers” to the intersections of Powell and Division to make it easier for buses to turn quickly and safely.

The TriMet planners at the meeting last night clearly favor the medium build scenario (which calls for no bikeway on 82nd). It gives them BRT with minimal disruption to the existing streetscape. But it doesn’t sit well with people who think a new bikeway should be included in the project.

According to TriMet, the addition of a bikeway can only come by widening the street. To do that, they’d have to purchase 27 properties in order to claim the right-of-way they need. Not only would something like that have a huge impact on the community, it would also significantly increase the cost of the project. “We really don’t want to buy property,” said TriMet planner David Aulwes last night.

Moving the curbs to widen the street would also trigger Oregon’s bike bill, something Aulwes says would tank the project. When the bike bill was alluded to by a committee member back in May, an exasperated Aulways said, “If we’re both trying to get exactly what we want, we won’t get anything.”


82nd Avenue in this location is a state highway managed by ODOT. It has five standard vehicle lanes (two in each direction and a center turn lane). Carl Larson, a member of the bicycle advisory committee and advocate with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, asked TriMet’s Aulwes if they might consider re-allocating some of the existing lanes toward something other than motor vehicle use. Aulwes said no. There’s simply too much auto traffic and their models show that the “street would completely break down.”

82ndfosterunited
A very unofficial design rendering of 82nd Ave now (left) versus what it could look like.
(Graphic: Nick Falbo/Foster United)

TriMet planners are operating under the assumption that the only way to add a bikeway to 82nd is to widen the street. Managing the existing lanes differently is not even on the table.

“Can’t we just get rid of the center turn lane to get the bike and ped facility everyone wants and that there is such a demand for?” asked pedestrian advisory committee member Scott Kocher. “This will never be anything other than the urban freeway it’s always been if you’re not willing to touch the lanes.”

Aulwes acknowledged that Kocher had a “good point” and then replied. “There are certain things we can do; but we’re not going to make the street narrower.” (Note: Adding a bikeway would change how the street is used, but it would not narrow the street.)

“We’re going to tank this thing just for bike lanes? That’s hard for me to swallow.”
— Rithy Khut, PBOT bicycle advisory committee member

Ian Stude, the bicycle advisory committee vice-chair and director of transportation and parking services at Portland State University, said that without a place for people to bike safely, the project wouldn’t meet the city’s vision zero goals. “It doesn’t seem like this project will bring a vision zero approach to 82nd when it clearly needs it.” “This isn’t just a ‘transit project’, we’d all like to see this as a community project that has potential to truly resolve larger issues for the corridor.” Stude added that he’s concerned TriMet’s approach lacks creativity.

And Heather McCarey, the bicyle advisory committee’s vice-chair and executive director of the Washington Park Transportation Management Association, said TriMet’s preferred option feels to her, “like we’re building something to encourage people to walk and bike more in this area without building the facilities to make them sucessful in that.”

What would a bikeway on this section of 82nd even look like? TriMet said if they purchased the 27 properties (about 474,000 square feet) and widened the road they’d have room for a seven-foot wide bike lane on both sides. That’s very narrow in the context of being adjacent to a state highway on one side and business access driveways on the other. “It’s not exactly attractive,” said Aulwes, “it’s driveway after driveway after driveway.”

Many people think perhaps a better option is to put a bikeway through nearby sidestreets and avoid the sticky politics and debates of 82nd. The city’s “70s Neighborhood Greenway” project aims to do just that. PBOT has requested a grant to build that greenway and TriMet plans to include it in this project.

powelldivisionmap
The BRT alignment is in red. The 70s Neighborhood Greenway alignment is in black.

While there was support for a bikeway on 82nd, other members of the bicycle advisory committee felt it wasn’t the right battle to take on.

Member Rithy Khut spoke up to say, “We’re going to tank this thing just for bike lanes? That’s hard for me to swallow.” He encouraged everyone to ask themselves, “What’s the bigger picture here?”

Member Chris Achterman said we should take into account,”the community we will destroy” if 27 properties are acquired for right-of-way. “It will look like it has been bombed… It seems counterproductive to make the area economically dead for five years.”

In response, Larson with the BTA said Achterman’s comments were “based on a false choice forced by the assumption that 82nd must remain Oregon State Route 213 and has to operate like a highway… I think if we can make a dent in that assumption there might be room to have wider sidewalks and some bike lanes on 82nd.”

Larson has alluded to a legal challenge by the BTA (via the Bike Bill) if this project moves forward without adequate biking facilities. It was brought up again (by a different committee member) last night. “I hope we don’t come to that,” Aulwes said.

If TriMet can’t find the consensus they want on 82nd, or if there’s any threat of a lawsuit, they say they’ll be forced to switch the alignment over to 50th or 52nd. For now the BTA isn’t threatening to sue (at least to our knowledge). Instead, they’re following the lead of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (the non-profit behind the Jade District) to keep the alignment on 82nd and make sure it’s a vibrant and safe area where the community can thrive.

Stay tuned for a public design workshop in January. TriMet says they’ll make a final decision by February or March.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

64 Comments
  • Alex Reed December 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I love how ODOT’s “the street would completely break down” is other people’s “the street would finally become somewhat pleasant and efficient to be and travel on in a mode other than a private automobile.”

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor) December 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      That’s actually from TriMet, not ODOT.

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      • Alex Reed December 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        That’s from TriMet?? That’s very disappointing!

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    • Terry D-M December 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

      If 82nd is road dieted, if would create chaos in the neighborhoods west, and east of 82nd. 72nd has no clear way north, 76th is too busy already and 60th-62nd is too residential. To the east 92nd drops off at Stark…….so this is the ONLY north-south route that connects all neighborhoods through the city from Sumner to Clackamas.

      If as part of the project, secondary collectors for locals were built for safer higher capacity I would agree that protected bikeway facilities would be a good idea here….but the combination of Mount Tabor and Rockey Butte basically makes it impossible at the present time. Foster-Powell, Montavilla, South Tabor, and Mount-Scott Arletta neighborhoods would be decimated by cut-through traffic on all their residential streets. 72nd north of Foster is already terrible.

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      • davemess December 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm

        “72nd north of Foster is already terrible.”
        Although I don’t agree with this specific statement, I think that overall you are correct. 82nd is a major thoroughfare on the outer east side.

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        • Terry D-M December 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

          Try sitting at 72nd and Holgate and watch driver’s movements during rush hour. I did that several times as homework for my greenway/ Se Uplift network. Maybe it is a matter of perspective…..

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          • davemess December 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

            What kind of “movements” are you talking about? Are we talking about drivers on 72nd?

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      • Alex Reed December 11, 2015 at 9:40 pm

        I disagree. I think a large percentage of 82nd ave. traffic is overflow traffic from I-205. Road diet 82nd and those people will stay on I-205 because, as you point out, there is no other through route. My husband is a perfect example. He drives from FoPo to Clackamas every workday. He uses I-205 if it is clear, 82nd ave otherwise. If 82nd were always slow, he would just stay on I-205.

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        • Terry D-M December 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

          Once we have a complete, if skeletal, high quality bikeway network where all the local destinations are in reach, then 82 nd as a WHOLE through the city limits needs to be looked at. Then your arguments may be right. As a final high quality project ……Time constrict SOVs as much as possible in exchange for bike facilities. As a first major bike project hanging in mid air, so to speak, it would create residential chaos as only a small % of SOVs would convert to bike. I would constrict any other north-south surface street in east Portland over 82 nd simply due to topography….Now if combined with significant capacity “improvements’ to 60 th-62nd south from Division to Johnson Creek, and 92nd North connecting Montavilla and Madison South so they functioned like NE 33rd ….then I would say road diet 82 nd.

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  • Terry D-M December 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    The 70 s greenway will provide acess to the west side of 82 nd, just like 85 th could on the east side, but there needs to be crossings at Clinton, Fubonn-Woodward, and Kelly. This needs to include bike parking and lots of signage. It is not worth the cost to move the curb and buy properties. Just gocuss on improving crossings, sidewalks …until all of 82 nd can be done.

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  • PaulaF December 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    The issue is more than just buying the right of way from businesses. As many of our streets, 82nd has had previous widening and acquiring of ROW. If traffic counts do require maintaining the lane counts, then more than buying space for bike lanes, several businesses would be impacted as the curb to storefront is already at a minimum. To accommodate safe walking and biking then, would require demolition of several buildings between Powell and Division. That would make it a bit tough economically for those businesses.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      That’s true PaulaF, But it seems to me the question is how aggressive we want to be with “maintaining the lane counts.” Right?

      It seems very odd to me that our mayor just went to Paris to talk about how “green” we are and we have adopted city transportation and climate policies that require us to move beyond the auto-centric status quo, yet here we have all our transportation agencies sitting around a room basically doing business as usual.

      eventually we have to gain the courage to dramatically reduce auto capacity. We simply can’t move the needle if we’re too afraid to face the bull in the china shop. If not here, where? if not now, when?

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      • PaulaF December 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

        Hi Jonathan. Yes, we do need better, forward-thinking ideas/solutions. 82nd is quite the opportunity for sure. The BRT is a bit of an overlay/consecutive project with several others – 82nd Ave implementation project, 70s/80s greenway that Terry mentioned, significant rezoning just N of Division, and the growing demolition/build within the Montavilla neighborhood, business development along SE Stark in Montavilla, Jade District.

        Seems each project needs to consider, and work with, the other active projects which could bring some strong, new ideas/solutions to the table so that in the end, people see whatever change is good for people.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

          Thanks PaulaF, we are in agreement on that for sure.

          My concern is the way larger projects like this are presented to the community. Just like we saw with the CRC, presentation is everything. In this case, TriMet is essentially stacking the deck for the option they want by making everyone feel like the “high build” option is simply impossible and/or a non-starter. This type of framing pollutes the public process and does not allow for other potential options to get a fair shake.

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    • Chris I December 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Just looking at GoogleMaps here, but it looks like about 90% of the land required (if they widened to the west of 82nd) would be parking lots. They don’t need the entire lot, just a few feet of it. It looks like they would have to tear down a few auto parts shops, a marijua dispensery, a KFC and a portion of a pawn shop. I guess that would really destroy the character of this neighborhood…

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    • Garlynn Woodsong December 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      What if this project were an opportunity to completely re-make this section os 82nd, from just another blocks along a commercial strip, into a commercial node?

      One way to do that would be, yes, to acquire and redevelop a bunch of properties; then, to split the street south of Powell and north of Division into two streets: a one-way couplet. A new block could be created in the middle, with a one-way street on each side. Each new street could then have a bicycle lane, wide sidewalks, a transit lane, a lane or two for through traffic, and even potentially on-street parking.

      I would very much like to see this option studied by TriMet as a part of this project. It could be a demonstration project to show how 82nd or other urban arterials could be re-vitalized through redevelopment into one-way couplets at nodes, especially at major intersections.

      As a part of this, ideally Powell and Division would also become one-way couplets, beginning a block or two before 82nd. This would serve to move all traffic through all intersections much faster than the current conditions, even with higher volumes of traffic. It would also reduce pedestrian crossing distances, reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and increase bicycle and pedestrian safety and attractiveness.

      When TriMet gets accused of a lack of creativity, it’s because they’re not considering options such as this. It’s truly time to think creatively. It’s not time for business-as-usual.

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      • don arambula December 10, 2015 at 8:01 am

        The flaw with your valid concept is the assumption that Tri-Met, ODOT, PBOT, and the BPS create integrated land use and transportation plans. We have silos; each bureau guards their turf. Real planning that you and other are suggesting is not going to happen as part of this project.

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  • AndyC of Linnton December 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Well, it seems like if you re-purpose that middle lane, then implement something like the “tomorrow?” fantasy illustration on the right, then you wouldn’t have to widen anything. Seems like it might even make 82nd kinda nice to boot.
    So what’s the problem? They just don’t think of these things? Or what?

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  • Nick Falbo December 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    A quick disclaimer about the Foster United image of 82nd – The diagram was created for discussion purposes only, does not represent the professional opinion of my employer or clients, and is not related to any current or future planning efforts.

    On all street projects I encourage people to brainstorm solutions themselves at http://streetmix.net/-/305257

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  • briandavispdx December 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I’m sorry, but this line of thinking from Tri-Met and the half-witted arguments they’re using to support it, are an abomination to the transportation planning and engineering professions, and deserve to be called out as such.

    First off, this idea that the “street would completely break down” is nonsense. Based on what assumptions? What are we assuming about year-over-year traffic growth. What about the number of people that would divert to the interstate highway that’s less than a half mile away from this segment? Does elasticity of demand not apply here? Aside from Vision Zero arguments and streetscape/livability stuff, this is just indefensibly bad traffic engineering logic that ignores all the progress we’ve made in the last 30 years, and reverts to looking as streets as a pipe and car traffic the liquid that flows through them. The lack of system thinking is manifest and disappointing.

    For BRT to work as a transit option along the SE corridor, it’s got to be true BRT, not just a regular old bus line with a few bells and whistles and maybe some smart signal designs here and there. That means dedicated right-of-way, which means taking capacity away from cars. To include bikeways as part of that reallocation is a no-brainer, given the small spatial requirements and the immense cost-benefit we’re seeing around high-quality bikeways. But an unwillingness to even look at auto capacity will scuttle this project from the start.

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    • PJ December 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      It is pretty clear that this is not going to deliver much in the way of transit time savings. If you look at the number of stations they are proposing for the length of the project and the fact it will have no dedicated right of way west of 82nd (and probably minimal on the Division portion to the east), we’re basically looking at splashy buses, nicer waiting areas, and the same transit service times. The stated commitment to improving pedestrian access to transit is nice, but when the money constraints come in my guess is we’ll hear more engineer-speak about how it isn’t feasible.

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    • Social Engineer December 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Even Portland is susceptible to the ever-present dangers of BRT creep.

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  • Granpa December 9, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    While there is lots of auto-centric business activity along this corridor, there is also lots of “cruiser” traffic where drivers just profile up and down the street. This is a very expendable use of lane use.

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  • realworld December 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Member Rithy Khut spoke up to say, “We’re going to tank this thing just for bike lanes? That’s hard for me to swallow.”

    Yes that is exactly what we should do! If ODOT and TriMet can’t “Do It Right” then don’t do it!
    It frustrates me to no end, every time PBOT, ODOT, TriMet “can’t do something” the right way it always comes down to compromising bicycle/pedestrian access and community safety! Argh!

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    • davemess December 10, 2015 at 7:41 am

      What’s “right” though? six blocks of bike lanes that dead end into nothing on either end?

      I agree with them. This is a project not worth fighting for.

      Fixing sidewalks on 82nd needs to be the first priority of any project.

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      • realworld December 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

        “right” is addressing the community aspect and making sure they do not continue down the Car Culture path that has made 82nd an absolute cesspool of low grade businesses, predatory used car dealers, sex trafficking, drug activity and the like.
        And the “right” way to fix their existing design errors is to start with traffic calming measures and make it a walk-able and bike-able community not a freeway.

        And btw this is only one section of 82nd that is ear marked for major change and transit upgrades. The plan is for a 7 mile stretch to be modernized
        http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/Region1/pages/82ndAve.aspx

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        • davemess December 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm

          I know I’ve been going to some of those meetings.
          I don’t think most of the “upgrades” are going to meet your standard though. We’re just happing Brentwood-Darlington that we get a new bus stop pullout and a WHOLE new block of sidewalk at 82nd and Duke.

          I’m saying that it’s still VERY debatable as to whether bikes on 82nd is the “right” way.

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  • Andrew N December 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    If the BTA sues over this, as they should, I’ll be renewing my membership.

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  • Keviniano December 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    There will never be a convenient time to bring vision zero to East Portland.

    I suspect that many at TriMet, PBOT, and even ODOT want to do what it takes to bring bike lanes to this, but don’t [think they] have the political heft to make it happen. This sounds like a case where that they need pressure.

    Makes me think of that quote that FDR supposedly said to progressives: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”

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  • Hello, Kitty December 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t buy the idea that the 82nd we have is in any way the 82nd we want. If we can’t change it with this project, I doubt we ever will.

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  • Buzz December 9, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    TriMet certainly buys property for their light rail projects, why not for their BRT projects as well?

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    • sean December 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      I would consider the bike project much more important than the bus route. Bike lanes would begin making 82nd a PLACE, not just a car commuter route and a stop on a bus line.

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  • maxD December 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    There seems to be a mindset that BRT is cheaper than rail will all of the benefits. That seems to get in the way of committing money to do BRT well. The result is more middling bus routes. These routes need their own lane, and they need to built differently (concrete instead of asphalt to reduce delays in the future from rebuilding). IMO, streecar on a dedicated line seems to make the most sense here- maybe they could run it down either the east of the west side of 82nd and the north/south lines could share a set of tracks where space is confined.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson December 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    HCT (High Capacity Transit) without a dedicated ROW (right of way) is DOA (you know what that means!). TriMet/Metro need to own up to this fact.
    One of the regrets of my career was agreeing, as a member of a specially organized task force, to the removal of bike lanes on Interstate Avenue between Killlingworth and Dekum as part of the MAX Yellow line project.
    No bike lanes, no project!

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    • maxD December 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Lenny,
      I have always wondered how that happened! I would love to hear more about it. The discomfort from those gaps is really starting to be felt these days as redevelopment proceeds and more people are living and walking on Interstate Ave. I’m sorry to hear that this is the result of a missed opportunity.

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  • sean December 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    What would be the effect on 82nd if it were three lanes with two lanes for bikes? Would the commuter traffic move to I-205? Would 82nd turn into Division?

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    • davemess December 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

      The commuter traffic already moves from 205 onto 82nd (and 92nd). With less lanes on 82nd it would likely spill out even further to more neighborhood hood streets.

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      • sean December 10, 2015 at 1:21 pm

        Or people might choose a different means of transportation. Build the lanes and they will fill.

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    • realworld December 10, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Yes, YES please do that! get rid of the 82nd cesspool

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  • Beeblebrox December 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    I can’t believe no one has brought this up yet, but…what the heck would these bike lanes connect to? Looks like they would be bike lanes to nowhere, given that no bike lanes are planned for Powell Blvd. The 70s and 80s neighborhood greenways are part of a network, whereas this would be a short stub with little to no functionality. The parallel greenways also intersect with lots of side streets offering access to 82nd, and will be more appealing to more people than bike lanes on 82nd itself.

    I would rather we wait until we can rethink the entirety of 82nd Ave, with a lane reconfiguration converting the center turn lane to bike lanes on either side. It seems like the center turn lane in a 5-lane road, as opposed to a 3-lane road, actually makes safety worse. Why? For the same reason it’s difficult to cross on foot–the double threat. We basically have a thousand unsignalized, permissive left turns on 82nd (every driveway), with left-turning vehicles turning in front of two lanes of traffic that might not see them. Ultimately 82nd Ave should look more like NE MLK Blvd, with a center median and aggressive access management, but with bike lanes instead of on-street parking. Until we get a corridor-long approach on 82nd, it’s not worth it to fight for a few blocks of bike lanes to nowhere.

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    • Josh December 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      I think the comparison to NE MLK Blvd is a good one. MLK is still a high-volume and somewhat high-speed road, but I think its configuration does help calm it to some degree.

      Center turn lanes, as the one currently on 82nd, provide both left turn access and act somewhat as a buffer against opposing traffic. A physical divider such as on MLK provides the protection, and also necessitates a more measured approach to allowing left turns (generally not mid-block). Even a small divider has the huge benefit of reducing the visual width of the roadway, which helps tame the highway mindset of scanning forward and seeing mostly asphalt. Maybe something like this? http://streetmix.net/-/305334 (The center divider would likely be eliminated at intersections to allow for a left turn lane.)

      I agree that any reconfiguration between Powell and Division would be a bit of an island, but I still think the smart move is to push for a solid plan now, even it’s not implemented just yet.

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    • mark December 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      In the beginning, all bike lanes are to nowhere until they can be connected. Roads are like that too.

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    • realworld December 10, 2015 at 10:11 am

      http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/Region1/pages/82ndAve.aspx

      This is only a small section of the planned modernization of almost the whole length of 82nd.

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  • Randy December 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Can we talk about “dramatically reducing auto capacity” without talking about the elephant – auto industry advertising? Billboards exist for a reason…

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  • maccoinnich December 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    The 2030 bike plan was passed in 2010 as a 20 year vision for how to build out a world class bike network. It didn’t come with any funding attached, but was instead meant to be the guide for what to do when the opportunities arose. In the plan 82nd is shown as having “separated in roadway” facilities along its entire length (as are Powell and Division for that matter). By the time the Powell-Division Transit project opens in 2020 we’ll be half way into the timeframe of the plan. If we can’t get bike lanes on a half mile section of 82nd in the first 10 years of the plan, as part of a project costing hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s hard to see how we’ll get them on the whole 8 mile corridor in the second 10 year period.

    Policy 9.6 of the Comprehensive Plan (currently going before City Council) states that modes should be prioritized in the following order: 1) Walking, 2) Bicycling, 3) Transit, 4) Taxi / commercial transit / shared vehicles, 5) Zero emission vehicles and 6) Other single‐occupancy vehicles. Although the new Comp Plan hasn’t yet been adopted, Portland has long had similar goals. And yet whenever a prioritization needs to be made it seems like it’s always single occupancy vehicles that are prioritized.

    Now I realize City of Portland isn’t the lead on this project, but most of the length of the route is within its boundaries. I believe that the City will also be a funding partner, so they presumably have a pretty large voice in this project. They should be making it known that they want a project that matches the values that have been expressed by City leaders and voters over and over again. It’s a shame that they don’t seem to be willing to do so.

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  • mark December 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    How exactly does a street “break down”? I would like to see that. Does it then require medication? Does it need a therapist?

    Just curious.

    Good to know the transit world is keen on keeping the car lobby status quo.

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    • davemess December 10, 2015 at 7:42 am

      The transit world is keen on keeping their transit running efficiently. And for many of them that means keeping traffic flowing reasonably.

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    • paikiala December 10, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      The queue of traffic waiting to go south at Division many days of the week stretches back multiple blocks, similar to that happens on Powell eastbound PM at Chavez. In transportation terms, the signals fail.
      Perspective is everything, though.

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  • mark December 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    More or less, the concept being promoted with the bike lanes is more or less dutch/copenhagen styled. And.. (suprise), trimet wants nothing to do with it.

    Because most of trimet…is stuck in 1980.

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  • peejay December 10, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I don’t think TriMet undrstands what its job is.

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  • Eric Leifsdad December 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Trimet always projects traffic will grow after they build transit. What’s the math behind that?

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  • jessie December 10, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Bike lanes on high-traffic streets are scary. Cars & buses speeding past, inches from your ear (with just a painted line between you and them!? When you can see the paint wearing off where they cross the line!?). Cars whipping in front of you to get into the (many, endless) parking lots. Buses cutting you off to get to the bus stops. Unless they put the bike lane in the center of the street, with concrete physical barriers (and no cut thrus), I’ll probably still ride on the side streets.

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    • Nick Falbo December 10, 2015 at 10:23 am

      I believe it’s possible to design a bike lane that you would feel comfortable on, even on 82nd. Portland has few world-class facilities to point to as an example, but built right, a bike lane on a street like 82nd would have some key design features:

      – Physical separation between bicyclists and motor vehicles.
      – Width designed to allow for passing and/or side-by-side riding.
      – Transit stops where bicyclists are channelized behind the transit stop to eliminate interactions between bicyclists and buses.
      – Raised crossings at driveways and intersections, to clearly indicate that the bike lane and sidewalk have priority over turning traffic.

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      • Mark December 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

        Putting bikes on the same plane with high speed cars without substantial barriers between the two means bike deaths. Just know that. Who gets to die first?

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        • Nick Falbo December 10, 2015 at 11:36 am

          Hi Mark, by “physical separation”, I am referring to a physical barrier with a vertical element.

          However, I take issue with the accusation that a regular bike lane would lead to an increased fatality rate. People walking, biking and driving die on 82nd today in tragic numbers. There is little support for the claim that adding a painted bike lane would result in a higher crash rate than is there today.

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          • Mark December 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

            I would be curious to see the numbers of riders on 82nd today.

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      • davemess December 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm

        I think it’s possible but it is wanted or needed?
        That’s the big question. Sitting through a couple of 82nd streetscape meetings last year, there was VERY little interest in bike facilities on 82nd (even from people who were cyclists).

        With Terry’s 70’s bikeway (which goes on 80th in a few spots) and the 205 path (along with the sporadic 80’s bikeway) I don’t know that there is a lot of need or a strong desire for 82nd to have bike facilities, esp. if they cost a ton of money.

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        • Hello, Kitty December 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm

          My guess is that what is wanted is not bike facilities, but increased safety for the current set of users. The BRT as proposed will help a little, but not enough, in my opinion.

          And this raises a thorny philosophical question: if the people in the area around 82nd prefer vehicle throughput to bike facilities, what is the appropriate response?

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        • PaulaF December 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

          Disclosure: I am the current transportation chair on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association

          If we are to begin a bike access implementation along 82nd, I would prefer to see a well-designed cycle track – good driveway design, modal-based signals, and clear sight lines. Design should also presume continued sidewalk riding as staying on one side or the other is far more convenient than criss-crossing.

          As far as lane reductions, I would prefer they leave them in order to minimize cut-through issues, which there are plenty even now on both sides of 82nd, all up and down its length. For this section, I would hope there is design work to create improved access from the east and west side planned greenways, including improved crossing treatments for both people walking and people biking. Maybe even some limited access points (aka diversion).

          A big issue I have heard deals with safety (transportation and public) as there is a perceived increase in serious crime, including gun-based. People are frustrated with congestion – ala the recent lane reduction along Glisan from 82nd to 60th. People are frustrated with the limits of what crossing treatments have been done, especially near schools – Madison, Vestal, PCC SE. People are frustrated with the poor conditions of roads and neighborhood streets – many unimproved, but financially difficult for them to justify having paving, curbs, and sidewalks installed.

          I have heard a fair number of complaints about money being spent on bike facilities out this way – they are not saying they are bad, but rather a poor city choice of priorities given a limited budget and the issues they see as more important.

          The neighborhood association has fully endorsed the 70s/80s greenway and wants safe connections, reduced neighborhood traffic, and safe access back to the 82nd businesses.

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          • Terry D-M December 11, 2015 at 11:02 am

            Thank you Paula, I agree……hence why when the first version of the TSP came out on the MAP Ap and there were NO bike facilities west of 82nd south of Division I worked like a bandit to get it on the map. In the Transportation and Land use committee on SE Uplift, not a single chair from any of the 20 neighborhoods of SE Uplift felt that 82nd could or would be road dieted over the next 20 years.

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          • Eric Leifsdad December 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

            Please avoid the term “cycle track”. “Protected bikeway” better describes the goal without the sporty connotations reinforcing the falsehood that anyone on a bike is just “out for some exercise”, hence that bike facilities are optional and funding them should be lower priority. If people only associate cars with mobility and bikes with recreation then limited access, narrower lanes, slower speed limits, and most other measures or dedicated infrastructure that would improve conditions for biking are seen as unworkable and impractical. As long as biking is “something other people do”, it’s going to be a difficult sell. Keeping kids and neighbors safe is harder to see as optional.

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  • Chris I December 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    This is the problem with BRT. This project should have been LRT, so it could tie in to the Orange line where it crosses Powell at 17th, and connect to the Green line at I-205, which would facilitate a jog north to Division, where it would continue east. Any project that doesn’t have complete ROW priority on Powell will fail to attract a meaningful amount of new riders.

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  • Brad December 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    There’s simply too much auto traffic and their models show that the “street would completely break down.”

    ^^Isn’t this the exact same thing they said about taking out the west side expressway in the 70’s? Not only would taking a lane out each way make the street far more pleasant and valuable, it would also make it safer and go a long way towards the city’s mode-split goals. I can’t believe that anyone would even consider widening an already 5-lane wide urban street in this day and age!

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor) December 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Well, Harbor Drive was removed right after I-405 was built. So it wasn’t quite as visionary as it’s sometimes made out to be.

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