Left to Right: Jerry Norquist, Jenna Stanke, Chris DiStefano, Stephanie Routh.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has just announced who will sit on the Policy Advisory Committee that will help them with an important update of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Mode Plan. The 16 person committee was chosen to guide the development of the plan and to “reflect input from stakeholders across the state.”
With a record of so much carnage and rampant high speed and high risk driving, many Portlanders want to see the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) take a more aggressive approach to changing the design of Barbur in a way that would slow people down and encourage safer behavior. However, as we shared back in August when a 27-year-old man died after traveling at a “very high rate of speed” and losing control of his Prius, ODOT has no plans to seriously consider a roadway reconfiguration (a.k.a. “road diet”) on Barbur. (more…)
adjacent to Denver Ave.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is entering the design phase of a project that will bring major changes to bicycling conditions between the Kenton neighborhood, N Denver Ave, and connections to Schmeer Road and Portland International Raceway (PIR).
On the project website, ODOT says the changes come from issues with traveling in the area that were first identified through a study completed during their I-5 Delta Park Project in 2006. That study, says ODOT, “pointed out multiple safety and operational concerns along the Denver Avenue corridor, including poor sight lines for drivers, deficient turning movements, gaps in bicycle/pedestrian paths, and the poor conditions of the Denver Avenue bridge decks and railings.” ODOT won $2.5 million for the estimated $4 million project through the 2012-2015 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program. (more…)
member of the Oregon
Bicycle and Pedestrian
(Photo courtesy Daniel Ronan)
This article was written by contributor Daniel Ronan
Over the past four years, substantive changes have happened at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Through the pages of BikePortland, active transportation advocates have had the opportunity to view larger organizational changes such as the creation of ODOT’s Active Transportation Section and, more recently, the agency’s response to pavement on the shoulders of Highway 101. From my vantage point as the student member of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC), I’ve witnessed these changes as the committee’s youngest member.
While this transition is far from complete, ODOT has made bold steps as it seeks to reshape its identity from “the highway department” to a truly multi-modal agency. To continue this momentum, it’s vital that OBPAC has the perspective of a young, student member — and as I leave my position there’s a great opportunity for a new student to step up. (more…)
A state memo that dismissed a set of bike safety improvements on Southwest Barbur Boulevard was “wrong” in its use of traffic data, a traffic engineer who helped prepare the data said Wednesday.
Barbur, the only flat and direct route connecting much of Southwest Portland and the rest of the city, currently forces cars and bicycles to merge into the same 45 mph lane in order to cross two narrow bridges. The Oregon Department of Transportation has been under pressure from some nearby residents to explain its unwillingness to restripe the road after a planned repaving job.
As part of its case against replacing one of two northbound auto lanes with two dedicated bike lanes across the bridges, ODOT had cited a report finding that the change might increase travel times somewhere between 10 and 65 percent on the corridor by 2035. (It comes to something like 84 seconds to 9 minutes of additional auto travel time over the course of the 4.9 miles south of the proposed changes.) Among other things, the models assume that no one will ever change their schedule or mode of travel to avoid that congestion.
But Anthony Buczek, a traffic engineer for regional agency Metro who’s participated in months of negotiations over ways to change the road, said in an interview that those numbers were not the best available and said the two agencies had previously agreed not to release them without agreeing on how to correct their inaccuracies.
The Oregon Department of Transportation brushed aside proposals to allow safe bike travel on Southwest Barbur Boulevard, raising the possibility of “unacceptable impacts” that might result from replacing a northbound travel lane with dedicated bike lanes.
“While some have framed the removal of a motor vehicle lane on the bridges as a quick and easy, ‘noimpact’ solution, there are impacts that need to be considered,” the agency wrote in a memo distributed Thursday evening.
The memo cited estimates that removing one of Barbur’s four travel lanes would increase northbound auto travel times between 5 and 15 percent today, and somewhere between 10 and 65 percent by 2035.
During the busiest few minutes of the morning on the 4.9 mile corridor in question, it comes out to an additional delay of somewhere between 84 seconds and 9 minutes over the course of the next 22 years.
Update 8:03 pm: I’ve changed these figures (previously 1.8 miles and 36 seconds to 4 minutes) to include the full stretch of road studied and to allow an apples-to-apples comparison of travel times in 2035. -MA
In the latest twist to the ongoing saga of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) problematic paving job on Highway 101, a regional manager announced today that they’ve already made significant progress in making it better.
As we first reported last month, ODOT came under fire after a Portland man (who also happens to have over 30 years experience at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s bike program) raised alarms about dangerous paving on the Oregon Coast Bike Route. In order to cut costs on a repaving job south of Florence, ODOT contractors placed a new layer of pavement just a foot or two over the fog line. The new layer of pavement left a ledge smack dab in the middle of the shoulder where people ride bicycles on the popular touring route. After a bit of digging, we learned via ODOT Region 2 Manager Sonny Chickering that this repaving job was done in 2011 after a new policy went into place outlawing the practice. That new policy went into place specifically as a bike safety measure.
conditions on Monday.
A regional manager with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has responded to a paving issue that was brought to the agency’s attention last week because of its impact to bicycle safety. ODOT Region 2 Manager Sonny Chickering says he is already looking into taking corrective measures to repair the dangerous seam left behind from a paving overlay project on several miles of the Oregon Coast Bike Route. Chickering also forwarded a new page on the ODOT website that addresses this issue directly.
As we reported last Monday, Jeff Smith, a 30-year veteran of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, was riding the Oregon Coast Bike Route on Highway 101 south of Florence when he was “gobsmacked” at what he called an “inept” repaving job. He emailed ODOT (and cc’d dozens of his contacts) a photo and description of several miles of the highway where a new layer of pavement extended only half-way into the shoulder. The new layer of pavement left behind a rough ledge running right in the middle of the bicycling area.
Gold Beach after an ODOT repaving job.
(Photo: Sent in by reader)
As we reported on Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has repaved many miles of state highways in a way that shows complete disregard for bicycling and creates unsafe conditions on some of Oregon’s premier bicycle touring routes. The situation occurs when a new layer of pavement is applied over an existing road. Instead of laying it down across the entire width of the road and shoulder, ODOT (and/or their contractors) are only going about 1-2 feet from the fog line. This is leaving a gravel mess in some cases, as well as what one commenter called a “death ledge” between the old and the new pavement that is placed smack dab in the middle of where people ride. This ledge could force people to ride even closer to the fog line, which puts them even closer to fast-moving cars and trucks on roads that already lack adequate bicycle safety treatments.
ODOT is currently looking into the issue and we expect a formal statement sometime this week.
However, since our story was published, we have heard that the paving problems are much more widespread that just on one section of the Oregon Coast Bicycle Route. In addition, by not applying the new pavement layer across the entire shoulder ODOT (and/or their contractors) may have skirted their own pavement design guidelines. (more…)