Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 20th, 2008 at 2:03 pm
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC, see list of members below) for the Columbia River Crossing project has released a 13-page memo that outlines their recommendations related to bridge design options and details their requirements for a “world-class” bicycle and pedestrian facility.
Not surprisingly, the PBAC is recommending the replacement bridge option and writes that, compared to the supplemental bridge design option,
“the replacement bridge option would provide the most direct and safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists between Vancouver, Hayden Island, and North Portland.”
While the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) only includes language for a single pathway “at least 16 feet” wide, this memo seeks to make it clear that once a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) is chosen, there will still be room to suggest more a more robust facility.
(Photo © J. Maus)
Some members of the BAC — including the BTA’s representative Emily Gardner — have advocated for 20-foot wide paths on each side of a new bridge.
Just how much the design can change after the LPA is chosen depends on who you ask.
Skeptics of the project claim that the language approved as part of the DEIS process limits how much the actual facility can change going forward. On the other hand, CRC staff (and other supporters including Rex Burkholder) have told me that the DEIS (and the LPA decision based on it) is nothing more than a jumping off point and that the vast majority of the design decisions are left to come.
In addition to recommending the replacement bridge option, the PBAC writes that the bridge “must include a world-class pedestrian and bicycle facility.”
Their definition of “world-class” is a design that serves the needs of bikes and peds for the “next 50 plus years” and includes separation of various users groups based on speed of travel, good visibility and sight lines, minimal changes in elevation, “ample width” for all users to pass each other, and more.
In a list of detailed “recommendations”, the PBAC says the replacement bridge must include, “a 12-foot wide regional trail adjacent to, and to the west of, a pair of six-foot wide bicycle lanes (see rendering above).” They also call for a series of “belvederes” or viewpoints along the path where people can pull over and rest when necessary.
The memo will be sent to the CRC Task Force prior to their meeting on Tuesday (6/24), where they will make their own recommendation of which alternative should move forward.
Below are the members of the CRC’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee:
- April Bertelsen, City of Portland
Todd Boulanger, City of Vancouver
Kyle Brown, Steps to a Healthier Clark County
Coalition for a Livable Future – inactive
Basil Christopher, Oregon Department of Transportation
Seanette Corkill, Arnada Neighborhood Association
Bob Cromwell, National Park Service
Debbie Elven-Snyder, C-TRAN
Emily Gardner, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Roger Geller, City of Portland
Lisa Goorjian, City of Vancouver
Joe Greulich, Clark County Bicycle Advisory Committee
Rod Merrick, Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Paula Reeves, Washington State Department of Transportation
Shayna Rehberg, Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee
Karl Rohde, Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Walter Valenta, Bridgeton Neighborhood Association