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East Portland and cycling’s “downtown culture”

Posted by on June 11th, 2013 at 11:34 am

SE 136th Press Conference-7

Oregon State Rep. Shemia Fagan.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think out Loud radio show hosted a conversation about “the future of bicycling” yesterday. The show was set up to discuss the recent release of reports by the City Club of Portland and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Leaders from both groups were in studio and the host also welcomed Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan onto the show via telephone. Rep. Fagan — whose district stretches east from SE 122nd Ave through Clackamas County all the way to Highway 26 — was asked how she felt upon hearing about all the talk of bicycle funding and projects.

I think Fagan’s answers deserve a wider audience so I’ve shared the entire exchange below (you can also listen to the whole show here):

Think out Loud Host David Miller:

“When you hear people like Craig [Beebe, from City Club] and Rob [Sadowsky, from the BTA] talking about increasing bicycle-friendly infrastructure as a way to have pedestrians and cars and bikers all play well together, what goes through your mind?”


Rep. Fagan:

“There’s a lot of push-back in east Portland to the bicycle lanes because its not about the actual bicycle lanes as much as its about pushing back on a culture from downtown that they feel is being pushed on them out in east Portland.”
— Shemia Fagan, Oregon State Rep.

“A mix of things: First off, the vast majority of time bicycle projects and pedestrian projects are one in the same. If it’s safe for bicyclists it’s probably going to be safe for pedestrians. So, in one way I’m encouraged to hear about more [bike] projects. The only caution that I’m worried about is that a lot of these projects seem to start downtown and trickle out and bicycling is different in outer SE Portland. People are not for the most part bicycling all the way downtown to work. I did it back before I had a child, it took me about an hour and a half each way to get to work. Now that I have a son I’m not going to take what could be a one hour commute and turn it into a three hour commute every day. And so I think the concern is that the focus would be on building a culture downtown — and I understand that cyclists want to encourage a certain culture in Portland: A green, alternative transportation culture, you know naked bike ride, it’s kind-of a funky cool culture. But the fact is it’s not cool, and it’s not O.K., that a little girl [Morgan Cook] died because she didn’t have a safe place to cross the street in front of her house and that happened in Portland just a few months ago.”


David Miller:

“What do you hear from your constituents when you talk about their infrastructure needs or desires?”

Rep. Fagan:

“Sidewalks, sidewalks, sidewalks. I mean, I understand that there are certainly times where bicycle lanes and sidewalks can be in conjunction; but there’s a lot of these old streets out in east Portland that unless you’re going to make a project a lot more expensive and actually expand the size of the road, you either have room for a bike lane or sidewalks. And I think there’s a lot of push-back in east Portland to the bicycle lanes because its not about the actual bicycle lanes as much as its about pushing back on a culture from downtown that they feel is being pushed on them out in east Portland.

I mean, I don’t oppose any bicycle lanes in east Portland, but the fact is in east Portland the primary users of bicycle lanes are not kind of the urban person biking to work as an alternative means of transportation, it’s kids biking to school and in east Portland. Where we don’t have sidewalks you’ll often see people in motorized wheelchairs actually using bicycle lanes because they don’t have a sidewalk. So it’s either a bicycle lane, the middle of the street, or a gravel shoulder with giant muddy holes. So, I think that my constituents don’t oppose bicycle lanes. In fact when I’ve gone in to elementary schools a couple of times I’ve asked kids about proposed legislation, every time I’ve gone in kids have said, ‘Hey I want to be able to bike to school safely.’ So I don’t think there’s as much conflict between bicycle lanes and sidewalks as if it’s an either/or, I think folks in east Portland are reacting to a sense of a culture being pushed on them but the actual infrastructure is going to benefit people in east Portland because it’s going to be used primarily by children bicycling to school and to the park and to folks who are actually vulnerable going and waiting at the bus stop.

So I think it can be a positive thing as long as there’s a recognition that some of the infrastructure that works in downtown Portland is not the primary needs in east Portland.

What I’d like to see, as opposed to that money being spent starting in downtown Portland and filtering out, I’d like to see us start around schools. To the extent we can fund those first and foremost, and anything in addition above-and-beyond that certainly build in the infrastructure that the communities want; but I think safe routes to schools should be our top priority.”

I’m sharing this exchange because it’s rare to hear a politician who represents east Portland speak so candidly about bicycling. It’s important to hear Fagan’s perspective because it shows how bicycling is perceived outside the bubble. Her mention of work commutes, the naked ride, and a “certain culture” being “pushed” on east Portland residents really stood out to me.

Studies and surveys show that the majority of bicycle trips are not for work — but are rather for social reasons, running errands, or recreational in nature (a recent Metro survey put the split at 35% and 54% respectively). Despite that, I often hear bike-skeptical arguments based on the fact that person X or Y simply can’t bike to work and therefore improved bicycle access shouldn’t be a major priority. This tells me there’s too much focus from the city and from advocates on commuting and not enough about how bicycling is simply an extremely practical, fun and efficient way to get around.

And Fagan’s mention of culture was very timely given the recent (and ongoing) debate over whether or not celebratory bike events like the Naked Ride and Pedalpalooza actually turn off more people then they inspire. Her remarks also confirmed my hunches of past bike controversies where the focus of the public and media narrative is the big, bad bike lanes — but in reality the push-back is more about larger cultural differences.

What do you think?

— Listen and learn more about yesterday’s Think Out Loud show here.

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

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craig
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craig

I think Rep. Fagan expresses the perspective very effectively. As someone who lives on the fringe of the two regions discussed (~mall 205 area) there is a lot of overlap in the two styles (purposes) of riding as discussed. (I ride for pleasure, commute when I can, and for errands) My job takes me out (in my truck) to E. Portland often, and the non-motorized infrastructure is severely lacking. I appreciate her perspective and, as you appropriately mentioned, her candidness.

Steve B
Guest
Steve B

I think we could all learn a lot from listening to Representative Fagan. I’m grateful for her leadership.

longgone
Guest
longgone

I believe Rep.Fagin needs to work on preconceived notions and stereo types of what bicycling culture truly is, and can be.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I think she makes some super-valid points.

I do think however, one thing she shies away from, is admitting that – honestly? – in many areas of east Portland, the roads are MORE than wide enough to be retrofitted to include BOTH a sidewalk, AND bikelanes, or actually, cycletracks.

Most of the arterials I see & drive on out there feel like they are about the length of a football field in width. They are so wide, you can practically see the curvature of the earth from one side of the road to the other.

I think the reason bikelanes get put in before sidewalks, is bike lanes involve paint and are relatively cheap, whereas sidewalks are EXPENSIVE.

Case
Guest
Case

I listened to that TOL last night during its OPB repeat. I thought Rep. Fagan was quite correct in her interpretation of the East Portland situation. I had been house hunting above 82nd and was certainly turned off by the lack of sidewalks, and that was on 92nd, never mind further east. My wife and I thought, “What, do we have to walk the dog in the street?” That pretty much made us decide to buy closer in. I like having bike boulevards and sometimes even appreciate bike lanes, but if I lived in a neighborhood without sidewalks, the choice between bike lanes and sidewalks would be a no brainer.

Case
Guest
Case

Also, in my mind, sidewalks = neighborhoods.

Bike Commuter
Guest
Bike Commuter

Rep. Fagin has many things correct. The future as envisioned by both the City Club report, BTA, and Metro is more regional connections and less Central City. Bike lanes are not the answer in most cases, low stress streets and reduced speeds are more important, and these need to connect to destinations that are local. We still need to have connections to other areas but those are less important for her region. Improving bicycling also improves pedestrian safety. We need to move to a true multi-modal approach. That means safe places to walk, to bicycle, and to drive.

I would suggest that we work toward reclaiming the streets for all users. The opportunistic painting of bike lanes no longer works, we need more thought and planning, and well implemented plans to accomplish this.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Perhaps there is a different, and here blasphemous, way to look at this Sidewalks > Bike Lanes debate:
With a complete sidewalk network it is easier to slow people down.
By that I mean that given a option for short trips of walking or driving, where time spent is often equal, a safe and complete pedestrian system would win out for all but the most lazy because it is cheaper and more simple.

Maybe we ought to be looking at walking as the “gateway drug” to greater social acceptance of cycling.
Once it becomes socially normal to walk to a nearby destination rather than driving for everything bicycling becomes a more attractive option. Since walking has such a low cost of entry for individuals it is easier, with some infrastructure investments, to get people on foot first and then lusting for bicycles afterwards.

Joseph E
Guest

“I think the reason bikelanes get put in before sidewalks, is bike lanes involve paint and are relatively cheap, whereas sidewalks are EXPENSIVE.”

Right. Many of the roadways are already wide enough for 2 lanes and 2 bike lanes, with only a stripe of paint needed to define the bike lane.

You COULD just put in a strip of paint and letter that said “sidewalk”, but that isn’t considered acceptable for walking. Building new concrete sidewalks can cost $1 million per mile for both sides of the street.

The cheap solution would be to NARROW the effective roadway to less than 16 feet, so that only 1 car could pass at one time, and lower speed limits to less than 15 mph on residential streets. They could then function as pedestrian spaces, with cars as visitors (even bikes would need to go slower than usual). This would take money was well, and to be done right it might also cost $1 million per mile, though in this case it would serve as a complete street for driving, walking and biking access to homes.

For busy collector and arterial streets, separation of modes with sidewalks and bikeways is the only solution, and will cost at least $1 million per mile.

capizzi
Guest
capizzi

I appreciate her emphasis on encouraging children to bike/walk. This will only happen if the commute to school is perceived of as safe by parents.
There are other choices than sidewalks or bikelanes. Maus has just presented photos of euro multi-use paths, some of which are segregated from vehicular traffic. I live on an undeveloped street in SE PDX (no sidewalks and don’t want them), and I use the Springwater corridor to commute downtown because it is quiet and removed from vehicular exhaust particulates. Not all multi-use paths are as chaotic as the esplanade in summer.

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

Thank you for posting this information, Jonathan. It definitely paints a larger picture of the bike/pedestrian community in Portland Metro.

AMA
Guest
AMA

I think that this is basic common sense and that if advocacy groups are just now learning this and haven’t been tuning their messaging and advocating for projects that help bridge this gap, then they aren’t doing their jobs. Ditto for bike/ped planners with the City. If you need Shemia Fagan to teach you these lessons, you have not been paying attention.

An “inner/outer alliance” COULD be incredibly effective at motivating really significant improvements in bike/ped safety, access, and mobility in our region.

lda
Guest
lda

I know, from past experience, that having a sidewalk in front of your house means you’re responsible for upkeep; making sure it’s safe, tree roots aren’t pushing it up etc. You pay for the maintenance. I personally don’t have a problem with that. It’s worth it to me. I’m curious though, when a new sidewalk is installed in front of a house does the resident pay for that or are they only responsible for future upkeep?

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

Jonathan, I respect you for posting this article. You are not afraid of opposing points of view.

I love bikes, but I reject “bike evangelism.” People who do not believe that biking is morally superior to car ownership are sometimes silenced in PDX. We need a “grounded” approach to biking, and a recognition that what works downtown may not work in more rural Eastside neighborhoods. Also welcome; emphasis on schoolchildren.

Robert L.
Guest
Robert L.

She brings up a few good points in the interview. That being said, when house hunting I found outer SE Portland to be a pretty prime location for a bike commuter. I found a nice little house, two houses away from the 205 path and just about a mile from the Springwater trail junction.

No, my house doesn’t have a sidewalk, and I honestly don’t miss it.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Some really well designed, spacious multi-use paths is what it sounds as though Rep. Fagan is hearing the people in the district she represents, are feeling the need of. Nothing trendy or overly fancy, but just something for local use, people can walk, bike or take a wheelchair along without risk of being crashed into.

Doing the planning and negotiating necessary to create something like that is a great idea.

Champs
Guest
Champs

Ms. Fagan should understand that there is no monolithic “bike culture” that benefits from safe streets. Most people are just using bikes to get from A to B, wherever those end points happen to lay.

For that matter, the connection between bike lanes and Pedalpalooza is as tenuous as between road lanes and street racing.

Paul Manson
Guest
Paul Manson

I thought her points were spot on. We still have a strong commute model in our thinking (e.g. Commute to Work Month) and we still have a model of the city that is hub and spoke. Both are not as valid these days in my mind. Its even shifted for me personally as I started a family – what makes a trip is radically redefined and no longer seems as bike friendly.

I do like her note about the culture. And while we can’t say there is a monolithic culture – there is a strong set of shared ideals around what bikes can and should do. And sometimes those ideal overreach reality – bikes won’t save the world – people will if they chose and it will be dependent on their own contexts. Its something I worry about in policy debates because bikes almost take on a panacea like quality – and that almost never ends well.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

A few good points, but she needs to understand that the “enemy”, from a neighborhood livability standpoint, isn’t the bikes, it’s the cars. She says that she doesn’t see bikes as a problem, but then she goes on to imply exactly that.

Fred Lifton
Guest
Fred Lifton

I can’t really fault Rep. Fagan too much for believing in the “bike culture” stereotypes. Those stereotypes are constantly advanced in the pages of the O, on talk radio, on local and network TV. They are further advanced by highly visible events like WNBR and Pedalpoolaza. (I’m not saying those things are bad, I’m saying they’re very visible.) Those stereotypes are very useful to the (mostly Conservative) opponents of active transportation because they create a wedge, an Us and a Them.

I just wish like hell that the Rob Sadowsky’s of the world would be more proactive, even aggressive, in debunking those stereotypes for what they really are: useful fictions. I’m sure all of us ordinary, middle-aged folk who wear pants while cycling in East Portland would really welcome that.

BURR
Guest
BURR

I don’t get why these people don’t get that there are people who bicycle for many different reasons, and there really isn’t one type of infrastructure that works best for everyone.

We need to be planning and designing future bike infrastructure facilities with more than one type of cyclist in mind, which to me means multiple types of facilities to meet the needs of multiple types of cyclists.

Garlynn Woodsong
Guest
Garlynn Woodsong

There aren’t easy answers to the problems in East Portland. Normally, sidewalks are installed by the developer in the beginning, when a neighborhood is created from bare earth. In East Portland, Multnomah County was asleep at the wheel when the area developed, and did not require the installation of sidewalks. Now that the area has been annexed by the City of Portland, no sidewalks exist as a historical legacy — and indeed, many streets are unpaved for the same reason. The City has a policy that new developments must install a sidewalk in front of their property, and commit to paying for the paving of the street out front when the time comes. However, the time rarely comes — whole unpaved streets only get paved when a majority of property owners along the street vote to tax themselves to pay for the cost of paving; this works out to something along the lines of $350-550 per month over the life of the bond (I forget the term, maybe 10 years). This is obviously unaffordable for most folks who bought on an unpaved street for the low housing costs to begin with.

So, these votes to pave are extremely rare; and sidewalk networks are rarely completed by the piecemeal addition of them as the result of new property developments.

In the 1990s, Earl Blumenauer and Charlie Hales pushed through a “Cheap and Skinny Streets Program” that went through and paved narrow streets with one travel lane, one parking lane and one or two sidewalks… I think Charlie may be considering a similar program as a part of a new street maintenance fee; certainly, that would be a good use of those funds. At this point in time, it would seem that the need to complete the sidewalk network should trump any issues of equity involved in having the City not pay for what was originally the property owner’s responsibility… we all benefit from complete sidewalk networks.

But yeah, it’s not at all bike lanes vs. sidewalks. Bike lanes are easy; the occur wholly on City-owned property (streets), and can be accomplished with paint only. Sidewalks are complicated because of the private ownership issue.

Off-street paths are a good solution where the corridor exists, but those opportunities are rare, and limited generally to areas adjacent to freeways, waterways and railroad right-of-ways. Good for regional connections, not so good for intra-neighborhood connectivity (i.e. kids going to/from school).

And bike culture? As far as I can tell, that’s like the county fair. You go (to events) if you want to participate; otherwise, you don’t go. It’s just that simple. Nothing’s being pushed on anybody… certainly not yet. Now, if we want to discuss taxing parking spaces to pay for bicycle infrastructure, THAT might qualify as “pushing”…

Just my $0.02…

are
Guest

“fagan” with an “a.” or you can just cut and paste.

when she talks about a culture being pushed on her constituents, she is describing perceptions, apparently not her own.

her bottom line is getting kids to schools safely on some combination of sidewalks and bike infrastructure. nothing objectionable there. it is certainly the case that what “works” closer to the urban core would not “work” in the same way farther out.

it is the case that at least until recently, most of PBoT’s effort on bike infrastructure has been focused much farther in. so someone sitting out in the hundreds might feel justified in thinking this has not been about them.

any planning to improve the situation should engage the local constituency from the beginning, not be brought in as an accomplished fact (as the french would say).

Dan
Guest
Dan

Two of her points stand out: those in East Portland feel (with some justification) that the rest of Portland could care less about them and that the best way to proceed would be to start at the schools and work out so we can get the kids safely to school.
As recent example of the disconnect with the rest of Portland, the latest edition of Via (the monthly magazine of Portland AAA) had a cover article on East Portland. They “ventured out of the downtown core and RODE THE STREETCAR along SE Grand”. I live in Woodstock with many friends living further east, and I cringe every time I hear about yet ANOTHER project going in downtown, or an expansion of the neighborhood greenway system stretching all the way to Foster Powell. Many in East Portland feel they were snatched up by the City, taxed, and told THEY were responsible for improving their infrastructure up to Portland’s standards. When Portland required the removal of septic systems (common out here) and connection to the city sanitary system, the city provided an inexpensive loan to accomplish that; many would be happy to get sidewalks and paving if the same would be done for that.

Cora Potter
Guest
Cora Potter

I think the key thing Rep. Fagan is trying to hammer home is that East Portland needs local circulation and accessibility in the form of sidewalks and bike facilities. And, the problem is every time the planners show up, they frame the entire project around mobility and long distance travelmoving people out of East Portland to get them to the places “people” want to go – which aren’t actually the places East Portland residents want to go in their own neighborhoods.

The way bike lanes are being implemented in East Portland (Foster Road is a good example of the focus being on bike commuting rather than business district short trips/circulation) aren’t addressing the real needs in East Portland. And it’s not just with bike lanes. The planners/engineers involved with the Streetcar System plan had a really hard time getting their heads around using streetcar for local circulation (what streetcars are good at) in East Portland and kept pushing “Rapid Streetcar” schemes with limited stops and the aim of getting people to the Central City as fast as possible.

TOM
Guest
TOM

I agree with most of what Rep.
Fagan had to say and am happy that she represents us out here. Hopes are that Hales will show us a little more love than Adams did.
SE Main St. from 139th to 148th is flat and straight, the kids use it for a drag/testing strip. I tried to bring it up with Sam and got back an email (wish I’d saved it) to the effect that nobody has ever driven over 35MPH on Main and they have aerial surveillance to prove it. And if I wanted a speed bump… $800 , please. Essentially = Fu*k You, Go Away.

Then they put that joke bike lane on Holgate …maybe somebody has used it, but I’ve never seen it.

I don’t miss sidewalks, but a little attention in return for our property taxes would be nice.

Eastsider
Guest
Eastsider

bikes vs. sidewalks is a FALSE CHOICE!!! building and maintaining our ever expanding system of roads/ sprawl/ businesses for motoring is hundreds of times more expensive every year and cost our society billions in externalized costs. the idea that the bicycle is a symbol of an urban elitist is bullshit. it represents the most efficient, economical and democratic form of transportation on the planet. with many american families now spending 1/3 of their income on buying/financing/insuring/fixing/parking/gassing their car(s), bicycles can absolutely be of great benefit to people of lower income. bicycles are NOT the enemy of sidewalks and don’t let politicians use that rhetoric!! its absurd. and as far as bicycle infrastructure spending being higher in downtown – thats not necessarily true. the actual “downtown” business district sucks for bicycling. however, the close-in neighborhoods have seen a lot of bicycle paint in the last decade. this is because thats where the density is. bicycle infrastructure in outer east portland, which is suburban density, is much more expensive per capita of the people is serves.

Cora Potter
Guest
Cora Potter

BURR – the problem isn’t having bike lanes on Foster. The problem is the engineers are listening to the bike commuters and placing their preferences ahead of the needs of local access users. The result is Foster is probably going to see a bike lane that doesn’t provide the feeling of safety or leisure for concerned users, doesn’t provide ease of access to neighborhood greenways, creates the same situation we currently have on Williams where buses frequently pulling across the bike lane, and is right against a single traffic lane that has to carry thousands of cars per hour. That type of bike lane really only serves daily commute riders that are interested in using Foster as a cut-through alternative to the Center greenway or the Springwater Trail to get downtown.

In order to serve the local businesses along foster, you need a cycle track that provides local access for the long blocks and has safe approaches from the side streets – the bulk of the local users are actually traveling most of the way to Foster on side streets, not on Foster itself. I live on Holgate near Eastport Plaza. When I want to go to Bar Carlo, I don’t ride to Foster and then take Foster all the way to 65th. I take the Center greenway to 65th and then go to Foster. The streets I use to access Foster most frequently are 87th, Raymond to 79th or 72nd, or Center to points west of 72nd. The same holds true for areas South of Foster – you take 1 or 2 streets to the point on Foster you want to access.

Cora Potter
Guest
Cora Potter

There are twice as many named bus lines on Williams, but not twice as much service. The 4 has of frequent service, but the best it does is ramps up to 13 minute intervals during PM peak, with just a couple 10 minute intervals in the AM and PM peak – it’s pretty much 15 minutes at best for the duration of the day. The 14 is 15 minutes or better all day with a lot of 10 minute intervals and gets to 8-9 minute intervals . The 44 has some increase in service at the peak, but runs hourly mid day. I’d do the math, but I’d say there’s marginally more bus service on Williams, but nowhere near double.

Evan
Guest
Evan

If kids (and their parents) don’t think it’s safe for kids to walk to school when they are young, chances are they won’t be walkers when they get older. Or cyclists. And the circle of reliance on the car continues.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Lot’s of non-eastsiders have weighed in – but here my perspective as someone who actually lives on the Eastside (114th & burnside), commutes to work by bicycle (work is in beaverton, I ride to downtown…) and has a child. Burnside is the ONLY east-west route in and out of east portland. All other major arterials have too high of traffic volumes, no bicycle infrastructure and are generally hazardous for riders. My neighborhood (ventura park) has plenty of sidewalks, but if I want to take my son on a ride to anywhere other than the park, forget it. I’m not comfortable as a parent at taking a new rider onto the bikelanes on burnside nor can I take an inexperience rider to any other destination because there is 0 bicycle infrastructure. The neighborhoods are not designed to permit the easy flow of bicycle traffic from one neighborhood to the next – really its a mess. But much could be solved with paint – more could be done with more expensive options. Perhaps Rep. Fagan should talk to some of us that actually bike on the eastside and discuss what is and is not working.

jocko
Guest
jocko

Hey this is great! I live on Bush at around 122nd and I have to say that the neighborhood greenway is a total joke for Pedestrians. No sidewalks and you basically just have to trust that people are just not going to hit you while they try to hit 50mph between speed bumps. I do feel comfortable riding on these streets, but I am a fairly strong rider with many seasons under my backpack straps. For people just getting into riding I imagine these streets would be daunting.

For my tax $$ I would like to see Neighborhood Greenways also have these features:

-20% more speed bumps. People are literally hitting 50mph between the bumps at 120th and 117th on bush.

-At least one side of the street with a continuous side walk.

-More enforcement of the new 20mph rule.

-Education for people who live on the route about driving around people on bikes.

One final gripe! Try and get from 122nd to 82nd anywhere between Holgate and Division with a kid or baby in tow. You will for sure feel scared at at least one point.

TOM
Guest
TOM

a little OT ..
they finished up a PED XING on 122 at the Midland Library about 2 months ago …GREAT !!! , but they never came back and activated the yellow flashing strobe lights. The control buttons just sit there wrapped in yellow tape.
Anybody know when they are going to finish the job ??

Dave
Guest
Dave

And none of these ideas will be worth a damn unless the city/county/state is willing to aggressively CONTROL THE BEHAVIOR OF MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS. Accommodating prey species better is futile without predator control.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I think Rep. Fagan’s comments nailed it on the head pretty well. Her comments could have come from Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City or any number of areas on the outskirts of Portland (if their leaders were only as smart and articulate as she). I’m glad that she understans that what is safe for cyclists is also safe for other modes/road users. That is a point that seems to be missed by many reluctant leaders outside the Portland Bike Bubble.

TOM
Guest
TOM

TOM
a little OT ..
they finished up a PED XING on 122 at the Midland Library about 2 months ago …GREAT !!! , but they never came back and activated the yellow flashing strobe lights. The control buttons just sit there wrapped in yellow tape.
Anybody know when they are going to finish the job ??

Since nobody knew the answer, I emailed PBOT and got an answer and an posting it with their approval:

Hi there,
The only thing we’ve been waiting on is for the electric utility to actually provide power to the beacons. This should be occurring this week. The City works with private utilities to try to expedite things such as this – but we do work on their timelines with their business processes. Sometimes this can present challenges and delays.
I am expecting the pedestrian beacons to be operational this week – though I will let you know if PGE is indicating further delay. At this point they feel that everything should be ready to go.

Thank you,
Kyle

Kyle Chisek
Project Management | Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW Fifth Ave Rm 800 | Portland, OR 97204

TOM
Guest
TOM

Once again, today I’m crossing Division on 205 MUP going South …I turn on the yellow beacon lights and proceed slowly , lane closest to me stops, next lane a guy in big Chevy starts to fly past and then slams on brakes at the last moment , rubber smoke everywhere. Even the automated voice that turns on when you hit the button says “Caution..cars may not stop for pedestrians” ….that’s where we need automated cameras.