PBOT: School relocation will mean more auto traffic on North Flint

Posted by on August 25th, 2015 at 9:03 am

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-8

Traffic on Flint at Broadway.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A popular route for bicycling will change a lot when school starts later this week.

On Thursday the currently vacant school on North Flint Avenue just south of Russell will become the temporary home for Faubion School. Faubion (which serves kindergarten through eighth grade) will move from their northeast Portland location while their school is rebuilt over the course of the next two years.

Flint is a popular connection between the bike lanes N Vancouver Ave and N Broadway. The move means that what used to be a quiet backstreet for thousands of bike riders each day will see a lot more auto traffic.

The situation warranted a press release by the bureau of transportation yesterday. PBOT is recommending that people who want to avoid the traffic — especially during the morning and afternoon pick-up and drop-off times — stay on Vancouver to Tillamook before getting back onto Flint.

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PBOT’s suggested detour.

Faubion has just over 500 students and according to the city’s most recent Safe Routes to School survey over 40 percent of them walk or bike to school. However, that survey also showed that all those walking and biking trips were made by students who live one mile or less from the school. With the temporary location on Flint being over five miles from Faubion, both Portland Public Schools and PBOT, “anticipate that the… distance between the two sites will result in more families driving to school.”

PPB and PBOT are working together with the public, students and families to help with traffic issues. PPS held a bike breakfast at the site last week to spread the word about the change and they say bus drivers have gotten special training on how to maneuver “in a highly bicycle trafficked area.” PPS will also work with the city’s Safe Routes program to encourage bike trains, walking school buses, ride sharing, and other options to driving.

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30 Comments
  • Avatar
    rick August 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Smith School, a public one in SW Portland, has been closed since 2005.

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    Spiffy August 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

    If you’re moving the school more than a mile you should supply buses. It’s insane to expect parents to drive their kids to school in an urban area.

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      JeffTB August 25, 2015 at 9:44 am

      Busing to Tubman will be available to all Faubion students.

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      Paul Wilkins August 25, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Faubion is a ‘catch-basin’ school, for a lot of the area north of Columbia Blvd, including Hayden Island and Jubitz.

      We were all assigned a bus. But I’m not one to expect that people’s habits are going to change wholesale. Anf there’s going to be an adjustment period.

      Go Bulldogs!

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      John Lascurettes August 25, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Yes, I believe they were testing the bus delivery of students on Monday. There was kind of a cluster-f of buses all arriving at the same time Monday morning and caused a jam. Not something I want experience on a daily basis (plus frenetic car-shuttling parents!).

      Thanks for the article, with this info, I’ll definitely join Flint down at Tillamook instead of Russel – or just take Vancouver all the way to Broadway and pick up the bike lane there.

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        Dave Whitaker August 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

        A word of caution about connecting to Flint via Tillamook. During the morning commute, people driving cars southbound on Flint often times will pass cyclists and will driving in the northbound lane at the Tillamook intersection. Need to be extra cautious when pulling onto Flint.

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        Paul Wilkins August 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

        Parents are being asked to drop off children behind the school.

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        Paul Wilkins August 25, 2015 at 5:55 pm
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          John Lascurettes August 26, 2015 at 1:46 am

          Thanks for that. It will still take a while for parents to get used to that. Also, the buses coming in will still cause a snarl for the auto and bike traffic headed to the Broadway Bridge.

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    daisy August 25, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I hope PBOT is also targeting folks in cars. Sometimes folks drive way too fast on N Flint, zipping into the opposing lane to pass bikes rather than slowing down a bit. Just this morning a motorcycle buzzed pass two or three folks on bikes.

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson August 25, 2015 at 10:19 am

    That street desperately needs speed bumps. would make a big difference preventing impatient drivers speeding around parents on such a wide street.

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      rick August 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Why not chicanes?

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    Adam H. August 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

    This is the exact wrong approach. Instead of alerting people of higher car traffic, PBOT should install temporary diverters to maintain a safe level of car volume.

    This attitude of “lots of cars, too bad” at PBOT needs to stop.

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      John Lascurettes August 25, 2015 at 10:43 am

      In this case, it’s not going to be just cars, but several school buses in the morning.

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      ethan August 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Cars first mentality.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu August 26, 2015 at 7:00 am

      But a diverter cannot let “some” cars through while excluding others. It lets “no” vehicles through. Surely you wouldn’t want to prevent all Faubion parents from driving their kids to school, and to prevent any Faubion kids from arriving by school bus.

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    WAR August 25, 2015 at 11:22 am

    When your a tech minion transplant gentrifier pushed everyone around.

    Karma will push you around too.

    Call your sides.

    That is all.

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      JeffTB August 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Translation: gentrifying cyclists will get pushed around by school buses….?

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      maccoinnich August 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Your powers of non-sequitur are strong.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty August 25, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I think PBOT needs to get out ahead of situations like this, figure out what traffic patterns are appropriate, then take steps to inform/encourage people to follow them. That might take the form of signage or even physical barriers.

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    Matt August 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Could go Russell–> Rodney–> Broadway. Probably be a little more busy

    Bet people will stop running stop sign leading onto Broadway 😉

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      WAR August 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      I see people blow stop signs in front of me only to see them at a red light later.

      Please, If your going to RUN stop signs, RUN the lights to.

      Pfft.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu August 26, 2015 at 10:02 am

      What’s wrong with continuing down Vancouver to Broadway?

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        Lee August 26, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        No official right turn allowed there. At that light there are two lanes of parallel traffic to the right. They are exiting from i-5.

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          lop August 27, 2015 at 3:48 am

          Those two lanes off I5 have a red light when Vancouver gets a green, and neither of them are permitted to turn right onto Broadway. What conflict is there?

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          • John Liu
            John Liu August 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

            When I ride from Vancouver St to the Broadway Bridge, I always simply turn right from Vancouver directly to Broadway. The bike lane on Vancouver ends before the intersection, but then you simply ride in the right-most lane that is seldom crowded (isn’t it bus only?) for 100 feet to the intersection, and then the signals are phased for the right turn across the freeway offramp. It is easy as pie. I’ve never felt any need to use Flint.

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    Buzz August 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I used to commute to downtown on N. Flint when the Harriet Tubman school was still open. Yes, there was some extra traffic, including school busses, but it was never worthy of PBOT issuing a warning to cyclists to use an alternative route, and I don’t see why they are doing it now. What I mostly remember is the friendly bus monitor with whom I would exchange greetings every morning as I rode by.

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      Robert Burchett August 25, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Maybe there will be more students? It was a magnet school before.
      Good reason to skip the Flint/Russell intersection and its two days per year of black ice! If you haven’t crashed there, keep at it!

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    gutterbunnybikes August 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    And nothing about Franklin to Marshall?

    90’s & Powell is going to be a lot worse the next two years…though Woodward will be pretty chill with all the student and new drivers gone.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu August 26, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Grant HS will also move to Marshall in fall 2017.

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