Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

PBOT sweepers to put ‘focused attention on bike lanes’ this weekend

Posted by on November 18th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

City will focus on sweeping
bike lanes this weekend.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As the comments pouring in on our story yesterday has made crystal clear, bike lanes throughout the city are inundated with wet and slippery leaves right now. The issue isn’t simply a sign of disrespect by PBOT — the unpredictable weather has posed some serious challenges — but we wondered if PBOT had a set policy for dealing with bike lane obstructions and/or if they planned to do anything specific about it.

PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says they respond to hazards in bike lanes “as promptly as possible” and that the best number to call is the 24/7 Maintenance Dispatch Line at (503) 823-1700. “Service requests regarding safety concerns take priority,” Kuck wrote via email. (Note the difference between that hotline 823-SAFE, which Kuck says should only be used for engineering and infrastructure safety concerns.)

As for the huge mess out there right now, Kuck says PBOT is bringing in extra crews tonight and Saturday night to sweep major arterials with a “focused attention on bike lanes”. The City’s Leaf Pickup service, which goes into high gear this weekend, should help get the leaves off of residential streets.

Kuck advises that with rapidly changing weather conditions this time of year, citizen reports are more valuable than ever. “It is especially helpful to have reports of specific problem locations for our crews to respond to, whether it’s clogged catch basins, leaves in bike lanes, or other safety hazard requiring a maintenance response,” she says.

Remember, if you call 823-SAFE it might be several days before someone takes a report; but the 823-1700 number is staffed 24/7. Put it in your speed dial now and if you see something that needs help, give PBOT a ring!

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  • Steve B November 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I find the system of multiple numbers for different things frustrating and confusing. Why can’t 823-SAFE be the one-stop-shop for all things transportation safety related? Immediate concerns could be routed to the maintenance line. If PBOT wants citizens throughout the city to utilize these numbers, it would be necessary to streamline these citizen-initiated processes further.

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    • bigfatlamer November 18, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Very confusing. In NYC, you just call 311 and get basically any/every city service you can hope for. Some things lead to recorded information, others to VM boxes and others to live operators 24/7. It’s probably a programming nightmare but it certainly makes things easier for residents.

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  • ME 2 November 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for shining a light on this Jonathan. I called last year about NE Multnomah between 15th and 17th and it took several days before acknowledging me. I sent an email yesterday and already got a reply noting that they would deal with it.

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  • GlowBoy November 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This is great, and as fast a response as can reasonably be expected. Most of the leaves currently down are because of the windstorm that came through two days ago.

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  • dmc November 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Sounds like they are taking the issue seriously. 🙂

    Thanks PBOT

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  • Zaphod November 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Wet leaves plus wind storm plus big cargo bike (empty) made for a harrowing ride…totally sketch. Made it through but resolving this is important. I appreciate that PBOT is addressing it.

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  • jim November 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    It looke like williams has been swept

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  • TonyH November 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

    SW Terwilliger was clear for my ride home last night. Thank you!

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  • OnTheRoad November 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Ladds Addition will be swept on the leaf removal schedule Sunday, November 27. Actually the boundaries of clean-up are greater than Ladd proper — from 12th to 39th (Chavez) and Hawthorne to Division. Property owners, if they are not opting out and handling the leaves in the street on their own, are paying $30.00 for the city to sweep. You’re welcome.

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  • TomC November 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    As noted above, PBOT had swept Terwilliger for the Friday evening commute (thank you, thank you).

    I have also found the staff at the Maintenance Dispatch Line at (503) 823-1700 very responsive and responsible to these dangerous road conditions (leaves in the Fall, gravel in the Winter).

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  • Danny November 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I rode both Barbur and Terwilliger on Saturday morning, and the piles of leaves I experienced 48 hours before were just bad memories — the bike lanes were as clear as can be. Kudos to PBOT!

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  • cycler November 21, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I’ve been thinking about working with my city to develop a “priority list” of bike routes to clear, just like they have snow plowing priority routes for cars. Often they’re the same routes, but it seems like having a list on file is a good thing to have.

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