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View Full Version : Tigard's Bike Lane Improvements...


K'Tesh
08-30-2011, 08:21 AM
I've been spending a lot of time in Tigard recently. As such, I've been encountering Mike McCarthy a lot.

In the past I complained about problems with the abrupt end of the bike lane on the EB lane of SW Durham Road, just before the SW Hall/SW 85th intersection. Motorists were crowding me, and although I saw that there was a narrowing of the road there, I could clearly see that there was enough space for a reduced width bike lane, that would rapidly expand to the standard width past a tree that the city protected.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6134/6027261214_be8a573688.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/6027261214/)

A few weeks ago, I ran into Mike, and he was marking out the bike lane. While I had his attention, I pointed out the sunken storm drain catchbasin (or Black Hole Catchbasin as I call them) that was right there too. I explained the problems that cyclists have with them (especially at night or in bad weather). He decided to try marking some of them.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6064/6026708393_63471f8a5f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/6026708393/)

Yesterday, I noticed that the bike lane was installed, and so were some of the grate markings.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6189/6096439069_4c750b9187.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/6096439069/) http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6193/6096423359_229a349d30.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/6096423359/)

Mike also told me that Tigard is raising several catchbasins in area where they are repaving to prevent "Black Holes".

Thanks Mike, Thanks Tigard!
K'Tesh

Haven_kd7yct
08-30-2011, 09:37 AM
Speaking of bike lane work---

Over on Tiedeman, they have installed a bike lane on the side of the road opposite the school grounds. There is a curb-side parking lane, then a bike lane, then the car lane. The parking lane stops just before the Fanno Creek Trail entrance, and the bike lane stops at the next street (SW Meadow). I have not been through there in the evenings when there are a lot of cars parked there, only in the mornings when there are no cars.

The bad news: On the school-side of the street, after the FCT crosswalk, they are removing the bike lane to install a parking lane because, as was told to me, "People park there all the time anyway, so there's obviously a need for it." Personally, I think there's a need for Tigard to pad its coffers by ticketing the people parking in the bike lane, but that's obviously only my opinion.

I have requested to Mike that the City install "Bike on roadway" signs and sharrows from the crosswalk intermittently all the way up to the right turn onto Walnut. We'll see what happens, but my next of kin is well aware of the situation and is prepared to take action in case I am injured or worse by impatient drivers.

I've been through there by bike quite a lot on my commute, and it appears that at my slowest I average about 10mph and at my fastest, 15mph. The road is signed for 25, and cars frequently go 30+ (even during the school year with the 20mph beacons flashing). The discrepancy in speeds is significant.

This could be a dangerous place to ride, but my other options are riding Walnut or Gaarde, both higher speed and higher volume roads-- with steep hills.

Sigh. It feels like one step forward, one step backward.

Pictures on my flikr page, thusly: http://flic.kr/p/ahMXpY from last night; http://flic.kr/p/adCsYQ from 8/15/11, both taken around 5:40PM on my evening commute. http://flic.kr/p/ahKfyT shows the no parking sign still posted.

wsbob
08-30-2011, 07:52 PM
"... The bad news: On the school-side of the street, after the FCT crosswalk, they are removing the bike lane to install a parking lane because, as was told to me, "People park there all the time anyway, so there's obviously a need for it." ..." Haven_kd7yct

The way this reads, it's people needing parking for school business that have been parking in the bike lane. If there's a need for additional school related parking, the school should be urged to provide that on its property. Taking out a bike lane that's located on the street adjacent to a school...if that is what's occurring..., and replacing it with street parking seems the exact opposite of what should be done.

Kids and their parents might kind of like having the relative safety of a bike lane past the school for their kids to ride on, instead of them and all other people on bikes being obliged to ride in the main lane of traffic.


Re; the unconventional sunken catch basin marking on Durham Rd: hard to know without riding it, but the slanted white line looks as though it could help. Perhaps an additional series of two or three additional slanted white lines in 10' successive increments further back from the present one in advance of the catch basin would be more effective.

K'Tesh
08-30-2011, 11:33 PM
Speaking of bike lane work---

Over on Tiedeman, they have installed a bike lane on the side of the road opposite the school grounds. There is a curb-side parking lane, then a bike lane, then the car lane. The parking lane stops just before the Fanno Creek Trail entrance, and the bike lane stops at the next street (SW Meadow). I have not been through there in the evenings when there are a lot of cars parked there, only in the mornings when there are no cars.

The bad news: On the school-side of the street, after the FCT crosswalk, they are removing the bike lane to install a parking lane because, as was told to me, "People park there all the time anyway, so there's obviously a need for it." Personally, I think there's a need for Tigard to pad its coffers by ticketing the people parking in the bike lane, but that's obviously only my opinion.

I have requested to Mike that the City install "Bike on roadway" signs and sharrows from the crosswalk intermittently all the way up to the right turn onto Walnut. We'll see what happens, but my next of kin is well aware of the situation and is prepared to take action in case I am injured or worse by impatient drivers.

I've been through there by bike quite a lot on my commute, and it appears that at my slowest I average about 10mph and at my fastest, 15mph. The road is signed for 25, and cars frequently go 30+ (even during the school year with the 20mph beacons flashing). The discrepancy in speeds is significant.

This could be a dangerous place to ride, but my other options are riding Walnut or Gaarde, both higher speed and higher volume roads-- with steep hills.

Sigh. It feels like one step forward, one step backward.

Pictures on my flikr page, thusly: http://flic.kr/p/ahMXpY from last night; http://flic.kr/p/adCsYQ from 8/15/11, both taken around 5:40PM on my evening commute. http://flic.kr/p/ahKfyT shows the no parking sign still posted.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6142/6097241298_816ff36a7f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/80858068@N00/6097241298/) http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6210/6050123656_a579602fa2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/80858068@N00/6050123656/)

I don't ride Tiedeman all that often, except to cross it on the FCT (more often, I'll turn at SW Tigard, and ride that into downtown). I'd call the Non-Emergency line (503) 629-0111 and report any violations I see. There is no excuse for motorists to park in a bike lane like that.

Haven, I hope you don't mind that I added the images that you provided w/the links.

Haven_kd7yct
08-31-2011, 09:16 AM
No problem, K'tesh!

I went through there yesterday evening on my way home and the city has removed the no parking signs and ground up the bike lane markings, so it's now a parking lane.

The city plans on putting one (1???!!!) sharrow in just after the crosswalk. I don't know if they plan on putting any signs up about bikes being on the roadway, or alerting people on bikes that their bike lane has ended.

The city's take on it is that kids can ride on the sidewalk, since most of them riding/walking to school are coming off the FCT and are already on the sidewalk. So, yeah, that doesn't do anything for the rest of us, who are just trying to get home from work....

http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon9.gif We'll see how it is during the school year; for now, if there aren't any cars parked there I'm going to use it as an extra wide bike lane.

Simple Nature
08-31-2011, 10:28 AM
It is sad to see cycling infrastructure disappear. The only bright side is that you have every reason to become traffic instead. When you get into areas where cars tend to congregate, it is probably safer anyway. But this is a giant step backwards and deserves a litte attention. Anyone have the hotline to the local media?

wsbob
08-31-2011, 11:17 AM
I don't ride Tiedeman regularly either, but I have ridden it. I'm assuming Thomas Fowler Jr. is the school mentioned, on the corner of Tideman and Walnut. I last came to ride the road because I'd ridden the Fanno Creek trail and exited, I believe onto Tideman, wanting to ride towards Pacific Hwy. It seemed to me this street would be a common route for bike traffic traveling to and from the creek trail.

The way I remember motor vehicle traffic on Tiedeman, is that it was very fast and frantic. Motor vehicle users appeared to be using it as a cut-through to some other destination. Because of the use of the street by bike traffic to and from the park and other uses by bike traffic, the bike lane would seem to be needed on this street. Further details about the process by which the city came to conclude the bike lane passing by the school was expendable would be helpful.

I'd like to hear learn more about how the city of Tigard came to decide that eliminating this section of the bike lane was warranted and reasonable. Did the city conduct a count of road users on this section of the road, noting their mode of travel, establishing that there wasn't sufficient use of the bike lane to justify its continuation? The city traffic engineer most likely was involved in this decision, and would have some information about the city's process in making the decision to remove the bike lane for motor vehicle parking.

DaveT
08-31-2011, 05:06 PM
While I have to admit I have never attended a Tigard City Council or planning board meeting (I live just outside the Tigard city limits), it is pretty clear they still trail pretty much every other city in the metro area in terms of understanding bicycle facilities. It's always like someone told them they should have bicycle facilities, so they try and do something, but they don't bother to find out what is actually needed and they don't view it as any kind of priority.

One of my pet peeves - they just repainted the bike lane stripes on 135th Ave south of Walnut. This street has at least a 15% grade; it probably sees a couple of cyclists a week tops. The bike lanes don't have No Parking signs, so people do park in them. Going up I don't use the lane because any gravel when I'm pushing the pedals that hard and going that slow could cause me to fall. Going down I'm on the brakes to stay under the 25MPH speed limit and in any case I'm not going to ride that close to the edge of the road at that speed so I'm taking the lane. A total waste of paint, but this is the third time I've seen those stripes repainted.

wsbob
08-31-2011, 06:16 PM
While I have to admit I have never attended a Tigard City Council or planning board meeting (I live just outside the Tigard city limits), it is pretty clear they still trail pretty much every other city in the metro area in terms of understanding bicycle facilities. It's always like someone told them they should have bicycle facilities, so they try and do something, but they don't bother to find out what is actually needed and they don't view it as any kind of priority.

One of my pet peeves - they just repainted the bike lane stripes on 135th Ave south of Walnut. This street has at least a 15% grade; it probably sees a couple of cyclists a week tops. The bike lanes don't have No Parking signs, so people do park in them. Going up I don't use the lane because any gravel when I'm pushing the pedals that hard and going that slow could cause me to fall. Going down I'm on the brakes to stay under the 25MPH speed limit and in any case I'm not going to ride that close to the edge of the road at that speed so I'm taking the lane. A total waste of paint, but this is the third time I've seen those stripes repainted.


Given your experience riding a bike on Walnut and other roads in Tigard, what kinds of things might you suggest the city consider doing that would be better than what they do currently?

With the gravel problem you mentioned here:

"...Going up I don't use the lane because any gravel when I'm pushing the pedals that hard and going that slow could cause me to fall. ..." DaveT

...sounds as though what the city should be doing, is sweeping the road a little more regularly so people like yourself would find it safe and practical to ride in the bike lane. If the gravel you're finding on Walnut is left over from last winter's ice and snow episodes, that should have been swept up long ago.

DaveT
09-01-2011, 08:30 AM
The point I was trying to make was that putting bike lanes on 135th was not useful and a waste of city resources, while areas that really need bike lanes go without (or even have them removed as in the original post). To an outside observer it appears there is a lack of understanding about what facilities are needed and will be used. If I lived in Tigard I would have the right and responsibility to try and help out with those decisions; since I live outside Tigard (but have to bike through Tigard to get just about anywhere) all I can do is whine :)

Haven_kd7yct
09-01-2011, 11:04 AM
DaveT, for debris removal either use CoT's street hazard reporting tool on their website

http://www.tigard-or.gov/city_hall/departments/public_works/streets/report_hazard.asp

Or contact Vance Walker, public works guy, 503 639 4171 or by email vance at tigard-or.gov.

I've found that once they are aware of a problem, they're pretty good at getting out there to fix it.

For bike and pedestrian infrastructure problems, you can either PM me (I'm on a subcommittee) or contact Mike McCarthy directly with your concerns at mikem at tigard-or.gov. I've found Mike to be open to concerns and willing to look for solutions.

As far as bike/ped counts: we're working on it, but are concentrating on the major connection intersections. I've been up 135th to Walnut, although it's not one of my regular routes, and having the bike lane there going uphill (for slow me anyway) was a nice thing to have.

As far as the Tiedeman bike lane goes: I really counted on the bike lane past Fowler Middle School as my last bit of refuge before getting to Walnut, going up Fonner, and on 121st to home (none of which have bike lanes, and Fonner and 121st have zero shoulder to speak of). It's was my last calm breathing space before I had to jump into the traffic lane to keep people from right-hooking me to get onto Walnut, and to keep people from squeezing me out while going up the hill on Fonner. And before I had to sprint for the blind corners and crests going up Fonner, and sprint for the last small stretch of 121st before the street I live on.

I have to mix it up with cars for quite a bit once I get close to home, that bike lane was my last refuge and chance to rest up before I had to get aggressive and assertive.

Plus, my feeling is that instead of doing something about the infrastructure surrounding the school so kids could be safe walking or riding to school/home from school/to lacrosse or soccer or football practice, the city decided that their "win-win" situation was to take out the bike lane and make it a parking lane instead. Thereby encouraging parents to drive their offspring to school, where if you believe this report http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pdf/atag_report6.pdf, 50% of kids hit by cars near schools are hit by other parents dropping their kids off because they're afraid of their kids getting hit by cars.

So for goodness sake, DO something about that, not by taking out a well-used bike lane for more parking but by making the infrastructure better for kids to get to school (and home again) safely by means other than the parental truckster!

wsbob
09-01-2011, 11:32 AM
DaveT, for debris removal either use CoT's street hazard reporting tool on their website

http://www.tigard-or.gov/city_hall/departments/public_works/streets/report_hazard.asp

Or contact Vance Walker, public works guy, 503 639 4171 or by email vance at tigard-or.gov.

I've found that once they are aware of a problem, they're pretty good at getting out there to fix it.

For bike and pedestrian infrastructure problems, you can either PM me (I'm on a subcommittee) or contact Mike McCarthy directly with your concerns at mikem at tigard-or.gov. I've found Mike to be open to concerns and willing to look for solutions.

As far as bike/ped counts: we're working on it, but are concentrating on the major connection intersections. I've been up 135th to Walnut, although it's not one of my regular routes, and having the bike lane there going uphill (for slow me anyway) was a nice thing to have.

As far as the Tiedeman bike lane goes: I really counted on the bike lane past Fowler Middle School as my last bit of refuge before getting to Walnut, going up Fonner, and on 121st to home (none of which have bike lanes, and Fonner and 121st have zero shoulder to speak of). It's was my last calm breathing space before I had to jump into the traffic lane to keep people from right-hooking me to get onto Walnut, and to keep people from squeezing me out while going up the hill on Fonner. And before I had to sprint for the blind corners and crests going up Fonner, and sprint for the last small stretch of 121st before the street I live on.

I have to mix it up with cars for quite a bit once I get close to home, that bike lane was my last refuge and chance to rest up before I had to get aggressive and assertive.

Plus, my feeling is that instead of doing something about the infrastructure surrounding the school so kids could be safe walking or riding to school/home from school/to lacrosse or soccer or football practice, the city decided that their "win-win" situation was to take out the bike lane and make it a parking lane instead. Thereby encouraging parents to drive their offspring to school, where if you believe this report http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pdf/atag_report6.pdf, 50% of kids hit by cars near schools are hit by other parents dropping their kids off because they're afraid of their kids getting hit by cars.

So for goodness sake, DO something about that, not by taking out a well-used bike lane for more parking but by making the infrastructure better for kids to get to school (and home again) safely by means other than the parental truckster!


"...the city decided..." Haven_kd7yct


Yes, okay...(and it won't hurt my feelings if you don't answer these questions.) but related to this particular decision, which specific people were 'the city'? Was it simply a departmental decision; i.e. DOT or engineering? Or was it a phased process where a department prepared and presented a proposal, submitted it to neighborhood committees and finally City Council before final approval?

I'm not ashamed to admit I don't know much about how decisions like this one are made. It seems though, that explanations for how they're made should be readily available to the public. This is equally important, after, as well as before the decision making process. Taking out bike lanes in front of a school seems like a big deal to me, rather than some decision that would be inconsequential to people that ride bikes on this road.

I'm thinking 'How many cars will removal of this section of bike lane provide parking for?'. Does that number do anything to justify removal of the bike lane? Was it proposed to the school that the school should provide event and drop off-pick up parking on its property rather than the public street?


Kristen, thanks for all the info and the great report.

wsbob
09-01-2011, 11:43 AM
The point I was trying to make was that putting bike lanes on 135th was not useful and a waste of city resources, while areas that really need bike lanes go without (or even have them removed as in the original post). To an outside observer it appears there is a lack of understanding about what facilities are needed and will be used. If I lived in Tigard I would have the right and responsibility to try and help out with those decisions; since I live outside Tigard (but have to bike through Tigard to get just about anywhere) all I can do is whine :)


I'll let Haven_kd7yct's previous remarks in comment #11 mostly answer here.

People are of different types of riding and conditioning for riding. Some people really don't need the safety and benefit of a bike lane at all. They can hold their own in the main lane of traffic and to the far right side of it as needed.

Other people very much need the refuge that sometimes measly little substandard 3' of bike lane can offer. I think that bike lanes are really important infrastructure. The extra road maintenance they require in terms of paint striping is something I don't like though.

K'Tesh
09-01-2011, 10:59 PM
If I lived in Tigard I would have the right and responsibility to try and help out with those decisions; since I live outside Tigard (but have to bike through Tigard to get just about anywhere) all I can do is whine :)

I live in Beaverton, and I've had responses to my requests from: Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Honolulu (yeah, in Hawaii), Vancouver WA, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, of course Portland, among many others. Calling up to "whine" isn't a waste of time and energy. You are doing something that will provide a service (and savings) to the citizens of the community. Service in getting something done right, and savings from expensive lawsuits and settlements when someone does get hurt.

Remember the person you might save is ME!!! ;)