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Old 03-29-2010, 11:03 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Default If it must, can this bike lane not merge more smoothly?

June 27 update...storm grate finally raised to street grade...see before and after pics here: Hall Blvd at Light rail crossing storm grate improvement before and after pics

January 11, 2011 update...news on Hall Blvd storm grate repair scheduling:

latest word about when Hall Bvd storm grate will be brought up to pavement grade

August 18th update...news about the catch basin soon being raised to street grade:

email text from Beav public works employee

June 1st update, my comment posted to this thread noting having observed that work to regrade the Hall Blvd catch basin just north of the light rail tracks, has begun:

Hall Blvd catch basin in process of being raised to street level, comment posted by wsbob


May 23 update...posted some new stuff about S.W. Millikan way between Hall Blvd and Lombard where lynnef would like to see the dirt path get a bit of paving so Beaverton residents on foot and also, bike commuters wouldn't have to slide around in the mud as they make their way on this useful route across Beaverton. I'd welcome suggestions as to how to approach Beaverton officials about looking into getting some short term low cost work done to improve this route connection. I figure even hard packed fine gravel would be an improvement over mud, and less toxic to the environment than asphalt or concrete.


.................................................. .............................................



Just posting a notice about my post over on the 'What have you done today? thread, started up by K'tesh quite some time ago. My little part in encouraging Beaverton to keep focused on improving its primary connector streets sufficiently to allow bike use to help relieve the immense transportation demand placed on them by excessive motor vehicle use.


May 10th update

Some progress has been made towards correcting problems associated with the merge of the Hall Blvd bike lane where it approaches the light rail tracks and passes a storm catch basin some 50' beyond it. Tree branches and an auto dealers banners were obscuring the sign. The branches have been trimmed....and the sign pole holding the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign has been relocated slightly to prevent the sign it holds from being obscured by the auto dealer banner that remains in its original position.

According to Beaverton City Traffic Engineer, Jabra Khasho by way of a citizen email to one of our fellow forum members Lynnef, the catch basin grate is scheduled to be raised to a level closer to that of the roadway itself..hopefully allowing bike traffic to ride directly over it without threatening the rider's balance, and thus allowing bike traffic to take full advantage of the narrow portion of roadway available to bike traffic on this section of Hall Blvd. You're welcome to read the whole saga of how this came...or is coming to be...in the posts that follow. Perhaps think of it as an introduction to how you might go about initiating some little changes that could make your city a better place to live...
It's time also to mention that in going about getting this issues with this section of the bike lane smoothed out, the example I followed was provided by forum member Jim Parsons (he uses the forum handle, K'tesh.). Over recent years, he's done a lot of this kind of thing; bringing to the attention of city officials, numerous aggravating and dangerous roadway problems that might otherwise have not received the prompt attention that is in order for everyone's safe use of the road.

Last edited by wsbob; 07-02-2011 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:01 PM
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kinda sounds like Mr. Kasho needs to go for a bike ride. Take him down Lombard across Farmington, too

Last edited by K'Tesh; 03-30-2010 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Fixed Broken Smilie
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:00 AM
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lynnef...I really appreciate the input. . At the Beaverton Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, it was board member and Councilor Betty Bode, that encouraged me to call up Mr. Kasho and arrange to go over with him to Hall Blvd to take a look at details on the street that I had questions about.

I let a couple weeks pass before I called him, which in hind-sight, may not have been wise. By the time I finally called him, he'd already been to the site and checked it out. He didn't volunteer the info, and I didn't want to outright ask him if he'd ridden a bike as part of his inspection. As for ideas I might have had as to how the 'bike lane ends/merge' situation could have best been improved, I suppose I'd more or less deliberately refrained from imagining any, thinking it might be best to not jump to conclusions before the city's professional weighed in on it. Now that it seems he's at least initially done that I probably do have some thoughts on this.
  1. Given that the street in this particular location alternately narrows and widens over a relatively short distance, and that this point on the street has 3 lanes, right lane motor vehicle and bike traffic should probably be instructed to merge through this particular section of Hall Blvd. Because the street has 3 lanes here, motor vehicle operators advised sufficiently in advance of the merge, and that wished to avoid reducing their vehicle speed to that of bike traffic in the right lane, could signal and merge into one of the left lanes.

  2. That being the case, rather than a sign reading 'Bike Lane Ends', the appropriate sign should probably read 'Cars/Bikes Merge'.

  3. Whichever way the sign reads, it seems to me personally that the sign is located too close to the end of the bike lane. It should be another 75 feet in advance of the end of the bike lane, so motor vehicle and bike operators can clearly see what it advises and make preparations accordingly.
There's more to this situation than my pictures adequately show. Lacking a 'ride-a-long' by a city official, if I could, I'd do a little video following a bike proceeding across the light rail tracks and beyond as it approaches the storm grate, showing how the bike's natural line of travel brings it very close to, or actually over the grate if the person riding isn't careful.

I'm sure there's a lot of demand on city official's time. Given that, I really appreciate the effort Mr. Kasho devoted to checking this situation out.

The Lombard/Farmington intersection is complicated, but I'm really not so familiar with it compared to the Hall Blvd site. I've ridden it...haven't really had a problem with it, which never the less, doesn't allay some unsettling feelings I have about whether or not I'll safely cross all those rails. I would think if you or anyone else has some ideas about how it could be improved...at least some of which are ideas that wouldn't cost a fortune...it would be great if they could be written down so people could read them and think them over.

Last edited by wsbob; 03-31-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:39 PM
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I've seen the "Bike Lane Ends" sign, but I really had to look for it. The car dealership's banner almost completely blocks it.

I'm generally heading east at that point, so I go to the east end of Millikan Way and do the cyclo-cross thing behind the apartment building to Lombard. I really dislike that stretch of Hall.

As I do not live in Beaverton (city boundary is just below my back yard), I am not sure Mr. Kasho would consider it his job to pay me any mind...
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnef View Post
I've seen the "Bike Lane Ends" sign, but I really had to look for it. The car dealership's banner almost completely blocks it.

I'm generally heading east at that point, so I go to the east end of Millikan Way and do the cyclo-cross thing behind the apartment building to Lombard. I really dislike that stretch of Hall.

As I do not live in Beaverton (city boundary is just below my back yard), I am not sure Mr. Kasho would consider it his job to pay me any mind...
Lynnef...I wouldn't think your living just outside Beaverton city limits would affect Mr. Khasho's appreciation for thoughts you might have about how the city could make traveling across it be more wonderful than it presently is ... . Commuters like yourself probably spend the occasional dollar or two at businesses, restaurants and entertainment. I'll bet all city employees are advised to encourage that ! Lots more of it ! On the phone, he seemed like enough of the 'down to earth' kind of guy that would welcome any constructive ideas people might have.

Maybe you purr-r-r-r a suggestion to him that it might be nice if the city could construct a promenade along the creek between Hall and Lombard to enable an easier, more efficient route for bike and pedestrian traffic to the transit center from Hall. That could help bike traffic get off the street sooner for people riding with that direction being their route. And also...then you wouldn't have to get mud in your cleats... .

Hey...well look here......His contact info at City Hall...:

Jabra Khasho, Public Works (503) 526-2221 jkhasho@ci.beaverton.or.us
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:17 PM
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As I'd been advised and encouraged to do so, by the people from the Beaverton Bicycle Advisory Committee regarding the Hall Blvd bike lane as it ends south of the light rail tracks...in addition to several other nearby and related issues...I called up the City Traffic Engineer Jabra Khasho to schedule a 'site visit' Fortunately for me, time was available on Mr. Khasho's schedule to visit the site today.

The short summary of the info gained from that visit is:
  • As I mentioned earlier from my previous phone call with Mr. Khasho...the best shot on the storm drain north of the light rail tracks is that it will likely continue to be a street surface drain, but the street crew will hopefully be able to grind the surrounding asphalt around the drain so as to make crossing over it by bike somewhat less abrupt. He says..'maybe better, maybe not'.

  • A clearer view of the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign by approaching road users will be enabled by removal of tree branches and the car dealers ad banners currently obscuring it. Mr. Khasho cautioned that designing a sign that wasn't already federally approved, such as 'Cars-Bikes Merge' was not a great option because it likely would involve a long approval process.

    He also seemed to feel he could not encourage the idea of moving the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign further away from the point where the bike lane ends...in front of instead of in back of trees and other poles... in a move that seemed to me could further improve visibility, citing 'required distances' and so on.

    Same thing with regards to ideas about redesigning the actual bike lane line itself (double striped with angle cross-stripes) so it could be made to taper as it approached the light rail crossing and the end of the bike lane, enabling a more advance notice of the bike lane end and thereby, a more natural, safer merge of car and bike traffic. Reason given: 'Not already approved...long process for design, submit design, approve design'. (So it looks like we'll have to be living with the bike lane line as it currently is.)

Mr. Khasho continued walking with me (I brought my bike...he can't ride due to disabilities) north to the storm drain, where I used my bike to show him first hand the close proximity of motor vehicle and bike traffic at that point on the road. I really do think he understands this is a problem, but as far as ideas about how to deal with it? No easy winners there.
At this point, I had just a couple more questions to address to Mr. Khasho. One had to do with what seemed to me to be improperly chosen creekside plantings that grow too tall and obscure the view south to rapidly approaching northbound Hall Blvd traffic. Departing from the Performance Bike shop strip mall parking lot is where this issue arises.

We walked to the driveway, standing right where a motor vehicle or bike would be positioned to prepare to enter Hall Blvd. It's spring, so these shrubs have not fully leafed out. As a result, visibility of cars down the road is mostly possible at this time of year. I worked to explain to Mr. Khasho that the shrubs get taller as spring and summer passes; before street crews can get out to reduce shrub height, road users often have to struggle with easily seeing approaching Hall Blvd traffic sufficiently in advance in order to afford a safe entrance onto the street.

I found it difficult to persuade Mr. Khasho that there is a problem here. He essentially said that standing in the driveway, he could see the cars fine. I protested saying, 'But Mr. Khasho...you're not in a car or on a bike attempting to see whether there's enough room in advance of swiftly approaching cars to move safely onto the street'.

So we walked south again, pausing mid-span on Beaveton's 'beautiful' Beaverton Creek Bridge. Looked at the shrubs growing on the north side of the creek bank: Big wild rose bushes 6-7 feet high already. Walked further to the south side of the bridge to look at the south creek bank. More rose bushes and a big plant called an Abelia. Compared to the north side, these had gone much longer without pruning. They also, as a result of this lack of pruning and Hall Blvd's bend in the road at this point, are more of a visibility problem than the plants on the north creek bank.

Mr. Khasho reflected that these plants were likely on private property...Damerow Ford property, and that 'code compliance' could be an effective way to get them reduced in size. Mr. Khasho's response to thoughts expressed about having the plants removed and replaced with lower scale plants that wouldn't need regular pruning (which would save wasting expensive taxpayer paid city employees time) to prevent them from obscuring road users visibility down Hall was 'Probably requires permits...money'.

Last item I brought up was the point Lynnef raised about Millikan east of Hall Blvd ending short of Lombard, how Millikan was a very useful street to bike travelers, and that the street's only disappointment is that the last couple hundred feet of it to Lombard is not paved. So people are doing the old 'cross-country' gambit across the apartment complex lawn. The beginning of a couple use paths are starting to appear.

Mr. Khasho's answer: Beaverton already has the right of way to Lombard. Problem, is that the Millikan street extension has to be designed to connect with a certain street....can't remember which he said...it's path cuts through apartment buildings currently standing. I said "What kind of time frame might we be talking about, Mr. Khasho, to get this thing completed?". I'm quoting this time: "Not in my lifetime." So lynn...looks like you're going to have to learn to enjoy your daily cross country routine for awhile to come.
Mr. Khasho is a very nice, knowledgeable city professional that welcomes hearing residents concerns about their city. He showed up on time for the appointment. After the meeting though, I was thinking 'What do we as citizens have to do to get a lot better level of improvement taking place in regards to problem infrastructure than looks like is going to come from this site visit? Drink some Tiger's Milk maybe?

Probably any of you could do a better job of getting something out of this visit than I did, but for me, it was well worth the time I invested. I'd say to you other folks out there with questions: Call this cat Jabra up...he's a good guy that tries!

Last edited by wsbob; 04-08-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:01 AM
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Red face Sorry about that...

After one of your recent posts about those rose bushes, I went out and pruned them down a little. I guess it kinda defeated the purpose of your trip out there.

I completely know what your talking about.

Nutz.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:24 AM
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K'tesh...don't worry about it. I think there was easily enough growth there for Mr. Khasho to...maybe a bit reluctantly...come to the realization that the shrubs do present a visibility problem. Especially as it was emphasized to him that this is just the beginning of the high growth period of the year.

Update: May 10th

Everyone keep their eye on the rose bushes....because this time of year, they're putting on lots of vertical growth. Any unauthorized trimming that certain parties of citizen persuasion.......who will go nameless to protect the innocent well intentioned...may or may not have done, will likely soon be reversed by new growth. I'm really interested to see when the city gets its crew out there to bring them down to scale so road users leaving the Country Buffet parking lot (lots of other stores sharing it too..) have a clear view to oncoming Hall Blvd traffic, which they really should be able to see...in order to make a safe, stress free exit from that parking lot.

Last edited by wsbob; 05-11-2010 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:29 PM
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Question Merge arrows?

Why couldn't we add diagonal "merge" arrows to the tail end of a bike lane if it was going to go away? We see this all the time, especially in about-to-disappear highway lanes. This would be a clue not only for cyclists, but for motorists, who could see that the arrows in the bike lane were directing cyclists to merge into the next lane over.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biciclero View Post
Why couldn't we add diagonal "merge" arrows to the tail end of a bike lane if it was going to go away? We see this all the time, especially in about-to-disappear highway lanes. This would be a clue not only for cyclists, but for motorists, who could see that the arrows in the bike lane were directing cyclists to merge into the next lane over.
biciclero...are you thinking of some particular example, or do you have a picture of one that would fit in this particular section of Hall Blvd, or could be slightly redesigned to fit there and do the job of merging motor vehicle and car traffic safely and effectively? Post it if you do.

I believe I wrote in the account of our site visit, that I made an effort to suggest something like that to Mr. Khasho. He was quick to advise me that it wasn't necessary...because in his view, the roadway naturally merges motor vehicle and bike traffic by virtue of it narrowing over a short distance.

Well, some of the time, the road actually can naturally merge MV and bike traffic...as long as traffic is not temporarily halted by crossing gates for the light rail train. As long as bike traffic is in motion at a 15-20mph speed, when the bike lane ends, people on bikes can hand signal and move left into the main travel lane upon adequate notice that the bike lane is ending. When traffic is brought to a halt...bike traffic lacks sufficient distance and time to properly hand signal and move into the main travel lane, from the point of the light rail tracks to that of the upcoming storm drain.

For me and others that have ridden this section of Hall Blvd many times, the situation I've described might be readily understandable. For someone that has not ridden a bike there, it may be more difficult to get a sense that a problem exists.
Another cautionary note offered by Mr. K regarding the 'diagonal arrow merge line' suggestion: he said it wouldn't be a regulation street marking...would have to be submitted for approval... . Mr. Khasho is the traffic engineer, and he does seem knowledgeable about his field. I trust that he's likely correct, though it seems to me that a slight modification of the existing line might do the job. I don't think I have the software to do it, or I'd draw an example using the pics I took.
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