Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Neighborhood group will gather support for Burnside road diet near Mt. Tabor

Posted by on April 2nd, 2014 at 10:07 am

Renderings created with Streetmix by BikePortland (top) and Terry Dublinski (bottom).

A neighborhood transportation activist backed by the North Tabor Neighborhood Association is looking for volunteers to help him research the effects of adding buffered or parking-protected bike lanes on Burnside.

“If it gets high-quality bike lanes, Burnside is the street that has most uptick of single-occupancy [vehicles] moving to bikes.”
— Terry Dublinksi, co-chair of North Tabor Neighborhood Association transportation committee

“Burnside, in the Metro active transportation plan, is the high-end bicycle parkway connector between East Portland and downtown,” Terry Dublinski, co-chair of North Tabor’s transportation committee, said at a meeting Tuesday night. If it gets high-quality bike lanes, Dublinski said, “Burnside is the street that has most uptick of single-occupancy moving to bikes. Glisan has all those onramps, and Stark and Belmont are too steep.”

A recent city lunch-and-learn presentation on those Metro findings inspired Dublinski, who lives on Burnside, to start gathering local support for a general restriping of Burnside that he says would also calm traffic near Mount Tabor Middle School and greatly improve Burnside crossings for people heading to Mount Tabor on bike or foot.

In the short term, he’s already gotten tentative city support for new bike lanes between 71st and 68th avenue. But Dublinski also hopes to make the case for bike lanes west to 48th, replacing “pro-tem” parking lanes that are sometimes used for parking and sometimes for travel. In the long run, he hopes to find a way to reduce traffic at the intersection of 47th and Burnside so the lanes can continue west to 41st.

Dublinski says people rarely use the “pro-tem” auto parking today, in part because speeds on Burnside are so high and off-peak traffic volumes are relatively low.

“Most of the time, all four lanes are open, so people just speed down the mountain,” Dublinski said. He’s already gotten signatures from nine of 10 people on his own Burnside-facing block, saying they’d be willing to forfeit auto parking on Burnside in exchange for safety improvements, and hopes to gather more.

Dublinski also says narrowing the auto travel zone will lower the cost of a controlled crossing at 57th Avenue.

“Without a crossing at 57th, Mount Tabor middle School is currently too dangerous for school children to safely access,” Dublinski writes in a memo describing his proposal. “Mount Tabor Park is a regional asset that should have safe access from every direction.”

The North Tabor Neighborhood Association unanimously endorsed buffered bike lanes on Burnside as part of its response letter to the city’s comprehensive plan.

With their blessing, Dublinski is forming a new working group called CURBS (“Citizens United Rebuilding Burnside Safely”). Its first meeting is Thursday, April 17, 7 p.m. at Laurelhurst Cafe, 47th and Burnside. The first order of business, he says, will probably be to gather hard data on the current demand for auto parking.

“I’m going to ride up and down the street taking parking counts at random times of day — hopefully I can get some volunteers,” Dublinski said. “I’m also slowly going door to door and knocking on each of these doors, trying to get support.”

Here are a few more renderings by Dublinski of possibilities for an East Burnside redesign, prepared using Streetmix.net.

Dublinski knows it’d take money to make these changes. That’s why he wants to gather the supporting data now.

“We’ll have a plan in hand in a few years when they have to grind down Burnside and repave,” Dublinski said. “If they really want to prioritize it, we could get this done in 2016 or 2017.”

To contact Dublinski, write terry.dublinski@gmail.com.

Correction 3:30 pm: A previous version of this post incorrectly summarized the position of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association. That group endorsed the general principles of a North Tabor letter to the city without commenting on its “detailed recommendations” such as buffered bike lanes on Burnside.

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

79
Leave a Reply

avatar
18 Comment threads
61 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
jamesPaul Turnerspare_wheelJulie TonroyStevie Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Cora Potter
Guest
Cora Potter

Typical – their ability to think about the street as a cohesive corridor ends well west of 82nd.

At least in this case Burnside already has bike lanes and MAX in East Portland – albeit pretty crappy bike lanes.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Extend the road diet to 69th. Please! People drive like Evil Knieval on the approach to Gilham, and a lot of people blow that intersection like they’re in an episode of The Dukes Of Hazzard.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Cora,
this person is a neighborhood activist working to make changes in his neighborhood! If you live east of 82nd and want improvements, maybe you should be working towards that. I will grant that the City does a pretty poor job of building their bike network and they are notorious for leaving glaring gaps (ie west end of Going, the proposed southern end of Foster, etc).

jonno
Guest
jonno

How much of this logic could also apply to NE Halsey street from 43rd, well, all the way east? It’s the same street cross-section as Burnside for most of its length and has the same low off-peak demand and high traffic speeds.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Maybe the curb can moved out in a few spots to provide room to plant some trees, that is a pretty ruthless streetscape!

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

Michael, I do not know what the vote was at Montavilla, just that they endorsed our comprehensive planning letter to the city. It did pass North Tabor’s Board unanimously though.

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

71st-68th bike lanes were striped on Monday.

Jayson
Guest
Jayson

This is great! I drive, bike, and walk down this stretch of Burnside at least a few times a week – mostly walk really. Other vehicles drive too fast and crossing the street is risky. I always feel like I’m taking my life out of my hands every time I have to cross Burnside and Glisan, which I must for taking the bus.

The pro-time lanes are a relict of older traffic engineering focus to prioritize car movement and should be re-evaluated throughout the City. They are used 2 hours out of the day and negatively effect the remaining 22 hours of the day with poor road design.

Kudos to Terry!

lahar
Guest
lahar

I live off of this stretch and ride everyday down Davis, it is a fantastic Greenway (or whatever they are being called) . I can completely appreciate the need to slow down traffic on Burnside as many drivers use the Right lane to speed. But what I don’t get is the need to have a bike lane when 1 block away is a quiet mellow and pleasant bike way. During commute hours I (in my head) chastise bike riders for being on Burnside. My suggestion is to focus on 1) slowing traffic, 2) putting cross walks and a 3) turn lane and let us not waste money since Davis as a greenway already exists.

spare_wheel
Guest

“But what I don’t get is the need to have a bike lane when 1 block away is a quiet mellow and pleasant bike way.”

I find bike boulevards to be inefficient, slow, and somewhat dangerous. (Motorists will often cross/pull out into my right of way because they expect slow speeds.)

Carter Kennedy
Guest
Carter Kennedy

The diagrams show Burnside changing from two-way to one-way between 48th and 58th. Which way will it go, and what street will handle the other direction?

Joseph E
Guest
Joseph E

I currently ride Burnside from Main Street in Gresham all the way east to 71st, on my commute home from work. I would love to see this happen, I have never considered taking Burnside the rest of the way with the current configuration, but it would be great to go to the businesses along that street. and it would help for trips to SE.

I think Burnside is OK in East Portland (east of 205). We could narrow the car lane and widen the bike lane, but anything else would require rebuilding sidewalks and curbs at great expense. A separated cycletrack one each side should definitely be in the plans for the next full rebuild, but it won’t happen soon.

The big improvement that is needed is in Gresham, where the bike lanes disappear for a couple 1 1/2 miles. I often take the right lane on that stretch when in a hurry, but it isn’t fun. A road diet here would be great.

In Montavilla (71st to the freeway) the bike lanes are very narrow, though I do appreciate that they exist. I believe parking was removed on one side to make them possible. Parking would have to removed on the other side as well to get wider bike lanes. It should happen, but it is harder politically than a road diet.

If the neighborhood would support changing those parking spaces into full-size bike lanes, I would be thrilled. What do the Montavilla folks think?

Supercourse
Guest
Supercourse

And again, thanks to J. Maus for bringing this to the people.It is a great place to be.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Act locally! As a fellow North Tabor resident, thanks for your volunteer time and energy. Hopefully it will encourage other individuals and neighborhood associations to do the same.

Stevie
Guest
Stevie

Thorburn and Gilham should also be considered for a road diet between the Stark/Washington couplet and Burnside. Two lanes in each direction are unnecessary, and induce excessive vehicle speeds. The bike lane on Stark also deserves a better connection to the west.

Julie Tonroy
Guest
Julie Tonroy

I live on Burnside between 70th and 71st, and I was overjoyed upon arriving home the other day to see the bike lanes striped. I have been bugging PBOT and others about the rate-of-speed issues we’ve been encountering on Burnside, particularly since Glisan was put on a road diet. As a walker, biker, and motorist, I encourage anything to reduce speeds on Burnside and make it safer for all forms of transit. Try walking across Burnside at 7:30am…I dare you. We need to look at thoughtful measures to reduce speeds, keep everyone safe, and promote more walking and biking. Hurray for the striping so far, and please sign me up for any interest groups related to traffic calming on Burnside. As a largely residential street out in the Mt. Tabor region, it seems crazy that it is 35MPH (which is reality means people drive 45MPH). Sign me up!

Paul Turner
Guest
Paul Turner

I do the Burnside, Davis, Everett, Couch, Ankeny eastbound from I205 thing most every day but today around 8:00AM I checked out the new bike lanes painted from 71st to 68th (wow, Google already has this new section in their bike path database, how did they do that?) . Once I got to 68th rather than turn off, I just kept going east on Burnside. Apart from the 35 MPH speed limit that is one sweet street to ride. The surface is nice and smooth and with the traffic sort of light, I just took a lane – car traffic just passed me in the open left lane and I didn’t see anyone give me the finger so I guess it was cool. I pulled off at Whole Foods to shop and from there went over to Ankeny to finish up. Not sure I’d do it every day but I now consider it an option as it shaved a good 4-5 minutes off my usual time through that section.

A bike lane on Burnside from 68th going east would be very nice to have, I’d use it most every day I commute.

james
Guest
james

why do you bike riders want to pick on burnside, its fine the way it is , go screw up one of the hunreds of others roads in portland like you have already