View Full Version : The Dump Zone on BH

06-27-2011, 08:25 PM
If you've ever had the displeasure of riding Beaverton Hillsdale, ascending from Oleson to Capital, you'll note that this bike path has a serious hazard.
A giant vortex that takes up the bike lane prior to an adjoining street. I am tempted to bring along white spray paint or a paint roller to demarcate (widen) the lane to accommodate a bike rather than just a road hazard.

So, today I was making my way up BH and I look back before attempting to traverse this scary part of the ride and to my horror, traffic! So, of course I go for it and come within inches of an induced accelerating BBV (big black Vehicle). Dumb move on my part! Next time, I may have to get off my steed and walk that part of the bike path! Seriously, I can imagine hitting this spot on a thin wheeled road bike in the dark. Pure deadlum.
Maybe in the future I'll take along some gravel to fill this darn hazard! Can I sue portland for having such a hazard in the bike lane if I end up on my ass? Similar to suing a business? They are corporate aren't they?

Course there are other hazards on this stretch of BH road: the perpendicular adjoining street with accompanying bushes that hide our presence from an eager vehicle attempting to merge from a very steep street. There aught to be mirror! So we could anticipate the danger! I'm positive some cyclist has met their doom on this stretch of roadway.
Finally, the awkward green lane that traverses the exit point for Bertha perpendicularly. Perpendicular for who? Not for cyclists, but for pedestrians!!! And an accompanying sign which most motorists ignore, to yield to cyclists. I would literally get run down if I attempted to merge onto this green strip without warning! So, lately I do a quick check for no cars and merge early continuing onto BH, avoiding the green path all together!

Please, don't get me wrong. I much prefer riding this part of Beaverton Hillsdale rather than the dead zone, the stretch of highway that extends from SW Oleson road into Beaverton!

06-27-2011, 09:48 PM
I haven't ridden that section of Beav/Hillsdale for a long while, but I am familiar with the road. It's big, wide and fast for motor vehicles, but generally not too bad for traveling by bike. There are difficult problems with the road though, such as the green box at the Bertha intersection you described (how that could be easily improved...I don't know...used to be worse.).

First of all, try to clarify what you're describing by:

"... A giant vortex that takes up the bike lane prior to an adjoining street. ..."

Is this a pavement depression? A main road to side street design obstacle? Tell us more clearly.

Second, road users messin' with issues they identify on the road as problems, isn't probably a particularly good way to go about drawing attention to, and a remedy to the problem. If you've got a bit of time and energy, take your pocket digital camera along with you, cell phone digital camera, etc (if you've got one or the other.), document the problem, and send the pics along with your written description of the problem to the road department that has jurisdiction over this part of the road.

You've got to find who has jurisdiction, and I'm not sure who that might be, but it sounds likely to be Multnomah County. Send that stuff off, then wait a couple weeks...see if they respond. If not, proceed to 'step 2'. Other people reading might have some ideas about what form 'step 2' might best take.

06-27-2011, 10:02 PM
Sorry not to clarify the looks of this vortex. A depression in the asphalt resembling a clay mold of mount hood.
Thanks for the reply.

06-27-2011, 11:21 PM
Forwarded this to ODOT, and b1+ch3d about the vegetation that forced me out of the bike lane when I was riding down from PDX the other day. I didn't have my camera, I was headed to the camera shop to pickup a copy of the estimate on fixing it from the 2011/5/4 crash.

I also had a problem crossing it at Bertha (which has it's own problems [black hole type catch basins]). I get up to the crosswalk, and a red pickup failed to yield the ROW to me at the crosswalk (I had the signal). The only reason I wasn't hit, was because I was looking.

IMHO, B/H is a deathtrap just waiting for it's victim. :mad:

06-28-2011, 01:35 PM
This is the location of vortex hole on B/H at SW 50th. The drop off is like a water fall, hardly visible till you're on top of it!
Notice that it is quite a deep spot. For anyone going at a speed of 10 or 12 miles an hour, you're sure to get one heck of a bumpy ride, even end up possibly falling before the cross road!

Ride safe!

06-28-2011, 02:03 PM
Dovestrobe...thanks for taking and posting those pictures. That storm grate grade is set far too low below surrounding roadway grade, and just like you said, not nearly visible enough to people approaching it on a bike in the bike lane.

I hope you'll proceed to find what department of transportation is responsible for fixing this, and get them started on the process of doing it. My experience, is that government and bureacracy can be really slow to fix even something as bad as this. I'll soon be loading up 'after' pics of the storm grate on Hall Blvd in Beaverton showing its raised level relative to the surrounding roadway for safer, improved bike travel. The Beaverton storm grate setting was bad, but not as seriously bad as this one on Beav/Hillsdale.

06-28-2011, 05:25 PM
Yes and since who knows how long the fix will take, I'd say go ahead and spray paint the hazard to warn riders about it. Day glo!

06-29-2011, 05:34 AM
Dovestrobe, the first picture of your last post makes the hazard very clear to me.

Spray paint the cr** out of that area with neon paint to prevent anyone from busting their face. Then do what wsbob said.

06-29-2011, 11:55 AM
The location is city of Portland responsibility.

I've asked that this be forwarded to PBoT.

06-29-2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks everyone for your contribution to this thread. Haven't gotten to Lowes yet to pick up the day glow but it WILL happen!

Ride defensively, stay safe!

06-29-2011, 01:51 PM
Jeff, I was asked to forward the bikeportland.org link below. The link is to comments about Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy (city portion or responsibility).

I know Jeff, hopefully he'll be able to help us with this.

06-29-2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks everyone for your contribution to this thread. Haven't gotten to Lowes yet to pick up the day glow but it WILL happen!

Ride defensively, stay safe!

Freddy's has downward spraying paint for $5(ish). Lemme know what Lowes costs please.

06-29-2011, 02:54 PM
Called Portland Bicycle hotline:

503 823 2925

Reported this, hopefully others of you who run across this hazard will do the same!

06-29-2011, 06:54 PM
Called Portland Bicycle hotline:

503 823 2925

Reported this, hopefully others of you who run across this hazard will do the same!

From jeff.smith(at)portlandoregon.gov

I canít ascertain where the grate in question is, exactly. I know itís on SW B-H Hwy near 50thÖis it the one near the SW corner of the intersection?

06-29-2011, 07:14 PM
Heading east on Beaverton Hillsdale, it is at the beginning of the intersection of 50th and B/H, just prior to crossing 50th.


06-30-2011, 01:57 PM
For the purpose of comparing what a safe to ride street catch basin should be, I'm posting pics here, of the Hall Blvd at light rail crossing (Beaverton), along with Dovestrobes pic of the deeply and abruptly depressed catch basin at "...50th and B/H." :


Hall Blvd catch basin in Beaverton, before repair. Notice the abrupt drop from roadway height to the catch basin. A bike without suspension can survive a depressed surface like this, but it was quite a serious jolt; hard on the bike, hard on the person riding. I think it could have thrown some riders off-balance, maybe have caused them to fall or be diverted into the path of main lane traffic.


Hall Blvd catch basin in Beaverton, after repair. Bike traffic can now basically roll right over the grate itself with very little bumpiness.


Dovestrobe's pic of the storm grate at 50th and B/H. It's right in the path of where people riding bikes often might have to travel, if they weren't able to see the depression sufficiently in advance to find a break in main lane traffic to take the lane and avoid this catch basin depression. If a person happened to unwittingly ride their bike into this depression, or be forced to ride into it by main lane traffic, the resulting jolt may be strong enough to break the bike, injure the person riding, throw them into the path of a motor vehicle, etc. etc. i.e.: cause a lot of discomfort to somebody, and cost a lot of money...possibly borne by taxpayers... to cover those costs.

Link to the thread these pics came from: Hall Blvd-light rail crossing catch basin, and more (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3505)