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  #1  
Old 09-24-2008, 02:43 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Exclamation Another Type Of Drain Danger...

Not all storm drains are bad, but there are some that, despite not being able to eat a wheel, are still dangerous.

Behold...


Sunken drains don't eat bikes but they still suck


Same drain, different bike...

This drain, on Barbur Blvd (approaching the YMCA) is one that has a sudden drop off, then a steaper rise, if it catches you, you might get tossed.

I called this one into (503) 823 1700 to see what can be done. Personally, I think that it will be ignored unless others call this, and similar ones in.

Eyes work like parachutes, only when open...

Rubberside Down (not the drain)
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 09-24-2008 at 09:54 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:00 PM
ARiley001 ARiley001 is offline
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Default

I commute via Barbur (from Terwilliger) over to Hawthorne, and those drains are sort of the bane of my cycling existence; there are two or three of them along the way to downtown.

I always forget that they exist (even though I've been biking this route for the better part of a year), and so when traffic is heavy, I either swerve to avoid them and risk finding myself resembling a pumpkin after Halloween, or drop onto them and have my legs thank me later.

So, I think I might start calling them in.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:21 PM
Grant Grant is offline
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Default yep yep

I ride in from near Tigard and use Barbur. Coming in in the dark at 5:30AM those things always worry me. Worse to me though is the one southbound lane at the bridge right after the Multnomah on ramp. The drop isn't as bad as the one K'Tesh has capturee but it's location makes it three times as dangerous IMO.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:41 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Cool Ok guys, keep us posted on the progress...

I don't ride into downtown all that often, and it may take some time before I find out that these have been fixed (or if they've been fixed).

So, if you see some action being done on these, let the forums know, or better still, take pics and post 'em.

Thanks!
K'Tesh
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:54 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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I see these all the time on many major roadways... and on a trike, you notice them because in order to avoid them, I need to put a wheel in the traffic lane. As long as it is in a slow climbing lane, no problem but when doing a nice downhill, you'll find me taking the lane instead. Hitting those "over-sized potholes" at 30mph with one wheel could really ruin my day.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:03 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Question So, are you going to act on them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
I see these all the time on many major roadways... and on a trike, you notice them because in order to avoid them, I need to put a wheel in the traffic lane. As long as it is in a slow climbing lane, no problem but when doing a nice downhill, you'll find me taking the lane instead. Hitting those "over-sized potholes" at 30mph with one wheel could really ruin my day.
Simple Nature, are you going to start calling them in?

As I was doing some storm drain grate research I found something on a National Highway Safety Commission PDF that frequently mentioned Oregon and how storm drain shouldn't eat bikes and should be flush with the road surface.

Now, if I can only find it again.

See Something? Say Something!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:18 PM
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Lightbulb Here's some of what ODOT has on drainage grates

Found something regarding drainage grates on the OREGON BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PLAN PDF



Quote:
D.4.d. Minor Betterment Projects

Many inexpensive improvements can be made to enhance the bicycling and walking environment:
For bicyclists
  • Raising drainage grates flush with the road surface, or replacing them with curb inlets;
  • Removing curbs, pavement markers and other obstructions;
  • Improving sight distance at curves by regrading or removing vegetation;
  • Fixing surface irregularities in bike lanes or shoulders; and
  • Adjusting signal loop detectors to be more sensitive to bicycles.
Cool eh?

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2008, 09:39 PM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
Simple Nature, are you going to start calling them in?

...
Most of these are part of Multnomah Co. Unless there is a law, I thought they'd just ignore this. Technically, there is enough room for a bike to remain in a bike lane.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2008, 07:03 AM
Grant Grant is offline
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Default Well in this case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
Most of these are part of Multnomah Co. Unless there is a law, I thought they'd just ignore this. Technically, there is enough room for a bike to remain in a bike lane.
Most of Barbur/99W is maintain by ODOT. It switches to City of Portland ownership north of the Barbur/ SW View Point Ter intersection. It's City of Portland's from there, to the north, with the exception of the I-5 bridge overpass (though technically it changes to SW 4th AVE just before the overpass, at the intersection with Caruthers).

So in this case K'teshs inlet would be fixed by the City of Portland, while mine you'd have to go to ODOT for. Not sure how responsive they would be.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2008, 07:14 AM
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scdurs scdurs is offline
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Default Laws or standard practices?

The reason these storm catch basins become so low is that when they overlay the street with asphalt they simply taper it down to the elevation of the storm grate. It appears from your photos that this is the case here. This is the cheap way out instead of reconstructing the catch basin to match the new grade of asphalt. Manhole frames and covers have to be raised to the new asphalt surface after an asphalt overlay to keep motorists happy. But I guess since catch basins are along the edge of the road they don't get the same treatment. Besides, the engineers probably think that sunken catch basins provide better drainage.

Another option is to grind the surface of the asphalt and then re-pave to the original surface elevation (grind 3" and then overlay 3"). This is costly, too, but you get a much better product because you don't have to raise manhole lids, catch basins, driveways, and curb ramps. They usually have to grind the surface eventually for the second overlay because they won't have any curb reveal left and stormwater will flow over curbs and driveways flooding properties in heavy rainfall. That is, after all, the main purpose of a curb; to direct storm water to the catch basin.

The only way to improve these dropped catch basins is to sawcut the pavement and install a riser or hand shape a cement concrete riser to raise the frame and grate, then patch the asphalt. Very costly since there are probably thousands of these situations all over the city. The real solution is to prevent this from happening to begin with by grinding and re-paving. They should still at least fix the worst ones until the street is reconstructed sometime down the road.

I don't know if you could make a law to mandate engineering or construction practices, not sure exactly how that works; lawsuit might get their attention, that's how engineering practices usually develop. Washington State DOT 2008 Standard Specifications for construction already have a specification for raising manhole and catch basin frames & covers/grates (7-05.3(1)). But it's up to the local jurisdiction to make the contractor do the work, or to require it to be done in the plans.

Last edited by scdurs; 09-25-2008 at 10:25 AM. Reason: minor correction & added information
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