Guest article: The latest on a more bike-friendly Milwaukie

Posted by on December 11th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Matt Picio

This article was written by former City of Milwaukie resident Matt Picio. Matt, who recently moved to Southeast Portland, is an active member of the bike community.

In addition to his work on the bicycle chapter of Milwaukie’s new Transportation System Plan, he has led rides with Shift and is the executive director of the Community Exchange Cycle Touring Club.


The Milwaukie City Council recently voted to accept a new Transportation System Plan (TSP). The plan was developed by their in-house planning staff in cooperation with a consulting firm and massive public involvement. This document, an update of the original 1997 TSP, contains a number of bicycle projects and goals for the City of Milwaukie (located a few miles south of Portland).

Over the course of six months, two bicycle workshops were held as part of the TSP update process. During those workshops, a number of issues were identified: a lack of north-south and east-west connectivity, poor bike lane maintenance, substandard intersections, and difficulty crossing major arterial and freight routes like 99E, Highway 224, and the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Alan Snook presenting the Bicycle Action Plan.
(Photo: Matt Picio)

City Planner Katie Mangle and Assistant Planner Brett Kelver worked with Alan Snook of DKS Associates to create a Bicycle Master Plan for inclusion into the TSP.

Workshops were held to specifically address the concept of Bicycle Boulevards. Emily Gardner of the BTA was on-hand for this meeting to provide input and the planning department identified 3 key corridors that could be converted into Bike Boulevards, along the current streets of Monroe, Stanley, and 29th Avenue.

These projects were prioritized along with intersection improvements, repaving and restriping, and other projects for inclusion into the bicycle chapter of the TSP.

The compiled projects and Bike Master Plan were presented to the general public at an open house in August, after which a draft bicycle chapter was posted on the city’s website. Specific projects expected to be funded include:

  • A bicycle boulevard following the 29th Ave / Harvey / 40th Ave alignment
  • Citywide bicycle signage
  • Citywide bike lane maintenance
  • A bicycle boulevard along Monroe St from 21st Ave to Linwood
  • Improvements to the existing bike lanes along 17th from Waverly to Harrison

Over 20 additional priority projects were identified but have no current or projected funding available to implement them. They were included in case additional funding sources are made available in the future.

You can view the most recent draft (which is very close to what was adopted) of the TSP on the city of Milwaukie’s website.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

15
Leave a Reply

avatar
15 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
Matt MMr. IEMatt Piciosteph routhDavid Dean Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)
Guest

Good job, Matt. It\’s nice to see that Milwaukie is serious about becoming more bicycle friendly. To a bike enthusiast who earned bicycle creds on the streets in and around Oak Grove some 55 years ago, when traffic was much less of a problem, this is truly good news. Most of my preferred destinations lie to the south, east, and southeast of my Sellwood area residence, and these proposed improvements will only make my journeys safer.

Mia Birk
Guest
Mia Birk

Hi all,
We (Alta Planning + Design, led by Rory Renfro) did the bike boulevard planning component of this. I have to say that I was impressed by how enthusiastically the City embraced the plan, and how quickly they are now moving forward. Longtime bicyclist/supporter/planner Katie Mangle\’s leadership shows, as well as the activism of residents like Matt. Go Milwaukie! Mia Birk

Matt M
Guest

Hi Matt,
Nice recap of the process. It has been great working with everyone one this plan, and I hope that funding/resources can be secured soon to begin implementation of the Bike Boulevards as well as overdue maintenance.

Thanks to Katie and Brett for all their hard work and willingness to hold the 3rd meeting to flush out the Bike Boulevard portion of the plan.

One correction: There were 3 meetings, not 2.

Matt M

Matt Picio
Guest

Thanks for the addition, Mia – I remember some mention of that, but I somehow missed that it was Alta who did that portion.

The mayor and the council were appreciative of the public involvement, as well as the testimony of Matt Menely, Heather Andrews and myself at two of the council meetings. They seemed very receptive to improving connectivity, safety, and usability for both cyclists and pedestrians, and seemed particularly receptive to preserving and enhancing the existing character of Milwaukie\’s neighborhoods. The neighborhood aspect of bike boulevards speaks particularly in that regard.

Matt M is correct, there were three meetings – I must have made a mistake when I forwarded the info to Jonathan. There were originally 2 meetings planned, but there was so much discussion during the 2nd meeting that not everything could be covered. Katie asked the participants if they felt there was enough to discuss to warrant a 3rd meeting, and the opinion was nearly unanimous that there was.

Milwaukie\’s mayor, city council, and planning department (especially Katie) have been absolutely exceptional throughout the whole process. Portland isn\’t the only city in Oregon with a world-class planning staff – if Milwaukie had Portland\’s budget, I\’ve no doubt that their work and influence would be no less formidable.

I feel honored to have been (and continue to be) involved in this process and with these people.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Matt;
This is a wonderful article. You are a wonderful assett to everyone who rides a bike in Portland.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Matt, you\’re a great citizen. Milwaukie\’s loss is our gain.

Moo
Guest
Moo

Geeze people, let\’s not get all wet over this until these goals come to fruition. Pdx had a bike plan also- years ago…and where is it now? Good luck though.

Matt M
Guest

Moo- It takes citizens working with eachother and the city to make these things happen. If you have biked much in Milwaukie you might have a different view of what has been started here through this process. It is only the start, now the hard work begins, keeping the momentum going and making it a reality.

You need to remember that portland is light years ahead of most major cities in the US when it comes to bike infrastructure. Many cities probably don\’t even have a bike plan.

Matt Picio
Guest

Milwaukie\’s already making progress – they installed a bunch of new bike parking in the downtown core this year. The problem, as always, is money. If we can get the BAC started, then one thing we can do is to help the city find funding for the TSP projects.

As Matt M said, now\’s when the real work begins.

Lesley B
Guest
Lesley B

I have to give a shot out to Milwaukie as well. I was the planning intern for a year and had the opportunity to work with some of the most top notch planners.

David Dean
Guest
David Dean

I live in Portland and work in Milwaukie and I applaud your efforts. Since the Springwater Trail dead-ends in Milaukie on SE Umatilla, it would be nice if some of those stop signs were turned so cyclists could flow more freely. Also there should be Springwater connection signs and the curbs on 17th should be pushed back.

Milwaukie also appears to not maintain the shoulders of the roads and will often only provide a smooth surface for the car travel lane (ie. SE Linwood and SE 17th.)

steph routh
Guest
steph routh

thanks for the great article, Matt!

Matt Picio
Guest

David, both 17th and Linwood were identified as problem areas, and should be dealt with the next time those sections are up for repaving (the easiest time and method for budget allocation and for the work to be done).

As for the Springwater connection – that\’s Portland, not Milwaukie. The trail passes into Portland about 200-300 yards before it ends at Ochoco. The south side of Ochoco is Milwaukie, the north side is Portland.

Also, I\’m not sure about the stop sign comment. If you follow the designated route Portland wants you to use (Umatilla to SE 19th), there are 5 stop signs out of 13 intersections. (2 of them are at major intersections – 15th and 17th) So for the most part, they have been \”turned\”. If Portland were to turn the signs at 8th and 11th, then there would be a lot more cut-through car traffic on Umatilla.

Mr. IE
Guest
Mr. IE

Monroe between 42nd and linwood as a bike blvd? Did anybody ride down it first?

Matt M
Guest

Mr. IE,
Yes, there was a community ride with city staffers and at least 6 citizens who helped write this plan and we all rode it. The whole idea being that Monroe is one of the only (possibly the only) low traffic east/west streets in Milwaukie and that it would wotk well as a bike boulevard -if- specific traffic calming devices are used. Street improvements would also need to be made (and are over due) on some sections of Monroe. Also, Monroe is similar to some of portlands BB\’s in the fact that it lies 1-2 streets off of another major E/W traffic coridor, King rd/Harrison. According to Matt P (who wrote the aticle above), Monroe is the lowest % grade overall from downtown up to the \”heights\”. If you have ever riden the Clinton street BB between up near franklin high school it is actually a steeper climb than what is proposed on Monroe.

Keep in mind that these streets are proposed BB\’s and in order to make them into BB\’s, they would need at the least signage, but better would be investment in traffic calming or even some diversion like many of Portland\’s BB\’s have. You can\’t think of them in their current state as \”ready\’ BB\’s.

If you ahve not read the actual plan click on the link above for more details.