Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on August 28th, 2009 at 2:49 pm
I dropped by the Bicycle Transportation office today to ask advocate Michelle Poyourow some questions about the organization’s recent decision to leave the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee for the Columbia River Crossing project — in part over the committee’s support for a bike and walking path that would be under the deck of the bridge.
Just as we were sitting down, BTA programs manager Stephanie Noll came rushing out of her office. “Do you want to see some really scary photos?” she asked. Yes, we did.
Noll had just been traveling in southern Oregon, and in the course of a bike ride through the greenway network of Roseburg, had come across a real life example of an under-bridge bike path, complete with chain link fence and mysterious damp patch.
Poyourow pointed out that this is indeed similar to the design being discussed for the CRC. “In the CRC project materials they have these drawings of the bike path,” she said, “that show glowing vistas towards Mount Hood. But the illustrations stop before you hit the chain link fence on the inside of the path.” She also pointed out that while you can see sunlight from the other side of the small bridge in these photos, that would not be the case with the 200 foot wide CRC.
A story on the BTA’s new stance on the CRC project is coming soon.
Update: Todd Boulanger, who was on the CRC bike/ped committee in his former capacity as planner for the City of Vancouver, makes this point in a comment on this story:
Yes this is a good example of what a poorly designed underneath bike pedestrian facility could be.
Though it seems to be far from the design being discussed on the PBAC to date for Option B…unless I have missed something in 28 meetings…seems much narrower (50% less), lower ceiling height (40% less) to the piping, and surrounded in prison like chain link fencing on both sides.
It would be like taking photos of the existing Interstate Bridge bike ped crossing and comparing it to the proposed Option C.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com