Special gravel coverage

Vancouver plans its first raised bike lane

Posted by on August 31st, 2015 at 10:50 am

Portland’s neighbors to the north are planning a project that could set an important precedent in Clark County: a street rebuild that’s currently set to include a raised, protected bike lane.

It’s part of the planned expansion of SE 1st Street between 164th and 177th avenues, which is currently a two-lane street. The changes would add six-foot-wide sidewalks, raised five-foot-wide bike lanes and six-foot wide drainage swales to each side of the street, plus a center turn lane.

This neighborhood is north and a bit east from 122nd Avenue in Portland, and the context is somewhat similar: the auto-oriented residential neighborhoods that cover most of the area don’t offer a connected grid, so 1st Street is one of the only ways to get east and west, on a bike or otherwise.

An open house is planned for tomorrow night, Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mill Plain Elementary School, 400 SE 164th Ave.

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Putting the bike lane next to the sidewalk will be a brand-new design to many residents, not to mention many city staffers and politicians, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some resistance to the idea.

“We need to get a lot of cyclists out there,” Vancouver biking advocate Todd Boulanger wrote in an email Saturday.

Some issues that aren’t clear from the project’s website: how designers plan to manage bikes at intersections and driveways, whether the pavement beneath the bike lane will look any different than the pavement beneath the sidewalk, and whether there’s any reason not to put people biking and walking at slightly separate levels.

Whatever the details, though, it’d be a big deal if Vancouver were to start making raised bike lanes standard features of suburban road expansions. Unlike central cities such as Portland, suburbs regularly rebuild streets completely, which makes it very cheap to include modern curb-protected bike lanes like this one rather than the conventional painted bike lanes that are known not to appeal to most people.

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48 Comments
  • 9watts August 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Interesting. I hope they pull off a solid interpretation. The long term price of screwing it up is pretty high.

    “suburbs regularly rebuild streets completely, which makes it very cheap to include modern curb-protected bike lanes like this one rather than the conventional painted bike lanes that are known not to appeal to most people.”

    Hm. I hope we’re not pinning too many hopes on this kind of logic. The price of asphalt (the current fracking blip notwithstanding) is only going to continue to climb and climb. I would be surprised if concrete were vastly cheaper and it’s carbon signature is possibly even worse.

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  • JJJJ August 31, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Looks like a wide sidewalk to me with a “bikes allowed” sign

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  • 9watts August 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I just checked. The price of asphalt tripled between 1/2005 and 1/2015. It has dropped a bit since then.

    “These increases are largely the result of escalation in the costs of materials used in highway projects, such as steel and asphalt, and reflect structural, not transitory, economic changes. Since 2000, the inflation rate has averaged 2.4% growth annually. Construction wages have averaged a similar growth rate. Concrete prices have averaged slightly more than 4% annually. Liquid asphalt averaged more than 11% annually. A continuation of procurement policies that bet heavily on asphalt paved roads, with lower durability than concrete roads, will accelerate these DOT pressures.”
    http://www2.cement.org/econ/pdf/escalator_report_2-27-12.pdf

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    • gutterbunnybikes August 31, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      It’s not very well known and I know it sounds kind of silly, but there is kind of an impending worldwide sand shortage. And for those that don’t know it, concrete needs sand.

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      • lop August 31, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        How much of an issue is that for road construction? Will alternatives just increase the price of paving projects?

        http://www.holcim.com/referenceprojects/waste-as-a-meaningful-substitute-for-natural-sand.html

        Asphalt uses a lot of oil, so the cost in real dollars has increased significantly over the last twenty years. Will concrete see the same doubling or tripling in price over the next few decades? And how much of the cost of a road is the raw materials, and how much is labor and equipment?

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      • paikiala September 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm

        Pervious concrete, not so much.

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  • B. Carfree August 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Obviously, handling those driveways and intersections are critical. Sadly, the only politically feasible ways of handling those in America is to give motorists the right of way and tell those cycling “Look every direction at once. If you fail, you’re at fault. Too bad.” I’m not entirely pleased with this sort of thing, for obvious reasons. Davis put one of these side-paths in place the early ’70s and it has been the single most dangerous place to ride in that city’s history, precisely because of the right-of-way problem.

    Then there’s the other design details. Mere five foot bike lanes with edge issues? I know this is Washington, but Oregon requires bike lanes to be six feet (only exception is if the right of way is too narrow, but that’s almost never the case). California requires shoulders on bike paths (this side path is kind of between a bike path and a bike lane). Those laws are in place for reasons. I hate to see the segregationist efforts ignore those things we already know.

    Looking at all the space, I do wish Vancouver had chosen to simply follow the lead of Munich, which has seen a meteoric rise in cycling, by putting in place seven foot bike lanes. It’s sinful to see a two-lane road widened to mostly provide added space for cars. Add it up: thirty-four feet directly for cars, another twelve feet required because of drainage/pollutant issues caused by the cars, twelve feet for pedestrians and only ten feet for bikes. How retrograde can we get?

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    • Eric Leifsdad August 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      All of these details and the right-of-way issues are the reason I keep saying that we need to quit trying to build bikeways until we get the priorities straight. It’s not because I *want* to ride in a shared lane or prefer to be closer to the vehicle traffic, it’s because everything I’ve seen so far creates bigger problems exactly where we need to be making the road more safe. We should definitely stop looking at design via a mid-block cross-section — that is the least important part of the design. If bikeways are only being built to to get bikes out of the way of cars, just don’t bother building them until we’re ready to do it for the opposite reason.

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      • gutterbunnybikes August 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        +1000

        Amen, and thank you.

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      • lop August 31, 2015 at 9:50 pm

        This isn’t a bike project, it’s a road project. Adding in the bike path isn’t (financially or politically) that big of a deal right now, but it will be ten years from now if you rebuild the road without it today. What’s better in 2030, a three lane road with sidewalks, or a three lane road with sidewalks and a five foot cycle track in each direction? Because that’s probably the choice here. The intersections aren’t being ignored. Which specific ones did you not like the treatment of in the preliminary engineering?

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        • Alan 1.0 September 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

          This isn’t a bike project, it’s a road project. Adding in the bike path isn’t (financially or politically) that big of a deal right now, but it will be ten years from now if you rebuild the road without it today.

          Good point. That changes how I look at it. I will be asking the planners about longer term plans for both 1st and 18th. Still, it’s pretty evident that 1st is going to remain very bad for bikes east of this section for quite some time (many years), meaning that this route won’t be widely used as a connector, and meanwhile lots of relatively easy fixes are left undone.

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  • Adam H. August 31, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    This is great! Suburban arterials are a great candidate for protected bike lanes since there is already plenty of room in the ROW without having to widen the road. Although there are plenty of urban arterials in Portland that fit that description.

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    • Andrew August 31, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      It’s a shame this attitude of bicycle inclusion wasn’t around 4 years ago when 164th in Vancouver got a makeover. They repaved and widened to add right turn lanes for cars. All thats done is allowed traffic to fly down 164th even faster than before. There was a golden opportunity to use the widened right of way to include separated cycle tracks. HP and peacehealth are two major employers that could have been served.

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  • J_R August 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I’m another skeptic when it comes to these separated, raised lanes.

    Advantages include: fewer intrusions by autos into the space reserved for bikes and less debris being ‘swept’ into the bike area by the crown of the road and the action of motor vehicle tires.

    Disadvantages include: more intrusion by pedestrians into the bike space, the bicyclists may be further removed from the motorists line of vision, the expected treatment (right-of-way rules) at the intersections are unclear to all types of users, the “on-sidewalk” design may encourage wrong-way riding, which opens up a whole new set of issues for “where do I look” for pedestrians and motorists.

    As others have noted, the treatment at intersections and driveways is critical.

    The state law relating to right-of-way may need to be updated, too, because of the possibility that this may be considered as a multi-use path where it “crosses” a street. If it’s defined as a multi-use path, would you be limited to “walking speed” (Oregon terminology) when traveling though the intersection? If it is defined as a multi-use path, would you be required to yield to a right-turning auto?

    Depending on the exact location and the situation (such as many driveways or the presence of many pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk) and the interpretation of the state law, I might choose to take the lane and ride on the street.

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    • Adam H. August 31, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      A lot of the problems with people walking in the separated lanes can be solved with clearer delineation (have the cycle track a bit lower than the sidewalk) and volume. If more people use the cycle track, it will become obvious that it’s for bikes-only (a few annoyed dings of the bell usually do the trick). That and more signage. At these designs are still fairly new for America, there needs to be a bit of adjustment period before people figure them out.

      At curb-cuts, there should be more paint to alert drivers to watch for people on bikes. Since the cycle track will be raised above the road surface, it should be fairly obvious anyway. Intersections should get the protected intersection treatment.

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      • gutterbunnybikes August 31, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        Because signs and paint do such a good job. If that’s the case the only infrastructure we need for cars.

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        • Adam H. September 1, 2015 at 9:49 am

          Not the same thing. People walking in the cycle track pose far less danger than people driving. There needs to be a clear delineation where the cycle track is (different grade), but other than that, there doesn’t need to be a ton of protection as there would have to be to separate the cycle track from the car lane.

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          • Eric Leifsdad September 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

            Can we please call it a bikeway? Cycle track sounds like a race track and nobody knows that’s called a velodrome. Meanwhile, people walking in the velodrome are likely to get killed.

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      • lop August 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

        http://imgur.com/miPab8d

        Does that look a protected intersection?

        http://imgur.com/Ht7viqq

        Good markings for the minor street heading to the subdivision?

        http://imgur.com/e6wHmNr

        If the sidewalk and bikeway are the same level, but there is a vertical curb, or line of stones or bricks, or something like that between them does that effectively delineate the two spaces?

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        • Adam H. September 1, 2015 at 11:32 am

          Yes, your examples look like a good solution for intersections and curb-cuts. Grade separated walking and riding path delineation would be preferable, but a visual clue is still acceptable.

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    • B. Carfree August 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I believe Oregon changed the law to permit cyclists who are riding as pedestrians (using crosswalks) to ride at a reasonable speed instead of the former walking speed limit. Of course both terms are still undefined, but I’d hazard to guess that the mythical reasonable person would find “reasonable speed” to be faster than “walking speed”.

      Just to add, the vehicle code doesn’t mention mixed-use paths. It defines bike paths and sidewalks, but not mixed-use paths. As far as Oregon law goes (which isn’t as far as Vancouver, so the point is academic), there is no such animal. Either way, there is indeed a real problem with how to make such an intersection work with safety and without extraordinary waiting. This is particularly a problem for implementations that will be rare experiments when we don’t even retest motorists for knowledge when they renew.

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      • soren August 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

        an 8 foot copenhagen-style cycle track would not be much different from a munich-style bike lane when it comes to traffic conflict. my guess is that planners are reluctant to mimic danish cycletrack design because it’s not “protected” enough.

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      • gutterbunnybikes August 31, 2015 at 4:57 pm

        In Oregon if I’m not mistaken- legally you only need ride at walking speed on a sidewalk at intersections and driveways. Otherwise it’s as fast as you want.

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        • lop August 31, 2015 at 11:38 pm

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410

          The walking pace speed restriction applies when there is a conflict with motor vehicles – sidepaths have a poor safety record if cyclists don’t slow down around cars/trucks, this is the fix. (yea, maybe it would be great if there was a network of cycle tracks where you can safely bike cross the road at fifteen mph, but this rule is about bikes on already built sidewalks, not design guidelines for cycle tracks.) You don’t have to slow down at crosswalks, driveways etc…if no motor vehicle is approaching. You do have to yield to all pedestrians and give an audible warning before passing. And you can’t operate in a ‘careless manner’, which probably includes riding real fast past a door a pedestrian might walk out of etc…So maybe not ‘as fast as you want’

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    • bjorn August 31, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      I work right at the HP/Peacehealth campus right near here, you never see anyone biking in the street on these arteries because it is far to dangerous, if someone is riding they are on the sidewalk now if there is one so adding a bike lane will likely reduce not increase the conflict with pedestrians, although really it is so unpleasant to walk in these areas that those conflicts are also minimal.

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  • maccoinnich August 31, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Looking at that section of road on Google Streetview this looks to be a big upgrade for people walking as well. The sidewalk is entirely missing for long chunks, and doesn’t always appear to be in great condition where it does occur.

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  • Clark in (the other) Vancouver August 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I think it’s great but things like this are easy to get wrong.
    There aren’t very many side streets. Raised crossings of the cycling and walking paths are needed. When driving out of the side streets to 1st, it should be obvious that there is a crossing there and you need to stop or to watch out for cross bike and pedestrian traffic.

    The other thing is the grade. They should either have different grades for the sidewalk and the cycle path or some other type of separation. A strip of grass or low bushes or something. It needs to be obvious that one path is for a different purpose than the other.

    The general travel lanes don’t need to be so wide either. Take a foot from each and make the cycle paths wider.

    On another note, I would also change the one block of SE 170th Ct. Make a bike permeable mini park or something. Also put in a traffic diverter where SE 5th meets SE 168th Ave. That way cars will not be able to use the neighbourhood to pass through.

    Somebody needs to give the Washington department of whatever a CROW manual.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 31, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Yes correct – the devil is in the details…just as Portland has been struggling with on Williams…the work in Vancouver is still at the very early stage (~30% level) and at this month’s CoV Bike Ped “Stakeholder” (the City’s new ‘advisory non advisory’ committee) meeting there has been more discussion on the street crossings (nodes) than the cross section of the multi modal facility. The previous two meetings were devoted to the general design of the links.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    One of the more exciting aspects of the design discussion so far is that the City Engineers (and their Portland consultants) are proposing to use the “protected [bicycle] intersection” at 172nd Ave. Look out Salt Lake City. 😉

    http://bikeportland.org/2014/06/19/portlanders-protected-intersection-concept-gets-first-street-demo-minneapolis-107534

    Again…still a lot of devil(s) and details to hash out.

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  • Andrew August 31, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Good to see. I grew up right off of that segment. I biked everywhere when I was a kid. The area has grown a lot in the 15+ years since I lived there. The unimproved section of 1st goes all the way to 192nd where it meets what is now a very busy commercial district. I should also mention there is an elementary, middle, and high school as well as a satellite campus for Clark college near that road as well. 1st street is the northern boundary of the columbia tech center, theres lots of jobs and quite a few new apartments that have gone up there in the last decade or so. Hopefully the improvements will one day make it all the way down there to link housing and shopping/work/school destinations.

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  • Al Dimond August 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Various Washington suburbs have essentially built asphalt sidewalks, put in a few signs directed toward bikes, and called those bike paths. Burien put yield signs facing this path at driveways. Bellevue hardly indicates bike use at all here but lists paths like this as bikeways in official city documents; as similar paths typically follow streets that lack sidewalks, they’re often where residents leave out their trash cans. Kent painted lanes on the concrete sidewalk for this bike route. Westbound on the north side, eastbound on the south. It’s hard to imagine many people walk on the sidewalk anyway. At major intersections the bike half of the sidewalk ramps down into a mixing zone on the street; at driveways it’s a big pile of nothing. Vancouver’s plan looks something like Kent’s except probably with better intersections.

    Washington does not have a mandatory sidepath law, so I’ve always taken the lane on these streets. Where sidepaths have intersections that show even the barest level of thought I’ll consider ’em.

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  • lop August 31, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    http://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/public_works/page/13549/firststdraftdesign-typicalsectionaug2815.pdf

    Doesn’t that say there’s a vertical curb between the sidewalk and bike path?

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  • Alan 1.0 August 31, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    That design in that location raises my eyebrows. I’m curious what the city planners will have to say tomorrow evening.

    That part of SE 1st is Vancouver’s boundary. North and east of that is in Clark County jurisdiction, and 1st goes east through a gravel quarry that’s nearing the end of its resource. I am guessing that the remaining ridge of gravel where 1st now runs will be excavated and 1st will descend about 80 feet to the floor of the quarry and then climb back up to 192nd, just as Mill Plain does a few blocks to the south. (Mill Plain also has bike lanes on that section, but I don’t see many bikes using them; I see more bikes using SE 15th and SE 20 St.) That grade will make it that much less attractive as a utility bike route.

    As it is now, 1st is a very scary street to ride between 164th and 192nd. The speed limit is 40mph but the road is bad enough that lots of traffic goes slower. East of 177th, where 1st enters the quarry area, it has zero shoulder on the south (blackberries right up to the white line) and very rough gravel on the north shoulder, with the white line right on the crumbling asphalt edge. It’s the primary route for large gravel trucks, the paving is rough, and the paint stripes don’t seem to last very long on it. That’s the worst section of 1st and that’s the part that isn’t getting anything (not now; maybe later).

    The section from 164th to 177th already has sidewalk or sidepath on both sides most of the way. While less than wonderful, it does provide reasonable walking and an option for riding out of the car lane. The street paving is old and rough. Street width varies frequently, some blocks have curbs and some don’t, and lane markings are…wierd (turn lanes, lanes don’t quite line up across 172nd, etc). While there aren’t lots of cross streets, there are several apartment complex driveways along that stretch which have a fair amount of in/out traffic, and there are even old curb cuts to nowhere, so all-in-all a confusing piece of roadway.

    Currently, 1st has bike lanes west of 162nd. It’s a 25mph residential street, OK to ride but not a whole lot of bike traffic. That intersection of 164th and 1st has lots of busy driveways (gas stations on 3 corners) from 162nd to 166th, so the bike lane ends at 162nd before it reaches the bike lanes on 164th, and crossing the intersection is hairy any way you do it (sidewalk or traffic lane). There are not sidewalks on either side of 1st from 164th to 166th. Turning left out of any of those driveways can be tough in a car due to traffic; on a bike I’d go to the nearest crosswalk.

    164th (3 lane, 40+mph) has bike lanes at this point but I see very few bikes using it, probably fewer in the bike lanes than on the sidewalks.

    So, this proposed 13-block segment isn’t a “missing link” piece or a high bike count route. Instead it seems more like an isolated test piece in the middle of nowhere. I have to wonder if lowering the speed limit to 25mph, adding well-striped, smooth, 6-foot shoulder bike lanes, and making clearly marked connections to existing bike lanes, would do as much or more to build bike traffic on that segment as this design, however nice its cross-section (it is nice).

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    • Paul in the 'Couve August 31, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      The one thing I would add to mitigate your comments Alan 1.0, is that one argument for the project is the extremely limited options for going East / West anywhere north of Mill Plain in that area. Destination would include 1 Middle School, 1 elementary school and 1 high school, costco, home depot, walmart and a huge mega-church. I’ve need to ride to those destinations and it is pretty easy and comfortable to work one’s way east mainly on 9th but at 164th the options run out. There isn’t a particularly good way to get down to the very minimal feeling bike lanes on Mill Plain which then takes you another 1/4 southward and puts you heading north on an ugly stretch of 192nd. The choices are 1st or 18th, with 1st being the better option already.

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      • Alan 1.0 August 31, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        I hope I didn’t sound totally negative! I really do want to hear what the city planners have to say which might help me understand it better.

        I agree with you, Paul, that an E/W route north of Mill Plain is sorely missing. Where I would put my bike route dollars at this point (before I hear more from the planners) is on NE 18th between 116th and 164th. That would serve Evergreen High and Cascade JH schools, connect to Burton along 116th, and connect across I-205 to the Burnt Bridge trail. 18th has lots of ROW room for bike lanes and I know it’s on the city’s “to do” list. As it is now, it’s terrible to bike on due to just a few pinch-points along that section; 85% of it is OK, 15% is a death trap (112-118th, 149th gully, eastbound 153-160th). Relatively easy fixes on those bad spots would make it a very acceptable bike route.

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  • Paul in the 'Couve August 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I see a lot of discussion about driveways and intersections above. It doesn’t sound like too many are very familiar with this particular stretch of road. There are almost no driveways at all, and relatively few intersections. As Alan 1.0 pointed out, the area immediately around 164th and 1st near the intersection has driveways all over the place, but that is the exception.

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    • Alan 1.0 August 31, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Yes, fix SE 1st from 162nd to 166th and 95% of the badness of this planned stretch is fixed, but this plan doesn’t even address 162nd to 164th.

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  • TimF August 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Try 25 ft elevation gain…maybe. The south side quarry is being graded out for construction right now, I think the north side has a while to go yet.

    Otherwise, I agree with your comments.

    The 164th-to-172nd piece may make sense, since as you and others have pointed out, the only connections west from there are troublesome (18th St to the north, and Mill Plain and Tech Center Drive to the south), and there are bike lanes on 1st the west side of 164th.

    Personally, anything else would be better spent making 172nd Ave safer between Mill Plain and [at least] 18th NE (it’s a mishmash of bike lanes and alternating wide/narrow shoulders…tolerable [barely] for an experienced rider…not so for others) and also working with Pac Trust (owner of the Tech Center property) to develop a safe north-south route through their property between 164th and 192nd [The entire Fishers Landing area suffers from the meandering streets that were the in-design thing in the 80’s and are totally impractical].

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    • Alan 1.0 August 31, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I agree about 172nd but north of SE 1st it’s county, not city, so it’s a different planning group.

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    • Alan 1.0 September 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      TimF
      Try 25 ft elevation gain…maybe. The south side quarry is being graded out for construction right now, I think the north side has a while to go yet.

      I just GPS’d it…how ’bout we split the difference? I got elevation 200ft at SE 1st and 172nd, and 145ft at Clark College on Mill Plain (bottom of the south quarry), for a net change of 55 feet. Not a stopper for most riders, and the Mill Plain grades are kept quite low (5%?), but also not as easy as a level route.

      The north quarry does have a ways to go, maybe 10 or 20 years at historic rates. It actually goes up to 18th, I think, and so 9th eventually will also get this gradient imposed on it, if it’s ever reopened as a public street. Anyway, that “if/when” question still applies to SE 1st…will that quarry section get tamed? At what grade? When? If not, this 0.7 mile segment isn’t much of a connector.

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  • Clark in (the other) Vancouver August 31, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    lop
    Doesn’t that say there’s a vertical curb between the sidewalk and bike path?

    It’s a bit hard to tell but the illustration makes it seem like the two paths would be flush with each other even if there was a strip of concrete between them. My experience is that this would not be enough. There needs to be a height difference. When you’re walking you don’t notice things like that. You do notice when you feel your foot go down and that tells you that you’re entering a different area.

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    • Todd Boulanger September 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Clark…the City staff are evaluating both options, but also hearing a lot of concern from the “A+” riders who choose to ride with 23 mm tires that they are concerned about any raised edge (even slight)…the Dutch designs using a low mountable edge work well due to most bike traffic being city bikes (32mm ave.), more upright posture and a savvy (but younger average age of user though the age range is greater).

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  • Alan 1.0 September 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    For a little humor/irony, check out the bicycle route options to Mill Plain Elementary School where this meeting is happening (now to 7pm, open house, c’mon over!). Pro tip: there’s a “secret” path in from the back (west) side at 325 SE 159th.

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  • Alan 1.0 September 1, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Possible build date: 2018 – many factors still in play, this plan isn’t for sure, yet.

    The segment from 177th to 192nd has no immediate plans; could be decades before it is rebuilt (or it could be sooner…no plans). It could be at existing elevation or it could be lower, and it could even be diverted somewhat north/south, as Mill Plain is. It is part of the city’s long-term plan to include bike/ped facilities whenever it is redeveloped.

    No plan to change the 40mph speed limit (mentioned by many people).

    The plan includes 162nd to just east of 176th, so the whole 164th & 1st intersection is included. That will connect the existing SE 1st bike lanes and sidewalks. Yay!

    The ped/bike separation isn’t a raised curb, it’s a painted or other surface treatment line. The ped/bike surface is wide enough for current sweeper trucks and they might build a strong enough bed for that, or they might use mini-sweepers. They plan to keep the surface clean because the proposal calls for a pervious surface, and those need sweeping to meet state standards for run-off control.

    Access concerns were strongly expressed by the property owners on the east side of 164th (understandably). I think they’ll actually benefit from improved traffic control if the plan is done right.

    The piecemeal nature of this plan (and others) is related to funding issues, for example availability of federal matching funds. They build as sections get funded, not necessarily in a coherent sequence.

    Related to that piecemeal process, 18th is slated to get upgrades from Four Seasons to 136th (138th) “soon.” No immediate plans east of that. The city people seemed a little surprised but interested when I explained how adding bike lanes in that eastern section is mostly a matter of paint; the asphalt is already wide for most of it (not the 149th gully, though).

    West of 116th, neighbors are concerned about the 18th Street exit from I-205 now under construction. 18th may be connected through between 100th and 105th, which is presently an informal bike/ped trail. They are aware of that trail and maybe it will be preserved as a bike/ped connector to Burnt Bridge trail.

    The city people at the open house seemed way more savvy about transpo issues than the hired guns (MacKay-Sposito), who smiled a lot, pointed at their pretty pictures (aerial plan & section), and didn’t seem to know much of anything. Among many issues, the city people are focussed on attracting local neighborhood pedestrians and the “30%” bike crowd (which I think is roughly analogous to Geller’s “interested but concerned” set), less concerned about the stalwarts who already ride. They are well aware of the “safety in numbers” approach, seemingly less well versed in issues like sidepaths crossing driveways or the need of faster riders to use traffic lanes in passing slower ones (see: LID swale).

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    • Todd Boulanger September 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Alan – great analysis. I agree on many of the points you bring up.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you all who have attended the first [general audience] project open house this week.

    When I arrived, near the end of the event, City staff told me there had been 50 or more attendees. They were pleased with the turn out.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    After seeing the plans progress over the last few months during the Bike & Ped [‘Stakeholder-Non-Stakeholder’] Meetings it was very helpful to finally see a large scale and block by block print out of the conceptual design in totality.

    One area that still needs work is how to facilitate convenient (and safe) pedestrian crossings between the current signalized intersections. I commented one this and asked staff to consider adding more marked and (hopefully) enhanced crossings.

    I hope pedestrians are not expected in the end to walk 2000 to 3000 feet to get to a safe crossing point along SE1st St. [For the Portland riders/ readership: this 1990s/2000s developed area of Vancouver has very poor street / block connectivity, sound walls, and large superblock land use patterns and this tends to create a lot of out of direction bike and ped trips along with pressure to cross arterials at less than ideal locations.]

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  • Clark in Vancouver September 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

    A mou

    Todd Boulanger
    Clark…the City staff are evaluating both options, but also hearing a lot of concern from the “A+” riders who choose to ride with 23 mm tires that they are concerned about any raised edge (even slight)…the Dutch designs using a low mountable edge work well due to most bike traffic being city bikes (32mm ave.),

    A mountable curb would also work, yes. When walking your foot would still feel that you’re stepping into another area.

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