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View Full Version : Wilshire Blvd HWY 217 overpass TAKE THE LANE!


lynnef
05-03-2011, 12:29 PM
TAKE THE LANE! Construction is slowly moving on towards complete, but still not there. The two available lanes are NARROW.

TAKE THE LANE! This forces following vehicles to seriously consider whether or not they want to pass - the bridge curves, line of sight is bad. They shouldn't pass.

TAKE THE LANE! Bicycle traffic is increasing on this overpass (yay!). By taking the lane, following vehicles have to move completely into the other lane, which they won't do, which is good, because it is highly likely there is an oncoming bicycle. Also, by

TAKING THE LANE! cyclists are more visible to oncoming vehicles, so they know not to move over into the oncoming lane to pass.

And they shouldn't pass - heck, it is only a block :)

wsbob
05-03-2011, 03:49 PM
The Wilshire Blvd 217 overpass is just east of and to the back side of the Cedar Hills Shopping Center. Is the construction project supposed to do anything to slow traffic down or make passage over this intersection better for biking?

My experience has always been that motor vehicle traffic is inclined to go very fast over this overpass and on past the back side of the shopping center, until the intersection with Roxbury Avenue, where it becomes more visibly residential, with correspondingly narrower streets. For cyclists, zipping down steeply pitched Roxbury is quite the thrill.

I rarely ride over that overpass, preferring to drop down into Beaverton to the east of 217 , then across 217 over the Cabot street overpass, further down the hill. For a more direct route to west Beaverton; Cedar Mills Crossing shopping center, the Wilshire St overpass would be logical.

The following is unrelated to discussion of the Wilshire overpass, but I want to mention that in checking out this intersection on the new Bike Beaverton Map, I happened to notice that the maps designers did not highlight as a bike route to the Hwy 26 separated bike path, streets proceeding from Center St, up across the Cabot St overpass, then across Walker Rd and eventually up to the Cedar Hills Shopping Center, near to where the west end of this very fine bike lane begins.

Instead, as a bike route to the west end of the Hwy 26 bike lane, the map designers chose to highlight Scenic Drive from all the way down on Canyon Rd. People looking for a route should know that Scenic is a very steep climb; much more so than the route across Cabot, and beyond through the Ridgewood School neighborhood.

Roxbury is another highlighted bike route, and it's also very steep. Parkway is the westernmost of highlighted bike routes to Cedar Hills. It's possibly an important, good route to Cedar Hills; I can't say, as I rarely ride it...one reason is that motor vehicles use it a lot, but I know the road well enough to be able to say that it also has a very steep section just prior to getting to Cedar Hills.

These routes do have the little arrows designating "uphill", but seems to me that's hardly enough info to give people a sufficient idea of what they're up against as cyclists if they're going to follow the map's advice and take these routes...especially when there are routes with less steep grades. Cyclists new to this area planning routes through the hills surrounding Beaverton should be careful about relying on this map. Ask lots of questions from local riders experienced with good routes in the area.

Simple Nature
05-03-2011, 05:41 PM
That has been a very poorly controlled pinch-point throughout this construction.
So far, people have been pretty patient when I cross.
I think you are automatically in the lane once you are on the bridge.

Bob, as for getting there, I always seem to get there from the other side of 26.
I leally like that ped-overpass from the parking garage.
Still a climb or two to get there, but nothing like the one coming off of 8.

wsbob
05-03-2011, 09:40 PM
That has been a very poorly controlled pinch-point throughout this construction.
So far, people have been pretty patient when I cross.
I think you are automatically in the lane once you are on the bridge.

Bob, as for getting there, I always seem to get there from the other side of 26.
I leally like that ped-overpass from the parking garage.
Still a climb or two to get there, but nothing like the one coming off of 8.

'8' is Canyon Rd. Your description "... coming off of 8...", would likely mean taking Scenic Drive north, up to Cedar Hills, as I described. It's super steep, so it's unwise IMO to direct unwitting recreational cyclists up that route. In fact, 'for fun' timed trials up Scenic Dr to where it levels off, could be interesting. I'm not in shape for it, but lots of people are. I can make it, but it would be a little more work than I'm right now interested in. I'll guess it's only a mile or two in length, so it could be a really good training exercise.

Yes, the Hwy 26 pedestrian overpass is definitely a wonderful facility for people seeking non-motor-vehicle passage across the highway from the Sunset Transit Center to the Cedar Hills neighborhood and beyond. The subject of what's of worth in this neighborhood, came up recently in a few comments to a bikeportland main page story. A lot of people probably don't really know what's here. It's got a lot of as yet, unrealized potential.

By the way: I did a little search, and found a nice page listing a bunch of the businesses and services in the Cedar Hill area, (which includes more than those in the shopping center complex:

Nodd's Neighborhood, Beaverton's Community Website, Cedar Hills Shopping Center area (http://www.nodds.org/location.php?storelocationid=11310)

lynnef
05-03-2011, 10:29 PM
Well, heck, I live there, and it is my preferred commute to work. I've been riding it for well over a decade. I even let my children ride it, unaccompanied.

The construction is to widen Hwy 217, and they have to do overpass work to add that extra lane. Normally the overpass is two wide lanes and generous shoulders. At the moment is it two very narrow lanes.

The Wilshire overpass is on the main westward flyway (bike commute route) off the Sunset Highway MUP. Cyclists come off the MUP, turn west on Wilshire, go behind the shopping center, R on Roxbury and L on Park Way. If you did Worst Day of the Year Ride, well, that's part of the route.

SW Park Way is, in the morning, one of the highlights of my commute. I used to try to be breaking the speed limit (back when it was 35mph except during limited hours in front of Cedar Park Middle School) when I hit the bottom :) Another place to take the lane, when it narrows to one lane. I do, because I don't want to get squashed onto the curb/sidewalk, and I also like to improve my visibility to vehicles entering Park Way from Park Wood at the bottom of the hill. And, as I am going pretty darn close to the speed limit, I don't particularly care if there is something behind me. We all have to hit the brakes in the school zone.

Coming home... well, let's say I'm always adding stories to my character building. Especially in the dark and rain. Excellently epic.

wsbob
05-03-2011, 11:18 PM
Well, heck, I live there, and it is my preferred commute to work. I've been riding it for well over a decade. I even let my children ride it, unaccompanied.

The construction is to widen Hwy 217, and they have to do overpass work to add that extra lane. Normally the overpass is two wide lanes and generous shoulders. At the moment is it two very narrow lanes.

The Wilshire overpass is on the main westward flyway (bike commute route) off the Sunset Highway MUP. Cyclists come off the MUP, turn west on Wilshire, go behind the shopping center, R on Roxbury and L on Park Way. If you did Worst Day of the Year Ride, well, that's part of the route.

SW Park Way is, in the morning, one of the highlights of my commute. I used to try to be breaking the speed limit (back when it was 35mph except during limited hours in front of Cedar Park Middle School) when I hit the bottom :) Another place to take the lane, when it narrows to one lane. I do, because I don't want to get squashed onto the curb/sidewalk, and I also like to improve my visibility to vehicles entering Park Way from Park Wood at the bottom of the hill. And, as I am going pretty darn close to the speed limit, I don't particularly care if there is something behind me. We all have to hit the brakes in the school zone.

Coming home... well, let's say I'm always adding stories to my character building. Especially in the dark and rain. Excellently epic.


Well...I couldn't say about your kids, but you...Ms. Randonneur-double century (Hey!... 'easy as pie', no big deal, just simple, good old fashioned fun!), rider with a decade of experience on this route, would seem to be a little something more than a shrinking violet recreational cyclist. Which is a good thing. Helpful thread topic though. Thanks!

So, a.m., I gather that means you're going downhill. 35 mph is definitely doable on the Parkway down grade. On skinny bike tires, that's fast enough 'fo this he-e-er bo-eh'. The wind noise alone is more than I need.

Oh-yeah...I didn't stop to think that the Wilshire overpass work was due to the widening of 217 below (I'll stop myself right now from a cynical remark expressing that the widening work will do absolutely no good besides having created construction work jobs.)

lynnef
05-04-2011, 10:01 AM
"Well...I couldn't say about your kids, but you...Ms. Randonneur-double century (Hey!... 'easy as pie', no big deal, just simple, good old fashioned fun!), rider with a decade of experience on this route, would seem to be a little something more than a shrinking violet recreational cyclist. Which is a good thing. Helpful thread topic though. Thanks!"

You know, I wasn't always Ms Randonneur-double century. Distance and attitude towards riding in varied conditions are not mutually exclusive. If anything, my riding has gotten a bit more conservative. There are some roads I used to ride that I won't, now. But you'd be surprised how effective taking the lane can be. It improves your visibility to other road users, it suggests that the lane is not wide enough to safely share, and discourages unsafe lane sharing.

wsbob
05-04-2011, 10:42 PM
I agree on the value of taking the lane. Doing so effectively though, I think really begs a number of things, such as, conditioning, experience, confidence and unflappability. I have been more fit than I am currently, but I still probably have enough fitness and all the other items I listed, to be able to deal with almost anything a piddle-poo antsy-pants motorist could present.

This Wilshire overpass construction only being a block long, taking the lane is probably no big deal for most cyclists. Lots of road situations though, probably range from unpleasant to extremely intimidating for many of the casual or 'would be cyclists' out there. I think that's a continuing barrier to overcome as more people are induced to go for bikes as transportation.

You probably don't, but I think it happens that experienced and conditioned cyclists forget just how scary it can be, to be an out of shape, novice cyclist with cars backed up behind them, maybe honking horns or calling out remarks.