Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

City begins public process for trio of Lloyd District bikeway projects

Posted by on December 9th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Stakeholder advisory committee
met this morning.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation began the public process on three projects aimed to improve biking in and around the Lloyd District this morning.

The three projects (which we first reported on back in May) include: improving bike traffic flow through the NE 12th Ave/I-84 overpass; making NE Holladay Street into a bike corridor; and closing the bikeway gap on Vancouver Ave near the Rose Quarter. The first meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee was held this morning and was hosted by Scott Bricker (hired as a public outreach consultant) and PBOT project manager Ellen Vanderslice.

Members of the committee include (not a complete list):

  • J.R. Burwell – CB Richard Ellis (commercial real estate)
  • Justin Zeulner – Portland Arena Management (Rose Quarter/Rose Garden)
  • Julia Leonard – Crowne Plaza Portland (hotel)
  • Lisa Faust – Lloyd District Community Association/Pacific Continental Bank
  • Linda Aeder – Kaiser Permanente Bike Committee
  • Robert Spurlock – Metro (whose headquarters are in the Lloyd District)
  • Steven Potter – Kaiser Permanente
  • Sandra Krueger – Red Lion hotel
  • Craig Harlow – Neighborhood representative
  • Charlotte Rowe – Ashforth Pacific (real estate developer)
  • Lance Poehler – Lloyd TMA Bike Committee

PBOT map showing location of three Lloyd District projects.

According to Vanderslice, PBOT has set aside a total of $500,000 for these three projects and two others (a N. Williams Avenue bikeway and improvements to N. Willamette Blvd). The money comes out of the City’s Affordable Transportation Fund, a $1.5 million pot (annual) of money set aside by Mayor Adams that is filled with revenue from new gas tax increases and vehicle registration fees as well as Utility License Fees (money utility companies pay to the city to operate in the public right of way).

This morning, PBOT’s Vanderslice said that the $500,000 will go toward not only these five bikeway projects, but also toward feasibility studies for three other, yet unnamed projects. Since the money won’t all be spent this Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30), additional funds will likely be added. In addition, the funds will pay for 13 consultants PBOT has for the projects at a cost of about $215,000.

[UPDATE: Vanderslice says there’s about $440,000 available for the construction phase of these projects.]

For this amount of money, the type of improvements that can be made will be limited in scope.

Looking north on 12th at Lloyd.
Parking garage is straight ahead.

Vanderslice said the focus will be on operational changes (paint, signage and signalization improvements), and “not so much bricks and mortar.” If the proposed solutions need significant capital funding, Vanderslice said “We’d need to get in line for money.” “Our idea is to try and work within the infrastructure we have and make small incremental improvements to try and accomodate demand for bicycling… In a way, you can consider these projects as band-aids. These are not long-term looks.”

The issue of how to make the NE 12th Ave overcrossing (over I-84) work better for bikes took up most of the discussion this morning.

J.R. Burwell from CB Richard Ellis — a real estate company that manages the parking garage at 12th and Lloyd — said his concern is that it’s too hard for cars to exit the garage during the evening rush hour. “We have a devil of a time getting cars out of the lot. It’s common to get only two cars out at a green light… That’s a concern to us.”

Burwell also noted his concern with the high volume of foot traffic. “The pedestrians are incredibly brazen,” said Burwell, “The Benson [high school] kids pay no attention.” Craig Harlow, a neighborhood representative on the committee said the heavy foot traffic from Benson High “colors the entire project.” (Note: A Benson High representative has not yet responded to a request to be on the committee).

PBOT is also taking a look at NE Holladay, from Wheeler (in Rose Quarter) to NE 13th. Holladay is seen as a key east-west corridor because it connects all the way to the Rose Quarter and could someday drop right onto the Sullivan’s Gulch trail (if/when that gets built) at 13th. Back in May 2009, the bike committee of the Lloyd District TMA proposed making Holladay completely carfree. Their idea would split the street 50/50 between the existing light rail line and two-way bike traffic.

At this morning’s meeting, Vanderslice seemed to dampen hopes of a carfree Holladay Street. She said PBOT looked at the proposal but they’re “not sure” they can do it. “Holladay is a pretty important street,” said Vanderslice, “It really does serve an important circulation function.” (I understand “circulation” in this case to mean motor vehicle traffic flow.) Instead of completely removing motor vehicle traffic, PBOT is considering two-way bike traffic and auto traffic in some places. While acknowledging the “interesting technical issues,” Vanderslice said she feels increased bike traffic on Holladay could “really activate the street.”

Committee member Lance Poehler, who represents the Lloyd TMA bike committee wondered if turning Holladay into a bike street would result in a business boom like we’ve seen on N. Williams.

J.R. Burwell from CB Richard Ellis said his company would be concerned about “anything that would happen on Holladay that would prevent access to the [parking] garage” they manage at Lloyd and 12th. Committee member Charlotte Rowe from commercial real estate company Ashforth Pacific also voiced concerns about prohibiting car access on Holladay. “There are plan for future development on this block… If the bike-only street doesn’t work, would it be possible to change it back?”

This is just the first meeting. The committee is set to meet through Summer 2011 when they are scheduled to come up with some implementation decisions. As you can see from the mix of opinions already shared, it will be very interesting to see what type of solutions result from their work. There’s a lot at stake. If they get it right, bike access through the Lloyd District — a thorn in the side of bikeway connectivity for years — could be significantly improved. We’ll keep you posted.


UPDATE: Below is the full roster of committee members:
– Guy Kyle – Bonneville Power Administration (not present at meeting)
-Jonathan Cross – J Cafe (not present at meeting)
– Rick Kuehn – Lloyd District TMA
– Danny Schamma – Liberty Northwest (not present at meeting)
– Irene Bowers – Portland Development Commission (not present at meeting)
– Mick O’Connell – Schlesinger Company
– Paul Manson – Sullivan’s Gulch Trail

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

45
Leave a Reply

avatar
19 Comment threads
26 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
23 Comment authors
UnitresopmokSteve Bcraigmatt picio Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
BURR
Guest
BURR

If they spend almost half their money on consultants there won’t be anything left over for construction.

I suppose it’s the usual cast of revolving door characters as well – Alta, etc.

Bob R.
Guest
Bob R.

It may be relevant to note that the space between the parking garage and the office building to the east was once supposed to be a pedestrian thoroughfare, providing a convenient and well-used linkage between 12th Ave. to the south and the MAX station to the north.

But the thoroughfare was short-lived and the office building/parking garage complex erected an iron fence, citing concerns about “security”, preventing anyone without a passcard from walking through.

This forced Benson students to walk all the way around the complex to get from MAX to school, effectively adding 2-3 blocks of out-of-direction travel to their walk.

Perhaps Benson students would agree to some kind of mitigation on crosswalk usage, so as to be less “brazen”, if only the parking garage owners would bring the idea of reopening the pedestrian walkway to the table.

But I didn’t see the garage owners mentioning that idea in this article.

BURR
Guest
BURR

who’s actually representing cyclists on that committee? It looks like it’s pretty much all business representatives.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

I will add the full committee roster at the end of the story asap. Also, I just updated the story with a figure from Vanderslice. She says $440,000 will be set aside for “construction phase” of the projects.

Steve B
Guest

I wonder if we can maintain the circulation function here with a one-way street on one side and a 2-way bikeway on the other. Considering the Max stops 2-3 times here too, this area is primed for a rethink. Imagine merchants and food vendors lining this street, serving Trimet customers/officeworkers, and acting as a link between local shopping and the national chains within the mall.

Heather
Guest

The Lloyd TMA bike committee has two representatives sitting on the SAC: Lance Poehler and Craig Harlow. In addition to these two representatives, Linda Aeder (Kaiser Permanente), Steven Potter (Kaiser Permanente), Robert Spurlock (Metro), and Julia Leonard (Crowne Plaza) sit on the TMA bike committee, even though they are representing other stakeholders on the SAC. Sandra Kruger (Red Lion) is a bike commuter and JR Burwell (CB Richard Ellis) is an avid recreational cyclists. With all these folks in mind, I actually feel that that cyclists are well represented on the committee.

BURR
Guest
BURR

If it’s anything like the Hawthorne Blvd. Transportation Plan Advisory Committee, it will come down heavily on the side of the status quo.

They ended up spending something like $3 million on Hawthorne and cyclists got pretty much nothing except a few parking spaces there.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

Does PBOT have traffic counts for Holladay? Its always very light when I ride it eastbound. I would be happy to give up the bike lanes on Multnomah in order to accommodate more parking there in exchange for removal of motorized vehicles and their parking along Holladay. It needs to be a two-way bike street.

Bob
Guest
Bob

When I hear the ‘Cars’ complain about giving up a single street to bicycles, I’m reminded what George Washington said to Lord Cromwell when the British surrendered at Yorktown. “Well, you still have most of the rest of the world, mustn’t be piggy!

Greg
Guest
Greg

Is there any mechanism for citizens to provide feedback to this process?

I live in the area, and I consciously avoid the 12th/I-84 overpass, on bike or in car, because the lights around the Lloyd center prevent traffic flow. The light timings seem designed to maximize wait and minimize flow. Each time I sit waiting for a light, I look around and see most other road users waiting, few cars are moving. Makes me wonder about something like solution in Portishead, England http://bikeportland.org/2010/10/14/would-we-be-more-considerate-road-users-without-traffic-lights-41126

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Greg

Is there any mechanism for citizens to provide feedback to this process?

Yes. 2 public workshops are planned in Feb. and March. Also, all the stakeholder committee meetings are open to the public. (they don’t take comments at those, but I’m sure you could speak up if you asked them ahead of time).

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Imagine a depave movement for malls –

There was a shopping mall
Now it’s all covered with flowers
you’ve got it, you’ve got it

Talking Heads – (Nothing But) Flowers

meghan
Guest
meghan

great recap of the meeting, jonathan. thank you. and for those who worry that there may not be enough cyclists represented, i’d like to highlight jonathan’s first sentence in the post—-this is a public process. your comments and concerns and experience are valid and taken into account. if you believe in them, make them known. the committee would love to hear your point of view. is your concern/commitment strong enough that you’d be willing to contact a committee member or make time to show up at a public meeting for this area? if so–do so! i look forward to the next meeting!

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

So there was no discussion of the long-proposed 7th Ave bike/ped bridge as an alternative to whatever “fix” Alta may dream up for the mess that is the 12th overcrossing?

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

When I took the PBOT/PSU Traffic and Transportation class a couple years ago, the man who organized it told us of a tentative plan for a bike/ped only bridge to go in at SE 6th or 7th across I-84.

Anybody know what happened to that idea? It’s very much needed. Right now, the only options are SE 12th (aka DEATH) or MLK/Grand (aka MORE DEATH).

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

Yes, put the 7th Avenue bike/ped bridge on the table!

suburban
Guest
suburban

What solutions has J.R. Burdwell put forward?

matt picio
Guest

What are the actual issues with 12th? I ride that intersection frequently and have rarely, if ever had issues. (caveat – I don’t ride it during rush hour)

I’m glad the TMA is working on this. Most cyclists say things like “avoid the Lloyd”, and “the Lloyd is a black hole that sucks cyclists in, never to be seen again”. In my case, it’s my preferred route, as the inclines are mild or non-existent, and I avoid the clustermuck around Rose Quarter. I’m not sure exactly why so many of my fellow riders have an aversion to riding through the Lloyd, and I’m glad that the TMA is taking steps to make the Lloyd more appealing to cyclists.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

“I’m glad the TMA is working on this.”

The TMA is an association of businesses and organizations:

http://www.lloydtma.org/membership

Craig Harlow is inaccurately listed as a “neighborhood representative” but is actually a member of the Lloyd TMA bike committee and employed by pacificorp (a major NW utility).

All of the non-governmental members of the PBOT “Stakeholder Advisory Committee” are corporate/utility PR representatives, local business owners/employees, or real estate developers.

PS: My posting here is limited to factual information. I have no interest in participating in a censored discussion.