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‘Aggro’ driving on neighborhood greenways annoys Portlanders in cars too

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
clinton speed

Here’s another take on the much-discussed and increasingly well-documented problem of people who are in a big hurry to drive on some of Portland’s neighborhood greenways (sometimes known as bike boulevards).

My commute has me driving for four blocks on the Clinton bike boulevard west of 21st. For the second time this month I’ve had an aggressive drive pass me to speed down the street. This morning there was a line of bicyclists in front of me basically taking up the lane through to the next signal, as well as oncoming traffic. It would not have been safe or prudent to overtake the bicyclists as I would have to either cut one of them off or stay in the oncoming lane until the next signal. Instead I just drove at the speed of the bikes which was around 18mph. The car that passed me nearly took out a cyclist trying to get back in our lane to avoid a head on collision. It’s completely ridiculous to me that PPB has nearly zero traffic enforcement, especially on our neighborhood greenways where safe respectful driving is even more important. I’ve tried calling in requesting enforcement but have not seen any cops. Any ideas on how to make our streets better, and what the fuck is going on this summer that is making all the drivers extra aggressive?

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Speeding is common on most neighborhood greenways in Portland, study finds

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
greenway auto speeds
A city map of 85th-percentile auto speeds on neighborhood greenways, which typically have a speed limit of 20 mph and are intended to be safe for people of all ages to bike, run, walk and play.

Speeding is routine on more than half of Portland’s celebrated neighborhood greenway system, according to a yet-to-be-released city study. (more…)

Bikelash backlash: Richmond neighborhood ousts board chair, elects growth advocates

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
ice cream hands
Southeast Division Street has rapidly shifted from an auto-oriented corridor to one designed for more walking and biking, including four-story apartment buildings with sidewalk shops. Some residents support the changes; others don’t.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

One of the neighborhood groups that has been a focus of opposition to denser development in Southeast Portland has three new leaders.

But the board chair thrown out in Monday’s election is calling foul play, saying that many Richmond residents showed up and voted against him without getting to know him. (more…)

Seattle’s antidote to aggressive driving on neighborhood greenways

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Screenshot 2015-05-22 at 2.42.03 PM
It works.
(M.Andersen/BikePortland)

I’m in Seattle today joining the second leg of a study tour for a group from Indianapolis that’s visiting Portland and Seattle to study neighborhood greenways, the relatively low-cost, low-controversy bike infrastructure Portland imported from Vancouver BC and has built into a pretty solid network on its eastside grid.

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Balloon ride this Friday will kick off a month-long celebration of Clinton Street

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
clintonlead
The ‘Safer Clinton’ initiative aims to celebrate Portland’s original bike street.

Like anybody who contributes a lot to their community, the Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway has acquired a lot of friends in its first 30 years.

Starting this Friday, May 1, fans of Southeast Portland’s original bike arterial will be hosting a month of celebrations of the bikeway’s birthday. (more…)

New signs help raise visibility of ‘neighborhood greenways’

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
greenwaylead
Look, ma, those side streets with bike arrows, speed bumps and crossing signals have a name now.
(Photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Five years after it invented the term “neighborhood greenway” and three years after getting permission to set neighborhood greenway speed limits at 20 mph, Portland is putting the phrase directly on its streets.

The city is installing almost 100 of the above signs this week on the N Michigan, N/NE Blandena/Going/Alberta, SE Salmon/Taylor, and SE Bush/100th/101st neighborhood greenways.

Cost: less than $5,000, or about $50 per sign, installation included.

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Weak links: City finds traffic hot spots on neighborhood greenway system

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
auto count map

The first numbers are rolling in from the first comprehensive analysis of the country’s first connected bicycle boulevard network, and they show some clear problem spots.

SE Clinton at 22nd.

The side-street bikeways are known in Portland as neighborhood greenways to capture their appeal as places to walk, jog, shoot hoops and so on. But the City of Portland’s project shows that six — inner SE Clinton, SE Lincoln near 53rd, NE Tillamook near Grant High School, SE 86th near Powell, inner Northwest Johnson and upper NW 24th — clearly fail national standards for auto counts on bike boulevards.

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Rodney Avenue neighborhood greenway gets open house next week

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
New traffic diverter at Rodney and Ivy-2
NE Rodney at Ivy.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Rodney Avenue, already a decent low-stress alternative to the Vancouver-Williams couplet, is lined up for an upgrade to full neighborhood greenway status.

At an open house next Wednesday evening, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will be asking people for their thoughts on the plans.

To make the route comfortable for all riders, the city will need to find good ways to help people navigate two jogs in the street grid, at NE Alberta and NE Fremont (pictured below).

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Comment of the Week: The hidden political cost of neighborhood greenways

Friday, March 6th, 2015
Eleni rides home alone-7
Michigan Avenue in North Portland.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In the parts of Portland where neighborhood greenways exist, they’re the most pleasant way to get around. Installing them is cheap, fast and politically popular because (other than the occasional traffic diverter) they basically bother nobody.

After its biking advocates spent much of the 2000s trying and failing to build meaningful networks of protected bike lanes on commercial streets, Portland rolled out 40 miles of comfortable connected neighborhood greenways and (as we shared in Monday’s roundup) rightly earned them a spot among Streetfilms’ 10 global best practices for street design.

But, as reader CarsAreFunToo showed in a comment on Thursday’s post about speed enforcement on high-crash corridors, they also seem to come with a big indirect political cost.

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Here are the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee’s top 10 priorities citywide

Friday, February 27th, 2015
bac top 10
What do you think?
(Click to enlarge, or see below for details and links)

As we reported earlier this week, the City of Portland is trying to hone its massive transportation to-do list by asking people to rank their 10 favorite projects.

In a letter circulated this week, the citizens’ committee that’s most closely tied to Portland’s biking policies shared theirs.

(more…)

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