BikePortland.org

PBOT looks for help to develop new bike projects


A better bikeway on Vancouver leading
into the Rose Quarter area is one
of the projects PBOT wants help on.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has put out Request for Proposals to hire a consultant that will help them further develop five new bikeway projects and to assess the feasibility of three others. The projects were identified in the 2030 Bike Plan and PBOT says this is a first step toward implementing them.

The $185,000 RFP specifically names five projects that would set a new standard for bikeways that PBOT describes are, “envisioned to make riders feel safer and more comfortable than they would feel in standard bike lanes.”

In addition to the five projects, PBOT wants help to assess the technical feasibility of three others.

The five projects listed in the RFP for futher development are:

“We know that there’s some level of community support for them, but we don’t know enough about the solutions to just go implement them.”
— Rob Burchfield, City traffic engineer

On Williams, it’s time to
go beyond the bike lane.

According to PBOT’s head traffic engineer Rob Burchfield, these are all “good projects” but they are complex enough that outside consultants are needed to develop ideas for solutions and design alternatives before the start of any public process. In a phone interview today he said, “We know that there’s some level of community support for them, but we don’t know enough about the solutions to just go implement them.”

Burchfield says outside consultants can also give them a better sense of costs so PBOT can pursue these projects as official capital improvement projects (which would therefore make funding them much easier). “This process will also allow us to further prioritize these projects.”

PBOT also wants insights into the feasibility of installing separated bike infrastructure (think cycle tracks) in three areas: an “urban corridor up to 20 blocks long” in downtown; a project on NE Glisan between 22nd and 28th; and a project that would improve access into downtown from southwest via 5th and 6th Avenues and Broadway.

Funding for these projects still needs to be fully secured (although some exists already) but the idea with this RFP is to bring as many of these projects as possible up to shovel-ready status.

Proposals to do this work are due by May 21st and work would begin (on the project development, not on the projects) in July 2010. PBOT staffer Ellen Vanderslice, who just wrapped up her work as project manager for the 2030 Bike Plan, will be managing this project.

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