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-   -   Washington County Survey on Bike & Pedestrian Health Impacts (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4221)

setha 06-13-2012 07:24 AM

Washington County Survey on Bike & Pedestrian Health Impacts
 
I saw this in the Citizens Participation Organization #3 (CPO3) newsletter:

Quote:

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 08:45 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 10:39 AM

That *was* a pretty lame question wasn't it...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lovedoctor (Post 28623)
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 03:31 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 08:40 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 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simple Nature (Post 28630)
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 09:42 AM

Me, too...
 
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:
Quote:

"...how often do you ride a bike a month. I answered 100"
--K'Tesh
I could only put 40.

wsbob 06-14-2012 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simple Nature (Post 28630)
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 04:58 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 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simple Nature (Post 28638)
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.


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