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County will host 'Bridge Summit' to help prioritize future upgrades

Friday, March 14th, 2014
Hawthorne Bridge scenes-4
Bike traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge as it goes under I-5.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With well over 15,000 bicycle trips daily (according to 2012 counts), Multnomah County's bridges play a major role in central Portland's bicycle transportation network. You might not realize it, but the County owns, operates and manages six of the seven major downtown bridges: the Sauvie Island, Broadway, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne and Sellwood spans. Three (soon to be four) of those six bridges have a separated path for bicycle traffic and the Hawthorne is widely considered one of the busiest bicycle bridges in America. (more...)

County chair candidates Kafoury and Francesconi talk transportation at debate

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
Kafoury, left, is a five-year county commissioner.
Francesconi, right, is a former city commissioner.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Transportation is rarely the biggest issue for Multnomah County chairs, but that didn't stop candidates Deborah Kafoury and Jim Francesconi from gamely finding some modest differences at a debate on the subject Tuesday.

Though neither politician has been known as particularly passionate on transportation issues, both contenders for the county's top elected position endorsed the concept of a "multimodal" county and shared a few ideas for making it better.

(more...)

County says Hawthorne Bridge speed bumps a "mistake"

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-11
Second thoughts about bump installation.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

A set of speed bumps in the bicycle lane of SE Madison Ave as it approaches the Hawthorne Bridge are likely to be removed. The bumps have garnered a lot of feedback — much of it negative — since they were installed a few weeks ago with the aim of slowing people down. We were surprised to learn that the County had installed them given the fact they were forced to remove a similar installation of speed bumps back in 2005.

Multnomah County has an advisory committee that meets once per month to discuss issues like this. However, we learned last week that the Multnomah County Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee was never briefed about the bumps before they went in. At their meeting last night, the bumps were on the top of the agenda and the County's Engineering Services Manager Jon Henrichsen showed up to hear the committee's concerns and try to explain why the decision was made to put them in. (more...)

County installs speed bumps to slow down riders on Hawthorne Bridge viaduct

Friday, November 8th, 2013
New rumble strips Hawthorne Bridge-1
Five new bike speed bumps greet riders heading
onto the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalk.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Multnomah County has installed a series of speed bumps (a.k.a. rumble strips) on SE Madison Ave as it approaches the Hawthorne Bridge (westbound). The bumps are aimed at reducing bicycling speeds as riders transition from the on-street bike lane up a ramp to the shared sidewalk which also happens to be the location of a TriMet bus stop. This bike lane is slightly downhill and bike speeds are relatively high.

There are five bumps placed about two feet apart and they're made up of thermoplastic strips about an eighth-of-an-inch think. That might not seem very high, but on a bicycle the bumps can definitely be felt — especially for riders with narrow tires. We've heard a lot of feedback so far that not only are the bumps jarring but many people swerve into the adjacent vehicle lane to avoid them.
(more...)

County re-thinks cemetery detour: Bikers will be flagged through work zone

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Multnomah County has revised their detour plans for a construction project that was going to close the popular bicycle route through River View Cemetery near the Sellwood Bridge. After our story on Monday, County spokesman says he heard from many people concerned about the safety of the proposed detours (which included a gauntlet-running uphill on SW Taylors Ferry Rd.). Here's more from Pullen via the official County statement:

"After we announced an upcoming construction closure of a road in Riverview Cemetery last week, we heard from bicyclists concerned about the safety of alternate east/west routes. This week the project team worked with Riverview Cemetery staff to revise the traffic plan so that bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to use the road during construction of the new cemetery entrance from August 12 through September."

(more...)

Sellwood Bridge project detour routes riders onto SW Macadam sidewalk

Monday, July 8th, 2013
This new culvert will improve wildlife passage;
but it comes with a detour off the Westside Trail.
(Image: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County has announced a major detour that will impact people who ride bicycles between downtown Portland and the Sellwood Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River.

As part of the Sellwood Bridge project a County contractor is replacing the culvert that crosses Stephens Creek under the trolley tracks between SW Miles Street/SW Taylors Ferry Road. Crews have put a detour in place (see graphic below) that will impact users of the Westside Trail until at least early 2014.
(more...)

County meeting to discuss bike access on SW Miles Place

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
SW Miles Place-1
A sign that reads 'Bikers! Please Slow Down!' greets
people at the entrance to SW Miles Place.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tomorrow night, Multnomah County will hold a public meeting to discuss the future SW Miles Place Regional Trail. As part of the Sellwood Bridge Project, the County has decided to connect the path on the west end of the bridge to the existing Willamette Greenway Trail from the Macadam Bay houseboat community just north of the bridge, to Willamette Park.

Currently, SW Miles Place is a quaint, quiet, potholed and under-developed street that consists of a few dozen single-family homes nestled between Highway 43 and the Willamette River. Back in June, residents successfully stopped the County from routing auto traffic from the houseboat community down the street. Now the big question is: How should the County re-design the road for the increased bicycle traffic expected once the bridge opens? (more...)

Sellwood Bridge plans finalized; County will use green concrete on bike lanes

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Adopted plans.

Last week, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted final plans for the new Sellwood Bridge. After a bumpy final week of the six-year process to arrive at a design, people who care about quality bicycle access breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when the Board voted to shelve their hastily planned, cost-cutting alternative design.

On July 13th, the County raised lots of eyebrows when they shared several cost-cutting measures that would have dramatically changed bicycle access. On Monday of last week, at the meeting of the Project Stakeholder's Committee (PSC), Portland Mayor Sam Adams eviscerated the County's plans. Adams poked holes in the County's proposed money saving measures and raised significant concerns about the hasty timeline and the impact the design would have on bicycling and walking. (more...)

Interview with County Commissioner candidate Paul Van Orden

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Pedalpalooza '06 Kickoff Parade
Van Orden, seen here at a Pedalpalooza
ride in 2006, is running for
Multnomah County Commissioner.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Paul Van Orden is running for Multnomah County Commissioner Seat #2 (North and Northeast Portland district). Van Orden is a political neophyte but he's no stranger to community organizing and working in the public policy realm. As someone who I've noticed at many bike events through the years and who has garnered a lot of support from bike shop owners, bike advocates, and other in our community who care about biking, I figured I'd share a bit more about him here on the Front Page.

Van Orden is currently employed by the City of Portland as a Noise Control Officer. Acting more in a volunteer capacity than in an official City role, Van Orden organized a bike ride leaving the final screening at Filmed By Bike's recent opening night. That street party has gotten complaints from nearby residents and Van Orden wanted to encourage folks to leave the area and take the party elsewhere. (more...)

Newswire: Public comments sought on Mult. Co. transportation capital plan

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Public comments sought on transportation capital plan

Multnomah County welcomes comments on its public review draft of the Transportation Capital Improvement Plan and Program (CIPP) for Fiscal Years 2010-2014. The purpose of the CIPP is to ensure limited public funds are invested in transportation projects providing the greatest public benefit. The CIPP is updated every five years.

The CIPP is a two-part process. The Capital Improvement Plan identifies and ranks transportation improvement needs on County roadways and bridges over the next 20 years. Multnomah County maintains 300 miles of roads and bridges. The network of roads and bridges lies outside the cities of Gresham and Portland, with the exception of five Willamette River bridges within Portland. Projects that accommodate all modes of transportation — motor vehicle, transit, pedestrian and bicycle, and improvements to fish passage culverts — are considered. County staff uses objective criteria to evaluate and score potential projects. Criteria include safety, congestion relief, support of regional land use goals, and community support.

The Capital Improvement Program assigns anticipated revenues to the highest priority projects for a five-year period. The program is reviewed by the County Transportation Division biennially, for programming corrections. The biennial updates adjust anticipated capital revenues to more current projections, and ensure capital project expenditures are allocated appropriately.

The public review draft of the CIPP compiles the list of uncompleted projects and new projects identified through the update process. Candidate projects were identified through public comments, from staff at the cities of Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village, the County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizen Advisory Committee and from the County’s Road and Bridge staff.

The review draft of the CIPP can be reviewed online at www.multco.us/cipp. Please send comments or questions about the CIPP update to cip@co.multnomah.or.us or by mail to: CIPP Comments, 1600 S.E. 190th Avenue, Suite 116, Portland, OR 97233. Public comments are welcome through February 8, 2010. The Board of County Commissioners is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing to consider adopting the CIPP on February 11.

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