Harvest Century September 22nd

E Burnside project adds auto parking, leaves out bike lanes

Posted by on October 8th, 2014 at 9:35 am

E Burnside lane redesign project-11

The new design on East Burnside requires westbound cars to enter the new turn lane while passing westbound bikes.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Saying that any removal of on-street parking during a redesign of East Burnside Street would have required more time and money than the city could afford, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is boosting on-street parking instead.

The East Burnside Transportation Safety Project between 14th and 32nd Avenues, part of the city’s high-crash corridor program, has converted one westbound lane west of 32nd into a center turn lane and converted the rush-hour-only lanes east of 32nd into permanent parking lanes.

For people who ride bicycles west on Burnside, one result is that space that often functioned as a de-facto bike lane — the curbside auto lane — has been eliminated.

Another factor: East of 32nd on Burnside, the city’s Bicycle Master Plan calls for “separated in-roadway” bike lanes to eventually be installed on Burnside east of 28th Avenue. Last weekend’s restriping makes the “pro-tem” (non-peak-hour) parking in that stretch permanent, meaning it’ll have to be removed again before bike lanes can be added.

The new plan also creates 15 new pro-tem and permanent curbside parking spaces between 14th and 30th.

Detail from city bike plan map. The dashed blue lines represent “separated in-roadway” bike lanes.
(Click for a very large PDF of the bike plan map.)

On the other hand, crossing Burnside north and south by bike or foot is likely to be safer and more pleasant.

PBOT touts big safety benefit

It’s worth noting that this is a fairly dangerous stretch of road. Between 2002 and 2012, this stretch of Burnside saw 346 reported traffic crashes. At least 14 people were injured walking across Burnside on this stretch, and one was killed:

The city estimates that this project will reduce crashes by 30 percent by reducing lane changes, shortening crossing distances and slowing auto speeds. With longer estimated auto travel times and increased auto congestion, some drivers are likely to use Ankeny and Couch as cut-throughs. Both of those streets are popular bike routes. PBOT says they plan to make “Ankeny bikeway improvements” in spring 2015.

City: no room for new bike lanes

But why didn’t the city add bike lanes, as it usually does on safety-related road diets? Clay Veka, who managed the project for the city’s crash-reduction program, offered two reasons.

First, at current traffic volumes, traffic engineers calculated that removing an eastbound travel lane would have caused significant congestion. Here’s what they calculated traffic counts would look like, hour by hour, with only one standard travel lane in each direction plus a turn lane:

Traffic counts in the red zone would represent stop-and-go traffic during the corresponding hours.

Second, assuming both eastbound lanes are needed, there’s no room for a bike lane on Burnside without removing at least one lane of auto parking. City officials decided “early in the public process,” Veka said, that this wouldn’t be possible without an extensive public process.

The city held open houses on these changes in spring and fall 2013.

“This is a safety project on a $120,000 budget with expected crash reduction of 30 percent,” Veka wrote in an email Friday, defending the decision to keep the high-crash corridor project quick and lean.

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Veka also said the bike lanes wouldn’t be well connected to the rest of the city’s bikeway system.

“While there would be a good tie with the 20s bikeway, we didn’t have a tie-in to the east leg,” she wrote. “It was determined that we would move this project forward for the safety benefits and build it in such a way that wouldn’t preclude bike facilities in the future.”

What the new design looks like

Though Burnside is one of the city’s most important biking arteries east of 82nd Avenue, its bike lanes currently end at 68th Avenue before picking up again (in a couplet with Couch) west of Sandy. Burnside is, of course, a major commercial destination between Chavez and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Jonathan rode the redesigned Burnside yesterday afternoon and captured photos of the new configuration:

E Burnside lane redesign project-1

E Burnside lane redesign project-2

E Burnside lane redesign project-4

E Burnside lane redesign project-5

As you can see, it’s possible for cars to pass westbound bikes by entering the turn lane. Next spring, the city will add crossing islands at 18th, 22nd and 24th, making passing a bit harder but probably reducing auto travel speeds.

E Burnside lane redesign project-6

E Burnside lane redesign project-8

Terry Dublinski-Milton, a biking advocate who participated in the public process, suggested in an email that bike lanes on Burnside weren’t seen as essential with two neighborhood greenways so close by.

“There is Couch and Ankeny one block over,” he said. “What WAS on the table from the beginning, and is still in the ‘may be funded’ stage, is an eastbound diverter for Ankeny to cut down on the traffic from 12th east. PBOT is waffling on this and really needs to be pushed.”

Still, he added, Metro’s Active Transportation Plan calculates that turning East Burnside into a bike route would have the best benefit/cost ratio of any street on the east side when it came to increasing bike traffic.

According to 2012 Census estimates, of the 73,057 Census tracts in the United States, the tracts running along Burnside in this stretch rank 38th and 149th for bike commuting. West of 28th Avenue, an estimated 20 percent of residents bike to work, while 35 percent drive. Between 28th and Chavez, it’s about 14 percent who bike and 48 percent who drive.

The Census doesn’t track the number of people who bike to other destinations such as the stores, eateries, venues and homes that line Burnside.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

140 Comments
  • Avatar
    Scott H October 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Yeah, Ankey and Couch, sure, but the city is adding street parking? That’s a flagrant misuse of space.

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      davemess October 8, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Not completely adding, just making pro tem parking permanent. This area was essentially parking for most of the day before (a few random cars parked there would usually prevent you from driving in the right lane for more than a block or so).

      Ankeny is a solid greenway (at least for now), I really don’t think this is a bad change, if anything it’s better for pedestrians.

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson October 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The bike master plan was a pretty extensive “public process”. Ignoring that is a slap in the face to everyone who participated in it. They should have at least added bike lanes on the streets where this project overlapped the bike master plan. Reminds me of the old picture of tucking the bike master plan back on the shelf.

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    Dan October 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Jonathan, you appear to be biking in the door zone.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Thanks for your concern Dan. Unfortunately there’s not much room to bike in the eastbound direction due to the new lane configuration.

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        Chris Anderson October 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

        When we take the lane and roll at our own pace, it makes the world a better place. I haven’t been able to use the bike lane on Williams in a long time, due to the door zone / floppy fence in the wind zone / passing other bikes. So I make the right lane into my lane. I’m not the only one, and this is the sort of behavior that wins us new infrastructure.

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          Curt Ailes October 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

          I think what bothers me is not the outcome (parking does reduce travel speeds) but the comment about bike lanes requiring an extensive outreach process.

          Are lane reductions and parking additions treated the same way?

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        Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

        not much room? that lane has to be at least 10′ wide… that’s plenty of room for you to ride in the middle of the lane out of the door-zone as the DMV handbook advises…

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      Alan 1.0 October 8, 2014 at 11:42 am

      …biking in the door zone.

      Also, it looks like the silver pickup isn’t giving a whole lot of safe passing room. Not sure what speed the truck is going so I’ll assume he’s not violating ORS 811.065, but it’s just another picture of how this new configuration is hostile to people on bikes.

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    Zaphod October 8, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This is a big win for bikes. Consider this… I’ve heard from drivers about how traffic is way backed up heading west. If those drivers then see an underutilized bike lane, it will create a high visibility failure which is the last thing we want. Better to simply reduce crashes and slow traffic such that driving becomes less attractive. With Couch and Ankeny a block in either direction, I’m really glad this is how it went down.

    The only risk is if impatient motorists choose the aforementioned bikeways as cut throughs. This might be a very good time to introduce physical diverters to keep this from occurring.

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      peejay October 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I disagree, for three reasons:

      1) Why would that bike lane be empty? That’s a presumption.

      2) Drivers predisposed against bicycle facilities don’t let facts get in the way. They’ll see empty bike lanes when they want, just like they see bikes blowing through stop signs when they want.

      3) PBOT should stop listening to these whiny people. Their opinions are not the majority and certainly not constructive. They’ve held PBOT’s attention for far too long.

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        Kyle October 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

        Agreed about the whiny minority of drivers. Why are so many other major cities able to push through bike facilities while Portland has to “make everyone happy?”

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          was carless October 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

          I think our city governance structure is partly to blame – we give a lot of political power to individual neighborhoods, while our mayor is a weak mayor and wields little power, compared to the vast majority of cities in the US.

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          davemess October 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

          Usually involves really aggressive mayors who are really pro bike.

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        davemess October 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

        Why are you convinced the majority of people agree with your perspective? The vast majority of this city still commutes by car. Sure some of those drivers are pro bike, but they still are choosing to use their cars (whether out of convenience or necessity).

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          Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm

          if your car commute includes Burnside would you want to bike down it in its current configuration? that’s why so many people don’t make the switch…

          once they’re constantly stuck in auto traffic with a constant stream of bikes passing them on great bike facilities then they’ll make the switch…

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            davemess October 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

            I hardly think people are not biking this route due to lack of facilities (again Couch and Ankeny are pretty great, and often faster). If we’re talking about the whole of Burnside (east of 39th) then I’m on board. But this section has a very nice, parallel facility that is not really out of the way at all.

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      spare_wheel October 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      predicting failure in advance is defeatism.

      i believe the lack of bike facilities on arterials and commercial street is one of the main reasons mode share in Portland is stagnating. in denmark directness and efficiency are also priorities in bike facility design. both should be here too.

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    GlowBoy October 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

    They’d better put those diverters in on Ankeny before starting this project, or we’ll have another Clinton Street disaster on our hands.

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    Kyle October 8, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I’ve driven this stretch of Burnside a few times since the lanes were changed and I find it much calmer as a driver. It’s also better as a pedestrian – westbound vehicle speeds seem slower at 28th and there’s a bit more separation between the sidewalk and the lanes.

    I’m still a bit baffled as to why the city is dragging its heels on installing diverters for Ankeny. All we need is the simple concrete curb type found at 20th, and we need them placed at 28th and 12th. The amount of cut-through traffic has definitely been increasing in recent weeks and it needs to be culled.

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    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 8, 2014 at 10:12 am

    If PBOT estimates this project will reduce crashes on Burnside… What about the possible rise in collisions and overall negative impact of travel conditions that can occur on Ankeny and Couch if there is an increase in cut-through auto traffic?

    Also, it pains me to hear Terry Dublinski essentially say “Bike riders don’t need Burnside, they can use Ankeny and Couch instead.” That is very frustrating. This is a very wide street with plenty of room for a dedicated bikeway. We absolutely must start claiming bike space on these destination-filled commercial corridors! It’s the only way we will see a significant rise in bike use.

    I’d like to know more from PBOT about which types of infrastructure changes require “extensive public process” and which ones do not.

    Also, I need to update my PBOT Excuses For Not Building Better Bikeways Bingo game to include: takes too long, requires public process, and doesn’t tie into existing bikeway.

    Sorry for the rant, but to do a redesign of a street with such huge potential to be an excellent link in our bike network and not include any biking space — and actually make bicycling worse — is really frustrating to me.

    I’m happy to hear from others why I shouldn’t be as worked up about this.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

      For transparency’s sake: looking back at Terry’s email, I decided he was writing in the context of a summary of the public process from his perspective. I’ve rephrased the post above from “suggested bike lanes weren’t essential” to “suggested bike lanes weren’t seen as essential.”

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

        Thanks for that Michael. My frustration and concern at that entire concept (bikeways not needed on main streets because side street routes exist) remains.

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      Andyc of Linnton October 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

      It seems to me the facilities that PBOT feels require “extensive public process” are the ones they are not interested in actually implementing in the first place, and this phrase gives them an excuse to not do anything.

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      davemess October 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Jonathan in many other locations in Portland I would agree with you. But most of those other “parallel” bikeways are usually multiple blocks away from the main street, usually with increased stop signs/etc. In this instance Ankeny and Couch are one small Portland block away and often are faster to ride on than taking Burnside (due to stop signs instead of traffic lights. There are a multitude of connecting streets from them to burnside. I’m surprised to hear such outrage at this design from a crowd that usually has a strong percentage of people advocating for separated or low stress infrastructure instead of unbuffered bike lanes.

      East of 39th, where the bikeways essentially disappear I say bring on the bike lanes, but for this section (if diverters are added to the bikeways and they stay “low stress”) I personally think this is the best option for now.

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        spare_wheel October 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        bike boulevards are fine but suggesting that they are faster and more efficient is simply not accurate. for example, when descending burnside it’s relatively easy to hit most lights on green.

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          davemess October 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

          What about going up Burnside? I usually make it faster on Ankeny than I do when I take Burnside.

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            El Biciclero October 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

            Both choices should be safe and convenient, just like route choices are for drivers. If I’m driving, I can pick the route I want, not the one I’m “supposed” to use.

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              davemess October 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

              That’s fair. I consider myself a pretty fast rider, and I’ve surprised with how satisfied I’ve been with riding Ankeny. Bike lanes as well on Burnside would be ideal, but I don’t think keeping parking for the stretch between 13th and 32nd is unreasonable.
              I guess that given the ridiculously low budget for this project I’m not super upset that bike lanes didn’t go in (as explained by another poster who was involved in the process).

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      9watts October 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I agree. Especially in light of this:

      “Our policy says that we need to make bicycling more attractive than driving for trips three miles or less. We haven’t really done that yet.” “It’s really easy to drive a car in this city.”
      Roger Geller two weeks ago
      http://bikeportland.org/2014/09/23/panel-ponders-portlands-slide-cycling-superstardom-111205

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      spare_wheel October 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      “We absolutely must start claiming bike space on these destination-filled commercial corridors! It’s the only way we will see a significant rise in bike use.”

      More space? I think you mean a bike lane, Jonathan. Yes, a bike lane. BIKE LANE!

      I think antipathy towards bike lanes among advocates is the main reason we suck when it comes to commercial street bike infrastructure:

      * Mere paint on the road.
      * Worse then nothing”.
      * Buffer?!?!?? Paint is not a buffer!
      * A car drove on a bike lane once!
      * A car parked in a bike lane once!
      * Riding on hawthorne/burnside/division/alberta makes them hate us!
      * Ankeny works for “Isabella” so what is your problem, commuter?
      * Bike lanes waste precious funds that could be used to build short stretches of glorious, complicated, “world class” infrastructure that creates parking spaces. Did I mention the parking spaces?

      And it’s very ironic that many VCers are at least somewhat supportive of door zone-free bike lanes while many “protectionistas” think they are worse than nothing.

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

        spare_wheel,

        Be careful to not read too much/speculate about my ideas based on your interpretation of my comments.

        I used the term “bike space” as a way to be facility agnostic. I have absolutely nothing against bike lanes per se… other than the fact that when most people think of bike lanes they think of just paint… and I think paint-separation is totally, like, 1990s bike space technology.

        And a word of caution: Try not to see the world in such clear groups of them, us, and so on. “VCers” “protectionistas” “advocates” these are all labels you and many others use as a way to assign specific traits and beliefs… When in reality people – individuals – are not so easy to stereotype. Not only that but labels lead to stereotyping which leads to defensiveness which leads to unproductive discussions. IMO.

        thanks.

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          El Biciclero October 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

          IMO, a lot (not all, but a great lot) of the labels, “us”, “them”, pushback on facility design, etc., would go away with the repeal of ORS 814.420. Personally, my only problem with bike facility design is that I would be forced to use it, whether I liked it or not. If every street had calm traffic or a bike lane, with parallel “protected” infra for the less confident and/or slower rider, and I had no obligation to confine myself to a gauntlet of obstacles and dangerous intersections in which the average speed was 8 mph, I’d have no problem with any kind of infrastructure the “protectionistas” wanted to throw down.

          I don’t want to lose my ability to bike commute because my family won’t tolerate the extra 40 minutes it takes (on top of the 2 hours per day it already takes) to navigate convoluted, slow, protected bikeways. Yet I don’t want to deprive the “interested but concerned” of whatever it is that might give them enough of a feeling (an illusion, in many cases—just my opinion) of safety to climb out of a car and try getting around on a bike. I want kids to have safe bike routes to schools while I still have a quick route to work. I think a large part of the problem is that our current legal arrangement forces infrastructure thinking to be all-or-nothing, which creates understandably emotional arguments between “VC-ers” and “Isabella”.

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          spare_wheel October 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm

          Your description of bike lanes as “1990s bike space technology” suggests to me that I interpreted your desire to be agnostic correctly.

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      Edwards October 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      The majority of the driving public do so out of necessity, that is the bottom line. There will never ever be a reason to “switch” to bike commuting for them because the commute is far enough that riding a bike would just take to much time and create more problems (for them) than it solves!

      The stats are still very clear that the car is by in large the fastest way to get anywhere in this city.
      Case in point my wife and I live in Hillsdale and work in North Portland, we are off work at 5 PM and need to pick up our kids from school by 6 pm its an average 45 minute bike ride from my job and an hour and a half from her job. That is just the getting home part, I should also mention that we have to be at work by 8:30 am and the bus doesn’t pick them up until 8:15 for school. It is just not feasible to ride to and from work as much as I would like to!
      This is the simple fact that the majority of motorists have to live with. This is also why alternate transportation is a must. Options for people like us are limited and bike commuting is just not an option either is the bus because of the amount of time it takes.

      On the other hand I ride a bike for almost everything else, I also ride a cargo bike for work. which puts me on the top 10% of motorists that are pro bike and infrastructure.
      something you also need to realize is that more than half the motorists on the road within the city of Portland are in some way or another pro bike, that is a fact.

      We live in a bubble compared to every single city in the US, we have a lot more bicycle infrastructure and a very high population of bicycle riders and bike-centric attitudes from our residents. because of this it takes time for the city to make decisions and changes and they are having the make the hard decisions of what stays and what goes… the truth is we do not have the available land/space to have these utopian bike friendly streets so they have to work with what they’ve got.

      There has to be give and take, as a motorist I drive because I have to and I expect the city planners to do everything possible to make that drive as safe as possible (both for me and every other road user). If that means there will be streets that are designed for cars and not bikes, but they create or already have much safer bike options one block away on either side then this is a win for both sides.

      Jonathan I have a challenge for you; I want You to walk in my shoes for one month! I guarantee it will change your perspective of what a typical Portland Motorist has to deal with, and I don’t think you’ll think less of cyclists in any way… you’ll just understand why the gorilla activist “thing” doesn’t work and why co-existence with motorists along with give and take will get us much farther in the long run.

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        9watts October 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        Thanks for that thought-provoking post, Edwards.

        “There has to be give and take, as a motorist I drive because I have to and I expect the city planners to do everything possible to make that drive as safe as possible (both for me and every other road user). If that means there will be streets that are designed for cars and not bikes, but they create or already have much safer bike options one block away on either side then this is a win for both sides.”

        If we are talking about right here right now I agree with you. But it has long seemed to me that PBOT shouldn’t just be planning and building for right here right now but should be looking to the future; keeping tabs on what sorts of changes are afoot that could upset this tidy progression from the past through the present to the future. Everything could be *very* different tomorrow or in eighteen months. PBOT as far as I can tell is doing nothing whatsoever to prepare our city, our transport infrastructure, for the end of cheap oil. Your employer’s inflexibility when it comes to work hours, the carefully timed commute sequences you and your wife have developed thanks to the car, all this will have to change, and change quickly, once the century of cheap ancient sunlight that we put in our gas tanks winds down. I think PBOT is derelict in pretending that none of this concerns us; that the past is our best guide for the future when it comes to transportation expenditures, priorities, and planning methodologies.

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          Edwards October 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

          Good insight and appreciated more than you’ll know, but one thing is we’re (as a nation) already confronting the oil issue by increased fuel efficiency and full electric cars (amazingly “W” did something right for America)… these are huge leaps in progress for a cleaner more sustainable America.
          I drive an extremely fuel efficient car and will be “switching” (Lol) to full electric very soon as will my wife.
          I also vote, write letters and donate/support political platforms that are based on these specific agendas, its always best to think of the big picture and beyond the smaller issues… the guvment changes when the people speak up.

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        Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 9, 2014 at 9:25 am

        Thanks for the comment Edwards. Here are my thoughts in response:

        The majority of the driving public do so out of necessity, that is the bottom line. There will never ever be a reason to “switch” to bike commuting for them because the commute is far enough that riding a bike would just take to much time and create more problems (for them) than it solves!

        This is a common argument against bicycling. But why do you think many people have such long commutes? It’s because our zoning and infrastructure decisions are based around cheap gas and the use of cars. If we start making policy and streets around walking and biking, people will have shorter commutes and biking will be even more feasible.

        The stats are still very clear that the car is by in large the fastest way to get anywhere in this city.

        Disagree. For short trips of 2 miles or less in dense urban areas, a bike will almost always be the fastest mode. And, similar to my point above, the reason cars are faster for some trips is that they benefit from car-centric infrastructure and planning decisions. We can change that paradigm overnight by changing the design of our streets and the policies that manage them.

        Case in point my wife and I live in Hillsdale and work in North Portland, we are off work at 5 PM and need to pick up our kids from school by 6 pm its an average 45 minute bike ride from my job and an hour and a half from her job. That is just the getting home part, I should also mention that we have to be at work by 8:30 am and the bus doesn’t pick them up until 8:15 for school. It is just not feasible to ride to and from work as much as I would like to!

        It sounds like in your situation driving is the way to go! Please remember that in all the advocating for cycling that I do, I never assume/promote the idea that biking is for everyone, all the time. I simply believe we need to do more to make biking a viable option for as many people as possible… If we do that, along with other things that are imperative to reach our climate change and other city goals, who knows, maybe someday your family’s situation will change dramatically enough so that biking becomes an option.

        something you also need to realize is that more than half the motorists on the road within the city of Portland are in some way or another pro bike, that is a fact.

        I absolutely do realize that. Please be careful to not assign beliefs to me without fully knowing me and/or my perspective.

        We live in a bubble compared to every single city in the US, we have a lot more bicycle infrastructure and a very high population of bicycle riders and bike-centric attitudes from our residents. because of this it takes time for the city to make decisions and changes and they are having the make the hard decisions of what stays and what goes… the truth is we do not have the available land/space to have these utopian bike friendly streets so they have to work with what they’ve got.

        Those are good points…. But I could look at your first few sentences and make the case that that is precisely why we should have more urgency to do even more to make Portland a more bike-centric place. We can make some of these “hard decisions” now… Or we can wait until environmental, public health and other emergencies force us to make them later.

        There has to be give and take, as a motorist I drive because I have to and I expect the city planners to do everything possible to make that drive as safe as possible (both for me and every other road user). If that means there will be streets that are designed for cars and not bikes, but they create or already have much safer bike options one block away on either side then this is a win for both sides.

        I drive too Edwards. I have a mini-van and a family of 5 and I take our safety very seriously whether we’re on bikes or in the van. And I love the idea of making some streets better for cars and others better for bikes, I just don’t think the City is going about that in the right way. Too many streets are too easy and convenient to drive on and not enough streets are easy and convenient to bike on.

        Jonathan I have a challenge for you; I want You to walk in my shoes for one month! I guarantee it will change your perspective of what a typical Portland Motorist has to deal with, and I don’t think you’ll think less of cyclists in any way… you’ll just understand why the gorilla activist “thing” doesn’t work and why co-existence with motorists along with give and take will get us much farther in the long run.

        That’s a good idea. I’ll consider doing that. Right now I have a very car-light existence today (my wife does most of the driving and I bike 95% of the time).

        And I don’t think I fit the “gorilla activist” label you want to pin on me. Who says I’m not for “co-existence” or “give and take”? I have never been one to not consider compromises. However, what I see is an unbalanced system that favors driving and that puts an unfair burden on people who want to ride bikes.

        I’m all for compromise and give-and-take… But biking requires way too much compromise and — if you look at budgets, policies, injuries, public health, deaths — driving is taking way too much away from our city.

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        jonno October 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        I guess where I’m coming from as a daily Ankeny bike commuter/traffic policy layperson is that PBOT continually favors free auto parking over bike facilities. Lost in your thoughtful points is the fact that adding a bike facility to the section PBOT just restriped will not impact auto travel capacity in any way — if they got rid of the free street parking. I drive when I must and I appreciate lane capacity that speeds me on my way, as I’m sure you do, but how does free street parking keep traffic flowing smoothly? Answer: it doesn’t.

        Over and over again, PBOT values free street parking over bike facilities. Until we confront that value proposition, nothing’s going to change. At the very least, make it cost something, anything. That’s going against a lot of car culture history in America but it’s got to change. We’ve got plenty of street real estate to put in all sorts of facilities, except for the fact that PBOT seems to feel there’s a fundamental right for people to store their cars in it for free all them time.

        Anyway, nothing in the above is intended to pave over your thoughtful comments.

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        Spiffy October 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        how long have you been looking for a new job closer to home/school?

        or how long have you been looking for a new home/school closer to work?

        so many people say that they can’t bike to work because it’s too far… so for none of those people have been looking for a new job closer to home… they accept the status quo as inevitable…

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          davemess October 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

          Because they’re okay with the tradeoffs (driving), so why should they actively be looking for a new home or school?

          We have relatively limited employment centers in Portland (honestly that is something that could/should change in the future), but for now that’s how it is. Often it’s not a matter of just finding a new job, as there are only a handful of places in this city that have your type of job (and in many cases downtown living near your work can be out of your financial possibilities.

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            Spiffy October 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

            if you’re happy with your commute then don’t change it, and don’t complain about congestion…

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              davemess October 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

              i didn’t really see him complaining about congestion.

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          Edwards October 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

          That is very narrow minded… I love my job and like where I live! Not everyone wants to live in Portland Metro but this is where the jobs are, commuting is part of life just like being a responsible provider for my family is a part of life and one that I willingly chose…

          by your logic I should move my family to a crime riddled, trash infested neighborhood where the schools have little no educational value for my kids other than learning how to commit crimes in the inner city… Is that how I should provide for my family and be a responsible Parent?

          I don’t think so!

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            Spiffy October 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

            lots of people like their jobs and where they live, but don’t like the traffic… you seem to like your commute, so don’t change it…

            but if you didn’t like it then I would hope that you would fix it yourself instead of asking society to make things worse for non-commuters…

            right now people that hate traffic lobby for bigger roads instead of looking inward and making the changes themselves…

            it’s only a narrow minded view if you’re in a narrow world… my world is vast… I won’t work farther than 10 miles from home, so I either need to find a close job or a close home… or maybe a different career…

            people say that it’s hard to switch jobs and home, but other say it’s hard to commute by bike…

            things are only as hard as you make them…

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              Edwards October 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm

              Wow, your either very young and completely sheltered in your “10 mile vast world” or just completely ignorant of the real world!

              “things are only as hard as you make them”? Really? “people say its hard to change jobs or homes”? really?

              I’m really not trying to flame or attack your views but man… look outside your little world and wake up there are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet, from all walks of life and your asking them to jeopardize that by putting more stress on them selves just to make things more convenient for you? Wow!

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                davemess October 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

                Welcome to Portland.

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                davemess October 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm

                Or more precisely: Welcome to BIKEPortland.

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                Spiffy October 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

                my world is vast because I look at all the options… I used to commute 120 miles a day in California 25 years ago… now my world is more vast than simply getting in a car and sitting in traffic…

                I struggle to make ends meet, but I refuse to lower my quality of life by getting into a car every day and living in the burbs…

                it’s hard to switch jobs, homes, or commute methods… but it’s possible if your world view is large enough…

                I’m asking them to jeopardize everything and put more stress on themselves in the short term if they want to fix their commute in the long term… most people would rather do it the other way around and make things worse for everybody else in exchange for a short term fix to their commute by simply adding pavement…

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                Spiffy October 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

                oops, that’s 120 miles each way, every day…

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            Tee October 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

            Your reference to inner city Portland was out of line. Having coached kids from inner city Portland, I can assure you they are kids, not criminals.

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            Karl Dickman October 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

            I wonder what “inner city” is code for.

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    Cairel October 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Here’s the problem: “traffic engineers calculated that removing an eastbound travel lane would have caused significant congestion.” If you want disincentivize driving into downtown, then you have to make it harder to drive, not easier. As for heading off potential driving cut-throughs on Ankeny and Couch, you can block off through driving traffic while allowing bike traffic, as is already done on a lot of the bikeways.

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      Mike October 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Eastbound is not into downtown – it is out of.

      Removing the lanes does not change the amount of people driving to and from work, it only creates more congestion, especially with the population growth we are seeing in Portland. It just equates to more idling traffic.

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        Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        people won’t get out of their cars until they’re stuck in congestion and see the steady flow of bikes passing them…

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          Edwards October 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm

          People will get out of their cars when its faster to bike than drive… we’re light years from that ever happening.
          The next best thing is to make commuting by bike much Much safer by adding protected bike lanes and blvds… that will get more people out of their cars because they will feel safe doing so.

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            9watts October 8, 2014 at 7:33 pm

            “we’re light years from that ever happening.”

            I have good news for you. We may be a lot closer to parity in modal speeds than you think. A light year equals about 6 trillion miles. Gasoline won’t be cheap enough for us all to drive like we’re use to driving for more than a few (calendar) years.
            http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-10-03/america-you-ve-got-three-more-years-to-drive-normally-part-2

            “The estimate of three more years of easily affordable driving is an educated guess, based on looking at the work of a number of expert forecasters and analysts who predict that the global oil market will run out of profitable U.S. fracking plays in about this time. After another oil price spike we’re back to a bad recession like 2009, but this time with even less of the oil needed to recover.

            Thanks to what could be seen as the increasingly disruptive side effects of maintaining our globally oil-dependent economy, we face unpredictable problems that could interfere with normal driving even sooner than three years.
            …Even if the current fracking boom should somehow give us five more years, it doesn’t change the picture much. Driving will get less affordable because of fuel, and there will be a painfully short amount of time to prepare.”

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              Edwards October 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm

              And the Zombie Apocalypse is right around the corner as well! Ahhhhhhhhh!!
              Just kidding.

              I hate to say this but we have a lot more to worry about than the cost of fuel going up. Our entire national economy rides on the price of oil now, and whether we drive or ride a bike to work will not matter a bit if we run out of oil or even need to go a “gas” restriction like what happen in the 70s.
              Just look at California, when they go into a bad drought and they have to put restrictions on water usage so people can’t wash their cars or water their lawns the entire state catches on fire and teeters on bankruptcy!
              Could you imagine what would happen if we put oil restrictions on them as well?! The entire west coast would burn and be looted by crazed oil addicted car-less fiends… oh wait that would be the zombie Apocalypse!

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                9watts October 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

                “Our entire national economy rides on the price of oil now, and whether we drive or ride a bike to work will not matter a bit if we run out of oil or even need to go a “gas” restriction like what happen in the 70s.”

                I’m not following your logic. I think we’re saying the same thing, but you seem to be drawing a very different conclusion. Having the experience of bicycling-for-transportation is precisely the kind of habit might want to get into as preparation for when the apocalypse, end of CHEAP oil, whatever you want to call it comes calling.

                You would rather drive until it is no longer feasible? Switch over at the exact moment when everyone else is scrambling to figure out what to do with their unsellable car, how to get to work, what to do with the kids who are used to going to soccer practice in Beaverton?

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            Dan October 9, 2014 at 7:57 am

            I live in Beaverton & work in the Lloyd district, and it’s faster for me to bike than drive. I say this because I like to race my bike in the winters, and that requires lots of training hours on the bike. If I drove to work, I would spend an hour in my car and then two hours on the bike afterwards (3 hours). But by Cat 6 commuting instead, I get my training done on the way in & out of work (2 hours).

            And that’s assuming I’m driving at 6am/3pm instead of 8am/5pm. Driving later brings that total to 4 hours.

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              Andy K October 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm

              Dan that’s a helluva commute. What route do you take?

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            Spiffy October 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

            “People will get out of their cars when its faster to bike than drive”

            that is very narrow minded… speed is not the only factor, nor the main one for everybody…

            I got out of my car because it was more stressful and dangerous to me…

            it takes me twice as long to get to work when I don’t drive (25 minutes driving vs 45 biking vs an hour on transit) and I love it… I’m much rather take twice as long to get places and not have to be operating a motor vehicle…

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              davemess October 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

              Speed is the main factor for the majority of commuters. Otherwise wouldn’t we see more people bike commuting like us (with all it’s benefits)?

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                Spiffy October 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

                I think comfort is also a big reason… people don’t want to be in the elements…

                as I was zipping past a line of stopped cars yesterday I thought “look at all these people taking up so much space driving around in portable living rooms”…

                people don’t care about being stuck idling in traffic so much because they’re comfortable…

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            Jack October 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

            Unnecessary clarification: a light year is a measure of distance, not time. Though I suppose a very imprecise conversion is possible:

            1 light year = [1 year:infinity)

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          Mike October 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm

          People won’t get out of their cars unless you absolutely force them – either by removing driving lanes all together or making it impossible to afford.

          Getting somewhere 20 minutes quicker is not enough incentive for people to give up the comfort, convenience and security of driving.

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            Dan October 10, 2014 at 8:01 am

            I’ve given up asking any of my friends to try bike commuting. Most of them ride their bikes 2 or 3 times a year around the neighborhood and that’s it. And that’s very unlikely to change in the near future. What I do suggest, however, is that they alter their habits a little bit for the good of everyone. Transportation requires teamwork & cooperation, not just endless grousing for wider lanes.

            *Try driving to work one day less a week. Can you work from home? Can you get on a 4×10 schedule?

            *Try driving earlier, at 6am instead of 8am.

            *Don’t run out for groceries at 5pm on a Friday. Wait until 8pm, or go early
            Saturday morning.

            *Combine your trips.

            *Shut off your car after you have arrived. Why do people sit in my parking lot with the engine running listening to the radio?! You don’t need your car running to listen to the radio. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I blaming it on those folks.

            *Walk your kids to school. Or let them walk. They are not going to get kidnapped.

            *Slow down in the neighborhood. Your speeding is a disincentive to others who are trying to walk/bike.

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              El Biciclero October 14, 2014 at 10:27 am

              It’s interesting that if you put it numerically, you can save 20% off your weekly commuting costs by leaving the car at home ONE day a week and taking a bike to work (well, maybe 19.97% if you count wear on your bike). I know people who would flock to a store and fight the crowds if they had a 20% off coupon for something they regularly buy. Is that any less hassle than riding to work?

              And the savings jump up by 20% increments for every additional day you ride…

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    maccoinnich October 8, 2014 at 10:26 am

    That the bike lanes “wouldn’t be well connected to the rest of the city’s bikeway system” is a terrible argument. To the east, Burnside has bike lanes from 69th all the way to 181st, and from 199th all the way to the City of Sandy (as the Mt Hood Hwy). To the west, the Burnside Bridge is an important bike route into downtown. I recognize that we can’t connect these two sections overnight, but if we’re not willing to do it in pieces, how will we ever do it?

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      Adam October 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

      The North Tabor Neighbor Association is already pushing for a road diet including bike lanes from 69th to 47th when Burnside is next repaved (2016 or 2017) according to this article from April.

      http://bikeportland.org/2014/04/02/neighborhood-group-will-gather-support-for-burnside-road-diet-near-mt-tabor-103876

      If they are successful the gap would almost be completely closed. Extending the road diet to 32nd shouldn’t be hard at all in theory. There is no reason to have two lanes each way for 15 blocks. PBOT really missed out on this one. Having Burnside be a safe option would significantly speed up the commutes of eastside people on bikes. Heck just taking the lane on Burnside from 69th to 47th saves me a good four minutes verses taking Davis with its multiple stop signs and terrible road surface (rocks imbedded in concrete).

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        Terry D-M October 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

        Yes, we have been working diligently on this. The concept of buffered bike lanes from 41st to 68th has already been approved by the North Tabor NA, but I should have a more formal/detailed proposal to bring forward for approval by this winter.

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    Chris Anderson October 8, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Sounds like it’s time for another Bike Bill lawsuit. Where you at, BTA?

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

      My understanding is that the Bike Bill requirement applies during reconstruction, and striping is not reconstruction in the eyes of the law. The BTA discussed suing the state last year over the Barbur bridges, which included scraping and repaving the full bed of the street, but after consulting with lawyers decided not to pursue that, either.

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        was carless October 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

        So, letter of the law and ignoring the spirit? Thanks, city of Portland!

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          Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm

          they apply that policy the other way around whenever it fits their needs… they will fail to uphold the law citing the spirit of the law…

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        Curt Fisher October 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm

        OAR 660 implements Goal 12 (Transportation). It requires TSP’s to provide for sidewalks and bike lanes on arterial streets. I don’t know what Portland’s specific regulations say. Plans and code often have requirements that bike lanes shall be added when streets are restriped.

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    Buzz October 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    First it was SE Hawthorne, then it was SE Division, now it’s E Burnside. Thanks for nothing – and I do mean nothing – looking at you, PBOT.

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    Terry D-M October 8, 2014 at 10:50 am

    To Clarify, metro estimated that East Burnside improvements east would have the biggest uptick in bike commuting in SE, it is second if you say East Side” as adding bike facilities to NE Sandy came in first. Burnside is a half million $ retrofit, Sandy is about $5 million If I remember my numbers right.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 8, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Right – that’s why I said it’d have the best benefit/cost ratio rather than the largest benefit. Yes?

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        Terry D-M October 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I would say so. North Tabor has a 11% bike commute rate, but it drops off to less than 5% for Montavilla. I belive that fixing the Burnside gap would have one of the highest benefits for the least cost on the east side from a multi-mobility perspective.

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    lahar legar October 8, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I really wish something could be done about the Ankeny Greenway and Sandy Street intersection in this process as well.

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      paikiala October 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Maybe make Ankeny, 11th to 12th, eastbound one way with a parking protected westbound bike lane? I believe the Ankeny data shows an AM westbound auto use spike.
      Are there any public meetings coming up to discuss Ankeny?

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        soren October 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        The Buckman Community Association is meeting tomorrow (Oct 9) from 7-9 pm. The general meeting will be held in the Multnomah County Boardroom, located at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

        Diverters on Ankeney are on the agenda again so this would be a great time to discuss other options.

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        Terry D-M October 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        Buckman NA will be discussing diversion here I believe, but I am not sure if it is Oct or in Nov.

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    John R October 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Lawsuit. Simple.

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    MaxD October 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Burnside is the perfect street to add bike lanes on for the following reasons:
    1. plenty of space
    2. easy grades
    3. connects lots and lots of places simply and directly, including a bridge.

    It is truly a shame that PBOT missed this opportunity. Am I wrong to understand that the future addition of bike lanes on E Burnside will require either the removal of (even more) parking on both sides or the removal of a travel lane and the new concrete ped islands?

    This “lean and fast” approach actually appears to be misuse of public money by dismissing planning efforts and not including space for (and, in fact, constructing permanent features in the place of) planned facilities.

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    Alex Reed October 8, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Ugh, no bike lanes on Burnside itself sounds like a fait accompli for the time being barring a massive uprising. Critical Mass peoples?

    On the other hand, this is a great opportunity to advocate through traditional channels for auto diversion off of Ankeny. Soren from BikeLoudPDX has been working with the Buckman neighborhood association to get to formally asking PBOT for diversion, and it sounds like the Burnside project will add urgency and perhaps funding to this. If interested in helping him with this project, please email me at bikeloudpdx@gmail.com and I’ll get you in touch!

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      Alex Reed October 8, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Most important help needed would be people who live or work in Buckman who want to see diversion on Ankeny and could show up at a neighborhood meeting or email / otherwise contact the Board. People who travel through or shop their also helpful!

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      soren October 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      The Buckman Community Association is meeting tomorrow (Oct 9) from 7-9 pm. The general meeting will be held in the Multnomah County Boardroom, located at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

      I’ll be there and I will be talking diverters again.

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    Jayson October 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Traveling from downtown to east portland (east of 60th) is nothing if not confusing. None of the bike boulevards are a straight shot, requiring multiple right and left turns and plenty of stop signs. If you’re driving a car, there are about 8-10 good east-west arterials to take. Burnside would’ve been one of the best east-west streets for a separated bikeway in my humble opinion because of the gradual grades and because it is already slims down to one lane in east portland whereas other streets get wider. I’m disappointed in the continued piecemeal approach to bike infrastructure in this city, but in this case, there wasn’t even a piecemeal approach – it’s nothing.

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      Terry D-M October 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      I know as much you [probably would need to know about the Burnside stretch between 41st and 68th. If you would like to work on this, e-mail me and I can send you information. It is on Metro’s and PBOT’s radar….I am working on coordinating a few different funding sources to at least get the stretch from 47th east to 68th done when it is grind down time. terry.dublinski at gmail.com

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    Adam October 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    What else is happening as part of this High Crash Corridor Safety Project?

    I am actually not too concerned about bike lanes ON Burnside itself, since both Ankeny and Couch are one block parallel.

    I *am* concerned about lack of crossing opportunities for pedestrians, traffic speeds etc on Burnside. It is one of the worst roads to cross as a pedestrian. There are hardly any places to safely cross.

    What has or will the project have in store regarding these features?

    I would also LOVE to find out about the 2015 Ankeny improvements briefly mentioned in the article. Will a diverter be a part of that???

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      Bob K. October 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Quite a bit actually. In the spring they will install pedestrian islands and crossings at 18th and 22nd. And there will be improvements to the poorly designed island at 24th. As part of the 20s Bikeway there will also be a HAWK signal at 30 (31st?) when that project is built. The only crossing gap will now be between 24th and 28th. They looked at a ped island at 26th but it was problematic because of trucks turning to and from the Coke building.

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      hat October 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      “What WAS on the table from the beginning, and is still in the ‘may be funded’ stage, is an eastbound diverter for Ankeny to cut down on the traffic from 12th east. PBOT is waffling on this and really needs to be pushed.”

      If any of you out there want bike improvements for this project, this is probably the most important one. Sandy and Ankeny is the Achilles heel of the Ankeny Greenway.

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    GlowBoy October 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    “City officials decided “early in the public process,” Veka said, that this wouldn’t be possible without an extensive public process.”

    So they “decided” to skip the public process because it would require too much public process?

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      Adam October 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Local government, in a nutshell!

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    KC October 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I am an avid bike commuter who lives a close to Burnside. Almost every day I cross Burnside by bike as well as travel east-west every day parallel to it for ~5 miles. I was also involved in some of the process that resulted in the restriping.

    While I would like to have done more with the resources available, I’m happy with what was accomplished, because the problem I have with Burnside isn’t wanting to ride on it, but *crossing* it. It’s really hazardous. Many drivers treat this section is treated as a speedway. Ideally I would like there be lights every two blocks, but doing that was way outside the budget allotted for this project.

    I think of the work that’s been done and the islands that are getting installed in the spring as important bike facilities facilitating north-south travel, and I’m surprised there isn’t more acknowledgement of that in the article or in the comments.

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      Adam October 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Where are the locations for the islands being installed? Thanks!

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) October 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Good point, KC. I’ve added a sentence near the top of the article making the north-south crossing benefit for bike users explicit.

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    Adam October 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    It says the City will be adding crossing islands at 18th, 22nd & 24th.

    Firstly, there is already a crossing island at 24th. It’s the one right outside Screen Door. So why is there another crossing going in at this location?

    Secondly – not a single crossing island planned between 24th & 32nd, which is also in the project’s scope?

    It’s not like any vulnerable road users ever need to cross Burnside on this stretch to get to Laurelhurst Elementary School! Or Laurelhurst Park! Perish the thought!

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      carrythebanner October 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      I think there’s an improved crossing planned at 30th as part of the 20s bikeway project. The specifics escape me at the moment, but I don’t think it involves an island (the intersection is offset, which may complicate it).

      Both 28th and 32nd have signaled intersections. While the length of the pedestrian signal could be improved (read: lengthened, particularly at 32nd), I’m not sure if an island would improve those intersections since there isn’t as much need to cross in two segments.

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      Bob K. October 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      There will be a new HAWK signal crossing at 30th when the 20s Bikeway is built. There is also be a new crossing further east at SE Floral to connect people to Laurelhurst Park. The crossing at 24th is pretty bad right now so that is why they wanted to address that intersection. Unfortunately 26th didn’t make the cut because of truck movement going to and from the Coke plant.

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    sd October 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    This is another step toward dividing the city streets into bike and no-bike areas. Piece by piece it may appear justifiable, but the overall impact is very short-sighted and antithetical to the city’s goals of being more accessible to cyclists of different experience. To maintain the quality of life in Portland that we currently have, as population density increases, travel-mode-share has to shift away from single occupancy vehicles. A bike lane on Burnside would have supported this shift.

    It appears that the unmeasured or unappreciated cyclist is the person who goes for a ride from point A to B and figures out the route as they go. I do this a lot on the weekends and for many novice cyclists this would be their first cycling experience in Portland. Car drivers do this all the time without obstacle. A bikeable city that encourages people to get on their bikes would increase safe-feeling bike access whenever there is an opportunity instead of designing roads that force cyclists to take alternate routes.

    The current process of doubling down on bike and no-bike roads is a bad move and will cost more in the future to correct. PBOT’s sloth and bias are more obvious with each new project they roll out.

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      El Biciclero October 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      “The current process of doubling down on bike and no-bike roads is a bad move and will cost more in the future to correct.”

      I.e., “won’t be corrected.”

      “It appears that the unmeasured or unappreciated cyclist is the person who goes for a ride from point A to B and figures out the route as they go.”

      Boy howdy. As long as I have to do research and study to find a route, then practice it before I know how it “works” to get where I’m going, then bicycle access in general is poor. Bike access may exist, but merely so, and is far below the level of access provided for motor vehicles. As an example, for me to get to work, riding adds an extra two miles over my driving route (straight down 26), and I had to fumble around and experiment to find the route I now ride. The route home is even more complicated due to necessary hill-climbing and finding a route where I won’t be plowed from behind by drivers speeding around blind corners while I huff my way up at 7 mph. I have probably spent several days’ worth of hours researching, studying maps, traveling out-of-direction, and “practicing” different routes trying to optimize just my commute trip that I make almost every day. To drive to work, I take the obvious route, which is also the shortest and quickest, no extra study time required.

      That’s the standard I like to use to gauge the quality of “bike access” to any particular area. Any time someone has to say about a bike route, “once you figure it out”, that is a borderline—if not outright—failure to provide high quality “bike access”.

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        Dan October 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Uh, yeah. I can drive to work in 7 turns. Biking is around 43 turns. I counted it once.

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          El Biciclero October 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

          Counting STOP signs and traffic signals encountered is fun too:
          Driving: 11
          Riding: 32

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    Bside resident October 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    As a resident of E. Burnside actively involved for five years in traffic calming efforts, a cyclist and a member of the public committee that worked with PBOT on this project it’s disheartening to read so many negative comments about these limited improvements.

    Bike lanes on E. Burnside are a great idea and perhaps one day they’ll be there. But this was a small scale project with a $100K budget. The committee included members of the 20’s Bikeway Project, Kerns, Buckman and Laurelhurst neighborhood associations and the Burnside East Business Association. The consensus of the committee was to take advantage of the funds available to slow traffic speeds and improve the pedestrian experience in the growing business district.

    When the crossings are installed this spring we will have made significant progress in improving the safety of pedestrians and cyclists crossing this busy corridor. A “Hawk Eye” bike crossing at 30th to be installed as part of the 20’s bikeway will further the progress. PBOT is seeking ODOT’s permission to lower the posted speed to 30. These are positive steps toward making E. Burnside a better street for all users, including cyclists.

    These projects take years to come to fruition. Take a step back and try to appreciate that a group of concerned neighbors were able to eek out a few minor improvements for all users of a small section of E. Burnside. It’s an accomplishment I’m proud to be a part of.

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    Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    it’s possible for cars to pass westbound bikes by entering the turn lane

    OregonLive wrote that this was illegal because the center turn lane is a special lane and not an ordinary travel lane that you usually cross over into in order to pass bicycles…

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      KristenT October 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      What does the actual Oregon state law say?

      I wouldn’t cite the Oregonian as my end-all, be-all of legal sources when it comes to transportating myself around our state. Always go straight to the source, or at least through a knowledgeable and trained middle man like the law firm of Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton.

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        Spiffy October 9, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        A person commits the offense of misuse of a special left turn lane if the person uses a special left turn lane for anything other than making a left turn either into or from the special left turn lane.

        http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.346

        there are no exceptions, such as to pass an “obstruction” like a bicycle…

        the exception from http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.065 probably doesn’t apply because it says that you have to go to the left of center, which would put you over 2 lanes if there’s a center turn lane…

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    Spiffy October 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Burnside is Portland’s main street… it’s THE street that divides the city… a street with this much visibility should have awesome facilities for all users… a nice wide sidewalk, a nice wide bike lane, and a nice wide motor vehicle lane (with safe separation from the others)… anything less would be embarrassing…

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      Edwards October 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      You nailed it… that should be our focus for the coming years. Safety for All road users, not just cyclists!
      That means protected bike lanes, new design facilitating complete separation for cyclist from motorist… that also means cyclist will need to start accepting the fact that bike commuting means adhering to new sets of standards like using turn signals, bike specific traffic flow coordination (i.e traffic lights and stops signs specific to the bike lane of travel) and the same “line separation” that cars must adhere to i.g. solid white, broken white, solid yellow, double yellow and so on… cyclist will need to be moved up the “ladder of road users” and given traffic laws and rules of the road.
      If I could ride completely unmolested by drivers while coexisting I wouldn’t mind it taking me a little longer to go from A to B.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I live a couple blocks off Burnside in this area. I’m familiar with riding here and with the great need to slow traffic on Burnside and make safer crossings, east of 32nd. The decision made by PBOT here is clearly wrong.

    East of 32nd, Ankeny and Couch cease to be good bike routes. Ankeny has some significant grades, neither has any safe way to cross 39th/Cesar Chavez.

    The outer lanes on Burnside, where they are currently part-time parking, should be striped as bike lanes. That would reduce the traffic lanes from four to two, slow traffic, and make the street easier to cross, just as converting those lanes to full time parking will do. There could be curb bump outs at the intersections to further narrow the street and ease crossing, with the bike lanes running over (through) the bump-out. This would also discourage aggressive drivers from driving in the bike lane.

    Bike riders could then come from Ankeny or 28th, climb Ankeny to 32nd, connect to Burnside, cross Cesar Chavez with a signal, and continue on Burnside for as far east as the current part-time parking goes.

    There is no great demand for parking on this part of Burnside. Since parked cars currently have to be moved during commute hours, it is not a practical parking place for most people.

    PBOT often has difficult situations where there is not enough room for car traffic and bike lanes. This was an easy situation, and they made the wrong decision.

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      davemess October 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      How do you feel about the section between 13th-32nd?

      I know I’m only one person, but I’ve always found getting across 39th from Ankeny pretty easy. Cars are almost always willing to stop (as most will get stopped at the light at Burnside anyway).

      I think you make good points about the section through 32-39th though.

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        Mindful Cyclist October 9, 2014 at 8:53 am

        I cross 39th and Ankeny 2x a day and I never seem to have too long of a wait to cross it. A good number of drivers see the red light ahead to begin with and figure they can stop there.

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      KC October 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      The scope of the project was to slow things *west* for 32nd, because that’s where pedestrians have been hit in substantial numbers and even killed. Plus the budget was ~$100K. Are we talking about the same thing here?

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    The changes west of 32nd make sense to me. Ankeny is a fine bike route there, just one block away. I think the commercial district on Burnside west of 32nd, especially west of 30th, needs curbside parking.

    (I would have preferred the typical road diet with a center turn lane, one travel lane each way, door zone bike lanes, and curbside parking. But I see the need to avoid creating a half mile traffic jam. Although, wait – won’t that just move the bottleneck further east?)

    My disagreement is with the changes east of 32nd. I understand this was a small budget project. But striping bike lanes is not expensive. When the parking is made “permanent”, it will block future bike lanes. If PBOT thought it was too hard to remove part-time parking, how can they hope to remove permanent parking in 2 or 5 years?

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      KC October 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Ah, got it, thanks for the clarification. I see where you’re coming from. It would have been great to add bike lanes on that stretch east of 32nd.

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    Alan 1.0 October 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Parking Bureau of Transportation

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    sd October 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    “The majority of the driving public do so out of necessity, that is the bottom line. There will never ever be a reason to “switch” to bike commuting for them because the commute is far enough that riding a bike would just take to much time and create more problems (for them) than it solves!”

    Can you back this up with data that applies to inner Portland?
    My assumption is that a large percentage of the single occupancy trips in cars could be taken by bike without hardship.

    I see your concern, but would suggest that your “necessary” car commuting would be greatly improved if others traded in their “optional” car commuting for a bike commute. You could help this happen by supporting the development of bike infrastructure that is easily accessible and makes people feel safe when they bike.

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      Mike October 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Sure. I live in SE PDX and commute to NW PDX – there is no place to safely store my bike and no locker rooms at work. My ride is long enough to get sweaty and require serious winter commute clothing.
      There lies the hardship in my single person commute in inner PDX.

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        Dan October 10, 2014 at 8:08 am

        I understand the storage problem. Having my own reserved bike locker is the #1 convenience that encourages me to commute by bike, and I would do it less without the locker.

        But getting sweaty? Really? That’s a very minor inconvenience, not a deterrent. Unless you expect to be VERY close to customers or coworkers, I doubt anyone would notice. I sweat considerably more on the way home than the way in.

        And serious winter clothing? I’m not sure what you mean. I rode today in 50 degrees with long finger gloves, lightweight pants, and a long sleeve jersey. I was too warm. I bring a small backpack so I can carry that stuff back with me in the afternoons when I ride in short sleeves.

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    Greg October 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I live in Buckman, and I was on the Working Group for the “East Burnside Safety Project”.

    I am very disappointed in the framing of this article, focusing on “no bike lanes!” and parking instead of the intent of the project, which is reducing crashes and improving crossing Burnside, which helps people on foot and on bikes.

    There was a 18 month long public process, and a small budget. There was a unanimous desire expressed at the public meetings for better pedestrian access. Nobody was asking for bike lanes on Burnside.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for the comment. Sorry you are disappointed with the article.

      We focus specifically on bikes here (as you know), that’s why I felt the headline and the reporting about lack of bike lanes in the article was appropriate.

      And as for “nobody was asking for bike lanes on Burnside”… Well, that’s why I wrote the headline like I did and that’s why I left my comment above: Because I feel someone needs to be asking for bike lanes on Burnside.

      Please consider that I can appreciate how this project does offer improvements and good things, while at the same time, wonder out loud why it didn’t get designed in a way that would have allowed for good bike access.

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        KC October 9, 2014 at 11:20 pm

        As someone who also participated in the public process, I share Greg’s frustration. And as an avid reader of BikePortland, I know you’ve become a bit disenchanted with Portland’s stalling out on adding more facilities for biking and pretty fed up with PBOT for allowing that. I share a lot of your thinking on that front, but in this case I feel like you’re taking an overly negative stance, to the point of misrepresenting the situation.
        From the headline, you’d think the *point* of the Burnside project was to add parking spaces and exclude bike lanes. It wasn’t, not by a long shot. The central goal is to slow down traffic and make is safer for pedestrians *and bikers* to cross. That point was entirely missing from the article until Michael added a sentence when I pointed it out (thanks Michael). With a very limited budget, we did something substantial improve things.
        Now, I probably have a thin skin because I’m pretty new to this kind of public process. I’m sure the folks at PBOT are much more used to getting called the “Parking Bureau of Transportation” by folks when I know what they’re trying to do with this project is save lives. But it does kind of burn me to see the sincere efforts of the folks who worked on this largely overlooked. I’m sure you *can* appreciate how this project does offer improvements. It’d be cool if you actually *would* appreciate it, and then move on to how things can go better in future public projects.
        I think it’s good to wonder out loud why additional bike access wasn’t designed in. My own take on that it was a process that was driven by members of the community immediately around the street in question who don’t share your point of view. My sense is that we all thought that Ankeny and Couch are great facilities, and so the task of trying to reduce collisions is what took priority. I commute by bike every day using Ankeny & Couch, and that’s what I was thinking. If there were more people who commute through the area, maybe it would have been different.
        The issue of cut-throughs on Ankeny did come up. I brought up the specific idea of putting in a raised area at 28th, like there is at 12th, and PBOT folks said that really needed to be handled by the 20’s bikeway project. I think cutting through is a real problem, and would definitely like help pushing PBOT to stay on top of that.

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          Greg October 10, 2014 at 12:25 am

          Well said KC, much better than I could have done.

          Tonight, Roger Geller from PBOT presented an idea for traffic diversion on Ankeny at the Buckman Community Association meeting. I really like it, as it could substantially reduce cut-through traffic in the neighborhood, and significantly improve the bike experience on Ankeny.

          I’m not going to try to represent the proposal because it’s bedtime, and I think it deserves it’s own article, with maps and numbers.

          I do want to say that people who care about improving bike infrastructure in Portland need to do more than post comments online (not referring to BP folks, I’ve seen you out there :). They need to show up at public meetings and get involved, otherwise their voices won’t be heard.

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            9watts October 10, 2014 at 8:18 am

            “people who care about improving bike infrastructure in Portland need to do more than post comments online…”

            From Kirk’s excellent post on the Clinton diverter debacle –

            Kirk
            I know I am late to the game with this post, but I wanted to follow-up Terry D’s comment about getting involved and how that personally relates to my experience with the 20s Bikeway, along with my support for diverters in general. I apologize in advance for taking up so much comment real-estate, but I’ve got to get this out:
            First – YES! I fully agree that we need more diverters on our network of supposedly *low-stress* bikeways. I’ll acknowledge (as Paikiala correctly pointed out bit.ly/1uL9sJq) that we have a good number of diverters already, but just because we can write out a list of 17 of them doesn’t mean that’s all we can or should do. One of the diverters listed was at N Central St at N Tyler Ave (you can see a couple images of them within this BP post: bit.ly/1qNx2na), I bet that setup didn’t cost $100,000.
            Second – We need diverters not to avoid crashes, but to make biking around Portland a heck of a lot more pleasant with fewer interactions with automobiles. For example, we can talk all day long about how a person driving a car at the 85th percentile speed of 20 mph is most likely not going to kill me, but they can still drive super close to me with the intent of harassing me simply because I’m riding a bike. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. And I’m sure I’m stereotyped as the ‘strong and fearless’ rider that doesn’t care about these stressful encounters. LIES. These moments of harassment do not show up in crash data, but our data on stagnation would be a good place to look at the bigger picture of why more people aren’t riding.
            Third – I fully agree that we need more people to show up to neighborhood meetings to demand change. It’s unfortunate that this is the case, but it is. The problem is, this request to active transportation advocates happens over and over again, with little increase in the # of people showing up – and this is Portland where already many more people ARE actively involved in transportation advocacy/meetings than in most any other place in the country. Why aren’t more people showing up to the meetings? This is my personal experience with why more aren’t:
            At the beginning of getting involved in the 20s Bikeway project, I was completely stoked to see that the list of stakeholder advisory committee members was overwhelmingly bike-friendly. I was certain that this *bikeway* project would result in something awesome for the future of our city. Long story short: it likely won’t. I started the process really excited and wanting to find ways to get more involved. I started attending my neighborhood land use and transportation committee meetings. I also attended some NECN meetings related to the project. At the end of the project, I realized that it takes a LOT of time/energy to get a simple compromise out of the deal. I’m a wonk about this stuff, I love transportation and what we *could* change about it, but the process honestly tired me out to attend all of these meetings. But I stuck with it.
            If I love this stuff, think about it every single day, and still walk (more appropriately, bike) away from the process feeling stressed about a watered down compromise solution at a time when we need to start making bold changes, how the hell are we supposed to expect regular folks to attend such wonky meetings that live within that specific neighborhood who do enjoy moving about actively/sustainably but have other legitimate passions that take up a good chunk of their free time?
            Now that I’ve been introduced to the neighborhood land use and transportation committee I’ll be back at future meetings for sure. Not to expect great changes, but to make sure that a compromise for any project can at least be possible when the time comes. If we want more people to attend these type of meetings, we need to give them something that inspires them, gives them some form of hope, some form of feeling that their opinion is valued. I don’t see that right now. When our neighborhood land use and transportation committee met with PBOT to demand diverters in the northern section of the 20s Bikeway route, we were given every reason that has been mentioned within this thread as to why diverters cannot be installed as part of this project – EXCEPT the reason that we didn’t have enough neighborhood support behind it.
            It’s as if it is a game of whack-a-mole: you show up online and demand change but you aren’t ‘real’ enough and are encouraged to show up to neighborhood meetings. You take time out of your day to show up to neighborhood meetings to demand change, but there isn’t enough money. You show up to stakeholder advisory committee meetings to advise PBOT how to use their couple million dollars specifically for a bike project in a certain way, but there isn’t enough support from the businesses……how again do we inspire people to attend all of these meetings?
            Fourth – WWUD? (U = Utrecht, see http://bit.ly/1cmab8F & http://bit.ly/1ADxUNg) … request more of its citizens to attend meetings before making the transportation network much more bike-friendly? Maybe, but I doubt it. It’s about time to have this ‘difficult conversation’. It won’t get any easier the more we delay and have more people move into the city. We are adults. Let’s have that discussion. (Oh, but these randomly generated blog comments don’t count.)
            Recommended 24

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            Chris Anderson October 10, 2014 at 9:06 am

            Our high level policy enshrines peds and bikes at the top of the hierarchy, we have city and regional goals to reduce VMT, etc etc. So my take is that PBOT just plain isn’t doing their job. When the daily decisions of engineering staff regularly controvert city policy, what are we supposed to do?

            The policy environment suggests it should be the oil companies and car dealers begging for scraps. But they are not, and here we are. When a group of people is represented in word but not in deed, it creates room for vigilanteism and taking matters into one’s own hands. This is not what we like to call civilized.

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              davemess October 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

              Chris, I’m confused how you comment pertains directly to this project (which took away an auto travel lane, adds pedestrian crossings, and increases safety for bike/peds crossing the street)? If anything this specific project is actually negative for auto travel on Burnside (the parking was untouched so that is a neutral event).

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                Chris Anderson October 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

                It pertains to the idea that we should “show up”. I do plenty of showing up, as do many of us. I chose Portland for my family b/c I thought it was a place where carhead would be told to show up, and active transportation was already a known winner. This is what stagnation feels like.

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                davemess October 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

                Again. They took away a car lane of travel. And added improvements for pedestrians.

                I get your frustration, as I’m “showing up” as well (I do agree with Greg that more on this site should though). I just don’t think THIS project warrants a lot of outrage. 28th? Sure go nuts!

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

          Hi KC,

          Thanks for the comment, and for your volunteer work on this project. I think it would be helpful to stop and consider that I have appreciated PBOT and their work here on this Front Page hundreds, if not thousands, of times in the past 9 years. In fact, I could make the case that BikePortland is the largest supporter/cheerleader for PBOT’s work in this city.

          So, I understand that when I/this site veer away even slightly from a tone of support for their actions, it shocks people… And the result is a sense of betrayal. Add in the fact that many people consider me/BikePortland as part of the “team” or “the movement” and that feeling is even more intense when I dare to go against the grain. But please try and step back and consider what we are doing and what I am trying to express as both a resident of this city and as publisher of BikePortland.

          My reaction to this project takes place in a context of other projects and (in)actions by PBOT. Perhaps you’ve read some of our coverage about the ongoing stagnation? What I see is that they are increasingly fearful — and/or simply unable — to give bicycling the type of priority that it needs.

          Should I ignore my gut feelings of frustration about what’s happening at the PBOT offices and City Hall? Should I be their constant defender and always be the cheerleader? Perhaps (but that’s one reason we’ve suffered from complacency. too many cheerleaders). Actually, I’ve thought at great length about how this site’s change in tone about PBOT in recent years might actually be a contributing factor to the stagnation (by reducing community morale, which slows momentum at PBOT, which makes it harder to do big bike stuff)… But right now I feel that someone needs to be pushing PBOT and City Hall to do more for bikes, faster. With such a strong advocacy, planning, and bureaucracy class in this town, there are very very few independent voices that are free to say what they really see going on. I think it’s important that I continue to do that and I will continue to do that until I see a real change in the tide.

          Like I said in my comment above, I am very open to reconsidering my perspectives. But so far, given projects like this one that ignore the role bicycling should play on major commercial streets like Burnside, I remain concerned about the lack of confidence in cycling I see from PBOT/City Hall. My goal is to find the right balance of congratulations and criticism that will get us over this hump and back into being a leader. Wish me luck.

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            Buzz October 10, 2014 at 1:21 pm

            Have you ever personally considered running for City Council, Jonathan?

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            KC October 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

            Hey Jonathan–

            I definitely get where you’re coming from and want to acknowledge that you’re in a unique position. You can take the bully pulpit to move the region towards better infrastructure for bicycles in a way very few can, and if I were in your shoes, I might take the same tack you are. On all those hard choices that fall to you, I very truly do wish you the best of luck!

            For me, your tone lately falls way, way, WAY short of betrayal. If you start rolling coal on the weekends as a fun hobby, THEN you’re in deep doodoo.

            I get that an opportunity, maybe a golden one, was missed. But it’s important to me to speak up on behalf of a project that I worked on when I feel that it’s being publicly mischaracterized, especially in a venue I appreciate as much as this one.

            Thanks for all your hard and passionate work!

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          davemess October 10, 2014 at 1:29 pm

          Don’t feel too bad KC, we actually will get bike lanes added to Foster and many on this site viewed it as a failure.

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          soren October 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

          My sense is that we all thought that Ankeny and Couch are great facilities, and so the task of trying to reduce collisions is what took priority. I commute by bike every day using Ankeny & Couch, and that’s what I was thinking. If there were more people who commute through the area, maybe it would have been different.

          Ankeny and Couch are great if you think 6.1%…6%…5.8% cycling mode share is great. Ankeny and Couch are “great” if you think cyclists should get out of the way and cycle over there.

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            KC October 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

            Whoa. Soren, I’m going to take the high road here and work from the assumption that you’re using the generic “you” and not assigning those opinions to me specifically.

            In any case, no. I don’t personally think “cyclists should get out of the way and cycle over there”. Not at all. I’m looking at them from my own experience as a person who bikes them just about every single day. I think they’re great because they have very few cars on them and they’re very conveniently close to the main drag.

            I appreciate that there are bike facilities on main streets like lower E Burnside, Lower NE Broadway & Weidler, etc. It doesn’t bother me that people use them or believe that it would be better if the people that do use would use other streets. I just don’t enjoy them. Too many cars for me. They’d be better if they had physical separation from car traffic. But even if they had the state-of-the-art separation, I don’t think I would enjoy them like I do Ankeny. Just too many cars.

            There are plenty of parallel facilities that are pretty atrocious (e.g. Couch/Davis/Everett from 47th to 60th), but I just don’t think area in question (14th to 32nd) is one of them.

            I’m all for improving these streets to make them better for bikes, but I think it’s inaccurate to portray those that appreciate them for what they in the way you’re describing.

            Thanks for your work with the BCA.

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              soren October 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

              The “you” was meant rhetorically and thanks for interpreting it that way.

              “I think they’re great because they have very few cars on them and they’re very conveniently close to the main drag.”

              I strongly support improving Ankeny but I personally don’t think it qualifies as a “great” facility. While I believe greenways are an important part of our network, I also believe we need to focus on making cycling trips competitive with motoring trips. IMO, a bike lane on Burnside is a critical step towards allocating space for a safer, more direct and more efficient facility.

              “And they’re very conveniently close to the main drag.”

              I disagree. I believe cyclists need safe access to main drags like Burnside and 28th because many of our destinations are on these streets. For example, there is no way for a more cautious cyclist to get to Whole Foods without running a traffic gauntlet at 28th and Burnside. Moreover, the idea that cyclists should cycle “over there” was part of the argument against a bike lane on 28th so perhaps I read too much into your comment based on my bitterness over that “process”.

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