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View Full Version : Another low for bike lanes...


Simple Nature
08-09-2011, 04:45 PM
I was cruising back from a night ride along SW170th Ave last night (Monday night) between Farmington and TV Hwy (Hwy10 & Hwy8 ) and lo! ...garbage cans all along the NB bike lanes. What the...! Who do we complain to about this?

q`Tzal
08-09-2011, 09:09 PM
I started with Beaverton's Recycling & Garbage page http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?nid=397
but this area is outside.

Washington County's Recycling & Garbage page is http://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/SWR/

I like the Solid Waste Code Enforcement page http://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/SWR/Regulatory/solid-waste-code-enforcement.cfm

From the page:
The Washington County Solid Waste and Recycling Program serves as an enforcement agent of Washington County Code Chapters

8.04 (Solid Waste Control)
8.08 (Solid Waste Disposal Sites)
8.20 (Nuisances), and (the section under which I think a complaint should be filed)
8.24 (Noise)

This may be overly bureaucratic but I suspect it will be easier to get the trash collector to enforce this than trying to get each individual home owner ticketed.

Simple Nature
08-10-2011, 09:59 AM
Thanks... I sent a note to the road service request. We'll see where it gets directed.

"I am not sure who to contact on this so I thought I'd start here. On a bike ride Monday evening, I noticed that garbage bins are consistently placed in the bicycle lane along the stretch of SW 170th Ave between TV Hwy and Farmington Rd. On Tuesday night, some of the bins were still present. On several occasions I was forced into the traffic lane. What is Washington County's policy for use of the bicycle lane for garbage bins?"

q`Tzal
08-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Yeah, its the "consistently" part that makes me think it was the garbage collector; either an axe to grind or just plain simple ignorance/obliviousness. Hanlon's law I say. Consistent is hard for a random group of people to manage even if they want to.

I expected K'Tesh to pop in with an answer showing I was wrong, `sall good:D
If he's busy I'm happy to pick up the research and info slack so he can go be a diplomat.

K'Tesh
08-10-2011, 04:23 PM
I was busy with LA Fitness, and another round of "talks" w/B'Ton's finest*.

Remember Kids... "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished..."
K'Tesh

*details later...

wsbob
08-10-2011, 11:09 PM
Keep us posted on any response you receive, or change in consistent location of the bins.

The dynamics of that arrangement, authorizing the garbage hauler to enforce garbage bin related ordinances, are intriguing. The residents are their customers. I suppose the county expects the garbage haulers to issue their customers citations for nuisances when the customer creates them.

So in responses they may or may not receive, what might simple nature or q`Tzal find out: Do the garbage haulers get paid per citation for issuing citations, or is it just a general obligation as part of their contract with the county, to issue citations? I'm trying to figure out what the incentive might be on the part of the hauler, because it seems to me, unless there was some very significant incentive to keep the bike lanes free of garbage bins put there by residents, or left there by the haulers themselves, they probably wouldn't want to have to bother with stuff like this. They'd just want to get the garbage hauled, go home and do...whatever.

Simple Nature
08-11-2011, 12:00 AM
I think the haulers are waste management. There is significant vegitation along the curb and I suspect this is the norm/expected behavior for customers along this section.

I did get a call from the Co. to confirm what I was seeing. They are digging into it.

JulienPDX
08-12-2011, 07:36 AM
I don't think I'm reaching too far when I say this is most likely the garbage collectors themselves not putting the cans back on the yard/lawn. Also, this is one of the myriads of reasons I stopped riding on Walker Rd between Cedar Hills and Murray; too many of those on Mondays

Simple Nature
08-12-2011, 01:38 PM
There is no yard so it is likely where WM tells the customers to put them. But this isn't right. This is a bike lane which must have a specified clear lane at all times (when convenient) and should not be allocated to other services on a regular basis. If this is the case, the bike lane should be extended in width to account for the intrusion.

I haven't heard anything more as yet but I certainly plan to follow up. When one is forced into the lane of traffic, it is serious problem. After all, I am 3' wide at the front wheels... not unlike "normal" bikes that are several feet wide at the handlebars and shoulders. Even if your tires remain in the bike lane, parts of you and the bike are in the traffic lane. Recumbent trikes are, after all, recognized in legal'eze as "bicycles". Only Trimet can ignore this fact with specific policy.

wsbob
08-13-2011, 12:48 PM
"... but I certainly plan to follow up. ..." Simple Nature

Definitely do that, It would help a lot though, if it were a number of people regularly using the road and having to deal with the problem, that were urging the county to correct it, rather than mostly just yourself...if that happens to be the case here. I think people not speaking up, or not objecting to obvious problems has a fair bit to do with why things just don't get corrected when they should.

K'Tesh's odyssey with the creekside bushes at Beaverton Creek on Hall Blvd, is one example. The high growing wild rose bushes should never have been planted there in the first place. Whoever was responsible for approving the planting design should never have signed off on the planting design (yes, it's obvious if you go there and look at it first hand, that this was landscaped and not volunteer growth.). Once plantings in situations similar to this one are there and growing up and out of control, road users, busy as they are, almost to every single one of them, just adjust to the poor situation, and seem to rarely, maybe never say a word about it to their city.

The arrangement of trees and their pruning, adjacent to the Milikan Way bike lane near Rose Biggi Ave is another example. Some people don't seem to think it's necessary on this street, to be able to see the pictograph sign that advises road users, main travel and bike lane users alike, that the bike lane ends at Rose Biggi east bound. That's fine, but the fact remains that for the street to function properly in the interest of safety for all road users, the sign really needs to be visible. Somebody sat down with a sketchbook and at a drafting table, laid out a design scheme for this street, made it look pretty, but failed to have that design achieve basic functionality for the people that actually have to travel the street. Again it would seem, contractors and supervisors signed off on the faulty design, wasting taxpayer money, and leaving road users to adapt and deal with messes like this, day after day.




I believe I rode the section of 170th you're referring to, several weeks ago. It's not a road I ride regularly, but I recognize that's a very important north-south connecting road, of which I've heard local politicians and city officials remark to the effect there is a notable lack of. As I'm struggling to recall most recently using this road, I'm thinking I may have seen bins on the bike lane.

Since I'm riding a conventional road bike, and traveling 20-25 mph, it wasn't any big problem for me to signal and swing out around them. That doesn't change the fact though, that keeping the bike lanes clear for general bike traffic is very important from both a functional and a perceptual perspective. People need bike lanes to be kept clear so they can be ridden in.

Also an important reason though, for keeping bike lanes clear of garbage bins, parked cars and whatever else...boats, trailers, etc. ...is sustaining the message that bike lanes are a viable part of the roadway for practical travel by bike. If bike lanes are casually allowed to be cluttered with a lot of junk, the public's perception may be resigned to the idea that bike lanes aren't really a part of the road that can be ridden on in a practical sense.

Kind of a funny thing occurred to me about the authority granted the waste hauler, to enforce ordinances prohibiting leaving garbage bins in the bike lane. This situation may be a bit comparable to practices police are given carte blanche to use, if they deem it necessary; biking on sidewalks where biking is generally prohibited...double parking vehicles on the street ...and so on. Does the garbage hauler view residents parking their garbage bins out on the bike lane as an offense that justifies a citation, while if the hauler itself, for some reason finds a need to leave the bins on the bike lane, this is o.k. ?

Simple Nature
08-13-2011, 02:30 PM
Bob, you have entirely too much time on your hands... or you are a typist by profession. Either way, lots of good sense in your post. How do we mobilize a group efort in resolving this situation? I was going to get some pix or vids of the situation next monday.

wsbob
08-13-2011, 05:03 PM
Bob, you have entirely too much time on your hands... or you are a typist by profession. Either way, lots of good sense in your post. How do we mobilize a group efort in resolving this situation? I was going to get some pix or vids of the situation next monday.

All the writing is partly a kind of mental exercise. It's a good way to relax and think things through.

I don't know much about mobilizing people through groups to leverage action. I know people do form such groups, and some of those type groups efforts can sometimes have quite an effect. Not a very related example, but 'Save North Plains', I think...headed up by the ex-Californian Cherry Ambiasa, comes to mind.

First item to consider, is whether a group can be assembled. Participation in a group usually means people committing a certain amount of their time and energy, and sometimes money (but hopefully not here.), to get something accomplished. If enough stands to be lost due to an identified problem or issue, people might recognize that committing their time and energy to address the problems, is justified.

Here with the garbage bins on 170th, while it would be great to keep them out of the bike lane, I expect there may not be enough people that find the bike lanes must be clear in order for them to safely travel the road. Like me, they're probably quick and fast enough (a-hem....), to just jump into the main lane and go around. I get the impression that a lot of people that ride, love any excuse to stay out of the bike lane. So it might be challenging to form much of a group.

For the moment, I'd say, definitely take pictures and send them to the county office. Also, post them to this thread (not a perfect way to make them publicly accessible, because people have to register to see them.), and to one of those free picture posting sites, with a link to that site on this thread. At least with that, people have a readily accessible way of seeing what the problem is. Maybe some of them will decide to take a ride down 170th, find the bins to be a problem, and then give the county a call.

While you're putting the pictures together, give the county people some more time, and hope they can can come up with some answers. Maybe it's possible to find the reason why whoever is leaving the bins out in the bike lane are doing so, and provide a remedy. You said something about "...significant vegetation along the curb ...". Maybe residents are worried the haulers won't see the bins to get their garbage taken away, so they put the bins in the bike lane where the hauler can see them.


Kind of jumping off topic here, but I wonder if a certain approach might help to focus awareness on areas that need attention. Such as a grass-roots self initiated citizen task force that takes on certain problems critically in need of attention. Using my area, Central Beaverton, as an example of such a problem, despite the good, informal work last week by K'Tesh, the creekside shrubbery of Beaverton Creek on Hall Blvd continues to be a problem. Jim (K'Tesh), was able to clear the shrubbery from blocking the sidewalk, but the creekside stuff still blocks the view for people attempting to leave the driveway, southbound onto the Watson leg of the Hall/Watson couplet.

I haven't timed it, but Beaverton Creek at Hall, is probably within, plus maybe a few minutes more, a 10 minute ride radius from the close in neighborhoods south of Farmington and between Lombard and Watson. This radius and the straight through routes the couplet with its bike lanes offer people willing to travel by bike, is what makes the couplet the important connecting bike route it is. It's why optimization of the route for safe and efficient, comfortable and appealing travel by bike...is so important for people in Beaverton. A general public awareness of that important functionality associated with the route is what may be lacking.

That goes for roadways, or at least, sections of them...like 170th too. The north of TV Hwy two-lane 170th to Baseline has an extraordinary volume of motor vehicle traffic. Riding it today...Sunday...at 2pm, the amount of traffic is stunning. Attempting to enter 170th northbound from Pheasant Ln, 35-45 cars passed before there finally was a gap large enough to cross the road and enter the bike lane.

I didn't time it, but I'll guess maybe 45 seconds to a minute, watching for an available entry space in the traffic. Northbound, there aren't a lot of residents living right next to this section of 170th (nature park, St Mary's convent.), so garbage bins on the bike lane isn't going to be the problem it is south of TV. With traffic this heavy though, even on an off work day such as Sunday, it likely wouldn't be hard for people to understand the problem barriers of any kind in the bike lane would represent to safe, flow of bike traffic...if they actually were made aware of the problem.

Simple Nature
08-16-2011, 07:54 PM
Today I went S on 170th. I only saw 5 cans in the N-bound bike lane; one group of 4 and a loaner further north. I'll keep an eye out to see if anything actually changed.

Simple Nature
08-17-2011, 10:55 AM
Today I received a nice email from Shelley Oylear, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator of the WashCo Engineering and Construction department. Shelley assures me that bike lanes are not to be used for garbage bins and that she will follow up with letters to the garbage service as well as cards to the residence. I replied to Shelley that I will keep her apprised of the progress.

If you know other WashCo locations where you know this problem exists, please inform Shelley; shelley_oylear [at] co.washington.or.us -or- 503.846.7819

wsbob
08-17-2011, 04:12 PM
Today I received a nice email from Shelley Oylear, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator of the WashCo Engineering and Construction department. Shelley assures me that bike lanes are not to be used for garbage bins and that she will follow up with letters to the garbage service as well as cards to the residence. I replied to Shelley that I will keep her apprised of the progress.

If you know other WashCo locations where you know this problem exists, please inform Shelley; shelley_oylear [at] co.washington.or.us -or- 503.846.7819

I'd say that's progress. Dates and tallies you and others provide her will probably help her make her message stronger. http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

Simple Nature
09-08-2011, 10:31 AM
I was impressed! Last night I rode along s.b. 170th and found 100% conformance where no bins were left in the bike lane. I am not sure what the pickup day is but this is a marked improvement from previous observations for removing bins after pickup. I wrote a quick email to Shelley (Washco) to let her know my appreciation for her efforts.

q`Tzal
09-08-2011, 04:33 PM
Always did seem as if it was the hauler's fault.
I can't imagine why individual homeowners would tote heavy bins any further than is necessary.

I know with Aloha Garbage you get a lot of online reviews like "Attitude Customer Service is Horrible".
One can easily imagine that haulers are told not to pick up containers if they are not within a certain range of accessibility by the vehicle's hydraulic arm. As a practical upshot customers, with no competitors to turn to, are compelled to put bins anywhere and drivers put them back where ever is convenient to them.

This will require constant vigilance with local governments to police the trash collecting monopolies.

wsbob
09-08-2011, 04:38 PM
I was impressed! Last night I rode along s.b. 170th and found 100% conformance where no bins were left in the bike lane. I am not sure what the pickup day is but this is a marked improvement from previous observations for removing bins after pickup. I wrote a quick email to Shelley (Washco) to let her know my appreciation for her efforts.


Better check to make sure what the pickup day is, for a better idea of how successful the efforts made towards encouraging people not to leave their bins on the bike lane has been.

Your original post: http://bikeportland.org/forum/showpost.php?p=27037&postcount=1 noted that it was on a Monday night ride that you noticed bins out on the bike lane and then wrote the thread about it. Today is Thursday...1-3 days from when the pickup day might have been, assuming it was either on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday.

Simple Nature
09-08-2011, 05:20 PM
True, I included that in my reply, Bob. I've been through there on a Tuesday and have seen bins in the street but a whole lot fewer than before. I've been through there on a Monday since my original post and saw no bins anywhere except the habitual violators. Short of contacting WM I won't know exactly what the pickup schedule is. I just keep an eye out whenever I happen to be there.

The 100% compliance is, however, a new high. In fact, it was clear all the way up to Oak st. This has -never- been the case and was worth noting.

wsbob
09-08-2011, 10:02 PM
True, I included that in my reply, Bob. I've been through there on a Tuesday and have seen bins in the street but a whole lot fewer than before. I've been through there on a Monday since my original post and saw no bins anywhere except the habitual violators. Short of contacting WM I won't know exactly what the pickup schedule is. I just keep an eye out whenever I happen to be there.

The 100% compliance is, however, a new high. In fact, it was clear all the way up to Oak st. This has -never- been the case and was worth noting.


http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif