The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

PBOT unveils “compromise option” for Foster bike lane connection to 52nd

Posted by on December 19th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Intersection of SE Foster and 54th. A new proposal by PBOT would route
bicycle riders north at this location to use neighborhood streets in order to connect to SE 52nd Ave.
(Google streetview)

At a meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Foster Road Streetscape Plan last night, the Portland Bureau of Transportation rolled out a new proposal for how to connect the new bike lanes planned for Foster Road to the future bikeway planed on SE 52nd Ave.

PBOT’s proposal for Foster Road — to re-allocate lane space and provide six-foot bike lanes — disappointed some who wanted a more robust bike facility, but it has been met with a strong majority of support. In results of a survey (both online and from an open house earlier this month) released today (PDF), PBOT reports that about 78% of 437 respondents said they are “very supportive” or “supportive” of the cross-section.

Only one aspect of the design proposal showed significant disagreement among survey takers: How to connect westbound bicycling traffic to SE 52nd Ave. 52nd is important because it will someday soon have a bike facility as part of the 50s Bikeway route. With the addition of bike lanes on SE Foster, connecting these two major corridors with a dedicated bikeway is a major opportunity. However, as we shared earlier this week, PBOT would have to remove three blocks of on-street auto parking in order to continue the planned westbound bike lane between SE 56th and 52nd. That’s a move they haven’t appeared eager to make.

Initially, they presented two options for how to route bike traffic. “Option A” would have people on bikes zig-zag north three blocks on neighborhood streets to connect with 52nd via SE Rhone. “Option B” would simply continue the Foster Road bike lanes and make a direct connection to 52nd.

Here’s the graphic showing the two options:

Click to enlarge.
(PBOT graphic)

When asked how they felt about the two options, 57% of survey respondents said they want the bike lane to continue, while just 35% chose the zig-zagging option. Here’s the chart from the survey results:

BikePortland reader Brett Holycross was at the SAC meeting last night and said PBOT proposed a new, “compromise option.” The new option keeps the bike lane for about half the remaining distance to 52nd, then routes it north on SE 54th (instead of 56th) up to Rhone to make the connection.

Here’s our graphic of how the new option would look (in green, it’s Option A with one less turn) in relation to the direct option (in red) :

“There is going to be a great new bike facility on Foster for 2 miles, but because the city is afraid to take away some on-street parking, they can’t make it the final 600 feet to what will be the main N-S bike connection in the area.”
— Brett Holycross

Holycross shared that he’s “pretty disappointed” in the compromise option. “It is less of a zig-zag, but it is still missing the point,” he wrote in a comment this morning. “There is going to be a great new bike facility on Foster for 2 miles, but because the city is afraid to take away some on-street parking, they can’t make it the final 600 feet to what will be the main N-S bike connection in the area.” Holycross also feels like most people on bikes won’t follow the suggested route along 54th anyways, so they’ll end up taking the lane and/or the sidewalk — both of which present negative safety and accessibility issues.

PBOT project manager on the Foster Road plans is Mauricio Leclerc. He’s well aware of what happens when you don’t provide a direct bicycling route. In a Portland Tribune article published today he said, “To get around by bike, you want as direct a route as you can. If you don’t do that, at some point bicyclists will do their own thing.” (Note: Leclerc was referring to bikeway designs in general, not the Foster project specifically.)

Another thing the compromise route will give up is easy bicycle access to several businesses between 54th and 52nd (including a bakery, a burger joint, some strip clubs, and food carts).

“Overall it has been a great process and I understand there are compromises that need to be made,” wrote Holycross, “but I think there needs to be a better solution for this area than the one presented last night.”

So far it appears that PBOT hasn’t made a final determination on this last major design question. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can browse the survey results and learn more about the Foster Streetscape Plan on the City’s website.

(As for how connect bike traffic from 52nd eastbound onto the new Foster Rd bike lanes, PBOT will encourage bicycle riders to go south of Foster then merge left onto Center to 56th. This can be seen in the PBOT graphic above.)

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • spare_wheel December 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    i think most cyclists will just go straight leading to an inevitable increase in conflict.

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    • davemess December 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      That’s what I plan on doing! (if and when this thing ever gets built)

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    • Adron @ Transit Sleuth December 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Me too. I’ll just go straight, take the lane and if a conflict approaches… I’ll deal with it then. I’d rather, however, just not deal with a conflict and get where I’m going.

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    • Terry D December 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      That is exactly what I said at the open house. This “compromise” is better, but there will still be conflicts unless it goes straight through.

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      • 9watts December 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm

        The folks building Barbur Blvd in the mid-1930s look forward to creating a wide, gently sloped, direct path into Portland, just as the Red Electric enjoyed previously. But between Hamilton and Abernethy cars are directed to leave Barbur and meander through the neighborhood for a few blocks because there is some really important horse parking that happens to be situated along Barbur Blvd. in those few blocks.

        Forget it, PBOT. Just see this one through.

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  • Alan 1.0 December 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    It might be workable and is arguably an improvement over the present street use, but making bikes go 1.4 times the distance and about twice as many intersections as cars doesn’t really say to me that they are a fully accepted and integrated transpo mode.

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    • dweendaddy December 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      To increase ridership you must make biking faster, easier and cheaper than cars. This does not do that, it just makes it safer than it is now.

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  • AndyC of Linnton December 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Sick of all the compromise and out of the way travel. You will never get ridership numbers up with this tactic.Wasn’t that the goal at some point? Will you have to remove some parking? YEP! If PBOT is unwilling to do that then don’t call this a bike facility, and at least don’t expect the bicycle ridership numbers to increase all that much.
    If I did this route I would probably just take the lane on Foster. I do this a lot on N.Lombard between St.John’s and Portsmouth already because at some points it’s a huge pain in the ass to get back over to the Central/Houghton bike-way/greenway/Safeway/whatever.

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    • Justin December 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot more anger than people are expecting. There’s already anger from drivers that they’ll lose a through travel lane. If the bike facility isn’t good enough to draw cyclists in numbers, the anger will be compounded (for cyclists and drivers alike). Add this stretch of road where cyclists will take the (only) lane, and this whole thing might just boil over.

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      • davemess December 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        How is it out on Holgate? I know there was a big stink with the “Bike lane to nowhere” a year or so ago. Has that area mellowed out?

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    • Alan 1.0 December 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      “out of the way travel”

      Good point. To attract others to riding, people need to see people riding. The more drivers see of riders, the lower the collision rate. Hiding riders on back streets doesn’t accomplish those things.

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    • davemess December 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Actually the reason they don’t have the space to do a bike lane and keep parking in this area is because this is going to be the section where it transitions from 4 to 2 lanes (or 2 to 4 lanes going the other way). So I don’t think it will be the only lane.

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  • davemess December 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    i am just sick of diappearing bike lanes. I should be able to ride in a new neighborhood and trust that bike lane will continue when the road does. I shouldn’t have to be a local that knows all the shortcuts and 18 turns it takes to stay on a more “bike-friendly” road. This is much of the same argument we had when trying to make sure the bike lanes would continue on Foster from SE82nd to 205. Discontinuing bike lanes is just so lame.

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  • Dwayne Dibbly December 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Two blocks down, two more to go.

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  • Hillsons December 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Come on PBOT, who are you trying to impress? ODOT?

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  • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    People actually use the parking in that area, and if the parking were eliminated on the south side of the street there’s no option to park on 52nd around the corner, so the loss of parking would create additional problems with people having to circle or go deep into the residential blocks.

    And…since many of the businesses are adult oriented…having their patrons parking in and walking through the neighborhood could become and issue.

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    • Brett Holycross December 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      I understand the concern, but planning around these adult businesses is planning for the past, not the future (I hope).

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      • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        Way to be sex positive.

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    • resopmok December 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Ultimately, by capitulating to the argument that removing parking is going to hurt businesses, we’re giving PBoT the ammunition they need to continue providing sub-par bike facilities in this city, especially in areas that could really use them, like this section of southeast. The truth of the matter is that probably these businesses will benefit from local customers (and the safety of those ones consuming alcohol – i.e., discourage drunk driving) by providing better bike facilities and reducing access by automobile.

      If we want to let PBoT continue to run rough-shod over alternative transportation, let’s just nod our heads and thank them for whatever table scraps they happen to want to throw our way. After all, who needs good, usable facilities that encourage people to ride their bikes when it is easier to sit back and do nothing and not advocate for what we want?

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    • MaxD December 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      way to be sex-patron positive!:)

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      • Cora Potter December 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        The patrons likely wouldn’t be causing the problem- it would be certain uptight residents not wanting patrons near their houses creating a stink…

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  • Adron @ Transit Sleuth December 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I’m kind of perplexed by PBOTs complexity here. Foster is frikkin’ HUGE. It shouldn’t even be a bike lane, it should be a cycle-track quality endeavor. Get the area some REAL infrastructure.

    The city often, outside of the core, gets a lot of gruff for neglecting east Portland. Well, this is a good area to start NOT neglecting east Portland. Wasn’t that what Hales got elected based on? Paving a bunch of streets (apparently if they need it or not we find) and not neglecting east Portland?

    … :-/

    I ride it now, about once every 2 months I head out for a meet with people I know in the area. We often stay on side streets, avoid Foster AND especially the Foster businesses because of a lack of access. They’d get a lot of benefit if they got their act straight and got behind a better solution. Namely more business, but other benefits too.

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    • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Adron – just to be precise about what areas are East Portland vs areas that are east of the Willamette ….East Portland starts at 82nd. 80% of this project area is not in East Portland. The 20% that is will be getting new (60% of the way to the standard) sidewalks and some crossing improvements to the tune of around $1.6 million, and hopefully some improvements to the bus stop on the NE corner of 82nd and Foster.

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      • davemess December 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        And a safer road for all.
        And bike lanes.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu December 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Has there been a parking audit/survey done of those two blocks, to show that the neighboring streets cannot handle the 10 or 20 cars that might need to find another place to park? I also note that it looks like the whole NE corner of Foster/52nd is a parking lot anyway.

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    • Terry D December 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Isnt that the food cart pod?

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      • davemess December 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        Yes, that google photo is old. Carts on Foster has been there for a couple years now.

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  • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Yes – Mauricio has the details. The NE corner of Foster/52nd is a parking lot that is filled with food carts.

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  • Todd Boulanger December 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I would assume that the block of “skipped” business owners might be some of the biggest supporters of this new bike facility. The following businesses are among those that most cyclists would love to give their money too (and more frequently than car drivers): a bakery, a burger joint, some strip clubs, and food carts.

    Transportation planners know that bakeries, burger joints, strip clubs, and food carts should be thought of as “fuel stations” for cyclists…along with bars and grocery stores to boot. All everyone knows (or have heard) that Portland strip clubs have great happy hour food specials…assuming you do not dally to long…and just eat and run. 😉

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    • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      So the cyclists aren’t capable of getting off their bikes and walking the final 20-150 ft to their destination? They generally have to do that anyway to find a place to lock up.

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      • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        I’m saying this as a person that actually bikes to Foster Burger and the Slingshot and other places in this area. It won’t stop me from going there.

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      • Todd Boulanger December 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        Yes you are correct….But the real point is this is a traffic safety project, and the storage of private vehicles in the public right of way is not a guaranteed rite in most municipal codes. And there is either an adjoining parking lot of one business and rear street parking for others plus some rear door access to these buildings.

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        • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 6:20 am

          Todd, your bike is a private vehicle. If we’re being mode agnostic, to support your statement we would need to stop facilitating bike parking as well.

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          • Alex Reed December 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

            Cora, I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. The difference is that providing bike parking (ideally) doesn’t take much of value away from anyone else (e.g. pedestrians), while maintaining car parking in this area does take away the possibility of a through facility for bikes with a minimum of turns. A facility with fewer turns is more convenient, easier to use, and less likely to get people confused when traveling by bike.

            So Todd is noting that moving people via bike is a higher priority in his mind than storing private motor vehicles and therefore favors continuing the bike lanes through to 52nd at least. Some may disagree with his prioritization. Personally, I agree with him.

            In most cases where the City provides bike parking, it does not get substantially in the way of other modes of transportation. Therefore, in those cases, I don’t think the analogy applies and I see the City as justified in putting in bike parking.

            In cases where bike parking narrows or would narrow the sidewalk to the point of pedestrian congestion or makes wheelchair access difficult, I think your analogy is apt. I would support removing or relocating any such bike parking that currently exists. And, I would not support adding any bike parking that degrades the pedestrian environment below acceptable levels.

            I think the underlying disagreement is that you see a bike detour on side streets as perfectly acceptable and others do not. I use side streets almost exclusively myself and probably won’t even use the Foster bike lane much (I’m terrified of being doored, having had a very close call).

            But I think that the City should to some extent value people wanting to get from point A to point B more quickly by bike than is safely possible via side streets. (Side streets are slower because of less-controlled intersections, lower pavement quality, “jogs” at some intersections, and the lack of priority when crossing streets that have more motor vehicle traffic). Also I think the City should value making its bike facilities have as few turns as possible so that people other than experienced greenway users like you and me can get around by bike and get lost less often than they do now.

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            • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

              Actually – where there is a bike staple, a hydraulic lift can not be deployed. So, they do get in the way of some people when there’s no nearby alternate parking spot.

              But – I was saying “if we’re being mode agnostic” …and if the problem is the storage of private property in the right of way, then privately owned bikes are indeed private property.

              I think the other issue is assuming that parking lanes function only for storage. They also provide ROW for transit operations, as well as pick-up drop-off situations in other vehicles/private vehicles, as well as loading areas for commercial (restaurants get lots of deliveries)…etc.

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      • Todd Boulanger December 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        And the other frustrating part of this design change is that this type of routing increases the distance a bicycle must travel by 30% to 40% and more importantly it also increases the number of locations of potential vehicle to bike conflicts (there are more intersections and driveways on the compromise route; 28 vs. 8 estimated points of conflict)…unless the new plan mitigates them.

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        • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          They’re already looking at the stop sign orientation and facilitating the turns at 52nd (which will also help the 52nd bikeway too).

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        • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 6:29 am

          Percentages can be misleading when applied to short distances. The points of conflict are also pre-mitigated by the huge difference between the number of car trips on Foster in this section (25,000) vs the number on 54th/Rhone, and the difference in parking utilization and number if trips generated by the business/homes associated with the driveways. Not all driveways are equal. (An Xuyen which is a take out sandwich shop vs. a residential house that generates 2-8 trips per day).

          Add turning the stop sign orientation at Rhone, and the potential for an actual incident of conflict is significantly less.

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      • davemess December 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        “So the cyclists aren’t capable of getting off their bikes and walking the final 20-150 ft to their destination?”

        Cora, one could say the same thing about car parking.

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        • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

          Okay – next time you see someone trying to get from their car to a store using a walker, you be sure to suggest to them that they are perfectly capable of parking three blocks away and walking.

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          • davemess December 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm

            There are handicapped cyclists out there as well.

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            • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

              The polite term is “people with disabilities”. Handicapped is considered rude.

              And, even with the compromise, a person who is disabled and using a bicycle would be able to get as close to the proposed businesses as a car could today. If the parking is removed (particularly on the south side) the nearest on street parking for a person with a disability who is using an auto would be two blocks away.

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          • Alex Reed December 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

            Where parking is removed for a bike lane, I’d support putting lots of dedicated disabled parking on the side streets very close to the destinations. For disabled folks who drive their own motor vehicles to their destinations, their walk every time they go (a block?) would not be very much longer than their minimum walk now. AND, they would pretty much *know* that they’re going to get a spot close to their destination versus currently the spots nearby might be parked up and they might have to walk multiple blocks to their destination. Could be a win-win?

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          • 9watts December 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm

            “Okay – next time you see someone trying to get from their car to a store using a walker, you be sure to suggest to them that they are perfectly capable of parking three blocks away and walking.”

            Cora, please! Your examples–the ones you marshall to rescue the beleaguered car-bound from a fate worse than bicycling–are becoming increasingly fanciful. Can we please keep the larger issue in focus here?

            We can all of us think of minorities whose transportation choices are not only limited but thwarted by past and current transportation planning, priorities, oversights, etc. It is good, even important, to keep them in mind, and try to include their perspective when considering changes. But your examples *always* are constructed in such a way as to malign the people who bike, who might bike, who haven’t gotten much of a chance to bike–their entire lives–because of shitty cars-only infrastructure just like Foster is and has been for generations. Why?! What is it about people biking, people who’d like to bike, that motivates this antipathy from you?

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            • Alex Reed December 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

              9watts, I’m pretty sure that Cora has no antipathy to biking. It’s one of her main ways of getting around. She’s just trying to do her job as a neighborhood rep on the committee. She’s supposed to think of other people and the needs they have. Sure, she’s doing it differently and valuing some needs differently than I might, but I definitely don’t question her good will or firm commitment to the greater good.

              I think sound arguments and respectful engagement with Cora are both more appropriate and more likely to cause her to see your side of the coin than theorizing about her nonexistent antipathy towards biking.

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              • 9watts December 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

                “I’m pretty sure that Cora has no antipathy to biking.”

                From readings hundreds of her comments here I get the feeling that her antipathy is not to biking as such, but to allowing any infrastructure that specifically accommodates people who (might) bike, who do not fit her young, able-bodied, they-can-just-take-the-long-way-around-like-I-do stereotype. She can’t seem to allow that those people who now bike or who might bike if the infrastructure weren’t so inhospitable have just as much right to a safe, direct, even pleasant, route to where they want to go as anyone else, also pay taxes, and are sometimes inconvenienced like the people she’s always watching out for, who drive–or perhaps have historically been inconvenienced even more(!) When pressed, she falls back on how few of them there are, compared to the many who drive. Like this imbalance doesn’t have a history; like bike infrastructure is a perk, a favor, a discretionary thing that should only happen if the chicken (better thousands of chickens) was (were) there before the egg.

                I much prefer constructive engagement so appreciate your criticism.

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              • Alex Reed December 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

                9watts, I agree with your assessment of the areas Cora seems to not see or not think are important relative to what you or I place a lot of emphasis on (e.g. accessibility of the city to new people biking, starting to rebalance the allocation of street space towards active transportation versus motor vehicle travel, giving people another biking option than slow side streets with no destinations directly on them). But I think you should focus on giving another perspective highlighting the things Cora doesn’t see or doesn’t emphasize rather than accusing Cora of bias.

                I’m pretty sure that while Cora may seem simply biased in favor of the status quo to you, it’s more complicated than that. She takes any damage to her neighborhood residents or disadvantaged populations very seriously. I think she sees transportation options that disadvantaged people currently have getting taken away as more real/less theoretical/more important than righting current imbalances of mode against mode.

                I happen to disagree with that and think that we should strive to get our transportation infrastructure to the best it can be, with little to no extra weight given to the way it currently is. But I understand the other perspective. It can be hard to think that theoretical impacts on theoretical people who might choose to bike or walk or take the bus in the future are important versus known impacts on people who currently drive.

                Convincing Cora and others like her that these benefits to theoretical peopple are important, that the people who do walk/bike/transit or will in the future may well be disadvantaged groups, that people who currently drive will in almost all cases adapt all right to proposed changes – that seems to me like a better way for you to spend your time and energy. Just my perspective. Thanks for taking my original comment positively and engaging in dialogue.

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              • 9watts December 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

                No, thank you, Alex Reed. I appreciate your taking the time to shed a bit more nuanced light on this than I was getting from her comments. I didn’t start out frustrated with her perspective, but, well, never mind.

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              • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 6:34 am

                You might actually have an easy time understanding my perspective if you spent some time voluteering at the organization where I spend my days helping people get around this city by all modes.

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              • 9watts December 21, 2013 at 7:22 am

                “helping people get around this city by all modes”

                Interesting. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about that? What you encounter day-to-day? What lessons your work has for us/for this issue?

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              • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 7:29 am

                As I said- you should come volunteer and learn for yourself first hand.

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              • Alex Reed December 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

                Cora, thanking for pointing out what I didn’t in my comment – that another thing that is valuable for 9watts and myself to spend our time and energy doing (in addition to giving you our perspectives) is to truly hear and learn from your perspective. I know you’ve noted it elsewhere on the Web, but what is the agency that you work for?

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              • 9watts December 21, 2013 at 8:49 am

                I don’t know…. The two things I’m getting out of this from Cora are
                – the streets are a fight over turf. We can’t let the ‘bikers’ have another square inch because my constituents will lose that same square inch. I’m not inspired by that kind of zero-sum thinking. As Alex and many others have put it well, there are win-win opportunities all over the place. Slowing down and/or reducing car traffic benefits everyone, including Cora’s constituents. Speed–much less driving alone–is not a right. An entitlement to speed is one of the best ways of fostering inequality.*
                – she refuses to answer my questions about her work, explain what is involved, or what this organization she works for does – but I should volunteer there. Why so coy?

                *”The habitual passenger is conscious of the exasperating time scarcity that results from daily recourse to the cars, trains, buses, subways, and elevators that force him to cover an average of twenty miles each day, frequently criss-crossing his path within a radius of less than five miles. He has been lifted off his feet. No matter if he goes by subway or jet plane, he feels slower and poorer than someone else and resents the shortcuts taken by the privileged few who can escape the frustrations of traffic. If he is cramped by the timetable of his commuter train, he dreams of a car. If he drives, exhausted by the rush hour, he envies the speed capitalist who drives against the traffic. The habitual passenger is caught at the wrong end of growing inequality, time scarcity, and personal impotence, but he can see no way out of this bind except to demand more of the same: more traffic by transport. He stands in wait for technical changes in the design of vehicles, roads, and schedules; or else he expects a revolution to produce mass rapid transport under public control. In neither case does he calculate the price of being hauled into a better future. He forgets that he is the one who will pay the bill, either in fares or in taxes. He overlooks the hidden costs of replacing private cars with equally rapid public transport. […] It is vital that he come to see that the acceleration he demands is self-defeating, and that it must result in a further decline of equity, leisure, and autonomy.”


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              • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 8:58 am

                I prefer not to directly state it on blogs- particularly where there is vitriol. I’m not speaking for my employer here, just from experience. But if either of you are interested in learning more about a very large, important and overlooked aspect of the complete transportation system (for 1-104) feel free to contact me at my email address.

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  • Charley December 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    You know it’s a bad cycling facility when most people say they don’t like it and won’t use it. PBOT shouldn’t be in the business of making bad cycling facilities.

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  • Todd Boulanger December 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    One streetscape outcome that we discovered over 12 years in doing road diets/ complete streets on narrow arterials was that removing a parking lane for a bike lane opened up the visibility of the adjoining businesses to motor vehicle pass by traffic. Often these businesses have narrower store fronts and do not have the budget/ or legal savvy to have a large on-site advertising sign.

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  • Charley December 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    This compromise would be yet more development aimed at me: a strong and fearless rider- I’d just take the lane for two blocks, and risk the honks and tailgating. Where it fails is in attracting a full 8-80 spread of riders. If they don’t have a map or aren’t in our little cycling information bubble, they’ll likely not realize the intent of this out of the way detour. Fail again. Lose the parking places and make the road for optimal for safe travel, not for private property storage.

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  • was carless December 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Blah blah protect parking blah blah can’t have bike lanes on a busy street blah blah can’t interfere with the hallowed automobile blah blah.

    We are seriously going to half-ass a bike lane for some porn shops?? Really?!

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  • Garlynn December 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I think there’s a disconnect at PBOT between the new leadership (Leah Treat) and the project management team. Leah Treat has said in public that she feels that cycle tracks represent not just the gold standard, but the only baseline level of bicycle facility that would provide a level of safety sufficient for her to want to bring her kids on bikes with her. So, if we want to serve 8-80 bicyclists, we need to be installing cycle tracks on our arterials, not just bike lanes — and certainly not sharrows, or hide-and-go-seek bike lanes that vanish a few blocks short of their destination!

    Speaking of which… I get that 52 will be the bike route… but shouldn’t this bike facility continue down to 50th, and provide a way for bicyclists to cross Powell there, too? I feel like stopping at 52nd is ALREADY a compromise from 50th. Enough is enough already.

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    • davemess December 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      50th doesn’t go south of Powell. 52nd is a straight through connection, and definitely more of the main street. I’ve always viewed 50th as geared more towards cars and 52nd as being more less trafficked (probably the speed humps after division give me this idea), and better for bikes.

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      • Alex Reed December 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        I have to disagree. 50th is more of the main street north of Division. 52nd is completely residential in character in that area.

        Certainly south of Foster, 52nd is the only thing approaching a main street. But north of Division, 50th is the clear winner in my mind.

        Not saying bike facilities *must* go on 50th N of Division. But there are many more destinations there so there will be bike traffic on 50th in that area regardless.

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        • davemess December 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

          I don’t think I’m making myself clear. I was saying I have viewed 52nd as less of an arterial (mainly for cars) North of Powell, but much more of one south of Powell/Foster.
          Thus I’m not sure how valuable making good bike access to 50th from Foster would be.

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          • Panda December 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

            The bike facilities on Foster should directly tie into 50th AND Powell because Powell is a big important street that people need to get to. It is so simple, how can PBOT screw this up so badly?!

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  • Terry D December 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    PBOT does not want to touch parking removal. I have recently been elected as transportation co-chair of the North Tabor neighborhood association. As such, I have sent out numerous requests for data from Pbot. If you want parking removed, for any reason, it needs to come from the local neighborhood or else they will play dodgeball. You need to PROVE to them that that is the locally preferred option. Survey results like this do help push them, but they really need to be pushed.

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    • paikikala December 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      If the stumbling block is commercial parking loss, why not mitigate it? The right of way on 54th, Bush to Foster, looks like it might be 50 feet. Change it into a single sidewalk and angle parking with a center drive aisle. Bolder still would be to use the public right of way for a public parking structure.

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      • Terry D December 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        Parking structures are terribly expensive and would never pencil out financially. I am all for removing parking in this case though as there always seems to be plenty of parking on Foster down the street. Walking a few blocks to get to the strip club or bar is not a tragedy. Once the 50’s bikeway gets built (as transportation contact for North Tabor I should be one of the first to know the status outside once there is a status change) then number of cyclist will skyrocket. That food cart pod is absolutely needed there and is a great amenity in that area.

        This all being said, this two block gap is not a deal breaker as it is only adding a short distance for those heading northbound and you get to by-pass the light at 52nd. It still also gets you to the food cart pod the back way. It may not be the shortest distance, but with some traffic calming/ making sure the traffic volumes stay low and there is no auto diversion to avoid the light this could work fine….with ROBUST signage. PBOT is terrible at bikeway signage.

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  • resopmok December 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    It’s pretty disingenuous to offer two bad compromises, then say that because people chose more of one over the other that it must be liked. Direct bike lane connections from 52nd to Foster are part of making this new facility accessible, and without them, PBoT will have installed yet another sub-par facility in this city. They have already eschewed something more serious in this area by putting a bike lane next to parallel parking (hello more door zones!), and now they don’t even have to courtesy to make a complete facility. This is why ridership numbers have fallen flat, because PBoT’s attitude towards planning for bikes has fallen flat on its face.

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  • gutterbunnybikes December 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    So we keep a couple parking spots on Foster and trade it for traffic back up on 52 (possibily interfering with Powell) as south bound left turning cyclists block traffic while making left turns onto Rhone (the bike path).

    It’s not as if the patrons of the porn shop and Devils Point only park on Foster right now anyway. I suspect most currently park on the side streets as it stands now.

    Why not offer the lot that the carts are on (sorry cart guys) as parking lot for those businesses. Instead. The lot would be a cheap purchase (sinse it’s empty I believe) and they could make it pay and park and offer a nice spot for a bike share station as well.

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    • Cora Potter December 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Really – you think displacing 10 needed and appreciated small businesses is okay if it helps maybe a hundred very able bodied people from the horror of having to ride 1/10th of a mile on side streets to get to the other street they were going to have to turn onto anyway?

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      • Alan 1.0 December 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        Or would it improve the distribution of a few easily-mobile trailers and vans in order to provide straight-forward, safe, continuous bike routes suitable for more diverse riders so that those hundreds turn into thousands who benefit from both bike lanes and better distribution of food services?

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        • 9watts December 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

          Cora manages to overlook the dynamic aspect of this kind of infrastructure every time. She also enjoys taking a(nother) swipe at the caricature of the people she thinks bike (what’s with the able-bodied epithet anyway? You think Brian Willson, who lives not so many blocks from the area we’re talking about, and bikes everywhere on his handcycle, and is 72 is also able-bodied?)

          Note how the people who drive and who she is certain will be displaced, inconvenienced, overlooked, are disabled–or at least she says this when challenged–but the people who (she thinks) bike–and should just suck it up and take the long way around–are able-bodied.

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      • John Liu
        John Liu December 20, 2013 at 6:32 am

        These are food carts. Mobile, temporary, quick-serve food sellers. They can set up in a new lot, probably have only short-term leases of their footprint as it is. Moving them is only a step above telling a food truck parked at the curb to start up and park around the corner. There are plenty of under-used lots in a 1/4 mile radius where another food cart pod can form.

        We are talking about a multi-million dollar road infrastructure project, that will probably be the last time the city touches this part of Foster Road for the next decade. It should be done right. Displacing a dozen food carts is nearly irrelevant to this sort of planning decision. As is displacing 10 or 20 street parking spaces which are likely quite underutilized (no-one has a parking survey/audit?) and could move to the corner lot or side streets.

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  • GlowBoy December 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    No, PBOT. Sending cyclists blocks out of their way is wrong. Do it right.

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  • Michael Miller December 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I’d like to see specific rationale (from PBOT) for why eastbound Foster can’t decrease from two lanes to one right after Bush, instead of right before 56th. That would allow parking along a portion of the 52nd/54th block and the entire 54th/56th block.

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    • Terry D December 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      I asked them this question. One engineer blamed it on Powell, an ODOT facility. There is too much risk of back up with 50th/ Powell being right there.

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  • eli bishop December 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I thought the “compromise” was stopping it at 52nd instead of going all the way to Powell. Why do we keep losing ground?

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  • Jonathan Gordon December 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    It would seem that turning the stop sign at SE 54th and Rhone will go a long way toward making this feel like a compromise. Otherwise you’re asking bikes to make two additional stops (54th/Rhone and 52nd/Rhone) as well as taking on more distance, however minor.

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    • Cora Potter December 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

      It really only would be one additional stop, as they would have to stop at 52nd and Foster if they did not have the light anyway. But the point about the stop sign at 54th and Rhone was brought up at the committee meeting and has been noted and will be looked at while they’re drafting the final plan.

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      • Terry D December 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

        I dont have the 50’s bikeway enginneering specs in front of me, but I believe that access to 52nd is limited to autos at Rhone. If northbound access is also blocked northbound from 54th, then the few blocks would be local low volume traffic mostly. Local residents could acess from 56th or Holgate.

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        • Brett Holycross December 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

          I’m pretty sure they will not be limiting northbound access on 54th… possibly some traffic calming measures, if anything. If they turn the stop signs at 54th and Rhone, it will encourage cut-through traffic between Foster and Powell, which already is happening with the N/S stop sign in place.

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        • Terry D December 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

          Actually meant Powell not Holgate, but for this to work properly a north bound diverter would be the best choice. If locals are not willing to gi9ve up parking, then they need to give up some access. Projects like this are a give and take….the lack of conductivity of the bike lane is a take, replacing it with a “bad give” will not work. That corner needs to be blocked from cut-throughs when the traffic is backed up at the traffic light eastbound at 52nd/ Foster.

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  • Cora Potter December 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    54th doesn’t connect straight through to Powell, there’s one of those odd parking areas that makes you divert 1/2 block east to in order to turn onto Powell, and the drive lane in the parking area is one-way eastbound. That, coupled with the center median on Powell makes cutting through northbound in order to continue west on Powell not very convenient.

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    • Brett Holycross December 21, 2013 at 8:18 am

      The center median on Powell does not prevent this turn west onto Powell… It does not exist at that spot. Drivers already use it as a cut-through.

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      • Cora Potter December 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

        I didn’t say it prevented turns- but it is there (just not blocking the intersection) and it does make it less direct.

        My partner also “cuts through” to franklin on 54th every day. He’s also a daily bike commuter.

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  • spare_wheel December 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    it’s going to be pure schadenfreude to see cyclists completely ignore pbot’s “compromise”. i have a feeling the new improved foster is going to become a real cycling success story. direct and efficient diagonal routes are…direct and efficient.

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  • Todd Boulanger December 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    …and this blog discussion got me thinking back to all the other arterial projects and public meetings I have attended over 20 years…and I realized that the word “compromise” rarely is used in speaking about rational for adopting proposed motor vehicle lane configuration on arterial streets (or a lot less than it is used in bike projects).

    Usually its a “money thing” that keeps an American MV project from doing “all that it can do”…to remove parking…trees…buildings…etc. and not the need to “compromise”.

    Perhaps someone who studies psychology can speak to the prevalent use of the word “compromise” especially by those in positions of power and to those who may be a [modal] minority…and a vulnerable one at that.

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  • Alex December 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    As someone that lives on Francis St between 52nd and 54th, I can tell you that the porn patrons like to park off foster, on Francis. I see it all day and night. I told this to Mauricio at the big meeting a few weeks ago and he seemed surprised to hear that. Same for the decorate shop, a lot of folks park off foster already. I check the parking status on foster regularly and it’s usually empty on the south side. Remove the parking, it’s a ridiculously large road to not have a bike lane on it and very short sighted to not have an obvious connection to 52nd. The side walk is huge in this area too, a lot of bikes already use it- cycle track on the sidewalk from 54th to 52nd?

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  • Alan 1.0 December 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

    In Groningen, my friend’s Oma has just recently had to give up riding due to progressing dementia. She’s in her mid-80s. Her husband still rides daily on errands. He’s five years her senior. He is not unique in that city.

    It’s a tragic irony in our cities that if we all lived our lives with more physical activity, especially aerobic exertion for transportation, we would have far less need of special transportation services and accommodations, and many more people could live independently for much longer. I have every desire to help today’s seniors access as much of the city as they can but I’d like to look for solutions which don’t perpetuate their circumstances on future generations in a vicious cycle which has those undesirable results.

    I think that a complete network of safe, direct, contiguous, non-circuitous and easy-to-navigate bicycle routes (and yes, pedestrians, too) needs to be a primary and fundamental component of such a cultural change, and that while accommodations for differently-abled people including seniors must be included, that those accessability solutions be considered the overlays and the special cases, not the primary and fundamental bases of the plan.

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    • 9watts December 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Well said!
      You and Ivan Illich.
      Most of the problem stems from having given so much of our space, our agency, our money to the automobile. What you’re outlining represents an end-run around most of what presents itself as the problem to us here and now.

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    • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

      I happen to agree with this Alan, but we also have to keep in mind that we have a very large generation that is graying quickly and is geographically, culturally and physically (to some degree although they like to think they’re invincible) dependent on auto travel. Temporally, we are out of time for a major lifestyle shift among enough of their population to avoid having to provide the type of transportation that essentially prolongs either their personal automobile use, or their use of automobiles as passengers.

      And, there are physical conditions that come with aging that are incompatible with bike use and can not be avoided with aerobic activity – things like macular degeneration. In these cases, you could compenstate by ensuring things are accessible on a pedestrian scale or via transit, but that’s an even larger and more expensive geographic and cultural shift when you have whole cities that have grown around the idea of longer distance mobility.

      So, we’re stuck with an incremental approach where we can hopefully balance access and mobility for people who will be either auto or transit dependent with more active forms of transportation for younger generations. I’m just asking folks to be aware that when we eliminate accessibility for disadvantaged populations in the process of providing mobility for bikes, we’re actually making some of the same cultural mistakes we made when developing autocentric roads and long distance mobility focused transit.

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      • Bill Walters December 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

        Let us hope for all our sakes that macular degeneration is deemed incompatible with driving as well.

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      • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

        “there are physical conditions that come with aging that are incompatible with bike use”

        You have a habit of inflating the outliers, implying that their experience usefully condenses a whole generation’s. Advancing age and bicycling are not, on balance, physically incompatible, though among certain social classes they may appear to be culturally incompatible. I already mentioned Brian Willson, who is an admitted outlier, but if he can bicycle tens of thousands of miles without legs, in all weather, be run over by a distracted SUV driver at age 72, and keep going, I dare say most boomers could, if they put their minds to it.

        “when we eliminate accessibility for disadvantaged populations in the process of providing mobility for bikes, we’re actually making some of the same cultural mistakes we made when developing autocentric roads and long distance mobility focused transit.”

        I’m still trying to understand what this means in practice, on the ground. Are you talking about the loss of proximate parking spots for disabled drivers? If so, this is surely no reason to hold up the whole effort. As several folks have suggested here in this thread, these can be included, even improved on. But instead of leaving us to speculate what you mean by eliminate accessibility for disadvantaged populations why don’t you give us a list, a thumbnail sketch, so we know what we’re talking about?

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        • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

          Perhaps, do a little research before you proclaim that conditions are “outliers’.

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          • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

            I have no doubt that you know much more about people with macular degeneration than I do, but the first sentence of the page you linked to suggests–not that bicycling–but that driving is a problem for people suffering from this condition.

            from your link:
            “Age-related macular degeneration is an irreversible destruction of the macula (the central area of the eye’s retina), which leads to loss of the sharp, fine-detail, “straight ahead” vision required for activities like reading, driving, recognizing faces, and seeing the world in color.”

            Like with so many other qualities of being human, it is the demands of driving that are found to be incompatible.

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            • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 11:53 am

              And they are equally incompatible with biking. In the case of someone with macular degeneration that is advanced enough that they can not drive, they would also not be able to bike. That is EASILY inferred from the description of the conditions that lead to loss of ability to drive.

              This limits a person with macular degeneration to traveling on foot, or as a passenger on transit or in a private auto. (the transit and even on foot without an escort/assistant can be questionable as most people who have age related vision loss have a difficult time developing the skill set needed for navigation as a low/no sight person who lost their sight when they were young).

              What you seem to be missing is that people who are actually auto dependent aren’t all drivers. They are most frequently passengers.

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              • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

                “What you seem to be missing is that people who are actually auto dependent aren’t all drivers. They are most frequently passengers.”

                I’m actually quite familiar with this; I’m also a passenger more frequently than a driver. What you may be missing is that being a (frequent) auto-passenger is not the same thing as being auto-dependent. The dependence, so-called, is surely to a substantial degree a function of the modal imbalance rather than any special qualities of the car.

                But I have to say that this interesting side trip into age-related transportation challenges doesn’t seem to me to have much bearing on the specifics of proposed, incremental, bike infrastructure along Foster. I’m still puzzling over why you think that incremental bike infrastructure gains necessarily or automatically take away from the mobility of your constituents? Have you looked at how well or poorly boomers in, say, the Netherlands or Germany or the U.K. get around? My guess would be a whole lot better, in a more diverse manner, and with fewer dependencies, than they do in Foster-Powell.

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              • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

                “macular degeneration that is advanced enough that they can not drive, they would also not be able to bike.”

                I find that hard to believe. The requirements of an alert driver, by virtue of the greater speeds and the insular nature of being enclosed and unable to rely on other sense, *have* to be markedly higher.

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              • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm
              • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

                And you’re welcome to purchase one of those and then volunteer to take folks around in it- I would even facilitate that happening.

                But, it’s not enough to meet total demand for trips, and for time/distance/weather considerations,the number of trips it would work for are limited.

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      • 9watts December 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

        “Temporally, we are out of time for a major lifestyle shift among enough of their population to avoid having to provide the type of transportation that essentially prolongs either their personal automobile use, or their use of automobiles as passengers.”

        This is to me a fascinating bit of analysis. Thank you.

        This is exactly the kind of dependency (thinking) Ivan Illich was describing nearly forty years ago. It doesn’t have to be this way. The notion that boomers are doomed to either drive or be driven everywhere, though perhaps pervasive, is hardly the last word on the subject.

        Why not turn this around, from focusing on how dependent we all are to asking members of this generation who do not use cars, own cars, how they get around, what challenges and joys they experience when going about their lives? My guess is that we know very little indeed about the experiences of carfree boomers. This ignorance is not helping us figure out how to help those who remain dependent on their cars or their friends’ cars shed that dependence.

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        • Cora Potter December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

          And, that is what my job is…I do it every day. The unfortunate side effect is I also have to frequently go through the process of having the polly-anna if everyone/you could have a perfect life…and then work through talking with people about their actual lives…and then move to the how do we cope with your barriers and help you remain a member of society and avoid isolation. Some of those people I talk to are transitioning from driving – some are already low-car/no-car and transitioning to a life where they need to ask for help…and there’s an infinite number of permutations of transportation system use in between that has to be looked at on a trip-by-trip basis with hundreds of factors…

          It’s a traveling salesman quantitative and qualitative and analysis activity, not a simple binary function.

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      • 9watts December 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Some more good info on the why and how of older folks biking/not biking in other countries –

        … cycling accounts for only 1 per cent of all journeys amongst people aged 65 and older in the UK compared to 23 per cent in the Netherlands, 15 per cent in Denmark and 9 per cent in Germany?
        from here:
        cycle BOOM is a study to understand cycling amongst the older population and how this affects independence, health and wellbeing. The ultimate aim is to advise policy makers and practitioners (e.g. planners, architects, engineers and designers) how our environment and technology can be designed to help people to continue to cycle in older age or to reconnect with cycling.

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        • Cora Potter December 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

          The key phrase is “continue to cycle”. Our boomer population, for the most part, does not and will not cycle for transportation purposes.

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          • 9watts December 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

            “Our boomer population, for the most part, does not and will not cycle for transportation purposes.”

            Oh, really? And you know this how?

            In a documentary on Cuba’s Special Period: The Power of Community some folks are interviewed saying much the same thing: “Bicycling? That’s not for us! We Cubans drive cars,” or words to that effect. But wouldn’t you know, when the Soviet oil dried up, they discovered that in fact they could bike to a degree few of them would have fathomed. I’ll grant you that it may be a long row to hoe to inspire US boomers, who have no or little experience with it, to take up bicycling, but to write off the entire effort before we even try or have grasped where things are headed, seems defeatist and not very imaginative. I know boomers in Portland and beyond who are eager to make a go of it, who are at various stages of giving the bike serious consideration. They can use all the encouragement and infrastructural assistance they can get.

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            • Dwaine Dibbly December 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

              The boomers were responsible for the 1970s bike boom. Most of us may not have ridden in years but we did when we were younger, particularly during college years.

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  • 9watts December 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “a very large, important and overlooked aspect of the complete transportation system (for 1-104)”

    Let’s have it. No need to out anyone, just say it already.

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    • Terry D December 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

      You must mean eleventy-one …Must not forget the Hobbits!!

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