State says there’s not enough proof that bike lanes boost safety, so 26th Ave lanes should go

by on August 26th, 2015 at 11:37 am

26th powell bike box
The City of Portland wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing of Powell at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless bike lanes and bike boxes at 26th (shown here) are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Three weeks after being asked if it can cite any evidence supporting its claim that removing a bike lane can sometimes increase bike safety, the State of Oregon has come up empty.

Moreover, a state spokeswoman wrote in an email Tuesday that four studies cited by the City of Portland that document safety benefits of bike lanes are inadequate, though the state did not say in what way the studies fall short.

“More research needs to be done,” the Oregon Department of Transportation said in its statement.

Research notwithstanding, the Oregon Department of Transportation is continuing to deny the City of Portland’s request to install a new stoplight at 28th Avenue and Powell (which would let the city create a new north-south neighborhood greenway on 28th) unless the city agrees to first remove the narrow bike lanes from nearby 26th Avenue.


Council vote today would allow more diverters on neighborhood greenways

by on August 26th, 2015 at 8:18 am

A family ride from NoPo to Sellwood-18
A traffic diverter allowing biking and walking traffic but blocking auto traffic.
(Photos: J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Traffic diverters: back by popular demand.

City council will weigh new neighborhood greenway guidelines Wednesday

by on August 24th, 2015 at 4:33 pm

clinton speed
Southeast Clinton Street.

Some biking advocates are planning to wear green to Wednesday’s Portland City Council meeting to welcome the arrival of a long-awaited city study of Portland’s neighborhood greenways.

The study, first reported on BikePortland in November, has since evolved to include a new set of recommended guidelines for what makes a comfortable greenway. The guidelines would, in some ways, enshrine modern neighborhood greenways into city practices for the first time.

Over the last year, many Portlanders have warned that some neighborhood greenways — the theoretically low-traffic, low-stress side streets that form the backbone of the bike network in most of inner east Portland and a major component of its city’s planned network — are uncomfortable and unwelcoming to bike on because of high car traffic and speeds.


State’s proposal to improve bike crossings of Powell: Remove bike lane from 26th

by on August 13th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

26th powell bike box
About 600 to 800 people a day currently bike on 26th to cross Powell. The city wants to create a second, more comfortable crossing at 28th, but the state says it won’t allow one unless the lanes and bike boxes at 26th are removed.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is facing pressure from its counterparts at the Oregon Department of Transportation to do something it’s almost never done before: remove bike lanes from a street.

An ODOT official said she could not cite evidence other than the site-specific judgment of her engineering colleagues that removing the bike lane on SE 26th Avenue would improve overall road safety. But she said that because 26th is not as safe to bike on as 28th would be, it stands to reason that the bike lane on 26th should be removed in order to encourage people to cross at 28th.

Therefore, ODOT has agreed to approve the city’s request to add a new traffic signal at 28th and Powell only on the condition that the city remove the bike lane and bike box from 26th.


Large crowd at City-sponsored symposium learns evils of free parking

by on June 29th, 2015 at 4:35 pm

parking crowd
The crowded auditorium at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s parking symposium Monday.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

“Our cities have minimum bedroom requirements for cars but not minimum housing requirements for people.”
— Jeffrey Tumlin

If anyone needed evidence that parking policy matters to Portlanders, it arrived at the Portland Building Monday in the form of 130 people, many armed with pen and paper, to attend a five-hour “symposium” on the subject.

The event organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation drew a who’s-who of neighborhood association and city transportation officials. One was Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, who said that parking was the transportation issue he hears about more than any other.


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

by on June 17th, 2015 at 9:36 am

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…)

PBOT, Commissioner Novick to unveil city’s first ‘creative crosswalk’

by on June 8th, 2015 at 11:03 am

Rain-themed crosswalk in Old Town.
(Photo: PBOT)

Portland is about to get its first “creative crosswalk.”

New signs help raise visibility of ‘neighborhood greenways’

by on April 14th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

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.


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

by on April 7th, 2015 at 8:39 am

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.


Turnover of top traffic engineers will shake up city and county

by on March 12th, 2015 at 11:05 am

Cycletrack on SW Broadway-2
Rob Burchfield, who spent 16 years as Portland’s city traffic engineer, is moving to the private sector.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Two people whose judgment calls have shaped Portland’s streets for years — in one case, for decades — are stepping into jobs elsewhere.

Rob Burchfield, Portland’s top traffic engineer since 1999 and a nationally respected innovator on bike-friendly street designs, will leave the city on Friday after almost 30 years. He’s becoming the regional engineering director for Toole Design Group, a national engineering and design firm that specializes in biking and walking projects.