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With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes

Posted by on July 30th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

livable streets fb

The Facebook page for the new “subgroup”
Livable Streets Action.

A new group called Livable Streets Action is taking the tactics that have won a string of victories for local biking this spring and summer and applying them to other modes, too.

Organizer Dan Kaufman, a videographer and longtime local social justice advocate who has helped organize demonstrations for transportation activism group BikeLoudPDX and the bike-based but non-transportation-focused group Bike Swarm, referred to Livable Streets Action as a “subgroup” of those other groups.

Livable Streets Action’s first event is tomorrow, a Friday afternoon commemoration for Marlene Popps, a woman who was hit by a car and left for dead on the evening of July 4 at the corner of SE 60th and Holgate. She died of her injuries July 21.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of SE Holgate and Foster, about three blocks from the site of Popps’s collision. It’s seen 22 reported traffic injuries between 2004 and 2014. Foster Road, which is due for a safety redesign next year, is one of Portland’s 10 high-crash corridors. Here’s the event listing on the Shift calendar.

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“We will also take this last day of the month to remember the approximately 30 deaths on Oregon roads in July,” Kaufman wrote in his Facebook event description. “So far for the year we are 44% increase in road fatalities over 2014. Motorists account for the most deaths followed closely by pedestrians.”

Portland’s Vision Zero policy, adopted by the city council this year, aims to eliminate traffic deaths of people no matter how they are moving about the city. But in part because bicycling advocates have been particularly loud and well-organized, the issue of traffic safety has come to be closely associated with bicycling, with media reports regularly characterizing general traffic safety protests as being in support of bicycle safety. That’s prompted some discussion among BikeLoud organizers of how to better broaden their message and appeal in some situations.

In an email to the BikeLoudPDX listserv, Kaufman wrote that he hopes Livable Streets Action “can develop into a coalition of groups interested direct action in the support of liveable streets.”

Kaufman noted that Popps’ son Mike Neldon is working to raise $5000 for her memorial, and asked that people attending Friday’s action “bring a hat or bucket to help collect funds and a sign that indicates why you are there. We will be marching, collecting donations, and raising awareness at the crash site and around the intersection of SE Holgate and Foster.”

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  • 9watts July 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton says ‘We’re studying the issue.’

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  • Spiffy July 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    and a few months ago 3 blocks down Foster…


    I’m hoping the new streetscape calms foster… and if they put in a left turn lane for Foster/Holgate that’ll help a lot of the clueless people currently making illegal left turns there…

    but at the same time they’re converting timed lights to sensor/beg-button lights, effectively prioritizing motor vehicle traffic while claiming to calm motor vehicles…

    we need bold leadership in this city, not yes-men who cave to the status quo while throwing a small bone to the oppressed masses…

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    • Adam H. July 30, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Foster is getting door-zone bike lanes. Far from “complete streets”. Until PBOT stops using “retaining auto parking” as a metric of success, we will continue to get more dangerous bike lanes built. Even PBOT themselves admitted the parking on Foster is underutilized!

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      • Ted Buehler July 31, 2015 at 1:11 am

        Adam — looks like they’re 6′ bike lanes, between 8′ parking lanes and 11′ driving lanes.

        When I think of Door Zone Bike Lanes, I think of the 4′ lanes in Hollywood and on NE 57th.

        While standard bike lanes are 5′.

        At what point, in your estimation, does a bike lane become a DZBL? 6′ isn’t entirely generous, but it’s usable for a proficient bicycle rider. Unlike a 4′ lane…

        Just curious,

        Ted Buehler

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        • 9watts July 31, 2015 at 7:39 am

          “6′ isn’t entirely generous, but it’s usable for a proficient bicycle rider. Unlike a 4′ lane…”

          I don’t know. 6′ seems incredible to me. Those ones they put in not so long ago no SE 52nd. Wow.
          I can even ride next to my daughter and we can have a conversation.

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        • RJ July 31, 2015 at 7:56 am

          I think we can agree there’s a spectrum of door-zone bike lanes. Tillamook in front of the Hollywood Library is especially egregious. 10′ motor vehicle lane, 4′ bike lane, 7′ parking. Mix in the fact that parking in front of the library has heavy, heavy turnover, and this might be the most useless bike lane in Portland.

          The Foster design could be better for bikes, and I don’t think it’s unfair to call it a DZBL, but it’s at least a useful piece of infra compared to some of the other bike lanes in town. (SW Broadway in front of the Benson Hotel, I’m looking at you, too.)

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          • Adam H. July 31, 2015 at 9:41 am

            My point was that Foster is being completely redesigned and the best PBOT could come up with was painted bike lanes? Foster should have at least gotten curb-side bike lanes with a buffer and flexible bollards. This was a missed opportunity for good separated space for people riding bikes.

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          • paikiala July 31, 2015 at 9:51 am

            Do you think Hancock would be a better route for the greenway east of 28th?

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            • RJ July 31, 2015 at 2:05 pm

              I don’t know if it makes much difference — probably similar traffic volumes and curb-to-curb widths? For certain, Hancock would need to be repaved, as it’s really nasty in spots.

              What about (gasp) taking parking off the north side of Tillamook (and improving the bike lanes)? I’m sure the Grant Park neighbors north of Tillamook would pitch a fit about losing parking, especially with all that new density coming in. Oh wait, I AM one of those neighbors north of Tillamook, I love all the new density (supports great new businesses and ped activity in the district), and I have my own driveway/garage so the reduced on-street parking makes no difference to me. Huh.

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            • RJ July 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm

              Looking at the section through Hollywood (39th-42nd), Hancock is narrower than Tillamook. You’d have to lose parking to put in bike lanes, and I’m not sure the traffic volumes warrant bike lanes anyway. Is there discussion at PBOT about shifting the City Bikeway classification to Hancock? It’s an interesting idea.

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          • Chris I July 31, 2015 at 9:51 am

            Oh, and don’t forget about the sewer drains every block with huge depressions in the road on Tillamook, and stop signs every block. That street is a joke. I have completely stopped using the bike lane there.

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            • paikiala July 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm

              You do know it has not had the neighborhood greenway standard applied to it yet? It is a legacy boulevard.

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          • Anne Hawley July 31, 2015 at 11:57 am

            I discovered the Tillamook bike lane early in my bike-only life, and didn’t know enough about infrastructure to despise it. I just felt grateful that it let me get directly to Hollywood in my own lane.

            I still use it a couple of times a week, but now I do know enough to despise it. It’s truly better than nothing, but Better Than Nothing is hardly a proud standard. It’s pretty bad.

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        • Adam H. July 31, 2015 at 9:38 am

          The bike lane should be along the curb with parking to the left, since most people exit cars on the left. Many people will ride in the door zone even if the bike lane is six feet wide to be further from moving cars. Placing the bike lane along the curb prevents this.

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          • paikiala July 31, 2015 at 12:03 pm

            Doesn’t it also prevent cyclist from easily accessing (and seeing) a destination on the other side of the street from which they are riding? Might a median bike lane solve both issues?

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        • Adam H. July 31, 2015 at 9:41 am

          That and people have to drive though the bike lane to park, creating additional conflicts.

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  • Adam H. July 30, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    This is great! Michael, how about including info on how we can help volunteer? I’d love to get involved in this!

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  • Chris Anderson July 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I like this style of thinking. I hope we can create a city where you don’t have to be loud to get livable streets.

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  • Ted Buehler July 31, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Thanks for the coverage, Jonathan.

    Come to the event, folks, and help make people aware of the scale of human carnage that occurs on Oregon roads. So we can get support to do something about it.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Spiffy July 31, 2015 at 9:36 am

    SE 60th and Holgate is also where people start illegally passing on the right to make the turn onto Foster…

    one day I yelled “illegal” as people passed and most people responded by telling me to go have sex with myself, which I did… yet they didn’t head my advice…

    one day I’ll set up a camera and issue citizen citations for this location…

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    • paikiala July 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      would converting the eastbound parking lane at 61st to the turn lane help?

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      • paikiala July 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        into a buffered bike lane.

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    • Jake August 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

      I thought people were supposed to be nice in Portland.

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  • Kristi Finney Dunn July 31, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Seeing Dan in action and the other dedicated and caring people who made it out today was so inspiring. A couple of Marlene’s friends even showed up and took over the signs when we started to leave. I even met a man who had met my son Dustin back in 2011 and told me how much he had liked and admired him. My day was already made -feeling the love- and that made it even better.

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  • Dan Kaufman July 31, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Big thanks to everybody who helped Liveable Streets Action raise $282.81 today in honor of Marlene pops. We met some of her lifelong friends. They helped her fight through cancer and then to have her die in a hit a run. It’s tragic and they miss her.


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