Support BikePortland

Tonight: Lombard bike lanes up for City Council vote in Beaverton

Posted by on August 16th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

A stretch of SW Lombard in Beaverton where there
is no designated bikway.
(Photo: Jim Parsons/BikePortland)

Tonight the Beaverton City Council will vote on whether or not to stripe bike lanes on a 1.5 mile stretch of SW Lombard Ave between 1st Street and Denney Road. In addition to striping the road for bike lanes, the City of Beaverton is also considering removing on street motor vehicle parking on Lombard from 7th to Allen to make room for bicycle traffic.

Back in March, the city’s Traffic Commission voted 5-1 against striping the lanes, but instead of having the decision appealed by bike advocates, the City Council opted to hold a public hearing on the issue.

When that hearing was held at the end of June, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance reported a “weak representation from bicyclists.” Here’s more from a BTA blog post (emphasis theirs):

Testimony from Lombard bicyclists and their supporters was few and far between in a steady stream of complaints, concerns, and opposition from Lombard residents, neighbors and motorists whose majority attendance at the hearing demonstrated a persuasive and palpable argument in itself.

The residents of Lombard Avenue were adamant in their “right” to park on “their street”.”

Another critic of the bike lanes, Henry Kane wrote a letter to the Beaverton Valley Times that said, “At issue is whether to forbid homeowners and guests parking in front of homes for the benefit of a handful of special-interest bikers.”

To learn more before you go, read the recap of the issues at hand from the BTA blog. Also, members of the BikePortland forums have been discussing this issue at length. You can browse the 31 posts in the thread here.

    Beaverton City Council Meeting
    Council Chambers (4755 SW Griffith Drive)
    8/16 at 6:30 p.m.

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

21
Leave a Reply

avatar
21 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
PeteAvatarAaronwsbobjim Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’d give up stripped lanes if they would put a stop light in at Denney to make left turns safer.

Jerry K
Guest
Jerry K

So I am a Beaverton cyclist who unfortunately has not been able to make it to any of the meetings. While I think the city needs to place a greater emphasis on biking and walking projects, I do not think the lanes on Lombard are necessary. I am a more confident rider and taking the lane isn’t a problem for me, so whenever I find myself on Lombard I do just that. If I need a bike lane it’s only a couple blocks over to Hall/Watson. I understand not everyone is as comfortable as me, but it seems that a better plan would be to install sharrows on Lombard, and figure out a way to connect the short bit of missing bike lane on Hall at the intersection with Allen.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

In a unanimous decision the Beaverton City Council decided that they will remove some on street parking and paint bike lanes on SW Lombard!

The meeting was well attended by members of the cycling community, and only one or two opposed to the proposal.

The repeated message from the Council members was that if the residents didn’t feel safe to have their own cars parked on the street, then why allow parking on the street. Bike lanes clarify where cyclists should be, and can be expected. It was all about the improved safety of adding them. =D

151
Guest
151

“Bike lanes clarify where cyclists should be, and can be expected.

In other words, shoved off to the side of the road. I feel like sharrows would have been a better solution here, but I understand that some riders believe in the illusion of safety that bike lanes provide–especially out in the ‘burbs.

151
Guest
151

Also, what Beaverton really needs to do is address the Fanno Creek Trail and Hall Blvd. crossing. That’s ridiculous. I won’t be surprised if a pedestrian gets killed there trying to run across the street.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…I do not think the lanes on Lombard are necessary. …” Jerry K #2

The change associated with the plan to install bike lanes on Lombard that is most important to the function of this street for bike travel: cars will no longer be able to park on that part of Lombard’s roadway where people traveling by bike travel typically ride.

To better appreciate what this means, keep in mind that Lombard is not a street where motor vehicles are parked end to end on every block for the entire length of the street, as might be seen for example, on SW Broadway or NW 23rd in Portland. Allowing for infrequent exceptions (holidays…residents having friends over, etc), the number of cars regularly parked on Lombard at any time is small; easily under 20 cars.

So it is that bikes, however fast or slow they ride, already have available in Lombard’s current configuration, long stretches of the parking area to ride in. And ride there, they do, as needed. The problem comes when riders of bikes traveling in this area of the roadway are obliged to negotiate their way around one of this small number of parked cars.

It can be difficult and complicated to see these cars far enough ahead to sufficiently prepare in advance to properly signal and take the lane to go around them, after which…because it’s typically a single car, or two, or three, in an entire block…the rider has to go through the signaling process again to get back in the parking area to allow faster motor vehicle traffic to resume their faster (often just slightly so)speed. The maneuvering required to do this is awkward for both motor vehicle and bike traffic.

The elimination of parking is the key element to improving conditions for biking on Lombard. Strong and fast riders that presently take the lane on this street will still be able to do that, with the added convenience of the bike lane to dodge into(with proper signaling) if motor vehicle traffic gets backed up behind them.

I really don’t believe cops or motor vehicle drivers in general will hassle bike traffic that takes the lane in the presence of striped bike lanes on this street, as long as bike traffic does so responsibly, yielding as needed, to faster traffic, by merging properly into the bike lane. We’ll have to wait and see.

Personally, I had some thought that Beaverton City Hall might modify the plan and just prohibit parking on the street during specific high demand travel hours of the day. That could have kept the infrastructure simpler, the cost down, and certain neighborhood residents happier. As things stand, it looks like it’s not going to work out that way.

On the other hand though, the money spent on those bike lanes might help mama pajama to think about rolling out of bed and gettting on the bike…instead of in the SUV…for a quart of milk, a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs at Freddy’s down the street.

Brian E
Guest
Brian E

Thanks to those people who attended the meeting and represented us that can not attend.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Just saw this story today. If I’d noticed it yesterday I’d have gone.

I work in Beaverton and commute through this area daily. Most riders trying to get to/from Portland need to connect SW 5th with the north and west sides of Central Beaverton, and it’s still a bit tricky to get through.

First off, only a couple of north-south streets go all the way through in the first place. Hall/Watson do at least have bike lanes for much of their length, but only south of SW Broadway, and left turns across 2 lanes of traffic from Hall onto 5th can be treacherous at busy times.

I’m comfortable being a fast “vehicular cyclist” and taking the lane at times, but on many roads it ONLY works for FAST and experienced cyclists. Try taking the lane at 10mph on Lombard and see how long you last. This strategy doesn’t work so well for less confident riders, such as the less-experienced coworker I rode in with this morning, or those traveling at 10mph, as I am often doing when pulling my child on his trailerbike.

Cycling shouldn’t be an elitist club for the aggro Lance wannabes. The whole POINT is to make it friendlier to the general public. I disagree vehemently with 151(#4)’s characterization of bike lanes — they are especially needed in the ‘burbs where vehicle speeds tend to be much higher on arterials, and bikes don’t mix as well with cars.

Lombard would be a natural north-south alternative for cyclists attempting to reach SW 5th. Especially after the horrible WES-triggered redesign of the Lombard/Broadway intersection, which tries to dump south/east bound cyclists onto a sidewalk that awkwardly dead-ends at Farmington, bike lanes on Lombard would provide a logical continuation.

151
Guest
151

With proper outreach (something planners seem to often overlook) sharrows would indicate to motorists that people on bikes will be present and that they have a right to be on the road, not up on the sidewalk where pedestrians have an expectation of safety and slow-moving foot traffic. The residents of Lombard also would not be forced to forfeit their on-street parking–something which will undoubtedly spark derision and contempt for any person on a bike that they happen to come across. Bike lanes in Tigard and Beaverton seem to be regarded as a passing lane by motorists out here, and they seem to have no problem with taking the bike lane as needed to maintain their forward momentum. And that’s not to mention the numerous places where the bike lanes literally become a mere shoulder of less than 3-foot width, and are treated as such by street cleaning–which is to say they are almost never cleaned, and full of broken glass and other assorted hazardous detritus. Are these the conditions that will attract “interested but concerned” new cyclists? I’d rather have visually-reinforced legal standing on the road than these sad ghettos that are suburban bike lanes.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

GlowBoy…thanks for emphasizing the 10-15mph type of rider bike lanes on Lombard will particularly benefit.

Lombard does a nice job of helping to connect the north and south sides of Beaverton, even as Lombard goes north of Broadway, equipped with bike lanes. Lombard takes road users directly past the transit center and further, to Center St. From there, it’s an easy trip over to the big shopping center and Tektronix beyond via the last stretch of Hall Blvd or through a quiet neighborhood.

Hall, north of Broadway past Millikan and over to Cedar Hills Blvd isn’t nearly so bike friendly.

The WES mess across Farmington is kind of a hassle alright; north bound seems to work better than southbound. Even with that hassle, it feels to me, much better and safer than the Hall Blvd route to the same destinations earlier mentioned.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

151 #9 ….I believe the bike lanes on Lombard will be 4′ wide. As for residents on Lombard that objected to installation of the bike lanes, I believe they will be upset with city council’s approval of the plan to put them there.

They might hope to do something to have the plan changed so as to preserve their opportunity to park on the street, but what that might be, I’m not sure. I was told that state law prohibits parking on the bike lane for general reasons, during any hour of the day. That rules out parking there during off-peak usage hours, unless they could somehow get the law or the plan changed.

The impression I get is that putting in the work, time, and public expense that’s involved in bringing that kind of change about, is something city officials aren’t enthusiastic about taking on.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Motion for bike lanes on Lombard unanimously carried 5-0. Watch the meeting here: http://beaverton.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=691&meta_id=33063

Note that Councilor Stanton (~1:26) seems most reluctant, but emphasizes that putting it on the plan doesn’t mean they’ll be built, but having it on the plan opens it up as a transportation option.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Oh, and it looks like the “urban chickens” ordinance passed too! 🙂

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Note that Councilor Stanton (~1:26) seems most reluctant, but emphasizes that putting it on the plan doesn’t mean they’ll be built, but having it on the plan opens it up as a transportation option. …Pete #12

I might not have this straight, but the way I understand the situation is that the plan has been already been assembled. What council members did was approve that part of the plan that detailed striped bike lanes for Lombard.

Stanton and Arnold both expressed concern for the neighbors loss of on street parking, but the desirability of bike lanes outweighs the need to be able to park on this street. I really hope that Beaverton is somehow able to put good community outreach to work as a means of helping this part of the plan be received as smoothly as possible by all the neighbors. You might recall on the vid, one of the councilors asking whether the city could financially help with curb cutaways for residents that needed them, in the event they decided to convert part of their front yards to additional parking. Mayor Doyle responded that he’d have that possibility looked into.

Remembering from earlier discussions about the bike lanes, the reason they came before the traffic bureau and then city council via open public hearing when they did, is that Lombard is going to need resurfacing in the not too distant future. Any guesses when the best time to install striped bike lanes is? Exactly.

jim
Guest
jim

Why don’t they just paint a fog line and allow bikes to ride outside the line if they wish

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Why don’t they just paint a fog line and allow bikes to ride outside the line if they wish” jim #15

A fog line? Guess I’m not following you. The street has street lights and lines down the center of the street, so there isn’t a lot of need for a fog line.

Cars currently park where the bike lane would be. The overall width of the street would not allow for the addition of a fog line spaced far enough distant from where the cars are parked, to allow the space between to serve as a bike lane.

Pete
Guest
Pete

wsbob, if I hear anything about timelines from my friend on staff there I’ll post it here. (He rides Lombard, incidentally). I don’t know detail about how the plan becomes implemented; I can assume some kind of budgetary approval is necessary, unless as someone mentioned that’s already been approved as part of the resurfacing.

I was glad to see the video and impressed by the way it was handled. Often times we see results posted in the news but we’re not privy to the process of getting to them, which is often enlightening. The councilors seemed to want to address everyone’s needs, including the guy who asked if he would be “compensated for his easement”, whatever that meant.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…including the guy who asked if he would be “compensated for his easement”, whatever that meant.” Pete

I came in late, didn’t hear that part; just heard the councilors talk individually about the bike lanes. The councilors and the mayor were certainly nice enough at the meeting, but I don’t know that this alone goes far enough to keep the process from being brutal.

The neighbors objecting to the loss of their opportunity to park on the street were mostly nice too, but they’re still probably going to lose their opportunity to park on the street in front of their houses. The plan doesn’t seem very flexible in terms of being able to address these kinds of situations. It’s kind of like the plan is ‘The Plan’…and that’s it. Yay or Nay, goodbye and thank you very much for coming.

Can’t really watch the video easily, so I haven’t. I’m not sure what the “compensated for his easement” means either. Curious now though.

Glad the urban farmers get to have fresh eggs at the breakfast table. Hope that doesn’t mean roosters will be waking us up at the break of dawn.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

This is a HUGE win for Beaverton residents and anyone who uses the Fanno Creek trail. When I commuted through this area though, I preferred taking 5th ave to Alger to King Rd. This took out a long stretch of Lombard.
See the first 2 miles of my Fanno Crk route
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Tualatin-to-Beaverton414552

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Boy, 151 (#9), you and I sure must ride on different roads in Beaverton. I work and do a lot of riding in the northern end of Beaverton (from 5th Ave up to US 26), and find the bike lanes to be excellent. I rarely find them too narrow, full of detritus or being used as passing lanes by motorists. Admittedly things can be a bit sketchier the further south you go.

Pete
Guest
Pete

wsbob (#14): I chatted with my friend this weekend and he believes they’ll have the lanes in before the end of the year. I called him to clarify what you said about the plan and you are 100% correct. The logistics are already being worked out.

Anonymous (#20): I rode in Beaverton for years and agree with you (and I miss that). During rush hour on Murray they’re corked as right-turn lanes on occasion, often by Californian transplants unclear that they’re not allowed to do that in Oregon. I even said “don’t do that here like you did back in California” to a driver one morning and he replied “how’d you know I was from California?”. Uh, cuz you’re driving down the bike lane maybe? 😉