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setha
06-13-2012, 08:24 AM
I saw this in the Citizens Participation Organization #3 (CPO3) newsletter:

Washington County is conducting a rapid Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to evaluate the health effects of bicycle and pedestrian projects and policies in the county.

Washington County would like to hear from all residents about transportation and safety. A brief, anonymous survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MDS9PRG.

This project will provide valuable information to decision-makers as the county updates its policies on active transportation (bicycle and pedestrian), develops a “toolkit” for bicycle facility design, and develops a strategy for prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

County staff expect to complete the HIA process and present the findings to the Board of Commissioners in September 2012.

The departments of Health and Human Services and Land Use and Transportation were recently awarded a grant from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to fund the study.

lovedoctor
06-13-2012, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the link, Seth. I found it curious that for the "How often do you ride a bike" question, the highest possible answer was "once a week". Otherwise, it seemed like quite a reasonable survey, without any false dichotomies as per some previous surveys.

K'Tesh
06-13-2012, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the link, Seth. I found it curious that for the "How often do you ride a bike" question, the highest possible answer was "once a week". Otherwise, it seemed like quite a reasonable survey, without any false dichotomies as per some previous surveys.

I loved that question too... but they did have a question about how often do you ride a bike a month. I answered 100

intoscenicrides
06-13-2012, 04:31 PM
On average, for a one way trip, how many MINUTES do you ride your bicycle? highest possible answer is 120. Mine would have been 240

Simple Nature
06-13-2012, 09:40 PM
Interesting survey. There is a catch in there that you may not realize, however. WashCo want to make more "off-street" bike lanes. They are no more than a wide sidewalk. See NE Brookwood Pkwy in the business district as an example. This is -not- a commuter friendly alternative. It is more for the family ride to the library, but for those of us who travel at 20mph on a regular basis will use Shute Rd. for instance. Once you get north of Evergreen, the sidewalk is the only option and soon, all options disappear. WashCo is still trying to figure out what they can do from Huffman St. north and southbound from US26. They think 55 mph 18 wheelers are too intimidating for us hard core riders. They don't undertsand that we have to take the lane here as it is today if you don't know any better routes.

So vote for on-street bike lanes. Don't let em push us back into the shadows.

lovedoctor
06-14-2012, 09:39 AM
Interesting survey. There is a catch in there that you may not realize, however. WashCo want to make more "off-street" bike lanes.
So vote for on-street bike lanes. Don't let em push us back into the shadows.

I did catch on to that, and was very careful to imply in all my answers that integrated infrastructure was my preference. At no point in my travels do I want to be marginalized to 8mph dodging kids and strollers. I'd rather share space with the trucks.

biciclero
06-14-2012, 10:42 AM
I thought I picked up on several questions that seemed to hint at wanting answers specific to off-street "bike paths". I wish I could remember all my responses, but in the comment area I recall adding that any off-street Multi-use paths must be of sufficient width to be useful for travel. I also put a comment in about signal detection and light cycle times. Nothing grates on me more than pulling up to a left turn signal and having to wait for a car to arrive before I'll get the light (unless I want to drag my bike across a lane or two and up onto the sidewalk to push the ped signal button). Except for maybe pulling up behind two cars in a left turn lane, having the light turn green, then yellow again before I can even get up to the crosswalk...

And yeah, "frequent" bike riding means once a week??? I was glad they included the other question:
"...how often do you ride a bike a month. I answered 100"
--K'Tesh

I could only put 40.

wsbob
06-14-2012, 11:08 AM
Interesting survey. There is a catch in there that you may not realize, however. WashCo want to make more "off-street" bike lanes. They are no more than a wide sidewalk. See NE Brookwood Pkwy in the business district as an example. This is -not- a commuter friendly alternative. It is more for the family ride to the library, but for those of us who travel at 20mph on a regular basis will use Shute Rd. for instance. Once you get north of Evergreen, the sidewalk is the only option and soon, all options disappear. WashCo is still trying to figure out what they can do from Huffman St. north and southbound from US26. They think 55 mph 18 wheelers are too intimidating for us hard core riders. They don't undertsand that we have to take the lane here as it is today if you don't know any better routes.

So vote for on-street bike lanes. Don't let em push us back into the shadows.

Unless there's been more to support an idea that such an intention exists on the part of various county planners...leaders, etc....it seems a generally broad conclusion that the county is leaning towards off-street bike lanes to an increased exclusion of on-street bike lanes...if that's what your concern is. Seriously...has anyone heard rumblings that the county is really leaning towards that direction?

I did kind of notice in the survey, that there were some questions mentioning separated bike lanes, but also, on-street bike lanes, neighborhood streets as compared to busy thoroughfares, and so on.

Hmm...I got too busy to remember to try figure out whether the questions could be copied and pasted here in the forums; if anyone knows how to do that, it might be helpful.

I'm not familiar with the separated bike lane on NE Brookwood Pkwy-business district, that you're referring to, but it seems to me that separated MUP-bike lanes like the Springwater Corridor are a great idea, which the county and cities should be working to create more of. The Springwater seems to be a route that's actually somewhat practical for commuter use, while in that respect, other MUP's tend to be more recreational.

I thought the survey questions were generally good, and reflected a genuine interest in supporting more use of bikes as travel for practical purposes. In terms of past and ongoing reality though, if you think of the recent Bethany Road expansion controversy...certain county commissioners and others unwaveringly intent on increasing the road's capacity to move a greater volume of motor vehicles...there continues to be far too great an emphasis on providing for more extensive motor vehicle use for travel rather than walking and biking for travel.

Simple Nature
06-14-2012, 05:58 PM
wsbob, yes, I do know how WashCo feels about the Brookwood "solution".

The Brookwood bike lane is essentially a wide asphalt sidewalk with normal curb cuts and bus avenues. The condition of the "trail" is poor at best with many utility cellar covers right in the path. Maintenance for root ripples and ground shift is non-existent. Much like the concrete sidewalk north of Evergreen where uplift from tree roots just begging for a pinch phlatt. And at every "enterance" there is another chance for a right hook. Drivers simply don't see people using the "sidewalk" with a bike. If we were "on the road", we would maintain our right-of-way while notably increasing our visibility.

When GenTech built their facility in the NW corner of Evergreen and Brookwood, they were suppose to build 10' multi-use sidewalks... and cheaped out an 8' sidewalk, and the city won't go back and make them fix it. It was a condition for approval. Hillsboro has no guts when it comes to enforcing conditions after the fact.

I learned this in the US26 (ODOT) and Brookwood interchange discussions. WashCo and Hillsboro were there at the meetings. WashCo was very open to communications and this was one area that I brought up with them (I want a safe route along Brookwood up to and back from US26 and Evergreen). The "status Quo" for Brookwood is not acceptable as a commuter route, especially considring the fact that this region is a business area that should be more than bike friendly if they want people to use alternative transportation. Remember, WashCo Fair Max stop is at Cornell, just one more major east/west corridor south of Evergreen.

When you mention the Springwater, I have mixed opinions about this. If I wanted to move at a good clip to ride fom point a-b, I would take the road. All those interuptions are simply not commute friendly. One worse condition is the Fanno Creek trail which continuously dumps you at an intersection that you have to "ped" yourself to continue on the path. And then it dumps you at "nowhere". It seems a lot more convenient to just pick a good major thoroughfare route with residential shortcuts or safety dodges as appropriate. Letting "trail systems" trump smart, efficient, commuter routes will not cut it in my book.

Don't get me wrong, WashCo is doing an excellent job in getting cycling enjoyable in the region. They have kicked major butt in closing up some connectivity problems. But their budgets are getting tight and a lot of projects need attention. I just want to make sure they remember that commuting solutions are different than simply providing a wider sidewalk.

wsbob
06-17-2012, 01:45 AM
wsbob, yes, I do know how WashCo feels about the Brookwood "solution". ...

Do you feel the county is interested in generally moving towards providing off-street low grade MUP's, and away from providing on-street bike lanes? I'd like to think this isn't something the county is seriously considering; I think people need both types of public way for bikes, and that's what I expressed in the survey in the 'notes' section.

Logically, roadies and many, but not all commuters, wouldn't want to mess much with MUP's like the Springwater. On the other hand, many people that bike are averse to riding alongside any motor vehicle traffic. Even when a great bike lane exists on the street, they ride the sidewalk instead.

I'll ramble a bit:

Using a road I'm familiar with, imagine 170th in its present motor vehicle volume capacity, from TV Hwy, north, all the way to Cornell Rd, expanded 12'-16' to provide continuous 6' or 8' bike lanes on both sides of the road. Bring the speed limit down from its present 40 mph, to 25 mph. Tough to do. A decent MUP paralleling 170th some distance away from the road...arbitrarily say...60'-70' to give a little peaceful separation from the road traffic, would be even tougher to do. Ideas like this though, are perhaps an example of what people should have been considering long ago.

With a decent, continuous lane for bike travel along the entire length of this section of the road, imagine the numbers of people that would likely take up commuting by bike on 170th.

Simple Nature
06-17-2012, 09:49 AM
Ws... no, the county is only a small part of the solution discussions with regard to bike lanes. Most are managed by the city for new development requirements where the 1/2-street improvement required by developers creates the new bike lanes. These are not affected in this conversation.

WashCo is charged with dealing with the old longstanding need for connectivity in difficult regions. Brookwood is considered difficult because of the 55mph speed limit north of Evergreen and they "worry" about 18 wheelers doing 70 mph next to a 4' bike lane. A comment to the effect that "18 wheelers have been known to suck sewer covers out of the roadways and send them sailing" is one that kinda stuck with me.

The county only has so much right-of-way available for what use to be rural sections of roadway. Since this region is slated for industrial expansion, the increased 18 wheeler delivery routes and possible need for width expansion in the future leaves the county with some tough decisions. The good thing is they are thinking about us (I think federal law requires this) but the sad thing is that the west side has little support form the local cycling communities to drive their decisions. We have a huge cycling community, yet no organized or unified voice into the county, or the cities for that matter. At least, not that I can see.

So yes, I should find out more about current projects. Cornelius Pass north too needs to be considered. In a recent map, WashCo actually had this marked as "bike lane available" which I did correct them on. In general, support north of 26 is poor at best. It is a very popular destination. Even south boundries are lacking to some extent where safety issues come in with limited sight distances. Support for climbing lanes would go a long way to opening up the southern Hillsboro-west region to recreational cycling. And how about a bikeway to the coast? Again, WashCo for the greater section.

Slowly, west portland is becoming a cycling destination. Yesterday, I went with a Springwater coridor user on the Banks/Vernonia trail. The "shade" was a big aspect to the ride's enjoyment. Can you image a ride through the Tillamook forest all the way to Sand Lake? {Sigh}

wsbob
06-17-2012, 12:18 PM
...The county only has so much right-of-way available for what use to be rural sections of roadway. ...

Right-of-way's can be identified, negotiated and secured. Difficult...probably. Expensive...probably. Justifiable for solutions to critical travel problems? If it's for the development of walking and biking infrastructure...Yes. (rather than more main lanes on the highway provided primarily for increases in numbers of motor vehicles used.).

Unfortunately, local leaders and planners...and regular citizens...don't seem to be taking the initiative to push forward with this type of infrastructure, the type that seeks to support and increase travel by foot and bike, while not accompanying it with an exponentially greater increase in roadway capacity primarily intended for motor vehicle travel. As roads get bigger, great increases in numbers of motor vehicles come to travel on them, while bike lanes and MUP's provided tend to be barely hospitable, consequently tending to attract only modest increases in people walking and biking.

County residents are unwittingly allowing their area's ease of travel and extraordinary level of livability to be strangled by development of roadways supporting an excessive use of motor vehicles for travel.


...We have a huge cycling community, yet no organized or unified voice into the county, or the cities for that matter. ...

I think that's probably right. Maybe a better, stronger effort of co-ordinated advocacy could be managed. I remember reading about a bike club in Hillsboro, but not much about what it does or doesn't do in terms of weighing in planning or policy for walking and biking. Bike clubs in cities such as SF and Seattle seem to have quite a bit of involvement and influence on the course of walk-bike development. Why something similar doesn't happen in our area, I couldn't exactly say.

Definitely true about huge adventure bike touring potential over the coast range. Departure points between Forest Grove and Gaston, Banks, Vernonia. It's a huge mass of timbered land on the map through which routes for biking could be improved...on logging and service roads that already exist. The trick is to consciously, deliberately recognize the importance of conserving the area for recreation, enhancing route capacity for bike travel while not inviting an excess of travel by motor vehicle. A very tricky prospect.

There might be potential for way stations...food, lodging, recreation along the routes. Income for local residents. Not eveyone can or wants to bike camp. Some people like to travel more slowly, making the trip in two-three days instead of one.

Simple Nature
06-17-2012, 12:50 PM
...
There might be potential for way stations...food, lodging, recreation along the routes. Income for local residents. Not eveyone can or wants to bike camp. Some people like to travel more slowly, making the trip in two-three days instead of one.

Indeed, the little town of Timber is one of those weigh stations. I have a friend all ready to set up a yurt camp if they ever convert the railway into a railtrail. And there is already a local bar and a really nice state park.

Right now, there is a lot of effort going on with the hwy30 trail. This too will also be a welcome addition to cycling ventures.

wsbob
06-21-2012, 08:39 PM
wsbob, yes, I do know how WashCo feels about the Brookwood "solution".

The Brookwood bike lane is essentially a wide asphalt sidewalk with normal curb cuts and bus avenues. The condition of the "trail" is poor at best with many utility cellar covers right in the path. Maintenance for root ripples and ground shift is non-existent. Much like the concrete sidewalk north of Evergreen where uplift from tree roots just begging for a pinch phlatt. And at every "enterance" there is another chance for a right hook. Drivers simply don't see people using the "sidewalk" with a bike. If we were "on the road", we would maintain our right-of-way while notably increasing our visibility.

When GenTech built their facility in the NW corner of Evergreen and Brookwood, they were suppose to build 10' multi-use sidewalks... and cheaped out an 8' sidewalk, and the city won't go back and make them fix it. It was a condition for approval. Hillsboro has no guts when it comes to enforcing conditions after the fact.

I learned this in the US26 (ODOT) and Brookwood interchange discussions. WashCo and Hillsboro were there at the meetings. WashCo was very open to communications and this was one area that I brought up with them (I want a safe route along Brookwood up to and back from US26 and Evergreen). The "status Quo" for Brookwood is not acceptable as a commuter route, especially considring the fact that this region is a business area that should be more than bike friendly if they want people to use alternative transportation. Remember, WashCo Fair Max stop is at Cornell, just one more major east/west corridor south of Evergreen.

When you mention the Springwater, I have mixed opinions about this. If I wanted to move at a good clip to ride fom point a-b, I would take the road. All those interuptions are simply not commute friendly. One worse condition is the Fanno Creek trail which continuously dumps you at an intersection that you have to "ped" yourself to continue on the path. And then it dumps you at "nowhere". It seems a lot more convenient to just pick a good major thoroughfare route with residential shortcuts or safety dodges as appropriate. Letting "trail systems" trump smart, efficient, commuter routes will not cut it in my book.

Don't get me wrong, WashCo is doing an excellent job in getting cycling enjoyable in the region. They have kicked major butt in closing up some connectivity problems. But their budgets are getting tight and a lot of projects need attention. I just want to make sure they remember that commuting solutions are different than simply providing a wider sidewalk.


I suppose, 'The elk are coming, the elk are coming!!', wouldn't be a very good argument in favor of better bike lanes on Brookwood Parkway:

Why bull elk's rush-hour stroll stopped traffic on U.S. 26 near Brookwood Parkway (http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2012/06/why_elks_rush-hour_stroll_stop.html)

DaveT
06-22-2012, 12:49 PM
All major streets need bike lanes. If you want to put in a parallel MUP fine. I won't ride the MUP on Brookwood southbound to Cornell because you end up to the right of a right turn lane at Cornell.

On the other hand I get attitude from drivers on Brookwood when I am using the roadway that I don't see on other high traffic, no shoulder roads. It is pretty clear they see the MUP as where I should be.

The MUP plus no bike lanes combo has made Brookwood less safe for cyclists.

Spiffy
06-22-2012, 01:04 PM
The MUP plus no bike lanes combo has made Brookwood less safe for cyclists.

also, why is it 55 mph? it's not a freeway, or a highway... that's just ridiculous for a surface street through a business district... I'd set it at 35 mph as is the standard for business district streets...

but thank you and please keep pedaling in the lane so people in motor vehicles will eventually realize they're not the only ones using the road... I try to give you plenty of room when I pass on my scooter... hooray for two wheels!

wsbob
06-22-2012, 01:43 PM
Brookwood Parkway is a ways from where I live, so I actually haven't ridden it since the area became developed...that's a long while. Got to get over there one of these days to see.

It's probably posted 55mph, because the road is still probably regarded as rural by the county road engineers, state dept of transpo, etc. Not even having seen it, I'm inclined to agree it probably needs good bike lanes in addition to the MUP. There are excellent examples of fast roads with good bike lanes, such as Hwy 47 between Forest Grove and Gaston.

A basic reason Brookwood doesn't have nice wide bike lanes probably has to do with some old road easement that planners are trying to cram a much higher motor vehicle carrying capacity onto. People are slow to spend more money to widen the easement to allow for an increase in volume of motor vehicles carried and to provide for good bike lanes as well. For a long time already, it's been time to slow down on widening roads so they can carry a greater number of motor vehicles; unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be a very popularly received view of how to use roadways.

Simple Nature
06-22-2012, 03:02 PM
Brookwood has two separate issues. The "old" brookwood is between Cornell and Evergreen. This is long established with hard curbs and for what seemed at the time ot be "innovative" is the sidewalk and MUP. It is the, and was the status quo for that era.

The second is Evergreen north to hwy 26. This is 2 lanes and very fast traffic with ever increasing big rigs. Nothing on the southbound side from the hwy to Genentech and only a narrow sidewalk about 1/2 way northbound.

I ride the sidewalk nearly every day. The only way around is a 3 mile detour. At least planners are thinking about it. Something will be done in conjunction with the Brookwood/hwy26 overpass upgrade. Exactly what that will be is not know by me. I still suspect this survey has a hidden agenda in it that will address this very question.

And if you haven't been on Evergreen recently from Brookwood west, avoid it. There is a 6 month improvement project going on. Its not "comfortable" at the moment up to about the airport.

DaveT
06-24-2012, 09:21 PM
The first thing should be to reduce the speed limit on Brookwood north of Evergreen to 45 until bike lanes are added.