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City wraps up post-storm gravel pickup two weeks early (updated)

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
City crews picking up gravel
in their trademark, two-sweeper formation.
(Photo: LiUNA Local 483)

The on-street gravel treatments that added traction to Portland’s streets during February’s snowstorm have been cleared from the bike lanes and shoulders two weeks earlier than expected, a city spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The city managed to clear 1,700 lane-miles of gravel from its streets in four weeks, rather than the six to eight weeks it first expected, by devoting additional crews to the task.

“In addition to the night crews, we had day crews,” spokeswoman Diane Dulken said. Related overtime cost the city about $100,000, she said, 14 percent of the total storm response. “Because it is a priority, we did these things to speed it up.”

(more…)

How’s that gravel treating you? An update on clean-up efforts

Friday, February 21st, 2014
City crews picking up gravel
in their trademark, two-sweeper formation.
(Photo: LiUNA Local 483)

It’s been about 10 days since the City’s effort to clean-up about 1,000 cubic feet of gravel began. With so many bikeways full of the annoying little rocks, we figured it was a good time to check in and see how things are looking.

If comments we’ve seen here on the site and elsewhere are any indication, it’s clear that there’s still a ton of gravel out there. I can also say from personal experience that many key bikeways in all parts of the city look like they haven’t been touched by a sweeper at all. Yesterday I rode on NW Everett into downtown. This is a stretch well known to PBOT for the high rate of collisions due to right hooks at NW 16th, so I was dismayed that it hasn’t been swept. After all, braking and making sudden movements to avoid a collision is all but impossible on gravel.
(more…)

The storm is over, the gravel remains: What local agencies are doing about it

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Gravel bike lanes-2
Gravel on the bike lane of N Interstate Ave as seen this morning.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been a challenging week transportation-wise here in Portland. First we were hit by snow and strong winds, then freezing rain, then a blanket of ice. After that, we had to trudge through tricky slush-piles. Now, thankfully, the weather is getting back to normal; but one last challenge remains: gravel. (more…)

An update on gravel in the bike lanes

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Gravel, leaves in bike lane-4
Gravel on N. Interstate Ave.
Photo taken yesterday (12/6).
(Photo © J. Maus)

Since the outset of what has become an epic Storm of 2008 (stories, photos), we wondered how the Bureau of Transportation would handle the perennial problem of gravel on the roadways — and especially the gravel that inevitably ends up all over the bike lanes.

“Where sweepers could get to the curb, our first priority was bike lanes.”
— PBOT spokeswoman Cheryl Kuck

On December 16th, we reported that the City had their hands full with the storm, telling people who bike that they’d just have to wait until crews could clean it up. (more…)

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