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ODOT is building its first complete wishlist of biking and walking projects

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
east 82nd
82nd Avenue: a priority, but how high?
(Photo: Elly Blue)

As Oregon creates its first-ever comprehensive biking and walking wishlist, it’s run into a hard question: how should it rank the importance of the many projects on its list?

The question comes three years after a round of ODOT’s federal grant applications for Portland-area biking and walking projects came up completely empty. As the next federal grant deadline approaches, ODOT is hoping that by creating a more sophisticated system to choose its top projects — a complete sidewalk along 82nd Avenue, maybe, or a crosswalk beacon on North Lombard street — it won’t miss out on the next round of federal grants.

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What it feels like to ride Barbur Blvd for the first time (photos)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
to barbur
Seems easy enough.
(Photos Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Here’s a confession: though I’ve driven on Southwest Barbur, ridden the bus on it, and walked along it to reach a vigil for a woman killed while she crossed it, in four years of reporting on the street and its problems I’ve never actually ridden a bike on it.

Until this week.

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State says it has no plans to restripe street where one person has died per year

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
barbur curve looking north
Typical midday traffic approaching a curve in Barbur Boulevard from the south.
(Image: Google Street View.)

During a construction project last summer, the Oregon Department of Transportation seems to have discovered that there’s a way to cut extreme speeding on a curving two-mile stretch of Southwest Barbur Boulevard where six people have died in the last five years.

Was it closing the passing lanes? Lowering the posted speed limit from 45 to 35 mph? Upping traffic enforcement and penalties? Simply marking it as a construction zone?

The agency did all of those things at once, so it isn’t sure which one worked, and it currently has no plans to find out.

Meanwhile, the state-owned street has returned to normal indefinitely.

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Strong open house turnout might close gap in SW 185th bike lanes, BTA says

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
tv highway 185th intersection
The bike lanes end just before they cross a big state road.
(Image: Google Maps)

Strong turnout for bike supporters at a state open house next Wednesday could lead to major improvements to one of Washington County’s most annoying bike-lane gaps — and set a precedent for similar gaps around the region.

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Oregon road deaths tick upward after long-run decline

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
traffic deaths
(Source: ODOT. Chart: BikePortland.)

One year after Oregon saw its best year for traffic safety since World War II, it seems to have backslid somewhat.

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After a decade of less driving, federal forecast shifts to match reality

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Existing conditions on Williams Ave-8-7
Get the picture, Uncle Sam?
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A forecast that has been buried deep inside the U.S. Department of Transportation website since last May seems to be the first to fully acknowledge that economic growth no longer seems closely tied to driving.

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ODOT’s Barbur Blvd lane closure analysis finds 1 minute delay, big cut in speeding

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
SW Barbur Blvd-5
SW Barbur in August, when repaving work created a temporary simulation of a possible road diet. The state studied the results, and they make a redesign seem feasible.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Converting one northbound traffic lane on 1.9 miles of SW Barbur Boulevard to two protected bike lanes with sidewalks would apparently prevent unsafe weaving during off-peak hours without massive impacts to morning traffic.

That’s one conclusion from data released Friday that analyzed changes to people’s driving habits during construction work on Barbur this summer. A repaving project had temporarily closed one traffic lane in each direction.

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Car, freight, bike and transit advocates agree to back Oregon gas tax or fee hike in 2015

Monday, November 10th, 2014
6175048141_311d91dda5_z
The Oregon Trucking Association, AAA and petroleum industry agreed last week not only to back a possible gas tax hike but to support indexing the tax for future automatic increases.
(Photo: C.M. Keiner)

Oregon’s 2015 legislative session is sure to include lots of plot twists for transportation policy. But at least among the key lobbyists, a grand bargain has been struck.

A group of advocates for biking, driving, urban density, public health, the gasoline industry, truck freight, rail fright, cities and public transit agencies — Oregon’s broadest-based organization of transportation interest groups — voted unanimously Thursday on the basic terms of a proposed transportation bill.

The deal brokered by members of the Oregon Transportation Forum would use a gas tax and/or auto fee hike to raise hundreds of millions of dollars over two years for infrastructure around the state.

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Portland legislators launch effort to put 82nd Ave under PBOT control

Friday, November 7th, 2014
east 82nd
(Photo: Elly Blue)

It’s looking as if the 2015 legislative session could bring a change that Portland transportation advocates have dreamed of, without much hope, for years.

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ODOT releases ‘ORcycle’ smartphone app to collect biking data

Friday, November 7th, 2014
orcycleapp

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a research lab at Portland State University just announced “Orcycle” a smartphone app billed as a way for bicycle riders to share “valuable information” with the agency.

Here’s more from an ODOT press release that just hit our inbox:

Gathering valuable data about how bicyclists use the transportation system has always been a challenge. Starting Nov. 10, a new Smartphone app created by the Transportation Technology and People (TTP) lab at Portland State University, in partnership with ODOT, will provide data that can help planners and others make decisions based on users’ feedback and facts never before gathered in one place. The goal of the app, called ORcycle, is to get cycling data from people who ride bicycles voluntarily contributing via their Smartphone, from anywhere in the state.

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