Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Join Us for Wonk Night and learn what’s next for Portland

Posted by on September 2nd, 2015 at 1:25 pm

My first walk across Tilikum Bridge-29

Tilikum is soooo 2015.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Next Wednesday (September 9th), just three days before the official opening of the Tilikum Crossing Bridge and the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line, we’ll already be thinking about what comes next. And we’re not the only ones.

Portland’s elder statesman of transportation, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, told us in an interview back in December that he has made it his “personal mission” to get people to realize that after Tilikum there’s nothing in the federal pipeline. That marks the first time in over half a century that a major federal transportation project isn’t waiting to break ground.

This situation represents a major opportunity for the community to get educated and engaged about what should come next.

Last week we reported that high-level PBOT staffers are considering a federal TIGER grant for the Lloyd District that could add the much-needed infrastructural element to its already burgeoning development picture.

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As we cast about for the “next big thing” we need as many smart people as possible in the conversation. Eventually PBOT, Metro, and other regional agencies will rally around a list of potential projects that will define our politics and funding debates in the near future. We want to influence that list, and that’s where Wonk Night comes in.

Wonk Night is a casual and candid conversation where we bring together experts in the field, planners, engineers, city staffers, activists, and interested transportation geeks of all stripes. Everyone’s welcome! We’ll supply the drinks and snacks and the only thing we require in return is an open mind and willingness to have a productive dialogue.

Once again we’ve teamed up with Lancaster Engineering for this event. They’ll host us in the lobby of their downtown office. Doors open at 6:00 and we’ll get down to business around 6:30. Hope to see you there.

    Details:
    From Tilikum to TIGER: What’s next for Portland?
    Wednesday September 9th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
    Lancaster Engineering, 321 SW 4th Avenue, 4th Floor
    RSVP and invite friends via Facebook

    – Learn more about Wonk Night and read recaps of past events here.

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

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MaxD
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MaxD

Sounds like a great event!

EDIT: beginning of last paragraph: “As per usual…” Please change to “As usual…” or “Per usual…”

maccoinnich
Guest

It looks like the next big High Capacity Transit project will be Powell-Division, which is going to be bus rapid transit rather than MAX. This is a huge opportunity for cycling, particularly for East Portland. I doubt the budget for that project will stretch to rebuilding the entire corridor, but strategic interventions along the route could make a big difference. As an example: Division already has bike lanes on it, as do most of the arterials it crosses in East Portland. These bike lanes are however terrifying at the intersections, and place buses and cyclists in conflict at every bus stops. Rebuilding the intersections with protected turns and adding floating bus stops would be a huge improvement for people cycling in that corridor.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

I think bike-to-transit has huge potential in East Portland and Gresham if we can get some secure parking installed where major bikeways intersect the BRT line. (And the MAX for that matter).

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Division east of 60th or so has bike lanes, but they are terrible. East of 82nd, the street layout is a typical Arrogance of Space configuration with 7 lanes for cars and two tiny bike lanes. The parking lanes are likely vastly under-utilized since most of the businesses have parking lots anyway. The Powell-Division BRT project is a huge opportunity for protected bike lanes on outer Division.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest

7 lanes of cars on Division?

East of 8oth you got two in each direction and a center turn lane all the way to Gresham….Just wondering where the other two are? Or are you counting the occasional right hand turn lanes at the busier intersections?

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Two travel lanes in each direction, one center turn lane, and two parking lanes. Total of seven lanes. Any reason why free car storage lanes shouldn’t count as “car lanes”?

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Division east of 60th or so has bike lanes, but they are terrible. ”

That may be your opinion. I happen to think they are great. They should just go a bunch further East and West. 🙂

was carless
Guest
was carless

No kidding, I’ve ridden them many times and they are pretty damned good bike lanes. They only run from 60th to… all the way through Gresham.

Wow, I had no idea. Division must be the longest on-street bikes lanes in Portland.

anna
Guest
anna

agreed! moving here from the middle of the country i was so happy to find bike lanes in what otherwise looks like a street out of OKC.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Powell east of 52nd, and Division east of 82nd should be built with this configuration: http://streetmix.net/-/268814

was carless
Guest
was carless

Sadly, SE Powell is only 80′ wide at 47th, not 100′. Here’s my take:

http://streetmix.net/-/268860

maccoinnich
Guest

That looks awesome. If Powell-Division results in a configuration that nice it will be one of the biggest street upgrades in Portland history.

On a side note – is there an easy way to find out the ROW width for a given stretch of road? I’m sure it’s on PortlandMaps somewhere, but I haven’t seen it.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

From the maps->photo view, click “lots: on”. I don’t know if it’s spelled-out anywhere “this street’s ROW is X feet” or if it’s just what’s left between the property lines.

http://portlandmaps.com/detail.cfm?action=Photo&&propertyid=R117735&state_id=1S2E07BD%20%2011300&address_id=138654&intersection_id=&dynamic_point=0&place=4717%20SE%20POWELL%20BLVD&city=PORTLAND&neighborhood=RICHMOND&seg_id=193711&x=7660097.306&y=674664.332&Year=2013&Size=6%22&StreetAnno=no&AddressPoint=yes&Taxlots=Yes

That cross-section needs to include trees, light posts and trash cans blocking the sidewalk, plus utility work trucks and cops in the bike lane.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The bus shelters do not occupy the full length of the road. the garbage cans and the utility service trucks can use that along with the mail boxes.

lop
Guest
lop

If the city is expecting development on Powell, then a 5.5 foot wide sidewalk is pretty narrow. Expect to hear complaints from cyclists about pedestrians walking in the bike lane. Away from transit stops a decent amount of that 7 feet taken up by the floating bus stop would have to go to widening the sidewalk, not just to adding a buffer for cyclists between them and the bus lane.

J_R
Guest
J_R

I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude relating to the BRT in the Powell-Division corridors.

If there’s any reduction in automobile capacity that does not get absorbed by greater transit ridership, the autos will simply divert to parallel corridors such as Clinton, Holgate, Steele and Woodstock.

We’ve all seen that Trimet and the Streetcar “improvements” have made other corridors dangerous for bicyclists. The mishmash of bicycle facilities along the Orange line is simply the most recent example showing how Trimet “accommodates” bicycles. We’ve also seen how ODOT (owner of Powell, aka the Portland-Bend Highway) have demanded removal of bike lanes on 26th Avenue in exchange for a signal to improve bicycle and pedestrian crossings at 28th Avenue. After all, it’s for our own “safety.” Ha!

We must be vigilant and involved throughout the process to keep from having yet another bait-and-switch where we’re told that bicyclists will be accommodated but in reality are pushed to the back.

lop
Guest
lop
Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

The last time the Powell/Division/Foster expressway was it was called “Mt Hood freeway” It didn’t happen as ODOT decided it was too expensive to dig a ditch from the Marquam bridge cutting through Division, Clinton, Powell to where the transit station is at Powell and 205 then parallel on the south side past 190th then angling south to close to Boring.
How some things never change.

endo
Guest
endo

TriMet is the reason why so few people bike in Portland. They steal money from bike projects to fund “improvements” that make biking worse for all of us. If we could take all of the money spent on MAX in the last 30 years to spend on cycling infrastructure we’d have elevated bikeways all over the city.

We need to get people off of their butts, out of the buses and trains and onto a bike. We’re not going to do that by shoveling more pork at TriMet.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Look at all the major cycling cities worldwide: they all also have excellent public transport systems. Being able to combine bike and train trips or take the train when weather is crappy is key to being able to give up driving.

The goal should be to reduce car dependence though public transport and bike infrastructure.

maccoinnich
Guest

This. Setting up transit as the enemy of cycling is a very bad idea. The two should not in conflict.

I have my reservations about the some of the Orange line infrastructure (stated on here only yesterday), but it is a HUGE improvement on what was there before. Getting from Clinton & 12th to the Eastbank Esplanade used to be a pretty grim experience.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Not it’s just a slow one.

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

“Now”, dammit!

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

I’m okay with slow as long as it’s safer.

soren
Guest
soren

imo, if we want to hit 20% mode share at some point this century we need to build infrastructure that is attractive to the 18/65 crowd. speed and convenience are important.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Its not that slow. I use it daily and the ease and safety of connections across the RR tracks, 11th/12th and Powell are just short of amazing.

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

Here the exception disproves your rule. Davis in the ’70s/early ’80s had almost no public transit and a bike modal share that, while never formally measured, was clearly well above 50%. (I was there and cars were far outnumbered by bikes.) In the ’80s, Unitrans vastly increased its operations, followed by YoloBus, campus parking buses and Amtrak. At the same time, bikes almost vanished from the streets. Yes, other things were happening (small increase in commuters to out-of-town jobs, loss of traffic law enforcement, denser developments creating pinch-points, and such. However, the fact remains that the former Bike Capital of the World did it without quality public transportation.

I see transportation at any given time as composed of conformists who drive because everyone else does and people willing to use an alternative. Alternative use is almost a zero-sum game until some cultural happening shakes more conformists free of their cars. Thus, I see intra-city public transportation as a competitor with cycling, at least in the short term until we find a way to get rid of more cars.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Intriguing example. Thanks.

lop
Guest
lop

Unlinked trips on trimet are a mean average over 5 miles. Linked trips (counting transfers) would be longer. That’s farther than most will bike on a regular basis. Transit and cycling are often, though not always, complimentary.

ed
Guest
ed

This is basically the “man bites dog” refutation. In reality, no there’s no larger city in the world (not a college town with half the population impoverished students under 25 like comparatively tiny Davis) that has significant bike ridership that also does not also have an extensive public transit system of train, steetcar, subway, bus, tramway etc. That’s just the way it is, and unrepresentative exceptions like Davis in no way change this reality. I rarely use buses and streetcars, max either, but I’m not so arrogant or unrealistic to think this is the way it should be for everyone. Sorry, but your bikes vs. public transit argument is DOA.

jered
Guest
jered

Trimet IS the reason I bike! My bike goes way faster than the MAX or the Bus. My other half walks home from downtown in approx. the same amount of time it takes to ride the bus during rush hour.

endo
Guest
endo

Adam H.
Look at all the major cycling cities worldwide: they all also have excellent public transport systems. Being able to combine bike and train trips or take the train when weather is crappy is key to being able to give up driving.The goal should be to reduce car dependence though public transport and bike infrastructure.Recommended 3

You’re telling me that if we took the $1.5 billion that was spent on the Orange and spent it on bikes that we wouldn’t have a better bike system? If we spent $1.5 billion on bike infrastructure there’d be no excuse for people not to ride instead of drive. TriMet is the problem, not the solution.

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

FTA funds are not transferrable to bike/walk investments, except for near station areas. The 2001 FTA Final Policy Statement on the Eligibility of Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Under Federal Transit Law clarified and expanded the scope of those investments but it would not address what you want.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

People need transportation choices. We need an excellent transit system, AND and excellent bicycling network. Not everyone you think should be choosing to ride a bicycle will do so, no matter how good the cycling infrastructure is. And, you can’t take federal funds designated for transit and just spend them on bicycle infrastructure instead, so your whole point is silly on its face.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

It’s not a zero-sum game. We can also direct the billions of dollars wasted on highways expansion projects and use that to fund transit and biking.

TriMet is not the problem. A government that prioritizes car travel and chronically underfunds all other modes is the problem.

J_R
Guest
J_R

But it IS a zero sum game. It shouldn’t be but it is. Congress and the state legislature refuses to increase gas taxes and license fees. The citizens will not stand for increased property taxes or street fees. The result is that there is a fixed pot of money. It’s split among the modes pretty much in proportion to their use. So, it really is a zero sum game.

Adam Herstein
Guest
Adam Herstein

Agreed on your point, but my original intent was to imply that it’s not a zero-sum game between bikes and transit. If the Feds and state decided to greatly reduce funding of highway expansion, we’d have plenty of cash for great bike infrastructure and great public transport.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Adam: Just how much of the ODOT budget, for example, do you think goes toward highway expansion? According to the ODOT Budget Booklet (find it on the Oregon website), the Modernization Program which “builds capacity on highways, such as new or widened lanes” amounts to $390 million. That’s just over 10 percent of the entire ODOT budget of $3.8 billion for two years. You can argue that other elements of the ODOT budget from the “safety” category also include some highway expansion, but not all of the “modernization program” is for lane widenings either. I think you are mistaken in claiming that if we just ended “highway expansions” there’d be plenty of money.

Taking on local example, look at the cost of the Sellwood Bridge project. The total is over $300 million. There is NO increase in the number of lanes on the bridge. More than half of the width of the bridge will be for bicyclists and pedestrians. Admittedly, a significant portion of the cost of the project is to make what amounts to an interchange at the west end. That could be considered a “highway expansion,” but enormous benefits will accrue to non-auto traffic as a result of this project. Would you have cancelled it because it involved “highway expansion?”

I think it’s much more complicated than the way you’ve framed the issue.

9watts
Guest
9watts

What percentage is for debt service for capacity expansions (past and future) we didn’t need and can’t afford?

J_R
Guest
J_R

The answer to that is very little. Almost all the bonded indebtedness issued by Oregon for the highway program was for the four phases of the bridge program that was required to replace hundreds of failing bridges around the state. Many of the bridges were near or beyond their expected 50-year life span. In the 50’s and 60’s, when many of the interstate highway bridges were constructed, we didn’t think Oregon had a significant seismic problem. Building codes didn’t even address the issue.

So, the bonds, which will be paid off over about 30 years, are being funded by license fee increases that have been adopted by the state legislature beginning about 15 years ago to fund the bridge program. Certainly some of the bridges had a lane added or included shoulders for the first time, but many bridge projects did not involve any capacity expansion.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Hey J_R – According to this page,
http://www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/otia/pages/history.aspx

25% of the OTIA bonds (which I think are the major bonds in the last decade and a half?) went to highway expansion. You are right to point out that 60% went to bridges (the other 15% went to maintenance) but highway expansion is nonetheless a substantial portion of ODOT’s budget, bonded and non-bonded.

Even 10% of the most recent biennium’s budget to highway expansion sounds like madness to me when you consider the extent of the maintenance backlog. http://daily.sightline.org/2014/02/10/odot-is-going-broke/
Expanding highways only adds to the amount of pavement that needs to be maintained. Didn’t someone say something about “When you’re in a hole, stop digging?”

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Fair point, although $390 million could build plenty of protected bike lanes. 🙂

It’s also about attitude. Whether or not ODOT is spending the money, they are still pushing hard for projects (Sunrise Corridor, I-205 widening, 26 widening) that only benefit drivers. Washington County is guilty of this, too. If we could change the attitude to get these agencies to prioritize bike and public transport, we’d be much better off – even with limited funding.

9watts
Guest
9watts

I don’t think we need to be quite so doom and gloom. The nice thing about bikes is that you don’t need any money or infrastructure to have fun on one; get where you need to go.
Sure not everyone has the confidence and/or experience to do that, and it is nice to have bike infrastructure to keep the ubiquitous automobile at arm’s length, but if we’re honest all the isn’t actually *necessary* for biking.

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

What’s next for Portland? Many on this website will be happy to know that government policy may be “encouraging” many car owners to send their cars to Asia to trade for a bicycle. Don’t believe it? It is predicted at 1 hour, 28 minutes into this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPvsWEmphpU
.
So, don’t get too upset about lack of money for bike lanes/highways/etc – we may not be needing them. Your wildest dreams may come true in the near future.
.
😉

Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

……but start the video at 1 hour 27 minutes just to get a little more context…..and hear a little more car bashing……

🙂

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Finish the river trail? The new chunk on south waterfront is currently a dog-walking loop. And it looked like half the people using it drove there?

Getting 50% of kids biking to school would be a big thing. Not 15 years out, but more like 1.5.

The biggest “next big thing” we should do is a lot of little things everywhere. Some very thoughtful striping, signage, diverters, road diets, and enforcement could make a huge difference in livability and start to get everybody working together toward a sustainable transportation system. Currently, many people just shrug about the problems, say “drivers gonna drive”, then put their kids in their car and speed past their neighbors’ kids without imagining that things could be any different. Instead of “the bicycle boogeyman is going to tax me and take my car”, we need people to be thinking “twenty is plenty”. If we don’t get the right footing, the next big thing is going to be another big mess like moody.

Kittens
Guest
Kittens

How about finally addressing Portland’s east bank freeway and rail?

Rail is at capacity now. Noise from both is a blight. They effectively hobble what could be another major neighborhood and consume acres of prime land. I can’t believe how we have managed to avoid these inconvenient truths. It’s time to dream big. Hell, maybe we could replace the Marquam bridge while we’re at it!

lop
Guest
lop

What does addressing mean?

chris
Guest
chris

Eastside 7th/8th Ave bike boulevard with a bridge over i84. Downtown 5th or 6th Ave bike boulevard.

lop
Guest
lop

How would a bike boulevard work on the transit mall? Did you mean completely close the road to cars? Right now it’s not a bad place to bike. And what’s your plan by the courthouse? They close the general traffic lane sometimes to transfer prisoners. It closes the road to drivers. If it was easy to move it around the corner or something they wouldn’t close the road to drivers today.

chris
Guest
chris

It’s not exactly a good place to be bike either, because there is little room to bypass a long line of cars waiting for a single car to turn right unless you maneuver illegally into the transit lane. I was thinking that the car lane on either 5th or 6th could serve two way bike traffic, and that it could be closed off to cars, with emergency vehicles, government vehicles and delivery trucks being the exception. I don’t think delivery trucks load and unload much on 5th or 6th anyway.

lop
Guest
lop

On fifth you’ll deal with occasional road closures for prisoner transfers. How well would this be respected? I’m guessing not well enough, and the cops will see it as a security risk and block it there. Or trimet would expect cyclists to ride in the transit lanes and interfere with their operations and block it to avoid that. There’s also a parking strip/truck loading zone you’d lose access to right where the bike lane starts now. That block on the corner across the street there’s a parking garage, to enter you’re supposed to come from Jefferson but you exit onto fifth.

On sixth you have a parking garage, I don’t know that they could work with only the narrow entrance on Salmon. There’s a taxi/loading zone by the Hilton. Parking spots near SW washington and oak.

A lot of drivers turn onto the transit mall without realizing they have to stay in the left lane, and take a minute to get over. They’ll still probably turn onto the mall if they aren’t allowed there at all, only now there’s nowhere for them to go.

A temporary road closure on 5th and 6th will happen sometimes for construction/freight, and will be a bigger deal to cyclists than it is to motorists today. Trimet would probably expect it to lead to intrusions into the transit lanes and fight the effect that would have on their operations.

Closing auto access to the roads completely might be a harder sell than bike facilities on 3rd or 4th, or an improved one on Broadway.

maccoinnich
Guest

I don’t think 5th & 6th Ave are the best option for a N-S bike route through downtown, but the Courthouse isn’t a reason to discount it. Construction on the new Courthouse at 1st & Madison is mean to start in 2017 and be completed in 2020.

Randy
Guest
Randy
Dead Salmon
Guest
Dead Salmon

Instead of raising the gas tax, the dimwits in Salem want to make vehicles pay a flat fee per mile driven. THUS, a Hummer will pay exactly the same fee for driving across town as a Prius even though the Hummer is heavier and causes more damage to the roads AND burns 4 or 5 times as much fuel! Oregon geniuses. NOT.