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View Full Version : Bike lanes eliminated from Bull Mountain Rd


DaveT
07-10-2010, 09:00 PM
Bull Mountain Rd was recently repaved from Hwy 99 to SW Roshak Rd "putting Oregon back to work". I was pleased to see this since some sections had become very broken, including areas of the bike lanes which ran on both sides from Hwy 99 to SW 150th. I was also hoping that when they restriped the bike lanes they would leave off the reflectors that ran on both sides of the bike lane stripes; these are not recommended for use on bike lanes for obvious reasons.

It is also worth noting these lanes were originally created for both cycling and walking, since there were very few sidewalks along Bull Mountain Rd 10 years ago. Since then many areas have been developed with sidewalks.

I was taken aback when they finally striped the new pavement; the bike lanes were ELIMINATED. The new shoulder stripes are the narrower fog-line variety, and in quite a few places they now within a foot of the curb or edge of pavement. Even more strangely, these new stripes are continued through several intersections as dashed lines, which only makes sense for a bike lane, not a shoulder/fog line.

I submitted a service request through the Washington County Roads page at www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/Operations/request-service.cfm asking whether this was intentional or perhaps a mistake by the contractor. I'll post an update if/when I get a response.

Note that Bull Mountain Rd is apparently owned by the county, even though much of the east end is within the City of Tigard.

A big step backward for bicycling in Washington County & Tigard.

Dave Thomson

wsbob
07-11-2010, 10:50 AM
Dave...good info, thanks. Will appreciate any updates. Been awhile since I've ridden Bull Mtn Rd. Recall it being very steep, so bike lanes there would seem to make sense.

Also recall that a couple years ago, Bull Mtn residents vigorously opposed annexation by Tigard, wanting to establish their own municipality and be immune to Tigard taxation. Since you say that this is a county road, maybe that's neither here nor there so to speak.

Hope you actually get a response from that county website. Looking over the county website some months ago was confusing. Beaverton's is much better. To get a response, you may need an actual person to contact.

Simple Nature
07-11-2010, 11:43 AM
You might also contact Tualitin Hills park and rec. They have direct contacts and great interest in keeping the area cycle friendly. They should be able to get you contact information and even support if you need it.

DaveT
07-12-2010, 09:09 AM
Recall it being very steep, so bike lanes there would seem to make sense.

It is steep in many places. This makes uphill bike lanes important, downhill bike lanes are less useful just because even a generous width may not be enough at 30+ MPH. Unfortunately two of the longer stretches that now have no usable lane are uphill.

We probably don't want to rehash the Tigard / Bull Mountain annexation debate here :)

DaveT
07-12-2010, 09:12 AM
You might also contact Tualitin Hills park and rec.

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately neither the Tigard nor Washington Co parts of Bull Mountain are part of THPRD.

wsbob
07-12-2010, 10:04 PM
It is steep in many places. This makes uphill bike lanes important, downhill bike lanes are less useful just because even a generous width may not be enough at 30+ MPH. Unfortunately two of the longer stretches that now have no usable lane are uphill.

We probably don't want to rehash the Tigard / Bull Mountain annexation debate here :)

Dave ...no, just wondered if one or the other might have deliberately moved to eliminate bike lanes to save money or to satisfy resident values that perhaps weren't supportive of non-motorized transportation. I'm curious to take a look. Bike lanes on the uphill seem important. As you said, probably aren't so much on the downhill, but on the other hand, with a new, slower type of rider hopefully adding to present numbers, maybe they are. 30mph on a cruiser or comfort bike may be a scarier ride than many people would enjoy taking.

sgtiger
07-19-2010, 01:59 AM
I live in Bull Mountain Meadows adjacent to the Bull Mountain community, and we are indeed in no mans land. We're not within the city limits of Tigard, to include much of Bull Mountain Rd., even though people commonly use Tigard in their addresses. For schools, most of us are a part of the Beaverton School district but we don't belong to Beaverton. The neighborhood parks and trails are managed by THPRD but we're not actually in their district and have to pay out of district fees to use their rec. centers, though there's one within walking distance. We use Tigard water but we're not within the Tigard/Tualatin sewer district, so we pay separate water and sewer bills. And we are covered by Tualatin Fire, but Beaverton Police. It gets a bit confusing at times to know who to contact for what.

As to satisfying resident values, I can't imagine the lanes being left out for that reason. Most of my neighbors are not opposed to bike lanes. They would rather see us there than taking the lane. Of the people that I have talked to who think that way, most of them don't know what do in a lot of car/bike interactions, so they'd rather have us out of the way for our own protection.:rolleyes: They do, however, seem to have a healthy respect for us, even though they view my husband and I as being a bit daft and/or crazy for biking on the roads. Also, almost 2/3 of residents own some kind of bike or another. Sure, some are of the variety of rider that only ride on trails around the lake with their kids when they go RVing or the 1.5 miles to the local coffee shop. They may not exactly identify with the more transportational cyclists, but they are almost always courteous when they're driving past us in their cars.

BTW if you're in the area and see a slightly crazy looking couple riding Xtracyles, say "hi." We're not as crazy as we look. No, really.

wsbob
07-19-2010, 10:04 AM
sgtiger ...hey! It's great reading your take about what's going on with regards to bike lanes around Bull Mtn, and other things too.

You remark: "... most of them don't know what do in a lot of car/bike interactions, so they'd rather have us out of the way for our own protection. ..." is something I also find to be true.

It seems that motorists as a whole are under great pressure from each other to go ever faster and intensely...and because some of them object so strenuously to slowing down the pace for people on their bikes to crest a hill or get around some parked cars, the road becomes a place of uncertainty and agitation for the motorists they're following.

I forgot that Murrayhill has that little man-made lake. It probably would be naturally appealing for some people to take a little exercise ride around. And then there all the shops right nearby as well, which could be convenient for getting some things done by bike. The westside trail is right nearby too; not exactly what I'd call a commuter route, but in the minds of some area planners, that seems to be the working premise.

Noticed your location is Bothell ...as in Washington, I suppose.

sgtiger
07-19-2010, 03:19 PM
wsbobb - It'll take a while to get many of them to come around to the idea of using their bikes to run errands, but they seem pretty inquisitive and express the desire to be able to do so. My husband and I try to answer as many of their questions and concerns whenever they bring up the subject.

And thanks for pointing out my listed location. Looks like I'm overdue to update my account.

DaveT
07-22-2010, 01:29 PM
I submitted a service request through the Washington County Roads page at www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/Operations/request-service.cfm asking whether this was intentional or perhaps a mistake by the contractor. I'll post an update if/when I get a response.
I got a nice response to my service request from Victoria Saager of Washington County Land Use and Transportation. She said the contractor was to have re-striped Bull Mountain Road as it was originally, and the county project engineer was following up with the contractor.

I am hopeful this is a step toward getting this fixed. Stay tuned.

Dave

K'Tesh
07-23-2010, 07:18 AM
Please take some before and after pictures... this can help people visualize the area (a picture's worth...).

Thanks!
K'Tesh

DaveT
08-02-2010, 01:41 PM
the county project engineer was following up with the contractor.

Last week someone (don't know if it was the county or the contractor) used spray paint to mark the new location for shoulder stripes where the striping is too close to the edge of the road or curb.

No word on whether they will restripe the entire project with the original 6" bike lane stripes or just correct the narrow spots but leave the 4" stripes.

I meant to take some pics but forgot the camera when I rode it on Saturday.

My new concern is how they are going to remove the incorrect markings. If they grind them out there will be a nasty groove in the middle of the bike lane which will be particularly nasty when climbing (slowly in my case).

Dave

DaveT
10-29-2010, 08:16 AM
Last week the contractor finally laid down the new striping. The stripes are still not the wider stripes used for bike lanes (they were before as can be seen on Google Maps street view, but apparently Bull Mountain Rd is not designated as having bike lanes, so they used shoulder stripes this time).

Overall it is an improvement; the pavement is new and the shoulder space is as good as it was before the re-paving.

It is sad that Washington County didn't take the opportunity to make actual bike lanes; there is enough space except in a couple of tight spots. I got the impression that this was a rushed project with no thought to improvements beyond the new pavement.

fearlesscyclist
11-22-2010, 04:49 PM
It is sad that Washington County didn't take the opportunity to make actual bike lanes; there is enough space except in a couple of tight spots. I got the impression that this was a rushed project with no thought to improvements beyond the new pavement.

Dave, The project was an overlay of old pavement, which included restriping. If it had been an "improvement project" as an arterial, bike lanes and sidewalks would be included in the project.

It's been a few years since I rode out there, and noticed the recent paving, but didn't pedal it. I don't recall what markings were on the ground, but if it's been corrected recently, WYSIWYG.

The county will be updating its Transportation Plan soon. As a likely member of the convening committee, I can use as much help as I can get to make sure the plan is clear with regard to the process used to determine what county roads get what facilities when (or if). Stay tuned...

Hal