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  #11  
Old 04-12-2010, 10:59 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Last night and this morning, I played around with photo editing software (Adobe Elements), to see if I could better show one possible idea for improving the Hall Blvd Bike Lane through the the light rail crossing section of that street. Take a look !

Hall Blvd bike lane approaching Light Rail crossing showing 'Bike Lane Ends' sign in possible location for improved sign visibility that supports advance notice of bike ending.

Last edited by wsbob; 04-12-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2010, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsbob View Post
Last night and this morning, I played around with photo editing software (Adobe Elements), to see if I could better show one possible idea for improving the Hall Blvd Bike Lane through the the light rail crossing section of that street. Take a look !
that's a good idea... put the bike lane warning on the same pole as the railroad warning... and shorten the bike lane to give more time for the bikes and cars to be in the same "lane" before it gets too narrow...

I also still like the idea of a "bikes on roadway" type of sign with a road-painted arrow directing bike traffic into the roadway... that would give motorists a better feel for bikes on the road... otherwise "bike lane ends" sort of means "good luck you poor bastards on bikes as you now have nowhere to ride" to a lot of motorists...
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:32 PM
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Spiffy...thanks for your thoughts on the situation! Keep in mind that the traffic engineer is obligated to have all signage and street markings generally either conform to MUTCD examples, or have departures from them for specific situations submitted and approved by...USDOT/Federal Highway Administration.

Download it here:

USDOT Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

It's worth a look. Full color. Fairly easy to read. Useful to have around in case you're wondering what sign options are readily available to use.


"... otherwise "bike lane ends" sort of means "good luck you poor bastards on bikes as you now have nowhere to ride " to a lot of motorists... " Spiffy

No kidding. I think it says the same thing to the poor bastards on bikes. The realities of rules and regulations make it challenging for traffic engineers to readily correct such situations, but does this particular one really represent a challenge so great that the good thing it would accomplish would not be worth the likely, modest expense it would take to do?


Actually, through having driven and ridden on this section of road many times, plus having just stood at several points along it, watching how traffic movement functions through its changing widths and appearing/disappearing bike lane...I'd easily be inclined to give credit to the vast majority of road users for seemingly trying very hard to adjust for and allow for each others safe and efficient passage through it. Even so, because of the sometimes close proximity of motor vehicles to a bikes when both pass the storm grate parallel to each other, a dangerous situation exists.

Through this narrow section of the roadway, space for a narrow bike lane...say 2.5' to 3', that stays clear of the storm grate might created by reducing the width of the two, same direction main travel lanes. Doing this might amount to a substandard treatment that would require approval by state or federal DOT's, but for cities that understand and support the concept and promise of transportational biking, aren't efforts like this exactly what they should be making? Especially if the amount of materials and labor to apply the treatment are modest? I would like to think that Beaverton, Oregon is such a city.

Last edited by wsbob; 04-16-2010 at 05:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2010, 03:58 PM
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Default My Letter to Mr. Khasho and Ms. Middleton with photos with circles and arrows and

a paragraph on the back side explaining each one... After some photo reconnaissance today (I knew there was a more suitable sign in Beaverton than that fading into the visual clutter white one... this is the email I sent off.

Hello Mr. Khasho,

First, thank you for the information on the owner of 115th Ave/McBride Place (email of Dec 7 2009). After some poking around on the internets and a few phone calls, I got to the business office and had a lovely conversation with them. And, a few weeks later, the bumps were painted! Not as well as the City would have done, perhaps, but they can be seen now. My groceries are no longer in danger of bouncing out of my panniers.

I understand you have been having a conversation and meetings with "wsbob" (that's his name on the BikePortland.org forums; I don't know his real name.) He encouraged me to contribute to the conversation regarding the merging bike lane on northbound Hall, just north of Millikan.

As a bicyclist, I have to say that is one of my least-preferred routes. I only stay on Hall if I am heading west, just because of that abruptly narrowing stretch of road with the sunken grate. Merging, sunken grate, no place to go if a car is coming up quickly from behind... nah, I don't go there. I turn east on Millikan, and cut behind the apartments and then proceed north on Lombard.

So, here's my input to the discussion on
1) the signage and merge on Hall. It is my understanding and learning from Drivers' Ed waaaay back in the day, that a yellow sign indicated caution, pay attention, etc. The sign on Hall is not yellow. It is the only sign of it's type that I have ever seen that is not yellow. Plus, it is blocked by the trees and car dealership banners. That whole area is visually very, very confusing and distracting - it is a wonder anyone sees any of the signs! However, a couple blocks over on Millikan Way, heading east through The Round, there is a different (yellow) sign when the bike lane does a very abrupt merge.



Would it be possible to put a sign of that type on Hall, plus move it's placement out from all the visual clutter and distraction? As well as do something about that sunken grate? Really, those are awful hazards to cyclists, and it isn't always possible to swerve around them.

2) connection from Millikan to Lombard. I can see that a roadway would take some doing. And money, and time. However, the solution here, for EVERYONE but an automobile, is a paved path. There is a reasonable volume of both foot and bicycle traffic there daily; lots of folks getting to their destinations from the Beaverton Transit Center. What are the possibilities of a paved path? Portland certainly has many of these paved cut-throughs; there is ample precedent.



Thank you much,
{me}
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2010, 02:23 PM
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lynnef...nice work with your letter to Mr. Khasho including pictures . (Hm-m-m... . Now if a few more people did the same ? !) I really hope you get a positive response from him that you can share with everyone here. Can't think of why you wouldn't. The concerns you expressed to him were serious, civil and intelligent. I know from personal experience that Mr. Khasho seems to be a decent guy. We'll see what happens.

Interesting that you would mention that particular bike specific merge sign. For readers' benefit, this is a sign that east bound Millikan Way traffic approaches as it comes to the cross street Rose Biggi Ave. (the Biggi family owns a lot of acerage adjacent to The Round.). The bike lane ends for the next couple blocks as Millikan crosses the Hall-Watson couplet.

Buildings adjacent to Millikan in the block between Biggi and Watson are the newer and Beaverton's tallest...big concrete office building and parking garage. It's a busy place, but Millikan past it is very, very mellow compared to any of Beaverton's busier streets such as Cedar Hills Blvd, Canyon Rd, Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, or the couplet.

A few comments about this sign:
I couldn't find it in the MUTCD. Maybe someone else can. If it's not in there, information about how the sign came to be, and how it came to be used in this location would be valuable.

I rode over to the site to check out the sign's placement in relation to the street for visibility by road users. This might just be my own personal perception, but to me, it seems that here is another example of a sign whose useful potential is not fully realized because of indiscriminate placement without consideration for interference by other objects that block its view by approaching road users.

Positioned, 100-150 feet away from the sign, it was very difficult to see this sign. This is partly because of sidewalk landscaping of trees spaced at intervals along the sidewalk, and lamposts (upon which the 'bike yield' graphic sign' is mounted) spaced exactly in the same line with them.

This kind of situation probably poses a challenge for persons responsible for making sure signs are placed where they can be clearly seen by road users. In the case of this sign, the lower branches of trees two and three back, have been removed, allowing a view to the sign through the lower branches of the first tree before the sign. This first trees lower limbs need to be cut back like the second and third have been, because they block visibilty of the sign quite a lot, and the tree hasn't even yet fully leafed out.

Even removing the lower branches of this that tree wouldn't probably do enough to make this sign visible. that's because the sign graphic is in line with too much visual junk in the distance leading up to the sign; the trunks of the trees.

It seemed to me that the answer, is to remove the sign from the convenient mounting place of the light pole, bring it forward of present position where there is an opening in the visual clutter. Drill a hole in the concrete, plant a pole, mount the sign. Standing there, I could visually pinpoint a location that looked as though it might improve visibility. A picture could be taken and photo edited to demonstrate this.

Also....the graphics of the sign itself might be beefed up a bit with slightly heavier lines to make it stand out better.

lynnef...nice pic too of the dirt path section of Millikan Way between Hall Blvd and Lombard Ave. Quite an interesting view considering this is Downtown Beaverton. I imagine volunteers would be happy to help out grading a bed for gravel and asphalt paving. I wondered what those materials would cost. $3000-$5000? Maybe someone reading, in the business would know. Not hard to figure out sq. ft. and get an estimate though. There's a certain amount of process and a little bit of engineering involved. Things like this shouldn't take forever to get done, especially when the need they'd serve is considerable.

Last edited by wsbob; 04-18-2010 at 02:30 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2010, 05:38 PM
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Default And Mr Khasho writes back...

When I talked to “wsbob” I told him our maintenance crew will take a look at the catch basin to evaluate the potential of grinding the pavement around it. After the review by City crews, it was determined that raising the catch basin is possible and is a better option. The work to raise the catch basin will be scheduled in the near future.

The yellow bike lane end sign shown in the photo below is a diagrammatic option to the black and white “Bike Lane End” sign that is currently posted on Hall Boulevard. We will work with the property owner on moving the banner to make sure the sign is not obscured.

The suggestion to pave a path from Millikan to Lombard is a good suggestion. The only issue is the property between the two streets is a private property and belongs to the apartments adjacent to it.

Sincerely,

Jabra Khasho

City Traffic Engineer

***** me again *****

Hmm. If Beaverton has the right of way through to Lombard (from Mr. Khasho's conversation with wsbob), you'd think they'd exercise it to make a path. I am pretty sure the apartment complex isn't going to do anything to improve that bit of ground
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  #17  
Old 04-22-2010, 10:13 PM
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lynnef...great hearing that you've received a response from Mr. Khasho, and that you've reported on it here in the forums. Hearing that the catch basin (storm grate, as I've been referring to it) can and will be raised is good news.

Seems to me that'll be far better than any improvement a pavement grind to the low depression the...catch basin...currently is located in, could have accomplished. I can't remember what the actual grate on the catch basin is at present.
(Hopefully, it's one that's smooth to ride over, and not one of the older ones that's been improvised with welded over metal strips; good, because they eliminate the danger of bike tires slipping into the grates' slots, but not so good because they're bumpy to ride over.)
A raised catch basin is an acceptable compromise to a curb drain. Installing one of them would have been more a lot more complicated, and probably a whole lot more money.

Glad to hear Mr. Khasho comment about the 'diagrammatic' bike lane ends sign that you included a picture of in your email to him. I guess I still have some thought that moving the sign further back from the light rail crossing...to allow bike traffic advance notice to prepare to merge into the main travel lane in preparation for bypassing the catch basin...might be worth considering.

Though, if raising the catch basin makes it safe and comfortable to ride over, that could ease the tension through that section enough, so that the sign can do its job where it's currently at.
  • It's great to hear Mr. Khasho still has the dealers banner on his list.
  • And hopefully, the dealers large wild rose bush (mr. K advised me it might be theirs) planted on the creek bank, which obscures the view south, to northbound traffic for people trying to safely get out of the parking lot south entrance/exit for Country Buffet, Magnolia Hi-Fi, Performance Bike shop, and a number of other businesses
It's encouraging that Mr. Khasho's thought your idea of paving a path from Millikan to Lombard is a good suggestion. I wonder if he has any ideas about how to proceed with handling the issue of the land being private property. I imagine the city attorney has to do the diplomatic work here:
'Say...the city has a great idea... that would make it easier for everyone in this building that bikes, to access the fine riding street, Millikan...'.
It seems to me now, that when there for the site visit, I should have taken a little more time and asked Mr. Khasho further about what would be required to have a simple, paved path put in there. We should be asking him for more details. I don't think he'll mind.

Seems to me that a well designed, well built, low cost, asphalt or concrete path...10'-12' wide would be a real community builder. Certainly better than the dirt use path running through there now. I like dirt footpaths well enough, but this one somehow doesn't put the neighborhood in its best light.

lynnef...nice work !

Last edited by wsbob; 04-23-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2010, 10:06 PM
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Thumbs up Completed already ! ... Work on 'Bike Lane Ends' sign visibility

Did a site visit by myself today, to take pictures of the catch basin/storm grate, before it gets upgraded. Was pleased to observe that tree limbs and dealership banners obscuring visibility of the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign from road users approaching it, have been removed.

I'm hoping to be able to take some decent photos to provide 'after' shots readers can compare with the ones visible online via the link in the previous post. I'm thinking though, that road users, bike traffic in particular, will notice a big difference due to these simple changes. I'd encourage people that ride this section of Hall Blvd, to share your thoughts about them here.

Nice work on the part of Beaverton City Traffic engineer Mr. Jabra Khasho, the city street crew, lynnef, and anyone else I'm not aware of that may have had a hand in correcting problems at this site.

So now, it looks like just the catch basin to put right. And possibly, for people leaving the strip mall driveway up the street, some attention to lowering the height of the wild rose bushes along the creek bank.
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Lightbulb So, post 'em

I'd love to see the before and after pictures, or just the after pictures.

(FYI: I'm trying to post in each forum to eliminate the deleted porn spammer post)
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2010, 12:40 AM
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Related to the improved visibility of the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign amidst the branches and auto dealer banners...even though the sign was clearly less obscured by the dealer banners, there was something puzzling to me about how it was accomplished.
I actually physically went to the site and looked at the bike sign pole and the poles the dealer banners were attached to. Couldn't see any noticeable traces that that the ground had been disturbed. The dealer banners seemed to be in their original locations, but it was hard for me to tell for sure, even after looking at the photos I took; (As it turned out, I wasn't paying enough attention to the small details). One thing was certain though: in the 'Before' photos, the dealer banner definitely overlapped the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign. In the 'After' photos, it didn't.

So how did they do it? Tonight, I again looked at the photos I took, and finally figured it out. Comparing photos #12 and #18 in the Picasa web album I've posted the photos to, I was able to see that the Beaverton street crew had physically relocated the 'Bike Lane Ends' sign about a foot away from and slightly forward of the dealer banner, bringing it closer to the sidewalk, thus affording road users the unobstructed view of the sign that exists now that this work has been done. In fact, bolts now actually attach a bracket that supports the sign...to the sidewalk itself. Look closely at the base of the sign in each picture and it's possible to tell. Before, the sign pole was planted where bark-dust completely surrounded it.

So I guess it was easier and more effective to do it this way than to try get the dealer to remove his ad banner. (I just hope he doesn't replace the old banner with a bigger banner that obscures the bike lane sign again!)



I'm deciding when to call the city public works and ask them when when the Hall Blvd catch basin might be scheduled for improvement by the street crew. Got a name from Mr. Khasho....Terry Priest.

Meanwhile, I'm interested in lynnef's idea of improving the dirt use path betweeen where Millikan Way currently ends and Lombard to the east. Beaverton City Traffic Engineer Jabra Khasho mentioned that the property the use path crosses, and which a city road may eventually pass over, is private property.

On the property maps Portland makes available to online viewers, I believe I've pinpointed the property in question....4125 SW LOMBARD AVE. Here's the link to the map of it:
Portland maps display of 4125 SW LOMBARD AVE property in Beaverton
You'll notice that the graphic map indicates Millikan Way running straight through to Lombard Ave. ...which, as a paved surface, it does not do at present. If you'd like, navigate to and look at the graphic map, click on Google Earth in the row of links at the top right side of your screen for the aerial photo view, which will show you exactly where Millikan Way currently ends, as well as 'ye ol' dirt path'. Below, are snapshots of the Google views I particularly had in mind.





Completion of Millikan Way across this property to Lombard Ave for pedestrian-bike transportation access, would be appealing in a number of ways:
  • The apartment owner and residents would see the unappealing dirt path replaced with a better looking surface, laid out further from the apt complex.
  • People would be encouraged to travel by bike and walk with the provision of this east-west route from the transit center all the way to Cedar Hills Blvd that would be quieter, more beautiful, and safer for these modes of travel than the far busier Canyon Rd.
  • Extending Millikan to Lombard would mean that transit center bound and beyond bike traffic would be less inclined to take the narrow, non-continuous bike lane along Hall Blvd for the round-a-bout route via Center St.
Note that the taco truck is shown near the entrance to the apartment complex parking lot where it usually is if you go by there. Snack time!

Last edited by wsbob; 05-23-2010 at 10:12 PM.
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