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ODOT, TriMet team up for new fence on I-205 path at Gateway

Posted by on February 25th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

The new fence will help separate the path on the
left from the transit center on the right.

ODOT, TriMet and the Portland Police Bureau Transit Police Division have teamed up on a project that will install a new fence along the I-205 multi-use path at the Gateway Transit Center.

According to ODOT, the six-foot high, 600 feet long fence will be installed within the existing planter strip up against the backside of the curb just west of the TriMet bus stop and adjacent to the I-205 path. The primary reason for the project is to improve safety and to prevent conflicts between I-205 path users and transit users who often use the path while waiting for buses and MAX rides.

The fence will be chain link with black plastic coating. Upon hearing the news, a community leader was concerned that the appearance of the fence might discourage people from being in the area. “That is not our intent,” ODOT Community Affairs specialist Shelli Romero said. “We think we can install something that will do the job we need it to do for safety and not look unattractive and still encourage users to use the path, transit center and shopping center.”

TriMet’s plan drawings.
Download PDF

The fence and new gates are expected to be installed by the end of next month. Romero says people who ride on the I-205 path will find that the new fence keeps transit users off the path. “But we are also hopeful that there will be a reduction in the amount of trash and cigarettes where people currently throw into the planter strip.”

If you have questions about the project, direct them to Shelli Romero with ODOT Community Affairs at (503) 731-8231 or email shelli.romero@odot.state.or.us or Clay Thompson at TriMet at (503) 962-6438 or ThompsoC@trimet.org.

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Jordan
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Jordan

Great news. I had to dodge several people smoking and generally hanging out on the path yesterday.

bike me
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bike me

Great place for some anti smoking campaign art project.

Spiffy
Guest

now we’ll have to put up with people smoking within breathing distance of the MAX platforms…

I didn’t mind the smokers on the path much, they usually kept out of the way when bicycles cake through… and the smoke was only brief in passing…

where are all the displaced smokers going to go now that they don’t have a planter strip?

this is misguided and treats the symptoms rather than the cause… they should have put the fence against the path and put some benches and ashtrays in the planter strip… now they’ve just moved the problem somewhere that people aren’t expecting it…

are
Guest

“not look unattractive.” setting a rather high bar, aren’t we. but black plastic chain link should do it.

Nat
Guest
Nat

Good news indeed – both on keeping people out of the path and keeping smokers from hanging out in the planter area.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

I prefer to avoid biking near Gateway TC altogether.

Alan 1.0
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Alan 1.0

I hope they’ll improve the signage while they’re at it. First time I got off MAX at Gateway with my bike I wasn’t able to find the connection to the MUP. Signs or maps [b]in the transit station[/b] should point to the bike route. The present sign at the gate to the MUP is fine, but hardly helpful if you’ve already found your way there. Looking at bike routes on maps.google, the only bike route is in the center of the station and it does not connect to the path (and the new fence will physically block that route). The connections at both ends of the station aren’t mapped at all.

A 6-foot fence? Meh. 3-4 feet would do it and not feel quite so zoo-like. I hope it’s set back at least a foot from the edge of the path, unlike the one on the other side between the freeway. It’s pushed right up to the edge of the path, and trying to squeeze in close to it risks catching bar ends, bags, elbows, etc. in the mesh. Black is going to be hard enough to see at night without at least a little buffer.

rolinon
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rolinon

A couple of years ago, I think it was, when Friends of Trees planted shrubs and trees along the present fence, they told me how many buckets of cigarette butts they had to remove before planting. I forget the number now but it was shocking and disgusting.

Smokers don’t seem to realize or care that cigarette filters are not biodegradable. I say this as a former smoker and offender of tossing spent butts wherever. I am immensely regretful of my offenses now. People may have a right to smoke, but not to litter.

I ride past Gateway TC 5 days a week and it is rare that I do not have to weave my way through loitering smokers who don’t seem to see or hear me when I announce my approach. I welcome any effort to reduce the loitering and littering, even a small decrease would help. I agree with @bike me – a great place for some teaching art work. Maybe something along the lines of: Tobacco moguls are the 1% – don’t support them!

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Will someone who is biking to the transit center to catch a bus be able to get from the path to the TC (or vice versa)? I can’t really tell from the plans.

Dennis Hogan
Guest
Dennis Hogan

I ride that corridor often and the inconvenience of slowing down for the smokers is minor to me – it seems like a 6′ fence will be visually more disconcerting. I’d rather they add some receptacles and signs about not littering.

Doug K
Guest
Doug K

Yes, a 6′ fence is way too high. I think 3′ would discourage people from walking and loitering there. No buses stop on that side of the roadway anyway. And a gate??? Why is there any obstacle like that restricting access to the path? I can’t see the gate on the drawing (but I couldn’t get the pdf to load either). Is it really an access for emergency vehicles to be able to drive down the path? Surely they don’t expect cyclists and walkers to slide a 6′ high gate. How about a person in a wheelchair (it is for pedestrians too)? A blind person? Come on guys.

Clifford Mclean
Guest

Its good to keeping smokers out of the planter area.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

More moral superiority from the young privileged males who are bike commuters. ” I agree with @bike me – a great place for some teaching art work. Maybe something along the lines of: Tobacco moguls are the 1% – don’t support them!”
Yes- fence off the bikers from the working class smokers, and then lecture the working class. Bike commuter=church lady. Wag those fingers.

televod
Guest
televod

This is a needed improvement. I’m happy to share the MUP with anyone, smoker or not, as long as they’re not lying across the and blocking access for others. Too many times I’ve come across folks sitting cross-legged, playing hacky sack,etc in the middle of the path. I understand that it’s preferable for them to do this stuff in a spot where they won’t get a ticket for smoking, but as someone trying to simply pass through, it’s a hazard. Many of the folks milling about aren’t expecting bike traffic and as a result I’ve had a couple close calls, even at low speed (I’m rarely hauling ass through there anyhow due to the hills and poor sightlines of the path’s underpasses). I also hope this will also decrease the amount of broken glass on the path just before / after the TC.

Ultimately I have a lot of sympathy for the loiterers, but it’s long been a minor issue for those using the path for anything else. Glad they’re addressing it. I agree that a tall barrier is necessary to make sure folks respect it– think of the divider they put in place at the 82nd / MAX overpass to keep folks from crossing mid-block. Too small an obstacle and we won’t solve anything. Though I do hope that they keep some kind of access to the TC; it would be silly not to include that.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Seems like a huge waste of money to me. Doesn’t Tri-Met already operate with a deficit? I have ridden through there at least 100 times, and have never had an issue getting by the people who smoke. I almost always get a nod or “hello” when I approach doing the same.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Go ahead and use a black plastic dipped chain link fence.
But as part of an ongoing art project let approved groups weave in those long strips of brightly colored plastic we usually see as a thoughtless monochrome field.
Geometric patterns, mosaic chaos or even coordinated images: change it up every month or so and even graffiti can be kept at bay.

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

The only real problem caused by those people on the path is the littering. A few strategically placed butt and garbage cans would probably go a long way to help eliminate that problem. People standing around on a MUP is something those of us who ride them have to deal with everywhere, not just at Gateway. When we share public spaces, we must remember that they are there for everyone to use regardless of their intended design and learn to cope with it as such. This is just life, and we can avoid stressing ourselves out over petty issues by recognizing their pettiness and treating them with likewise importance to ourselves.

Just remember how many drivers feel like you’re in their way on the roads (when you’re not), and how we wish they would change their attitude and not feel that way. Don’t stoop to that level yourself, if you’re better than that.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Sucks that I won’t get to play “smoker slalom” anymore.

rolinon
Guest
rolinon

@Oregon Mamacita – You got a couple of things right – I am male and I am young (64 years young). I have lived most all of those years struggling a notch or two above the poverty line, but I am privileged to be able to ride my bike in this country where we can all be free to do as we please within the law. I do have a problem with fellow freedom-lovers when they blow their smoke in my face or block my way in the middle of the path or carelessly throw those toxic cigarette butts wherever they feel. As a former smoker and current coronary artery disease patient, I strive to avoid any tobacco smoke at all.

I also know that preaching logic to addicts is futile and fences like laws are only as good as those who respect them.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

Rolimon, there are issues the bike commuters don’t want to face, and one of those issues is the unintended consequences of forcing biking on people who live and believe differently. Furthermore, while the alternative transportation folks tend to talk out of both sides of their mouth re: transportation choice. Yes- we’re pro-choice- Yes- we favor strategies to discourage choices we don’t care for.

The science is ridiculously on the side of climate change. But the
science is not clear on whether alternative transportation is as helpful as claimed.

You bike without moral superiority, and I salute you.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

By ridiculously I mean that almost all the scientists around the world agree that there appears to be man-made climate change, and weather records support their claims. The evidence that we need some response to climate change is overwhelming

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

El Bicylero, if I understand you correctly, you are for transportation choices, but then you say the car choice is immoral and that cars wreck everything so that choice should be discouraged.

In other words, I can have choices, but from your menu.

The scary thing about a voter who thinks they have the perfect moral high ground on an issue is that there is a tendency to shift to an “ends justifies the means.” strategy.

You wrote a long post because I hit a nerve. There are some unintended consequences to your policies.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

I love cycling, and I walk, bike and drive with care. There are political aspects to cycling in PDX, and some vocal cyclists are not intellectually honest about that. Folks like 9 Watts talk about cars as immoral (and he is open about that)l. My points evoke discomfort because I bring up some uncomfortable issues. As we address our problems, we need to acknowledge and address
unintended consequences of policies we favor.

You may want to pretend that I drive a Hummer, but I don’t. I love my Bridgestone- sometimes my bike feels like a part of me.

So- go forth and be more intellectually honest with yourselves.

Mark
Guest
Mark

So I see the fence has a locking gate, that would lock out access to the trimet station. Does that mean we can’t get access via the bike trail to go thru the Trimet station area, heading East? One Trimet person told us it’s open, “during the day.” Does that mean it’s closed at night, no access to the Trimet station and back?