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20s Bikeway Project

Welcome to our coverage of PBOT’s 20s Bikeway Project. See the official website for more information.

State says there’s not enough proof that bike lanes boost safety, so 26th Ave lanes should go

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
26th powell bike box
The City of Portland wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing of Powell at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless bike lanes and bike boxes at 26th (shown here) are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Three weeks after being asked if it can cite any evidence supporting its claim that removing a bike lane can sometimes increase bike safety, the State of Oregon has come up empty.

Moreover, a state spokeswoman wrote in an email Tuesday that four studies cited by the City of Portland that document safety benefits of bike lanes are inadequate, though the state did not say in what way the studies fall short.

“More research needs to be done,” the Oregon Department of Transportation said in its statement.

Research notwithstanding, the Oregon Department of Transportation is continuing to deny the City of Portland’s request to install a new stoplight at 28th Avenue and Powell (which would let the city create a new north-south neighborhood greenway on 28th) unless the city agrees to first remove the narrow bike lanes from nearby 26th Avenue.

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State’s proposal to improve bike crossings of Powell: Remove bike lane from 26th

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
26th powell bike box
About 600 to 800 people a day currently bike on 26th to cross Powell. The city wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless the lanes and bike boxes at 26th are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is facing pressure from its counterparts at the Oregon Department of Transportation to do something it’s almost never done before: remove bike lanes from a street.

An ODOT official said she could not cite evidence other than the site-specific judgment of her engineering colleagues that removing the bike lane on SE 26th Avenue would improve overall road safety. But she said that because 26th is not as safe to bike on as 28th would be, it stands to reason that the bike lane on 26th should be removed in order to encourage people to cross at 28th.

Therefore, ODOT has agreed to approve the city’s request to add a new traffic signal at 28th and Powell only on the condition that the city remove the bike lane and bike box from 26th.

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Fixing Southeast: Three achievable proposals from a fast-rising advocate

Monday, June 1st, 2015
clinton speed
SE Clinton Street.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Southeast Portland has always been the heart of Portland’s biking culture. But as the last few weeks have made horrifically clear, it’s still full of problems.

In an article published Friday on the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition’s website, a new member of that organization’s board laid out three concrete and seemingly achievable suggestions for making the area a bit better — as well as a perceptive theory about the recent problems on Southeast Clinton Street.

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Sunday morning collision at 26th and Powell severs leg of man on bike (updated)

Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Screenshot 2015-05-10 at 11.15.12 AM
The southbound view at 26th and Powell. Police said preliminary information indicated that the man was biking south when a northbound truck turned left in front of him.
(Image: Google Street View)

A collision involving a pickup truck and a bicycle critically injured a man biking southbound on 26th Avenue just before 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police said the injured man’s leg was severed after the northbound truck turned left onto Powell in front of him. Alistair Corkett, 22, was “transported to a Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries” but is expected to survive.

Kenji Sugahara, executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, said in an email Sunday afternoon that Corkett was “a development rider for one of our teams in PDX.”

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Eastmoreland residents organize against wider bike lanes that would remove parking

Monday, May 4th, 2015
yellow house from below
Some people bike on Woodstock Boulevard’s sidewalk to avoid the door-zone bike lane that would be upgraded as part of the 20s Bikeway Project.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association is trying to stop Portland from widening the four-foot door-zone bike lanes along four blocks of Woodstock Boulevard.

The four blocks would be a key link in the planned 20s Bikeway, the first continuous all-ages bike route to stretch all the way from Portland’s northern to southern border. But Kurt Krause, chair of the neighborhood association’s bike committee, said the benefits of a continuously comfortable route aren’t worth the costs of removing curbside parking in front of seven large houses that overlook the Reed College campus across the street.

All seven houses have private driveways and garages on their lots.

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As engineering starts on 20s Bikeway, a few pieces are still shifting

Monday, September 29th, 2014
20s Bikeway SAC meeting-6
City traffic engineer Jamie Jeffrey discusses options for the 20s Bikeway design in May.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The final plans are coming together for the first on-street bike connection between Portland’s northern and southern borders.

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City proposes $30,000 project to preserve on-street parking next to unused parking lot

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
overhead map annotated
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has proposed to narrow a sidewalk by four feet in order to make room both for bike lanes and for some of the free on-street parking spaces that currently serve Katie O’Brien’s bar at NE 28th Avenue and Sandy.
(Graphic: BikePortland)

There’s one section of 28th Avenue’s commercial strip, at the heart of the planned 20s Bikeway, where it’s not possible for bike traffic to divert onto a side street: the one block between Sandy Boulevard and Interstate 84.

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What we could learn from the Walmart parking lot at 82nd and Holgate

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
walmart yield
Maybe we should hire Walmart parking lot engineers to design our streets.
(Photos M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our special focus on east Portland this week.

When people talk about using “traffic calming” to design a “commercial greenway” — like the one proposed for NE 28th Avenue — it sometimes comes off as a strange, experimental sort of magic that we’d probably have to visit Europe to understand.

But we don’t. Most Portlanders — most Americans — walk or drive through areas that are models of safely shared space almost every day of our lives. But we don’t call them greenways or woonerfs or home zones.

We call them parking lots.

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’20s Bikeway’ moves forward as ‘commercial greenway’ idea gains support

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
20s Bikeway SAC meeting-1
20s Bikeway Project advisory committee
meeting last night.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has closed the book (for now) on the public process for their $2.4 million federally funded 20s Bikeway Project. For the past nine months, the city has convened an advisory committee whose goal was to develop a plan for the north-south route. At the group’s final meeting in southeast Portland last night, members agreed to support PBOT’s current proposal which utilizes a mix of bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and neighborhood greenway treatments on a corridor bound by 26th and 32nd Avenues from the Springwater Corridor to NE Lombard Street.

As we’ve covered at length here on the Front Page, the most complicated and contentious segment of the project has been the central section on 28th Avenue that goes through a commercial district. At the meeting last night, PBOT Project Manager Rich Newlands said the city’s approach to this section from the get-go was to create an alternative to 28th that would give less daring riders a lower-stress option. Newlands denied the idea that PBOT gave up on a separated bikeway facility on 28th solely in response to a pro-parking petition signed by business owners along the street. “I really need to stress… That’s not how this played out,” he said. “We made that decision long before we received the petition.” Newlands claimed that PBOT has been aware of the “significant land-use issue” (a.k.a. 28th Avenue’s narrow width and high on-street parking demand) all along. “The petition confirmed, but didn’t change our understanding of those issues,” he said.
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Guest article: Envisioning a ‘commercial greenway’ along 28th Avenue

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Detail of “commercial greenway” concept
for NE/SE 28th Ave.
(Graphics by Paulsen/Falbo/Davis)

This post is part of our ongoing coverage of the 20s Bikeway Project. It was written by Kirk Paulsen, a member of the project’s stakeholder advisory committee. (He’s also a traffic analyst for Lancaster Engineering by day.)

Hello fellow BikePortland readers, we want your opinion!

But first, a bit of backstory…

I’m a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) for PBOT’s 20s Bikeway project. As you know, the project so far has spurred a lively discussion, especially surrounding the central section along 28th Avenue.
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