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  #11  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:49 AM
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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}

Last edited by Simple Nature; 06-17-2012 at 08:52 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2012, 11:18 AM
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...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.


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...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.
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2012, 11:50 AM
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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.
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2012, 07:39 PM
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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
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:49 AM
DaveT DaveT is offline
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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.
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2012, 12:04 PM
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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!
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2012, 12:43 PM
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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.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:02 PM
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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.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2012, 08:21 PM
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The first thing should be to reduce the speed limit on Brookwood north of Evergreen to 45 until bike lanes are added.
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