After two weeks of a once-in-a-generation winter storm that pelted Portland into submission, the Bureau of Transportation is now in full clean up mode.
A few days after the first snow fell, we turned our attention to how gravel laid down by PBOT to break up the ice was impacting bikeways. Back on December 16th, they didn’t mince words in telling us that we shouldn’t expect the gravel to be picked up “any time soon.”
Now, in their latest press release about the storm clean-up effort, PBOT says their work crews are finally beginning to pick up the 4,600 cubic yards of sand and gravel they laid down during this storm (enough, they tell us, to cover an NFL football field 26 inches deep).
In that release (published 12/29), PBOT acknowledged that plowed accumulations of snow are a
“challenge for vehicles seeking on-street parking and bicyclists and pedestrians making their way around Portland.”
They also add this warning;
“Many bike lanes have too much sand, gravel, and debris for cyclists to use safely so they are forced into the travel lane.”
PBOT says their clean-up effort may take a few weeks but that, thankfully, crews are “focusing on bike routes today where they can get to the curb.”
Dealing with this storm has cost the City an estimated $2 million dollars already (twice their allotted budget for weather emergencies), and we will likely be paying for it in more ways than that: This severe weather will make our already potholed and rutted streets event more so come spring.
— See all our Storm of 2008 coverage.