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ODOT says $3 million project to raise overpass 18 inches has no budget to add a sidewalk

Friday, May 15th, 2015
strawberry lane overpass
The overpass is being raised so that large-load trucks can drive under it rather than detouring onto Strawberry Lane.
(Images: Google Street View)

Despite receiving a dozen public requests to add sidewalks to an overpass it’s planning to raise by 18 inches, the Oregon Department of Transportation says there’s no room for them in the $3 million project.

Instead, ODOT will add a five-foot-wide striped walking and biking lane on the bridge’s eastbound side. The road-level lane will be marked with a pedestrian symbol.

The Strawberry Lane bridge south of Clackamas is the only crossing of Interstate 205 for one mile in each direction.

As reported Wednesday by the Clackamas Review, the purpose of the project is to raise the overpass enough to prevent most large-load trucks from having to detour onto Strawberry Lane in order to avoid the relatively low bridge.

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At die-in, ODOT says it’s already doing its best to improve street safety

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
odoti
The protest was organized after a man biking across Powell Boulevard lost a leg in a collision with a turning pickup truck.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland unless noted)

About two dozen people lay in the one-way street outside the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Portland regional headquarters Wednesday afternoon in a mostly silent demonstration in support of safety improvements on Portland’s urban highways.

Most had biked to the spot; some lay their bicycles beside them. Others had walked; one said he’d walked downtown from North Portland.

Some were children. Some wore fake blood made from ketchup. One had brought a stack of signs: “Oregon Department of Traumatic Injury.”

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BikeLoud’s “die-in” this afternoon aims to keep safety pressure on ODOT

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
odothq
ODOT’s regional headquarters in northwest Portland.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The advocacy group BikeLoudPDX plans to follow Monday’s safety demonstration on Powell Boulevard by taking on what it sees as the underlying issue: city roads managed by the state’s transportation agency.

At 4 p.m. the volunteer-driven organization plans to host a “die-in” at the Oregon Department of Transportation headquarters, 123 NW Flanders St., complete with fake blood.

Here’s the group’s description of its agenda:

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Utah and Massachusetts jump past Oregon in bike-friendly state rankings

Monday, May 11th, 2015
Look Forward
Riding in Salt Lake City.
(Photo: Jake Cain)

For the second time since the League of American Bicyclists began ranking U.S. states’ bike-friendliness in 2008, Oregon didn’t make the top five.

As it has in every year, Washington led the 2015 ranking that the League announced on Monday. Washington was followed this year by Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts and Utah, then Oregon at sixth.

Though Oregon’s slip from third in 2013 (its all-time peak) to fifth last year to sixth this year certainly has echoes of the recent #DowngradePortland campaign launched by local bike advocates in an effort to persuade the League to rescind Portland’s “platinum” rating as a bike city, this statewide ranking is different. It’s also a ranking rather than a rating system, based on a 100-point scale that the League bases on a national questionnaire.

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Local dad calls for ‘super-legal slow-down’ of Powell Boulevard during Monday rush hour

Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-42
Dan Kaufman with one of his sons in 2009.
(Photo:J.Maus/BikePortland)

Saying that traffic injuries like the ones that are common on Powell Boulevard “inexcusable and unnecessary” outside the doors of Cleveland High School, the father of two Cleveland students is organizing a protest of the speed-oriented urban highway during Monday’s rush hour.

A collision Sunday involving a pickup truck and a bicycle severed a young man’s leg. Police said the truck had been northbound on 26th and turned left onto Powell in front of two people heading southbound on bicycles.

Dan Kaufman described Monday’s event as a “super-legal slow-down,” in which people deliberately move slowly on a street in order to call attention to the fact that high speeds, and roads designed to encourage them, are inappropriate in an urban context.

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Advocate has near-death experience on Barbur, a street he’s pushing to make safer

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
lonely biker on barbur bridge
No room for improvements, state says.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

One of Southwest Portland’s most passionate advocates for a safer Barbur Boulevard said Tuesday that he was nearly killed while biking on the street.

“FYI since you’re waiting for someone to die before safe Barbur bike access: it was almost me today,” wrote Damian Miller, an assistant director of research and assessment at Lewis and Clark College’s graduate school, in the first of a trio of open Twitter messages to the Oregon Department of Transportation and its new regional manager. “Speeding delivery truck came up behind honked, veered wildly, almost hit me & left lane car.”

Though the route’s design evokes a freeway, it’s the only flat and direct street between most of Southwest Portland and the rest of the city. During the summer, about 300 to 500 people bike it each day.

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Cops cite 61 people in 4 hours at a single unmarked 82nd Ave crosswalk

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
82nd cooper
The enforcement action was one of the few that the city has conducted at unmarked crosswalks.
(Image: Google Street View)

In Oregon and Washington as in many states, every corner is a legal crosswalk, and all vehicles are supposed to stop for someone trying to use it.

But good luck getting people to stop for you at corners like Southeast 82nd Avenue and Cooper Street.

A preannounced police enforcement action at the crosswalk on March 25 resulted in 61 citations and four warnings, the most ever issued during one of Portland’s periodic crosswalk enforcement events.

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State wants your advice to prioritize Portland-area biking and walking projects

Monday, April 6th, 2015
odot bike needs
An interactive map of ODOT biking facilities,
including gaps.
(Click for live version)

As the Oregon Department of Transportation sprints to meet an August grant deadline that could bring federal money to local biking and walking improvements, it’s asking for public input about the deepest needs.

As we wrote in February, this project is part of the state’s first-ever comprehensive list of the existing state of its biking and walking facilities.

If awarded, the federal grants that ODOT applies for after this process will go toward projects being built from 2018-2021.

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Two perfect examples of the attitude Vision Zero is supposed to change

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
jon cox
AASHTO President Jon Cox before a congressional
committee Tuesday.
(Screen capture via Rep. Rick Larsen)

Vision Zero is maybe the hottest subject in American street advocacy right now, but there’s still quite a lot of disagreement about what exactly it means.

As Portland adopts an official policy to prevent all road deaths and safety advocates begin a push for state and other local governments to follow that lead, we’ve just gotten a couple very clear examples of what Vision Zero doesn’t mean.

One comes from a hearing Tuesday in Washington D.C. The other comes from a state engineer quoted yesterday in The Oregonian.

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Bill moving through Salem could hasten transfer of state roads to city control

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
jurisdictional transfer map
Portland-area streets described by ODOT as “highways to be transferred to local jurisdictions” are marked in pink. The blue line, Cornelius Pass Road, is a request from ODOT for a transfer in the other direction.
(Image: ODOT testimony on SB 117.)

Barbur Boulevard, Powell Boulevard, Tualatin Valley Highway, Lombard Street, 82nd Avenue and Macadam Avenue could all be lined up for gradual transfer from state to city control under a bill before Oregon’s legislature.

(more…)

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