Gravel - Cycle Oregon

BTA unveils Bicycle Boulevard Toolkit

Posted by on February 28th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Screenshot from BTA website.

Continuing their campaign to push for a comprehensive network of low-traffic neighborhood streets in Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has unveiled their Bicycle Boulevard Toolkit.

The toolkit intends to educate communities on the why, what, and how of bike boulevards and includes a robust set of resources all in one convenient place. Their website now includes special sections on several key components of creating good bike boulevards including; auto speed reduction, auto traffic reduction, crossing busy streets, and boulevard signage and markings. Each section includes photos, costs and a description of why the method is used.

The toolkit is one “phase” of the BTA’s bike boulevard effort. They also plan to launch community surveys and hold workshops this summer, work with North and Northeast Portland residents to identify potential low-traffic routes, and work with PDOT to find funding needed to make the boulevards a reality.

In addition to pushing for local improvements, the BTA’s Policy Advocate Emily Gardner says the toolkit is intended to help communities across the country “make the case for low-traffic bike streets in their neighborhoods.”

Stay tuned for more bike boulevard coverage and keep an eye on the BTA’s website for more on this effort.

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Tbird February 28, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Great resource of what could be and what has been done.
    I hope that in future we get away from relying on only the dinner plate sized BB markers exclusively, they\’re hard to see even from a bike and motorists have no idea they exist. The only \’sharrows\’ that I know of are on NW 19th ( i think..) and they seem big enough that motorists might see them. An ideal bike blvd should have regular treatments to not only reduce auto traffic but eliminate it from the traffic flow at regular intervals along the bb. The treatments at 39th/ lincoln; 20/ankeny come to mind as effective and well placed. Let\’s use those every 3-5 blocks along all existing and future bb\’s.

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  • Matt M February 28, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Is SE Umatilla considered a BB? It has BB signage and street markers? It is not shown on the pre-existing BB map.

    It would be nice if the map had street names to give a better idea of the proposed

    Also, it would be nice if the BTA worked on BB\’s in surrounding cities & towns, not just Portland. Maybe they are doing this but we are not hearing aobut it?

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  • Spencer February 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Yeah Bike Bs are great and all, but we need to start developing more bike dedicated thorough fares like the Sellwood. With Bike Bs your always stopping ever couple of blocks increasing trip times, and your still dealing with cars. Put the money into more bike and pedestrian only paths like the north Portland Greenway, develop the old trollyway through hillsdale and raleigh hills, and extend the cross pennisula to Marine drive, just to name a few.

    My 2 cents

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  • Refunk February 29, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Definitely BBs are great, one of the things which makes cycling in Stumptown like riding in a whole \’nother country compared to the \’Couve.

    Didn\’t, however, PDOT just recently announce that they were gonna begin installing the color GREEN rather than the previous BLUE in the bike lane/\”high conflict areas\” (conforming to new AASHTO standards or whatever)? Somebody (perhaps a well-intentioned non-cyclist, looking to support community dev) might get confused without an addenda or correction, BTA. (Maybe I\’m just confused.)

    As for the white discs emplaced in the roadway surface to indicate that, yep, yer on a Bike Boulevard, I\’ve never had any trouble seeing them while riding, if they\’re there. Maybe placing more along the way would make some intersections easier to navigate, where the route is not obvious. The size seems well suited to function without intruding on the neighborhood style. Reflective material would be pretty cool. I don\’t think they are placed for cagers\’ benefit, but to direct bicyclists?

    Existing bike boulevards already make every long commute a pleasure. H. G. Wells would have loved Jonathan\’s posting of the $24M map (\”Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.\”) (–yeah, I know, not Utopia yet).

    Thanks, BTA.

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  • Vance February 29, 2008 at 8:36 am

    If you live on a busy street, and don\’t like it, move. If cycling in traffic seems to frighten you, get back in your car. If you don\’t like Portland the way it is, then why did you move here?

    It\’s always the same with you people. Force 100 people to accommodate the needs of the one. Portland needs traffic to move more smoothly, more quickly, it doesn\’t need to add additional hindrances. I have to actually ride my bicycle in the public that you folks are busy enraging. Sometimes, the negative impact that a positive change can create is worse than no change at all. For the anachronistic, \”The cure is worse than the disease.\”!

    When you say, \”rule\”, or, \”law\”, it\’s not you spoiled hipsters that are going to suffer. It\’s me, the homely, poor, creepy-looking old guy that gets it. You don\’t get pulled over for no light, I do. You don\’t get pulled over for no helmet, I do. Guys in 1955 Sky-Blue Chevy pick-ups don\’t point 12 ga. shot-guns out their window and shoot cute little hipster girls. No, they wait for a creep like me.

    Promote cycling via word of mouth. Get your agenda out of City Government. You simply have no moral ground to stand on.

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  • a.O February 29, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Vance, everything you have said is wrong. If you don\’t like what we\’re doing, maybe you should move.

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  • Spoiled Hipster February 29, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Vance, I\’ve nothing better to do than sip my latte and read your blog but your link is hosed.

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  • WillJongIll February 29, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I believe Vance is attempting to incite something, but I couldn\’t follow his post entirely.

    In my opinion, these improvements look great. I\’m not a particularly avid bicyclist but seeing these kinds of improvements makes me very excited. I was born in Portland but spent almost a year now living in Dallas, TX (!) of all places.

    I\’m really looking forward to getting back in Portland and biking all over! Excitement! As far as not liking Portland the way it is – Portland has been changing radically for the last 20 years. I too like the old Portland, but I can\’t get back to 1985 until my Delorean is finished.

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  • Dan Kaufman February 29, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I was born in Portland. I left in 1986 and returned in 1996. I\’ll take the current and promised versions over the past any day.

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  • BURR February 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I see that the rare and elusive sharrow makes an appearance in that BTA brochure.

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  • BURR February 29, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Too bad the BTA is so misinformed about the benefits of curb extensions to cyclists. Curb extensions ARE NOT a cyclist amenity, they actually create new hazards for cyclists to avoid.

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  • Jessica Roberts February 29, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Curb extensions help you cross busy streets. There\’s a great new one at Clay and 12th that is fantastic — it helps me come farther out, be more visible to drivers, and be able to see who is coming much more easily, while still being protected by the curb extension. It also shortens the crossing distance so I don\’t have as far to \’sprint\’ in between waves of cars. Paired with the new high-visibility crosswalk markings, it\’s a big improvement (thanks, PDOT!).

    Since curb extensions are always shorter than the parking spot they replace, they are not a hazard to bicyclists, unless you ride in the parking lane (which I don\’t recommend).

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  • BURR February 29, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    the curb extensions at SE clay and 12th bottle up the traffic on the arterial so it takes longer to clear, so you wait longer to cross. plus they are hazards if you are riding the arterial. get a clue, they don\’t help cyclists one bit.

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  • BURR February 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    unless of course you want to walk your bike in the crosswalk…

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  • Matt March 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    The curb extensions at 12th and Clay are not just to benefit bikes; they serve a few other purposes. Our shop is just down the block from this corner and there a lot of car vs. car accidents here. I think the idea is to try and slow auto traffic on 12th to reduce these accidents in this intersection. I also find it easier/safer to turn left onto Clay from 12th, when driving a car.

    Too bad the city used the “maintenance bureau” to do the work. It took far too long to complete the project and they probably could have saved some of our money if they had put the job out for competitive bids. The maintenance bureau showed up for 4-6 hours at a time, and then would often disappear for multiple days before coming back for a few more hours.

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  • BURR March 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Don\’t fool yourself, those curb extensions at SE 12th and Clay are primarily a BES stormwater project, all other benefits are secondary to that.

    The fact remains that this is a major bike route and placing those curb extensions there has dubious benefits for cyclists, making the intersection harder, rather than easier to negotiate by bicycle.

    Overdesign of bike boulevards is a potential pitfall of the program, and curb extensions are truly \’set in concrete\’ and a lot harder to remove than paint stripes if they turn out not to be functioning as originally planned.

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  • Matt March 5, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    BURR- I\’m not fooled. From what I understand they didn\’t take any soil samples (drilling core samples?) for water permeability testing. All the soil in this area is hard clay which doesn\’t absorb water very quickly. The city may be touting that it is \”primarily a BES stormwater project\” but I\’ve been told that this particular BES group that did this project uses \”soft science\” and not hard data to justify some of these projects. The reality is that \”green street\” improvements are viewed as \”sexy\” by some, even if the improvements don\’t totally work, so the city is willing to throw money at them to show that they are being \”green\”. I like the inprovements they made, I just wish they would be more responsible with our money.

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