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City launches web survey and open house for Ankeny diverter project

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 8:54 am

ankenylead

Detail of city plans for diversion at SE Ankeny and 15th. More detail here.

Portland’s mission to upgrade its first-generation bike boulevards into lower-stress neighborhood greenways is continuing.

With the trial diverters on Clinton Street’s neighborhood greenway in place working pretty well to control traffic volumes there, the city is now looking to reduce auto speeds and volumes on another important bikeway identified last year as being uncomfortable for people of all ages to bike on: Southeast Ankeny.

“As part of the proposed improvements, nine speedbumps will be installed, two speedbumps will be removed, a traffic diverter will be installed at 15th Avenue, and six stop signs will be re-oriented on Ash and Pine Streets,” the city says.

ankeny-map

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We reported last month that the city was rebooting this project. It’ll be the first significant project for a new city engineer dedicated to small, flexible upgrades like this one.

The goal is to preserve car access to all points on Ankeny while preventing people from simply using Ankeny as a primary auto travel route during rush hour.

The city will discuss those proposals at an open house next week at Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School, 320 SE 16th Ave., from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27.

There’s also an online survey intended for people who either live or do business on Ankeny Street in the “project area” between 13th and 27th avenues. You can read more about the project on the city’s website.

Correction 2 pm: An earlier version of this post gave the wrong time for tonight’s open house.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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78 Comments
  • Avatar
    Ted Timmons (Contributor) April 21, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I ride through here a bit. The church gets oddly busy, and as someone told me it seems like their congregation is not local and not used to driving in modern Portland.

    But 20th bothers me more than here. It’ll certainly help reducing traffic from/to Stark though.

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    Bald One April 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Love the diagonal diverter, less pleased with only one, narrow perforation per direction for bikes to get through. City needs to let more bikes through at one time, reduce conflicts among cyclists. Lining up to enter the chute is for cattle, not bikes.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Agreed, that opening looks way too narrow.

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      Chris I April 21, 2016 at 10:24 am

      If the opening is 8′ wide or more, people will drive through it.

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        Bald One April 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm

        Mulitple openings with 5′ wide gaps in them. Individual concrete barrels placed 5′ apart on the diagonal line. This keeps out cars and keeps as much opening as possible for bikes and peds.

        And planters are nice, but only fill up with weeds (blackberry bushes), so I don’t really think it’s appropriate for PBOT’s limited maintenance budget to put in any type of planter. Put a reflective sign on top of the concrete barrel.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

      So make it 7 feet.

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:38 am

        cars are only about 6 feet wide.

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          Ted Timmons (Contributor) April 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

          Yep. Mini Cooper is 5.5ft, Smartcar is a hair over 5ft.

          Of course, fitting a 5.5ft car through a 6ft gap would be a precision effort, but still.

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      J.E. April 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Can someone explain why a diagonal diverter is more appropriate here than say a regular entry diverter (like at Clinton and Cesar Chavez)?

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        soren April 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

        Diagonal diverters decrease non-compliance in residential areas (e.g. driving against traffic to avoid the diverter).

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:45 am

        Chavez is a main road.
        A better location to compare might be Clinton and 32nd.
        15th is the last street going west on Burnside you can turn down as a motorist to avoid the couplet. An E-W semi-diverter (official name!) would still permit that short cut and would also permit E-W drivers on Ankeny to turn up or down 15th. Part of the issues on Ankeny relate to congestion at 12th/Burnside and drivers too impatient to wait for the light at rush hour using the side streets to navigate around the intersection.
        Turning the stop signs south of Ankeny is another mitigation to reduce incentives to divert elsewhere.
        32nd at Clinton is not very near Chavez, and while there is a good grid, maintaining access for residents south of Clinton was a consideration for that location, as well as short circuiting the circulation of people looking for parking.

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          paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

          I would also add the diagonal diverter preserves circulation around the church.

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          Social Engineer April 21, 2016 at 11:59 am

          Then why not make 32nd and Clinton a diagonal diverter? Force eastbound Clinton drivers back north towards Division, instead of giving them the option to use Woodward.

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            paikiala April 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

            did you read the last paragraph? neighborhood access south of the intersection is cut off with a diagonal diverter. You also need to consider the westbound traffic that would be forced onto Woodward. with the current diverter no one is forced either direction. Should a problem arise with diversion south on 32nd in excess of the permitted thresholds, PBOT can revise the design to address that issue. The design chosen was based on feedback from all affected by the change.

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    eawrist April 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Go PBOT!

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    rick April 21, 2016 at 9:07 am

    It needs vegetation and trees.

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    Skid April 21, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Why not just block auto access at 12th?

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Westbound traffic?

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      soren April 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      1. 12th would be far more expensive due to the complicated intersection.

      2. Changes of 12th are already part of the 2035 Central City Plan (Project 20176: 11th/12th Ave Crossing Safety Improvements @ 12th & Ankeny).

      If we pushed hard for 12th this would likely delay diversion until there was funding (assuming the gas tax passes) *AND* there is sufficient consensus among a much larger group of “stakeholders”. IMO, diversion at 12th might happen sometime in the next 30 years…maybe.

      PS: The use of a long and drawn-out stakeholder/outreach process for basic infrastructure is completely dysfunctional.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm

        There’s a building going up at 12th and Sandy. Make them pay for the bike improvements.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu April 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm

          Why should that one property owner bear the whole cost of signals, reconfiguration, etc of that intersection? Just because they happen to be close by? When you remodel your kitchen or repaint your house, should you have to pay for protected bike lanes for your block, just because?

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            Paul Atkinson April 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

            I have to maintain my sidewalk, and do so up to the city’s standards. I would imagine the same applies to a building like this. If the city’s standards include proper bicycle facilities, why would the owner of the building get a pass?

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        Soren,
        treating Ankeny 11th to 12th in a similar fashion as 34th north of Clinton is a low cost solution to further manage traffic west of 12th. Still more will need to be done west of 10th to manage that portion.

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          soren April 21, 2016 at 2:41 pm

          i really like the idea of an alternating one way block design for lower ankeny, paikiala. i also suspect that bikeloudpdx will support this treatment.

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    Daniel April 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

    At first I thought the photo of the proposed diverter was just a bad mockup, but on looking closer at the plans I see that it DOES seem to be the design! i.e., they’re wanting to change it from bicycles going straight through the intersection through bicycles needing to CROSS A CURVED LANE OF ONCOMING TRAFFIC and then wiggle through a diverter (like the old one on NE Tillamook, I think). If that’s indeed the design then I’m against this. The new diverter at SE Clinton and ~17th is a better design IMHO.

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Because 16th at Tillamook is working so badly?

      BTW, that ‘oncoming traffic’ has a stop sign.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu April 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      In practice, a cyclist proceeding on Ankney through the proposed diagonal diverter at 15th won’t have to do anything different from a cyclist proceeding on Ankeny through the current intersection at 15th, other than adjust course to go through the opening in the diverter.

      Today you have to watch for cross traffic proceeding through the stop sign on 15th, so that won’t be any different with the diverter. As long as the opening in the diverter is 4-5 feet wide, it will be easily navigated by cyclists, no wiggling needed, you won’t even need to slow down.

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm

        you may need to slow down as a cyclist, but that can be looked at as well.

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    Daniel April 21, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Also, one speed bump nearly every block is overkill for 20th thru 28th. Part of what makes Ankeny so nice to is that it’s a smooth, flat ride. I hate speed bumps when biking, especially when I’m carrying something on my rack.

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:49 am

      I think you would like being struck at 27 mph a lot less.

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      soren April 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

      This image from PBOT illustrates why I believe we need speed bumps:

      http://bikeloudpdx.org/images/1/1d/Ankeny_data.pdf

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        Daniel April 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

        Fair enough, and I can’t argue with quantitative data. That said, from my experience of bicycling Ankeny nearly every single day (including at rush hour) for years, it feels like one of the safest streets to bike in the city as-is. I used to live down near People’s and biked Clinton nearly every day, and I saw far more speeding there, even with the speed bumps. I suspect it’s partly because Ankeny is just not as attractive to drivers as an alternative to Burnside as Clinton is to Division — and also because, since it’s very easy to see far down the street (unlike on Clinton with its hills and those intersection circle planter things), drivers can easily see that there are a lot of bikes there.

        At the end of the day I’d rather see the money for these (IMHO) unnecessary speed bumps go to safety improvements that are truly urgent.

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      Skid April 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      9 speed bumps is complete overkill. They tend to wreak havoc on my 4th degree AC separation, which I received after hitting a speed bump downhill on a curve at night on Rocky Butte. If they put in that many speed bumps I will be riding one street over, which is dumb considering the only reason I am ever on that street is to go to Citybikes.

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    MaxD April 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

    They NEED to paint stop bars when they add/change stop signs. The signs are often blocked and there is a lot of stop sign running in the Central Eastside. It is crazy, IMO, to invest so much in Ankeny with\out any work on the truly stressful and dangerous spots: crossing 12th, 11th-Sandy and MLK.

    12th may benefit from curb extensions and possibly an all-way stop sign. MLK needs a signal and an overhead sign notifying drivers this is one-way (I work near this intersection and see drivers turn the wrong way here nearly every day!).

    For 11th-Sandy: extend the 12th/11th couplet north to Couch making 11th 1-way south from Couch. Make Sandy 1-way NEbound . Prohibit left turns from Sandy to Ankeny. Reconfigure he intersection into a roundabout.

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      Chris I April 21, 2016 at 10:25 am

      They need to ticket cars that park within 10ft of the stop signs. That would make a huge difference.

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        lahar April 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

        there is giant shipping container doubling as construction storage on Ankeny at the corner of 24th that blocks the view of on coming traffic. If you don’t take the lane you might not be seen.

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        Mark April 22, 2016 at 8:38 am

        Oregon state law forbids parking within 20 feet of any crosswalk, which is pretty much every intersection.

        Why is this law never enforced?

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          Robert Burchett April 23, 2016 at 5:50 pm

          Maybe it is complaint-driven? I don’t know, but that’s often the case in Portland. The container isn’t going anywhere, so maybe a call to 503-823-SAFE would help.

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      lahar April 21, 2016 at 10:52 am

      They also REALLY need to address the Sandy Crossing, cars fly down the hill and frankly I find the tiny green island to be nerve wracking to use. The best thing that could happen is if they slowed the traffic on Sandy to 20 or less in this stretch.

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:50 am

      MAX,
      If a stop sign location is obscured, and cannot be adjusted, an advance warning sign is provided. You might note that at the Clinton diverters, stop bars were added.

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      Chris Anderson April 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      It would be nice to see a green stripe at the top of the stop bar on greenways, so drivers know to look out for people on bikes.

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        soren April 21, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        hey chris, that is a brilliant and cheap suggestion that i am adding to our list of potential asks for greenway projects. we’ve asked pbot to consider signs on greenway cross streets but they did not seem interested (mebbe due to their perception of cost-benefit).

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        paikiala April 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        A stop bar is a regulated traffic control device (MUTCD). variations from that document generally require a jurisdiction to propose an experiment and get it approved.
        It might be easier to put something in the intersection than next to the stop bar, like sharrows.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Needs way more diversion. And ditch the speed bumps. Drivers don’t slow down for them anyway because they are too shallow and they just make it more uncomfortable to bike. If PBOT insists on speed bumps, then at least make them raised crosswalks.

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      MaxD April 21, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Adam, I like the raised Crosswalk idea. Though expensive and tricky with regards to stormwater, raised intersections are even better. I walk along Ankeny more frequently than I bike, and I really wish the City would stop bars at stop sign locations. People driving, especially when turning right, frequently roll across the crosswalk and nose into the intersection before stopping. This is very dangerous for people walking/jogging, pushing strollers, etc on the sidewalk heading against the flow of traffic.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Yes! Raised intersections are a great tool to show drivers who has priority. Downtown Tigard has a raised intersection that works very well.

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Max, this is curious, are you expecting, as a pedestrian, to not have to look for autos approaching the intersection? Since all of the side streets on Ankeny have parking lanes, there is a 7 ft buffer from the curb to the conflict point. But even if no cars are parked near the intersection, shouldn’t anyone entering a shared space, regardless of mode, enter cautiously?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. April 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

          are you expecting, as a pedestrian, to not have to look for autos approaching the intersection

          Yes, I am. People driving need to stop for people walking, who have priority in every situation. I shouldn’t have to be constantly looking over my shoulder in fear just for walking around my neighborhood.

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          • John Liu
            John Liu April 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm

            Then you need to move where there are no cars or cyclists. Everyone needs to pay some attention to what they are doing, pedestrians included. To walk around with one’s eyes closed and brain switched off, in the city, is unrealistic.

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            paikiala April 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

            The law says otherwise.

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              soren April 26, 2016 at 8:18 am

              If the statutory speed limit on residential streets were 15 mph it would be difficult for a driver to claim that they had to take abnormal evasive action to avoid hitting a human being. Our laws are written for and by drivers and it is no surprise that they treat vulnerable traffic like human road kill.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. April 26, 2016 at 9:41 am

              When I had to take Driver’s Ed in the early 2000’s, I was taught that people walking always have the right of way. Is this not taught anymore? Do people even take driver education courses anymore, or is it just a free-for-all?

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          MaxD April 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

          Thanks for your concern, paikala! Don’t worry, I use plenty of caution and have not been hit yet! This is the scenario I am talking about (and stop bars would only help somewhat, granted). Say I am walking east on Ankeny approaching 16th. Someone driving south on 16th plans to turn right on Ankeny. A box truck is parked in front of the stop sign. The person driving does not see me, and I cannot see them approaching. That person execute s right turn at 15 mph while looking left to check for on-coming cars. I am left ot jump back out of the way. OR maybe they see me and stop blocking the crosswalk. I can either walk in front of them, hoping they have seen me and trying to avoid oncoming traffic or I walk behind their car where I risk walking in front of a car turning north on to 16th from Ankeny and not expecting someone walking to be crossing the street outside the crosswalk.

          I could wait on the curb for the car to clear the intersection- that is the safest. However, a stop bar reinforces the message to drivers that 1) they must stop, 2) They remain out of the crosswalk when it is being used, and 3)they must look for and wait for pedestrians.

          I realize it is a fairly small thing, and an alert pedestrian can mostly avoid these. However, painting those bars is also a fairly minor thing and I believe it can have a very positive influence on the street

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            paikiala April 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            That is certainly a worst case scenario. I would hope you report such illegally parked vehicles. Vehicles over 6 ft in height cannot park within 50 feet of an intersection unless it is controlled by a signal.

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              MaxD April 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm

              I am not sure if you are being facetious, but this scenario happens at least once a week. It is not worst case, it is very commonplace.

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                paikiala April 22, 2016 at 12:55 pm

                A recurring violation of the law is pretty easy to enforce.

                811.550 Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited. This section establishes places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited for purposes of the penalties under ORS 811.555. Except as provided under an exemption in ORS 811.560, a person is in violation of ORS 811.555 if a person parks, stops or leaves standing a vehicle in any of the following places:

                (18) Within 50 feet upon the approach to an official flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign or traffic control device located at the side of the roadway if the standing or parking of a vehicle will obstruct the view of any traffic control device located at the side of the roadway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.

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                Mark April 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

                How about 811.550(17) which prohibits parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk (does not specify marked crosswalk) at an intersection? As far as I can tell, that one is *never* enforced.

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        Spiffy April 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        “People driving, especially when turning right, frequently roll across the crosswalk and nose into the intersection before stopping.”

        per ORS 811.260(15) they think it’s legal… no need to actually stop until you can see the cross-traffic… I see this one thrown around on OregonLive all the time… it seems like somebody completely botched this law… you should be forced to stop at the sign if there’s no line…

        it’s in contradiction to ORS 811.550(5)&(6) prohibiting stopping on a crosswalk or intersection…

        though a lot of bad driver behavior could be avoided if they only knew that the word “necessary” in the laws didn’t mean “convenient” like they think it does…

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Once again…
      Talking about things you don’t know.
      Speed bumps (the short ones) slow auto traffic to about 17-20 mph at the device. Average speeds after installation can be achieved based on how close the devices are placed. PBOT has found that the 20 mph target needs the speed bumps to be about 300 feet apart.
      Speed tables (the longer ones) that are also used for raised crosswalks, slow drivers into the 20-25 mph range, so you can’t really get to an average 85th percentile of 20 mph using speed tables.
      The longer you make the flat area of a vertical deflection (the category of tool) the less effect it has on vehicle speed. So that raised intersection idea will have almost no effect on speeding.

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      Spiffy April 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      as a driver I never slow down for speed bumps in the road because I’m never speeding…

      but they do slow down the speeding drivers… just make a narrow groove for bikes to pass through like the ones coming down NW Cornell…

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

        The speed cushion design is for emergency vehicle access and work best where high opposing volumes keep motorists from cheating and putting one set of tires in the groove. As neighborhood greenways are low volume roads, they would be rendered ineffective at slowing should a channel be provided.

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    lahar April 21, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I would like to have another diverter placed on SE 26th or 27th to dissuade the Central Catholic kids from using Ankeny as cut through street from 39th to Central Catholic.

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      That would be nice. A semi-diverter west of 27th, perhaps?

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      Beeblebrox April 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      I agree. One more diverter somewhere around 28th would be ideal.

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      Oliver April 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Simple. Make the 1 way diverter at 32nd the full width of the street.

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        paikiala April 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        Oliver,
        That is east of 28th, and I’m talking about west of 28th.

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    soren April 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

    The proposed changes are part of a small projects program so there is very limited funding. If you want to see additional improvements please comment at the openhouse and consider participating in BikeLoudPDX’s SaferAnkeny subgroup (bikeloudpdx.org).

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    I wear many hats April 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I think the diagnol is better. Its hard to see over the barrels on clinton due to their height. Small passenger cars cannot see over the planters.

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    MaxD April 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Why rotate the stop signs on Pine at 16th and 18th? It makes biking on 16th worse, especially northbound. It also encourages high speeds from 19th to t15th, right past an elementary school! Seems like the wrong move to me.

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      soren April 21, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      PBOT is worried about cut-through traffic. Ankeny has even more pronounced commute hour spikes than Clinton prior to diversion.

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      paikiala April 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Max,
      removing a stop from the 16th bikeway makes it harder to bike on 16th?
      PBOT will monitor both streets for vehicle speeds after the changes.
      The stop sign turning is related to the long east-west distances currently available with the current stop pattern. The changes proposed align more accurately with the stop at every other intersection pattern that PBOT tries to achieve.

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        MaxD April 21, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        I may have misunderstood so correct me if I am wrong, but I understood they were rotating stop signs on 16th and 18th. The effect on 16th would stop traffic heading north/south at Pine. 16th could be developed into a reasonable bike route, but this stop sign would be unfortunate, especially because it would be uphill traveling northbound

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          Hanne April 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm

          The stop sign is currently in the n/s direction at Pine. As I understand it, this will rotate the signs so traffic on Pine has the stop, and traffic on 16th doesn’t. I ride through here daily, pretty happy about this particular proposed change as you’re correct about the uphill nature in the nb direction. Will be interesting to see how it impacts traffic flow during drop/off pick up at Buckman Elementary though.

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            MaxD April 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm

            Thanks Hanne! It looks like I misread the plans and the stop signs will be turned to allow traffic on 16th to proceed without stopping.

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    Ted Buehler April 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Nice work, PBOT!

    Ted Buehler

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      Champs April 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

      What work has PBOT actually done? This project is a year overdue by their own horrible standards for delivery.

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    Adam April 21, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    So stoked for this to be implemented!!! I filled out the I online survey and voiced my support!

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    RushHourAlleycat April 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I’m not a big fan of navigating a street that has the diverters. They keep me in a narrow little line instead of the.. creative.. riding style I otherwise employ.

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