Esplanade closure begins February 1st

The Oregonian’s commute columnist weighs in on Broadway Bridge pole issue

Posted by on January 23rd, 2012 at 4:44 pm

A new pole for the streetcar (marked
with orange/white stripes) has
narrowed the entry to
the Broadway Bridge path.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the story unfolds about how and why Portland Streetcar Inc. installed a utility pole on the Broadway Bridge bike/walk path, it is becoming more clear that they made a bad move.

We’ll have more to share on this story in the coming days; but for now, check out what The Oregonian’s “Hard Drive” columnist Joseph Rose thinks about it (taken from a news roundup he published today):

“From the file “Things Messing Up Portland Bicyclists’ Feng Shui,” bike commuters are irritated by a new utility pole at the east end of the Broadway Bridge. From Bike Portland: “The pole narrows the opening of one of the busiest bikeways in the city.” Judging from the comments under the blog post, the new fixture certainly bugs a lot of riders. Me? Not so much. It’s part of my daily bike commute and I’ve pedaled past it several times without worry, concern or feeling crowded. It’s well-marked and still leaves plenty of room — in my experience — to pass. There are plenty of street designs and obstacles that present a clear and present danger to the growing number of bicyclists. But I don’t know if this one is worth the energy and attention. Sometimes, you just have to deal with the changing urban landscape in the nation’s 29th largest city. No one said it wasn’t going to be messy.”

There have been a wide range of opinions about the pole. So far, the majority of commenters are not happy with how it encroaches on the entrance to an already narrow path that serves hundreds (if not thousands) of people a day.

Portland Streetcar Inc. Board Member Chris Smith told me today he feels the pole is “an abomination.” Smith wrote a pointed letter (which was also signed by the BTA’s Rob Sadowsky) to PBOT Director Tom Miller and Portland Streetcar Inc Executive Director Rick Gustafson over a month ago. That letter demanded mitigation and referred to the pole as “a crash hazard” because it “narrows the existing bikeway, and makes it difficult for cyclists to share the space with other users of the shared use path.”

Stay tuned for more coverage.

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  • pete January 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    “So far, the majority of commenters are not happy with how it encroaches on the entrance to an already narrow path”

    i’d hardly call that a representative sample of portland bike commuters. i would guess the majority of riders don’t actually care that much. i’ve ridden past the new pole and while it is mildly annoying, it doesn’t seem dangerous. the reality is that it’s there and i don’t believe it to be worth the cost of moving it. advocacy groups’ resources could be better used for other battles.

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    • matevz January 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      I agree. “Abomination” is a wee bit hyperbolic.

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      • sorebore January 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        Come on people! There is enough room for me,Djamolodine Abdoujaparov, and one more erratic sprinter to fill that space without worry!!

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        • Pete January 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm

          LOL, and nice history lesson. 🙂

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      • Chris Smith January 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

        The abomination is creating an incursion into a bike facility with no process or consequences.

        Substantively I agree that the pole is generally of little consequence to a single rider using the path alone (unless you have a trailer). But as soon as you have two path users (bike/bike or bike/ped) at that choke point, there are real issues.

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    • q`Tzal January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      And I would agree to this generality on a one time basis under the possibility that this won’t happen again.

      That is the biggest beef: that this is indicative of the institutional disregard for the worth of non-automotive travel space.

      There were plenty of ways this could have been solved. The contractor CHOSE this installation option because THEY WERE LAZY.
      That’s it: LAZY.
      The contractor did not place any value on the bike lane and sidewalk space so they used it as a free resource to place the pole.

      If we let this pass unchallenged it will happen again and again.

      No more.

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      • sorebore January 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

        Fill me in,( i do not doubt you at all), but what I read in this was that there is some technical aspect to its placement. What did I miss?

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        • q`Tzal January 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm

          Gerik Kransky of the BTA commented to the initial post “Streetcar project puts pole on Broadway Bridge path – UPDATED by Jonathan Maus.

          In Gerik’s comment we are linked to a BTA letter to Tom Miller – Director PBOT.
          In particular this bit of text

          Catenary pole mitigation request letter

          Unfortunately, this is not the only location on the Streetcar Loop that created compromises with the bicycle network. But it is unique, because it was implemented through a field change order, in having absolutely no opportunity for review by citizens or stakeholders.

          This last minute change stinks of a backroom deal. It was done without oversight that was promised.
          If you choose to trust the government blindly that is your right. Some of us have wisely learned that the government is made of normal people who are just as stupid and prone to corruption as the rest of us.

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          • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

            Shepherd Book: “A government is a body of people, usually, notably ungoverned.”

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          • sorebore January 25, 2012 at 11:19 am


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      • Dan January 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        I’m going to hazard a guess that the contractor had little to do with the placement of the post, other than installing it as detailed by an engineer, and approved by the city or other governing body. You can get your panties all twisted up if you want, but let’s place the blame, or credit, where it’s due.

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      • poncho January 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        it must all be an agenda against the bike in the new world order

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    • Joe Rowe January 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      We would all be better off if people did speak or guess for others. Fixing this will not cost the public one dime. Failure to fix it will result in an accident and lawsuit that will cost the city a lot of money.

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      • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

        To me this is the biggest problem.
        We all KNOW that this will be proven to have been the cause of an injury or death at some point.

        Being entirely cold hearted and logical about it I as a taxpayer would rather pay to get this fixed now at a lower cost than pay for permanent disability for some poor schmuck.
        Given that cyclists demographically trend at a lower age than the general populace the payout period for permanent disability will be more than average.

        Oh, and we could prevent the tragic loss of life or livelihood and keep a maybe keep a family from splitting up over the loss of income and depression that often comes from these things.

        But the government doesn’t speak in feelings, it speaks in MONEY so that is the language I propose in. Safety enhancements are essentially litigation insurance.

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  • cold worker January 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I ride to PSU daily and I honestly don’t think I’ve noticed this pole being there. Even after the fpp about it on here.

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  • Elliot January 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    “From the file “Things Messing Up Portland Motorists’ Feng Shui,” car commuters are irritated by a utility pole blocking the right lane of northbound I-5 at the Rose Quarter.”

    Meh. It’s part of my daily commute and I’ve driven past it several times – there are two lanes in that section of I-5, after all. Just merge into the left lane people, sheesh!

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  • Stripes January 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Says Joesph Rose: “There are plenty of street designs and obstacles that present a clear and present danger… But I don’t know if this one is worth the energy and attention. Sometimes, you just have to deal with the changing urban landscape in the nation’s 29th largest city. No one said it wasn’t going to be messy.”

    Righty ho. Why don’t we just go ahead and stick the utility pole in the middle of the frickin’ car lane on the Broadway Bridge.

    After all, nobody said change wasn’t going to be messy.

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  • joel January 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    get over it, people. that pole narrows the right of way by a couple inches. if so many cyclists werent barreling down broadway going for the holeshot onto the bridge, it wouldnt be an issue.

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    • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Pointed Experiment in Transit Inequity
      (all images are inline on forum post)
      Joe Rowe’s image with a distance scale
      I superimposed a percentage scale: large segments=10%, small=2.5%. Joe Rowe states the path is now 4.5′ wide here; that is 60% on this scale. Full width here would 7.5′ , possibly 8′ allowing for error. The now unusable space includes the pole’s base and the isolated road side of the sidewalk, 40% or at least 3′.

      For comparison I have this image of Cornell Road looking uphill through the tunnel in the West Hills. Lane width in the tunnel is 10′. So lets take a look at how an equivalently poorly place obstacle would look in a tight automotive lane:
      image with scale only

      40% lane total lane intrusion is 4′; easy with a 10′ lane width. Imagine a standard home washing machine; the standard width for those in America is 27″ or 22.5% of lane width. How long would something that big be allowed to remain there before there were riots and calls for lynching of the guilt party?
      And those two examples I photoshopped were visible; imagine black on a black background painted in black. Pole 533+41 is no better.

      The only thing I can imagine as being more “dickish” is if the installers insisted that they had to install a full width smooth metal plate.

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      • joel January 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        oh for the love of dog.

        if youre going to post a lengthy diatribe with measurements and scales and all, at least INCLUDE THE RELEVANT DATA POINT. i dont give a damn about putting washing machines in the cornell tunnel.

        there is a light pole east of the new streetcar pole. it intrudes into the path. (its red, you can see it in your photos) always has.

        as far as im concerned, talking about the 40% intrusion of the new streetcar pole is absurd, given that the old red pole narrowed the path significantly to begin with, and the streetcar pole doesnt intrude 40% more than the red pole. gimme a photo facing west, and superimpose a scale showing the width of the path – assuming, for the sake of measurement, that the red pole, the streetcar pole, and the southernmost point on the bridge railing are all in the same plane. and then tell me the green pole intrudes 40% of the way into the path.

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  • Bob the Biker January 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Why doesn’t anyone mention the red street light pole just to the east of the new pole? It has been there forever, how many people have hit that one? If you miss the big red one you can miss the next one too.
    Just sayin’

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    • A.K. January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Ding ding ding… we have a winner!

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      • Alan 1.0 January 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        The space between the new pole and the railing is a foot to a foot-and-a-half narrower than at the old red light pole. That’s the difference between close but safe passing room between any combo of two bikes or peds (either of which could be going in either direction) and a very tight squeeze with high chance of contact and resulting crash.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Bob the Biker,

      First, that red light pole is not as close to the pinch point and it’s set wider than the streetcar pole. Also, it has been there for who knows how long. This is about more than just whether or not the placement of this pole bugs you. This is about how Portland Streetcar Inc approaches the planning of their projects and how they do not have an adequate process to make sure they don’t negatively impact bike access. The lovejoy Ramp, the Pearl District, MLK… This is just the latest example.

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      • DK January 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

        Their engineers say it’s the only feesible location to place the pole. So, what’s the option? …Shelve the streetcar project?

        It’s about sharing. As we expect cars to share, we cyclists are on the hook to extend that same courtesy to other modes. Ulitmately, there’s still plenty of room to get by the pole. …Grumble as you pass it if it makes you feel better.

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        • Alan 1.0 January 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

          Their engineers say it’s the only feesible location to place the pole.

          That is only a PR statement by the contractor’s spokesperson*, with the contractor standing to pocket the savings from a hasty change-order done without public review despite request for review at the time. I am positive that there are workable alternatives for that catenary suspension point.

          *Julie Gustafson, daughter of Portland Streetcar Executive Director Rick Gustafson.

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  • Paul Budrow January 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Come on…. I’ve ridden past this and barely noticed. This ultrasensitive, whiny blather is more detrimental to cycling than a poorly placed pole. Hardly representing a vast conspiracy requiring a massive uprising. Get a grip.

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    • Schrauf January 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      For the 27th time, it’s not about having to slow down a few mph to navigate the choke point safely, it is about the lack of respect for non-automobile infrastructure.

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      • Mike January 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

        I thought it was for the streetcar. Is that not a alternative to automobiles?

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    • whyat January 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

      It’s fair to say we need to pick our battles. This doesn’t even register as a blip on my radar. They recently added a ton of new poles on MLK crossing the 84. These make the sidewalk narrower. And I’ve adapted. This pole on the Broadway Bridge is not going to crimp my style in the least.

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  • Hart Noecker January 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Time to widen the deck.

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    • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Or narrow the deck.
      Talk about traffic calming – reduce auto lanes to 1 each way instead of 2.

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  • Alan 1.0 January 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Where is the tram pole located on the south sidewalk? Is it any closer to the edge/farther from the railing?

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    • Joe Rowe January 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

      The South sidewalk pole is mounted outside the railing using a metal bracket. I’ve proposed a similar bracket for the problem pole. The picture of the S. pole is in the PDF posted in the updated story and comments.

      I suggest 4 minutes to look at the 8 photos.

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      • Alan 1.0 January 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

        Thanks, Joe! I’d looked at that but it hadn’t registered with me. It would help to also have a pic of that pole with more context (wider angle or farther back). BTW, notice how much smaller the bolts into the concrete are compared to the steel-to-steel connectors…very curious…those bolts experience sheer force in addition to as much tensile force as the vertical bolts.

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  • Matthew Perry January 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    To all you people complaining about the slightly impinged but still designated, signed, paved and separated bikeway… get over it. There are places within the city where travel requires riding on roads without bike lanes for miles on twisty, hilly roads and crumbling pavement with NO protection from 45+ mph traffic. Let’s focus on making cycling safe for all citizens before we fret about making a commuter’s paradise for those lucky enough to already be blessed with suitable bike infrastructure.

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  • Adam January 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I second others here. It’s not about the pole per se.

    It’s about the lack of respect for our tiny little piece of asphalt space we have to ourselves as pedestrians and bicyclists out there on the roads to feel safe in from auto traffic.

    It’s frustrating as hell to have it treated as little more than a dumping ground for associated hoards of asinine street furniture et al.

    How about if we took every tree root, utility pole, streetlamp, stop sign pole, parking meter pole, newspaper box, usps dropbox, business a-sign, piece of sculpture, giant plant container, tree with associated four foot mud patch, bike rack, and set of cafe tables and chairs, and dumped all that onto the Broadway Bridge’s center auto lane? Just a thought.

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  • L January 24, 2012 at 5:24 am

    This “lack of respect” talk reminds me of the exact same conversations held about the Williams St project where neighborhood residents spoke of the same thing: “it’s not the project we’re complaining about it’s the lack of respect.” Those sentiments were criticized roundly by many who left comments here on Bike Portland

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    • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

      We’ve been kicked squarely in our prejudices!

      /soprano voice

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  • ac January 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

    my humble guess is that the reason it’s so far into the path is the fear of it getting hit by cars and trucks, not some mysterious “engineering.” the contractor and the city manager agreed where to put it and didn’t anticipate it to be a big deal because they likely don’t ride bikes at speeds over 12mph.

    i agree that it’s too far into the bike/pedestrian path. despite the LULZ above, there is NOT safe space to pass at this transition. This is the spot where the polite faster cyclists try to make their pass and now need to wait further onto the bridge, which will cause backups on the heavier days in the summer.

    i hope they move it; it’s awkward and in the way

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    • joel January 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      1) why are you riding at more than 12mph on the broadway? its a mixed use, narrow path. and its a damn fine view. ride slow. 🙂

      2) if youre trying to make your pass at this point in the bridge, even before the new pole placement, youre not a “polite faster cyclist”, youre a douchebag. that particular section is the WORST place on the whole bridge to attempt a pass. gee, a curb cut, a traffic crossing, a slight chicane, a grade change, a narrowing of the roadway, and potential for ped traffic? fan-tastic place to pass.

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      • ac January 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

        1) because i can do it safely, YMMV

        2) i just meant the polite riders are waiting to pass until there is actually space to do so (instead of the “hole shot” scenario comment from above)

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  • Oliver January 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Engineering/Structural/Political requirements…whatever. If the only place strong enough to support that pole were 18 inches into the roadway an alternate solution would have been found.

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    • NK January 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      This defines the whole issue.

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    • Joe Rowe January 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

      This is the issue at the center of the debate. Not everyone thinks we should take as truth the word of the contractor. Some people think a few good and independent engineers could fix this We can mount the pole outside of the path.

      Fixing this will cost less than the first lawsuit.

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  • ac January 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Engineering/Structural/Political requirements…whatever. If the only place strong enough to support that pole were 18 inches into the roadway an alternate solution would have been found.

    Recommended 1

    totally agree

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  • spare_wheel January 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

    cyclists are concerned about something and joe rose disagrees.

    next story: portland is rainy.

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    • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

      This will change when shoe stores and bike shops spend more on advertising than auto dealerships.

      Fantasy utopia land here I come!

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  • Mark Allyn January 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I have heard a suggestion on one of the email lists that I attend that perhaps this pole shall be either *the* or *a* starting point for the World Naked Bike Ride this year.

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  • captainkarma January 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thing is, we don’t have the hoverboards yet. Streetcar infrastructure will likely stay for another 100 years (like it should have originally). and bicycles are not likely to leave the situation either. So it’s pretty critical for them to interact as seamlessly as possible. Why not do it correctly from the start?

    Also, someone WILL hit that pole. There are going to be more & more soupcycles and cappaccino-bikes and cargo bikes and kids in trailers, etc. into the future. At the very minimum, the pole needs to be outfitted with gadient density layers of foam so no one loses their teeth or worse when it DOES get impacted by a mass of human protoplasm (one of us).

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    • poncho January 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      at that point, they can use the bridge travel lanes. why are we so obsessed with bikes being shoehorned onto the bridge sidewalk so that bikes dont inconvenience the cars using the bridge as a short freeway?

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  • q`Tzal January 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    OK. I went and took a BUNCH of pictures today (20120124T1300) which can be seen here:

    In particular these photos are the most instructive:
    Improvements installed now
    underneath pole 533+41
    different angle
    directly under looking up at base of pole 533+41.
    This pole is flush against the bridge footing from a left to right perspective. Any further towards the auto lane would have required access to the bridge footing. This is probably solid concrete but I don’t imagine that the bridge engineers would want to crack this open with a dynamically moving load constantly buffered by wind that would serve only to ensure future failure of the bridge footing.

    I’d guess the same about the “edge of railing” for 533+41. The one across the street attached to the stairs is bolted to concrete that is not critical to the load bearing structure of the bridge.

    Joe Rowe took a picture of one poles installed on the north sidewalk railing near the NW Broadway – NW Lovejoy St intersection.
    From the street view underneath at 686 Northwest Station Way we can see that the under structure here is mostly heavy steel framing. Steel is much more forgiving of dynamic loading forces than concrete.

    I am certain there are options but the costs of the next option will be very high.

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  • Opus the Poet January 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Ask Mr. Rose if he would feel “comfortable” with some pedestrian shoulder-checking him into that pole at speed as he passed. It is a steel pole with sharp(ish) edges facing in the direction of traffic on a crowded MUP. All I have to say is would that pole have been placed in the lane of travel for motor vehicles the way it has been placed in the MUP? Nothing is preventing collisions with that pole except a paint stripe on the MUP, while clearly visible behind it is a “soft” crumple zone protecting motor vehicles from the equally-hard-as-the-pole bridge framework. This in spite of the fact that motor vehicles are required to have crumple zones, airbags, and seatbelts, while cyclists have a majik foam hat and gloves with padding in the palms.

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    • Opus the Poet January 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      And speaking of that bridge framework, why wasn’t the support cantilevered off the bridge framework instead of stuck in the MUP?

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      • Joe Rowe January 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

        This is the question at the center of this debate. The Street car contractor ( Shield Oblit and Johnson ) needs to directly cough up the details behind this. They will need to do it when it goes to an injury lawsuit. Better to do it now.

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  • Joe Rowe January 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I’ve updated the last 2 pages of the PDF with a hacked photo from Mr. Smith.

    If you think the pole is great, call in your opinion. If you think the pole is a safety hazard and indicates a larger or smaller problem, call in your opinion. Email works too. Details in the PDF. Please call or email, and avoid trying to invalidate each other on a blog.

    Thanks to everyone!. Bonus points if your opinion does not try to negate facts, or negate what others feel.

    Mr Rose from the Oregonian is an Epic Fail here. He states that the new black pole seems in line with the older red pole. He failed to stop and measure, and he failed to look at the 3 photos of the bike at the vastly different pinch spots. Perhaps we should invite him to breakfast under the bridge to show him how the pole could easily be cantilevered from the underside. Again, see the new picture by Mr. Smith.

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    • q`Tzal January 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      I was going to say that the east cantilevered sidewalk where pole 533+41 was most likely solid.
      Possibly it is not; see this.

      I am reasonably certain that a … “more agreeable” solution to this installation could be found easily.
      Regardless your suggestion of cantilevering a high dynamic stress pole on to an already cantilevered thin concrete walkway is fraught some basic misunderstanding of how the Broadway Bridge is put together.

      The Broadway Bridge opened in 1913 and engineering wise is really 3 different bridges.

      Most obvious is the iconic truss bridge part painted Golden Gate Red.
      The west end is a steel frame reminiscent of overbuilt 1920’s skyscraper techniques. These two streetviews show just how different and abrupt the change is. This steel framing is more than capable of being easily repaired and is still more than strong enough.
      The last part is the point of contention: the east side landing. Still part of the bridge but on “solid” ground. It needed to provide a solid bedrock style foundation so we have a big concrete block and what amounts to a box frame culvert bridge made out of 100 year old concrete.

      I have no engineering degree and I don’t play one on TV but I am also very sure that these cantilevered sidewalks are far beyond not being capable of supporting the load you have drawn in RED.
      The earth adjacent to the bridge on both side displays all the qualities of water logged silt that one would expect with its proximity to the river.

      That leaves only the giant concrete block that the truss section lands on.

      If it is solid I’d want to drill down a minimum of 3 feet, preferably 5 feet, to sink a longer pole in to the base. This base would need to be away from side surface in the same way that you don’t drill a pilot hole in furniture right near an edge. This distance from edge would shove the pole placement right out to the automotive surface but possibly not in the known driving space; I expect a minimum side offset of 24″. If we trust my percent scale and assume the path is 7.5′ wide the current center of the pole is just about 28″ inches from the asphalt road surface.
      If the base is hollow here the same basic attachment technique could be used inside as was out: basically a giant steel fender washer.

      Part of the problem is we just don’t know the design parameters for the foundation and the engineering constraints that may have precluded even considering putting anything extra in the automotive space other than the rails.

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  • NoPo Matt January 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I bike past this on my regular commute and honestly, it’s never even occurred to me this could be a problem. There’s plenty of things worth picking battles over (let’s start with the Lovejoy connector pylons), but frankly, this isn’t one of them.

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    • Joe Rowe January 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Matt. The pole is not a problem for my skills and your skills. It is a problem for me because it’s a safety risk to other cyclists and the ability to get more people out of cars.

      When the city is sued in court the jury will not weigh what percentage of blog comments feel it was a battle to pick or not. The jury will hear other lawyers say the pole could have been put in a safe spot from some independent engineers. My guess is the suit will cost less than the safe pole.

      As Chris Smith has revealed, this pole was moved to this spot on a secret change order with no input from the public or bike communities. The contractor gambled they could pocket the money quietly and say the other 2 parties could not agree on another location. They have slick PR people and can easily get the public and press to frame this as some whiny cyclists.

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      • Chris Smith January 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        As Chris Smith has revealed, this pole was moved to this spot on a secret change order with no input from the public or bike communities.

        Joe, I don’t think that’s a fair characterization. It was a field change order – a standard process that happens when you find reality doesn’t match the drawings (for example when a sewer line isn’t where it’s supposed to be). There’s nothing secret or clandestine about it, I’m sure there’s documentation that could be had with a public records request. But it IS correct that if affords no public input, a point I made most clearly in my letter.

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    • Joe Rowe January 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Typo. The suit will cost more than the safe pole placement.

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  • John Lascurettes January 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    a small yellow and black diagonal-zebra-stripe sign has been added to the pole.

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    • q`Tzal January 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      This was documented in my unnecessarily large slew of photos yesterday.

      Like this one.

      Ironic moment: I’m taking these photos right around 1:15pm on the 24th – heavy drizzle leading in to light rain.
      Very light traffic all around, auto and bicycle, when I stand in the choke point to take a picture of the chrome name plate on THE pole.
      As I’m dealing with $#itty light and falling water a Portlandia fixie stereotype comes blazing by at high warp, lightly brushing up against me rather than the pole NEVER GETTING OFF HIS CELL PHONE! 🙂

      And all I can think while laughing is “Damn! His phone must be waterproof!”

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  • jim January 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    This whole trolley fiascal was rammed down our throats without us having any say about it. Do you remember having a vote to see if you wanted to spend money to build a trolley? I didn’t get that ballot. Look at what a mess it is trying to ride a bike on ANY of those streets now. Look how cars straddle the lanes because they don’t like how their cars handle on the tracks, You cant drive up lovejoy to the hospital anymore since it is a one way wrong direction, the next street over is narrow, cobblestone, 2way narrow, uncertain how far to go before you can cut back over to lovejoy where it turns back into a 2 way, crappy bikelanes , lots of bikewrecks.
    I never got a ballot to vote for all of this. I hope those wealthy people in the pearl enjoy their new ride to thee Blazer games, too bad they couldn’t have just taken the bus.

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  • Joe Rowe January 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    two updates
    a) Feb 1st. City meeting about the pole, please attend or send comments
    b) Join a facebook group for updates.

    meeting for the Streetcar Citizens Advisory Committee will be Wednesday, February 1, 2012,

    3:30pm-­‐5:00pm at City Hall, Pettygrove Room. Please call Kay Dannen at 503/478-­‐6404 or email at if you have any questions regarding this committee or have items for the agenda. The CAC meetings are open to the public.

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  • Joe Rowe January 31, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Update: The contractor refused to put the pole on their next meeting agenda. More of the same contempt for public process.

    The agenda for this meeting has already been established but you and your friends are more than welcome to attend our next CAC meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 3:30 – 5:00pm in the Pettygrove Room at City Hall . There is an opportunity at the beginning of the meeting for public testimony in which each individual testifying is limited to 3 minutes.

    Kay Dannen
    Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc.
    1140 SW 11th Avenue, Suite 500|Portland, OR 97205
    Phone 503-478-6404

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