State will likely fund Flanders Crossing of 405, spurring thousands of bike trips in NW

flanders bridge span

The long-proposed span would connect downtown Portland and the Pearl District with the Northwest District.
(Photos: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

A new biking-walking bridge across Interstate 405 at Northwest Flanders has probably made the cut for funding, a state official said Wednesday.

The approximately 250-foot-long, 24-foot-wide bridge would become by far the most comfortable crossing of Interstate 405, an alternative to the existing crossings at Everett, Glisan and Couch. Paired with a proposed neighborhood greenway on Flanders from the Steel Bridge west to 24th Avenue, the span is expected to carry 9,100 trips per day.

That figure, which includes both biking and walking trips, is higher than the summertime bike counts across the Hawthorne Bridge and about five times the daily bike ridership so far on Tilikum Crossing.

X Section C-2

A possible cross-section for the 24-foot-wide bridge.
(Image: Portland Bureau of Transportation)

We wrote yesterday that the bridge would be an important connection for Biketown riders in part of the city that is about to become one of North America’s best-served neighborhoods for public bike sharing.

Barring unforseen events, construction of the new bridge could begin in April 2018 and finish by May 2019.

Final statewide committee scored bridge highly

pbotbridge2

The bridge would require new crossings of NW 16th and 15th avenues.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has pledged $3 million of its revenue from development fees for the crossing. It’s been looking to the state’s lottery-funded Connect Oregon program for the remaining $2.9 million.

In March, a committee of biking-walking experts from around the state ranked Flanders Crossing third of 22 such projects statewide. But in May, a Portland-area committee scored it more poorly, leaving its fate largely up to Connect Oregon’s final review committee, which met Tuesday to create a scoring of its own.

Oregon Department of Transportation staffer Scott Turnoy, the staffer managing Connect Oregon, said Wednesday that the final review committee had scored Flanders “in the top half” of projects and that it would likely make the cut for state funding.

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“I was a bit surprised and very happy,” said Aaron Deas, a lobbyist for TriMet who represented transit interests on the final review committee, in a text message Wednesday. “What was surprising about the Flanders bridge was that there were no questions, even with the big price tag. But it did rank highly.”

The Oregon Transportation Commission must still make the final funding decision at its July 21 meeting. But barring an unexpected turn of events, that board is likely to defer to the Connect Oregon committee’s list.

Turnoy said he couldn’t release the final review committee’s full ranking yet and wouldn’t know until tomorrow when it’ll be made public. Also competing for funds are a fix for the Naito Gap in inner northwest Portland and trail segments in southwest Portland, Wilsonville, Milwaukie, Gresham and Tigard.

If it’s funded as expected by the Oregon Transportation Commission, Flanders Crossing will be Portland’s biggest payoff yet from a state law, unexpectedly won by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in 2013, that made biking and walking projects eligible for the Connect Oregon program.

Project drew endorsements from many nearby employers

coming office space

A nearby billboard for a new real estate development.

City transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera called the apparent success of the bridge a “game-changing boost” for biking in northwest Portland, which has been rapidly adding both jobs and homes.

“Every week we read another report of a tech company moving to the downtown area saying bike lanes, food carts and public transit service are a key reason they can attract talented people.”
— Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation

“Every week we read another report of a tech company moving to the downtown area saying bike lanes, food carts and public transit service are a key reason they can attract talented people,” Rivera said. “We think that’s a testament to the investment Portland has made over the decades to bike access.”

To support its application to Connect Oregon, which has a mandate to invest in non-automotive projects that grow the state’s economy, the city transportation bureau gathered letters of support from nearby employers like Vestas, Gerding Edlen and Airbnb.

The city also had to overcome comments from state staffers, who observed that the city has a backlog of transportation projects funded by the state and Metro but not yet on the ground. Those comments prompted a response letter from Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat, who said the city would be able to start work promptly on Flanders Crossing.

“We’d like to thank the statewide bike-ped committee for their deep understanding of the importance of key active transportation investments in Portland that can benefit the entire state,” Rivera said Wednesday. “This is a testament to the strong business support for bicycling in Portland and the importance of bike access to grow our economy in the coming decades.”

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

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maccoinnich
6 years ago

I’m equally surprised and delighted.

maccoinnich
6 years ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

Also: the Pearl District Neighborhood Association deserves a lot of credit for fighting really hard for this. Most of the letters of support from area businesses were solicited by them.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago

The potential for this bridge to serve as an emergency lifeline route to Good Sam hospital in the event of a major quake cannot be overstated enough. This project deserves to get built on that merit alone.

lop
lop
6 years ago

Will the elevated part of 405 collapse during a west hills or cascadia quake? Or could an ambulance just take Lovejoy or Marshall to get to the hospital?

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

Yes that is exactly my point. That whole stretch could be made impassable.

lop
lop
6 years ago

Ah, I see. FWIW it doesn’t look like the hospital would be in great shape after a big quake either.

http://www.opb.org/news/widget/unprepared-schools-and-hospitals-at-risk/

Frank Selker
Frank Selker
6 years ago

Cheaper to reinforce an existing bridge that’s right there anyway?

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank Selker

If you want to tilt at that windmill with ODOT, please go right ahead. They are responsible for the existing overpass structures. This is a City of Portland project.

Jeff
Jeff
6 years ago

The problem is we don’t build ANY bridges here to be functional after a major quake. Not even the newest ones. True, they might not fall down and kill anyone but they will likely NOT be passable or usable.

J_R
J_R
6 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

ODOT and WSDOT tried to build one – the Columbia River Crossing – to replace the structurally-deficient, functionally obsolete I-5 Interstate Bridges. But, of course, that was an evil project opposed by at least 90 percent of the commenters on BikePortland.

Emily Guise (Contributor)

This is great news! Fingers crossed that the bridge makes the final list.

John Liu
6 years ago

Will the bridge be rated for vehicles?

rick
rick
6 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

Small yellow fire engines?

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

Emergency vehicles only.

gretchin
gretchin
6 years ago

fingers crossed!

Adam
6 years ago

Great news!

rick
rick
6 years ago

The first pedestrian / bike bridge over highway or busy Blvd in NW Portland? Put a cap on the 405 !

ethan
ethan
6 years ago
Reply to  rick

Cap 405 and tear down I-5. That would add billions of dollars worth of real estate to the inner city. It would have the added benefit of looking nicer, as well.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

You live in a bubble.

ethan
ethan
6 years ago

Which bubble is that?

jeff
jeff
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

your own imagination. I-5 isn’t going anywhere.

ethan
ethan
6 years ago
Reply to  jeff

I wasn’t aware that you had a crystal ball.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

No bubble – many cities I’ve visited in Europe cap their freeways as they pass through the downtown areas. There is even one called Hatfield that built an entire shopping mall OVER the freeway.

When land is precious, it makes sense. It also eliminates the need for crossings which shoehorn types of traffic that really don’t mix well onto one road full of freeway ramps (bikes, peds, cars, buses etc).

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Most of the cities in Europe that I’ve been to don’t even have highways in their city centres. How they manage not to succumb to complete economic collapse is beyond me… 😉

J_R
J_R
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Because they have an entirely different economic and social system.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  J_R

Vancouver B.C. is devoid of freeways in the city.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

It’s also a tiny city, much smaller (geographically) than Portland, there are plenty of freeways in the metro area.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Many cities in the US as well. There was a plan developed back in the 1990s to tunnel I-5 under the Willamette as far as the convention center. The economics did not pencil out then but given current real estate prices it may come sooner than later. I hope…

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

A tunnel? Seriously? Have we learned nothing from Seattle?

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Seriously,
Portland already has a staff of qualified project managers that can administer a contract to build a large scale tunnel project on time and within budget:
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/11/portlands_14_billion_big_pipe.html

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Riverfront property that fronts to a walking and cycling path would be a massive asset for our city. Far more so than an elevated highway to carry freeloaders out of our city.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Name calling. classy.

ethan
ethan
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

Better than ODOT calling everyone who isn’t in a car a “problem child” or PBOT’s insistence that people who ride bikes are using “alternative” transportation.

At least “freeloaders” is an accurate title. Well, actually, I would say “people who take advantage of heavy subsidies,” but freeloaders rolls off the tongue easier.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

People who drive on a highway not only are not paying any direct user fees to use them, they are also not paying full cost of the maintenance and construction of the highway via gas tax; instead offloading this cost onto society. And this is not even including the impacts that the highway imposes on people who live/work/travel nearby whom are not in a car.

I am not meaning to individually demonize anyone who is taking advantage of this subsidy, but to call them “freeloading” is absolutely accurate.

Middle of the Road guy
Middle of the Road guy
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Because they provide a societal value and are considered a public good.
You can use them if you want but you choose not to.

Alex Reedin
Alex Reedin
6 years ago

That’s exactly what’s at issue. Many people no longer think that the government using public land and public dollars on roads and freeways built to speed motor vehicle travel with little heed for anything else does not provide nearly as much societal value as using the same resources in a different way would.

To use an analogy – the federal government used to give away 50% of the land anywhere near a new railroad to companies building new railroads. This was thought to be a public good and provide societal value. If the federal government were still doing the same thing, do you think some people would be calling the railroad companies freeloaders? You can bet your life they (we!) would.

Bankerman
Bankerman
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

I would venture to guess that the “society” that pays the cost of public highways consist primarily of individuals who drive cars. Thus your “freeloaders” actually do pay – just in a different manner than fuel taxes.

jeff
jeff
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

“our” city? dude, you moved here 2 years ago.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  jeff

How long must one live in Portland to be able to claim partial ownership of it? 5 years? 10 years? Have to be born here? Must have ancestors that came here on the Oregon Trail? Why do I not get to call Portland my own, just because I’ve only been here two years?

jeff
jeff
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

you have contributed very little to this city, and then turn around and call others “freeloaders”? You know little to nothing of this place and its history, but speak as if some expert on almost every topic here.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  jeff

You mean the history of being unwelcoming to outsiders? Trust me, I am well aware of it.

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

What’s more unwelcoming to outsiders than closing freeways? I’d say you’ve got the hang of it.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

I’ve thought about this one a lot, and I think there would be a way to make it nearly revenue-neutral. The property that I-5 occupies on the east bank of the river is worth billions. Use some of it for a thin waterfront park, and sell the rest, which would fund the cost of removal, and the cost of adding one lane to I-405 (mostly ramp reconfigurations, there is sufficient ROW already for 4-through lanes), and capping most of it. The caps would be cheapest if they were used as open park space, but they could also potentially be sold for development.

ethan
ethan
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Retail on Morrison and Yamhill would be preferable IMO instead of a park in that area. It would connect the retail to the sports.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Instead of widening I-405 through the heart of the city centre, why not just re-sign I-205 as I-5 and force people traveling through Portland to drive around the inner city?

Ted Buehler
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

ODOT used to have I-205 signed as the recommended route north from Wilsonville to Seattle. Until 2011.

see 2007 https://goo.gl/maps/QY3jcQ3H4Co
& 2010 https://goo.gl/maps/ug6dz4hnQvJ2

but no longer recommended in 2011 or later… https://goo.gl/maps/jEd9T4P6bDJ2

Ted Buehler

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

I meant to say 3-through lanes. Right now, I-405 drops to 2 lanes in each direction in a few spots. The traffic impacts would be minimized by using the existing width and adding a 3rd through lane (we would be removing 2 through lanes by taking out I-5). Of course, signs would need to be changed to encourage the usage of I-205 for through traffic, and a 3rd lane would need to be added to I-205 on the extreme north and south ends.

Remember, big projects like this require buy-in from many parties. I can’t imagine ODOT (or most taxpayers for that matter) agreeing to tear out I-5 without some capacity expansion elsewhere.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Having to shift capacity around only concedes to persistent motor traffic. Why not instead reduce capacity to discourage driving? We shouldn’t have to justify projects with the premise that they won’t affect driving. We should want to affect driving: reduce traffic volumes by reducing the space to fit all the cars. And yes, I fully expect ODOT to dismiss this idea as “radicalism” but IMO it’s what we need. We don’t want to invite more driving into the city centre – instead utilize that effort to improve cycling and public transport.

Wells
Wells
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

The main disincentive for removing I-5 is to maintain access to I-84.
The tunnel idea is simply a non-starter. Not gonna happen. The Marquam will most likely be replaced with a single-deck span of 4 lanes in each direction. The I-5 ramp closest to the Willamette at the Hawthorne Bridge is removed and the other less imposing ramps there remain. Similarly, at the floating walkway, the closest ramp is removed and the main I-5 span remains; the pillar that butts into the esplanade (at head height) is relocated about 30′ east. The flyover ramp for traffic leaving downtown on the Morrison is removed and replaced with a 2-stoplight interchange on the viaducts. The I-5/Hwy 84 entrance from there becomes accessible from downtown and the eastside which currently can only access I-5. This reduces traffic on Grand north of Morrison. The viaducts add sidewalks/bikeway on their left sides. From Grand this bike route is directed onto 2-way Morrison. My rendering is accurately detailed, but needs a professional assessment.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Wells

Tear down I-5 from the I-405 split to I-84 (including the Marquam Bridge) and route northbound motor traffic over I-405, over the Fremont bridge, then south on I-5 to get to I-84.

bradwagon
bradwagon
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

I think a more realistic (at least 1st step) would be to route all traffic going over the Marquam onto 84 East and have all northbound through traffic use 405. Likewise I5 south would route directly onto 84 West with through traffic using 405 instead. 84 Westbound could still head North and South once to “I5”.

This section of now only 84 traffic between Marqaum and 84 could be reduced down to a surface street with lighted intersections at say, yamhill, stark and burnside (essentially an Eastside Naito). Removing the now unused sections of I5 would allow for an expanded Eastside Waterfront Park between this roadway and the current Esplanade. This area would be roughly 100ft wide (current westside waterfront is 175ft according to google map measurement).

-Slower Driving
-Easier Ped Access to East Waterfront from Inner Eastside
-Quicker access to / from Freeways for drivers in Inner Eastside
-Expanded Eastside waterfront Space
-Get rid of at least some of the ugly highways towering over the east waterfront (a new, smaller marquam would be nice)

Wells
Wells
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

The Marquam is slated for replacement in 40 years or so. Local media has promoted a tunnel which should not be considered possible or even desirable. Proposed high rise towers (in the OHSU overflow parking lot) would obstruct the option for a single-deck bridge which ODOT must study as an alternative.

Anyway, my design renderings show how the eastbank esplanade can be improved and the Morrison Bridge bikeway extend on the viaducts east to Grand. There are many simpler bikeway corridors in Portland to create and upgrade. This corridor is more complicated and won’t be improved without major realignment of eastbank I-5. My earlier draft is on record at Metro. I’ll submit the new improved draft soon.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  Wells

If I-405 is expanded by one lane, why can’t traffic use that I-405 -> Fremont -> I-84? Any through traffic from the south of the city should be using I-205 anyway.

A local bridge to replace the Marquam would make sense, though. 4-lanes with bike and pedestrian access would be sufficient, connecting at Moody/River on the west side, and Water just north of OMSI on the east side.

Middle of the Road guy
Middle of the Road guy
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

For the same reason we don’t route all of the bike lanes to a single one through the city.

John Liu
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I like it.

Capping I405 could pay for itself if some of the cap were leased for development, with the remainder public space.

Need to keep some way to connect to I84. Probably I5 from Steel Bridge to I84 has to stay.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

>The property that I-5 occupies on the east bank of the river is worth billions.

http://i.imgur.com/KLoMq5H.jpg

This is a rather generous estimate of the land occupied by I5. 600k square meters is ~150 acres. When I look at recent land sales in and around downtown and scale up to 150 acres I get a rough estimate of 0.5-1.5 billion. Portland isn’t a big enough city to accommodate that much development in a short time period, and creating new neighborhoods like this is a risky investment. Flooding the market with so much buildable land will drive down prices. I doubt the economics are as favorable as you make them out to be. Especially if you cut the land in half to leave the section of 5 north of 84 in place.

Still a lot of parking lots to build over and old low rise buildings to redevelop before getting rid of I5 might start to make sense. Maybe in a couple decades.

Champs
Champs
6 years ago

If they called it a “slam dunk” I’d watch out.

rick
rick
6 years ago

SW Park Way ends is a dead-end overpass and a quiet bike route.

andrew
andrew
6 years ago

Hopefully signals at 16th and 14th will be part of the project.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  andrew

Those are fundamental project components. I’m hopeful for some treatments at 15th too.

andrew
andrew
6 years ago

15th is a little quieter. If a bunch of money is being spent on a bridge I would hope that making it easy to access would be common sense.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  andrew

15th is a major on-ramp to I-405 northbound.

lop
lop
6 years ago

The counts at 15th

https://www.portlandmaps.com/scripts/tmc.cfm?NW%2015TH%20AVE%20-%20NW%20GLISAN%20ST%20PM%2012-10-2015.pdf

don’t seem as bad as at 14th.

https://www.portlandmaps.com/scripts/tmc.cfm?NW%2014TH%20AVE%20at%20NW%20FLANDERS%20ST%20AM%2006-13-12.pdf

Peak 15 minutes there aren’t 100 cars getting through, maybe you could get by with an all way stop at 15th instead of a traffic light. Might lead to shorter average delay for pedestrians and cyclists on Flanders. The cars queued up between Flanders and Glisan would get through when 15th gets a green at Glisan. The block should hold 8 cars lined up. Is the light timing there set up with 60-75 second cycles?

Or is throughput more variable right now, with fifteen cars going through some cycles, just a couple on others, depending on the backup on the 405 ramp?

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
6 years ago

14th, 16th, 18th, and 19th a must. Otherwise Flanders is a dead end at 18th. Even then it is a dead end at 19th.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

how is it a dead end?
https://goo.gl/maps/AT5M27SGWSv

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

I cross 18th & 19th on Johnson all the time, and it’s not bad at all. Is it worse crossing 4 blocks away at Flanders? I’d rather stop at a stop sign there than try to trigger a traffic light.

Beeblebrox
Beeblebrox
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

18th and 19th do not need signals. An improved crossing with signage and marked crosswalks should be sufficient.

14th and 16th will definitely need some kind of signalization, as will Broadway.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
6 years ago

I am sticking to Glisen and Johnson anyway.

yashardonnay
yashardonnay
6 years ago

Let’s get “GO BY BIKE” sign on this bridge for those folks stuck in congestion 🙂

Mikier
Mikier
6 years ago

Timing is everything. When the new Sauvie Island bridge was built, the old center span was offered for this project.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

Yes!!!

We live in the Pearl, but run many errands west of I-205 by bike – pet store, Fred Meyer, Dollar Tree etc, as well as needing to cross it to get to many of our recreation options – gym, Washington Park, Forest Park etc.

Glisan and Everett still make me nervous as an experienced cyclist. Flanders by foot or bike bridge would be phenomenal.

A diverter would definitely be needed to tame cut-through traffic that currently uses Flanders to get to downtown Pdx from the West Hills, Uptown Shopping Precinct, Trader Joe’s parking lot etc.

peejay
peejay
6 years ago

Fabulous! Just great. It’s fitting that this is getting built after the first attempt was perhaps the very first “bikelash” victim, something that then mayor-elect Sam Adams chose to drop like a hot potato after meeting minor resistance at City Council.

A minor note, PBOT would be well served by updating their architectural rendering of a person on a bike. Either that, or they’re signaling that PDX will be hosting a major bike race after the bridge is completed!

Matt
Matt
6 years ago
Reply to  peejay

I’m more worried about the guy on the left side of the bridge about to cross the middle of the bridge to talk to the woman on the right, without checking for bike traffic to his right.

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

How do you know their intent? Did you ask them? Do you know if they checked to their right before that picture was drawn?
/s

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

You should always assume that people will step in front of you without looking. Otherwise you’re doing it wrong.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Yep. Ride slowly and carefully.

RF
RF
6 years ago

It’s a solution to a problem that should never of been allowed to happen. 405 should of been a tunnel. Now they’ll spend 3 million for a bridge?

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  RF

hindsight is 20/20.
what mistakes are you making now? can you even tell?

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

“never have been…should have been”. Can’t go back and change it now.

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Just like I can’t fix the placement of my tags :/

ethan
ethan
6 years ago

Can we get a buy-one-get-one-free bridge deal and get a NE 7th Ave bridge too?

rick
rick
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

and a I-5 bridge for SW 53rd Ave?

ethan
ethan
6 years ago
Reply to  rick

I don’t know that area very well, but I just looked it up. That seems like a great project though! I wonder if it will be built as part of the SW MAX line (assuming the suburban voters don’t kill the whole project).

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

It depends, if there’s a station around there it would be more likely than if there’s not. If people tell metro they care about it that would help ensure it gets considered at least.

http://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/southwest-corridor-plan/comment-map/public-comment-map-6215

Welcome to the Southwest Corridor Plan information map

Project staff is currently identifying high priority walking, biking and driving improvements in the Southwest Corridor. These projects will help connect the region to a new high capacity transit line in addition to improving walking, biking and driving conditions all over the Southwest Portland and Washington County area.

A public comment period between August and September 2016 will focus on compiling a complete set of walking, biking and driving improvements to be studied in the environmental review phase of the project (2017).

Yellow pins on the map represent just a few of the many improvement projects that are part of the Southwest Corridor. All points, lines, and areas on the map are available for comment. This online comment map is just one way we collect public input to share with decision makers.

Beeblebrox
Beeblebrox
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

PBOT has system development charge funds for most of the cost of the 7th Ave bridge…but still need about $2 million.

Peejay
Peejay
6 years ago
Reply to  Beeblebrox

It’s a shame, because ALL of the money spent on reconnecting the street grid over and around freeways should come directly out of the highway fund, since these bridges are only needed because there’s a freeway there. Sufficient crossings weren’t built when 405 and 84 were put in because they wanted to save money, and they didn’t care.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Peejay

To be fair, Sullivan’s Gulch has always been a natural barrier on the eastside. It’s not like they dug a trench out of the existing urban fabric (although it was widened when the Banfield was built in the 50s).

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Peejay

Timing is everything. When I-90 was being completed and connected to I-5 in Seattle, the path over Mercer Island had some lids and extra wide over crossings, with landscaping and trails, installed in order to get built.
https://goo.gl/maps/PvWc9PSdr2D2

Eric
Eric
6 years ago

The stats in this article are misleading. There’s no reason to compare estimated biking + walking counts on the proposed bridge with biking counts on other bridges, as the comparison isn’t meaningful. (sentence in reference: That figure, which includes both biking and walking trips, is higher than the summertime bike counts across the Hawthorne Bridge and about five times the daily bike ridership so far on Tilikum Crossing)

TJ
TJ
6 years ago

I have lived and still work blocks from the crossing. I won’t say this isn’t great. But there is so much opportunity for close-in infrastructure that has long been ignored.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  TJ

We’ve been waiting a while. It has been 44 years since Flanders first appeared in Portland’s original Downtown Plan.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago

And the neighborhood is still very walkable and bikeable compared to other very close-in streets in Portland. Like I said, it is not a terrible project, but is partly a vanity project to make our “downtown” more attractive. Meanwhile many commuters are dealing with crap like Greeley or general recreation woes along 30 and the STJ Bridge. Let’s not forget deeper NE and SE either.

We have several river path greenways sitting out there, that in my opinion would be game changers.

In short: Flander’s crossing and other Pearl improvements, yes. But it is not all about the money… it is also about where the city (and state) government is advocating and where it is ignoring.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  TJ

PBOT should not be funding recreation routes. Let’s use some of Parks’ surplus for that.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

These are not purely recreation routes.

The bottom-line: (an example) We need a North Portland Greenway and/or improved bike access on 30 for both commuting and recreation.

On this logic, PBOT and ODOT should always ask for non transit funding to improve roads that would also be used by weekenders in cars and working loggers during the week.

Again, I take issue with the spokesperson’s logic on why Flanders is so important.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  TJ

This is a PBOT project.

Highway 30, and the St Johns Bridge, both of which you mention, are ODOT-owned facilities. ODOT voted against bike lanes on SJB a number of years ago now. I remember it caused a large brew-ha-ha.

PBOT cannot change anything on an ODOT facility.

Frank Selker
Frank Selker
6 years ago

Maybe just me, but existing bridges seem fine and better aligned with direct routes (Everett and Glisan) without adding jogs that will have risks.
I’d rather see money spent on shoulders where lots of pedestrians and cyclists are too close to traffic, like Fairmount or Skyline.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank Selker

Adding shoulders to Fairmont and Skyline isn’t even in the same realm, budget-wise. You would be talking hundreds of millions of dollars, given the extreme topography of the land around those roads. Do people actually commute on Fairmont? I thought it was a giant Fred-track?

Adam
6 years ago

The crossing at Everett is terrible, with the on ramp crossing it and the fact that it just ends with no warning at 15th. Flanders would be a much better crossing, but some sort of protected cycleway should be built through the Pearl. The area is too dense for just sharrows and a few diverters.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago

Don’t you have to jog to get on Flanders from either the water front or many businesses NW? If heading toward the hills, the street level routes make the most sense. (During Broadway construction, I often rode Steel Bridge upper deck right on to Glisan).

Correct if I am wrong, but most of the new density is going in closer to Johnson, Lovejoy, etc.

I am just not sure where 9,100 trips a day will come from. Doesn’t this rival the individual river crossings?

All for the improved safety and peace away from Glisan and Everett. I won’t deny that.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  TJ

>I am just not sure where 9,100 trips a day will come from

I believe the projection is ~3k bike+walk trips when the bridge is completed, 9k at some future date after further improvements to Flanders from 24th to Naito.

As a sanity check on the 3k projection…

Portland collects some short bike and pedestrian counts. Take the combined most recent PM bike counts for Kearney, Johnson, Lovejoy, Marshall, 4-6pm, and apply a factor to get an all day number. Why combined counts? Couch is getting improvements, Everett and Glisan will remain uncomfortable crossings, Davis, Hoyt and Irving don’t go through, Flanders will draw from a decently wide area as the only comfortable crossing between Couch and Johnson. Either use the 24-hour ‘every bike counts’ project or Metro’s collection on the Hawthorne bridge relative (5-7pm, so compare the 5-6 for each) to the 24 hour numbers from the same day to extrapolate from 2 hour counts to all day. Add in seasonal factors put together using Hawthorne bridge or similar, and I’d estimate there’s in the neighborhood of 1000 bikes a day average on those streets. More in the summer, less in the winter. Much less than the 3k number. Apply similar factors (I’d guess less seasonal variation) to the pedestrian counts and I get about 1.5-2k.

The nearest 12 hour pedestrian count is 10th and Burnside from Clean and Safe, ~13k in June 2015. If a nice crossing makes 405 less of a wall+together with upward pressure on central city growth you can imagine the brewery blocks district bleeding over 405 around Flanders if the city permits the development. Further bike improvements on and off Flanders and growth from the low levels of baseline cycling in inner NW could conceivably get the combined count well over 9k.

All these numbers are pretty rough, it would be nice if Portland would be more open about their travel demand model and was better at collecting and publishing non automotive counts.

J_R
J_R
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

Agreed. The predictions of future use appear wildly optimistic. The counter on the Hawthorne Bridge has proven that the sampling techniques used for most locations throughout Portland overestimate actual use.

Beeblebrox
Beeblebrox
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank Selker

Totally infeasible, given environmental constraints. Also, Everett and Glisan will never be comfortable walking and biking routes as long as they have freeway ramps.

Michelle Poyourow
Michelle Poyourow
6 years ago

Wow, this is such great news!

A lot of people have been working hard, for years, to conceive of and advocate for this bridge. Congratulations, and thank you, to them!

Ted Buehler
6 years ago

Congrats to all who worked hard to make this happen.

Including those who worked on the Sauvie => Flanders plan in 2008 or so…

Ted Buehler

Andy K
6 years ago

Yes its a safety upgrade and an expansion of our current bike/ped network, but the “placemaking” potential for this project is off the charts.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Andy K

Imagine closing Flanders to all cars in front of 10 Barrel and Rogue and making it an extended bike/ped plaza. Businesses in the area have offered their support to such a vision.

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago

“Imagine closing Flanders to all cars.”

FTFY.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  Gary B

Well besides all the private garages and driveways that exit out onto Flanders, sure.

ethan
ethan
6 years ago

I’m sure the drivers could just park somewhere else and then walk, right? Isn’t that what some commissioner said about people biking into downtown? Or was it that people biking should hop on a bus to get downtown?

Whatever it was that they said, it was more asinine than suggesting that people park 1 block away from their destination.

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
6 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Park where? Short-term visitors have a choice of where they can park (either on-street or off-street), but residents cannot freeload on public right-of-way in the Pearl. They cannot freeload on public right-of-way in Old Town. Most of Northwest is permitted or metered. This is why most new construction has at least some off-street parking. You just cannot permanently block resident garage parking entrances.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago

I see one driveway east of 2nd,
two east of 5th,
one east of 6th,
one east of 7th,
3 east of 8th,
one east of 9th,
etc.

The solution might be to close some blocks, like 8th to Park, and make others one way with contra-flow bike lanes, as has already been done in the Peal District:
https://goo.gl/maps/u9WwRZJZ6Vm
Multiple blocks, alternating back and forth (Utrech design), could accomplish diversion and provide access.

oliver
oliver
6 years ago

If only we had an old bridge lying around somewhere we could use for this.

Joe's Antique Bridges
Joe's Antique Bridges
6 years ago
Reply to  oliver

Yo ODOT – I got some bridges for sale cheap. Antiques, if you know what I mean.

(I think I might have bought them from you – now its time to flip’em.)

Local delivery would be extra.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  oliver

Whatever happened to that bridge anyway? So sad how that didn’t pan out. It still pains me to this day!

oliver
oliver
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

I read that it was sold for scrap/recycling.

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago
Reply to  oliver

I’d rather have them use a bridge that will survive an earthquake.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
6 years ago

And ODoT project designers…please consider adding a belvedere to the bridge (assist with ADA pens need for a resting place – who knows what 405 will look like in 2066?) and also consider adding space on the two ends for social space such as a food cart/ Breakfast on the Bridges and a repair stand…all these amenities may help with security in the off hours (CPTED: “eyes on the street”)…and add some public space back into this section of Slab Town-NW/ Pearl that would help mitigate for areas lost when 405 was built.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
6 years ago

This is going to be awesome. For several years I commuted daily across 405 on Everett, and had numerous conflicts with turning vehicles, not to mention a less-than-ideal trip down Everett through the Pearl. Sorry we couldn’t repurpose the old Sauvie bridge to do it, but glad this looks likely to happen.

And the depiction at the top of the thread looks like a covered bridge. How romantic! Better make sure to include some bumpouts in the middle so lovers can stop and kiss. 😉

jeff
jeff
6 years ago

how dare anyone be asked to travel 2 blocks out of their way to NW Glisan, right?

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Why do have a crossing at Glisan anyway? Drivers can just go to Johnson.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Send people driving to a neighborhood greenway?

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

Right, it’s ridiculous.

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

Cyclists are used to having to make detours. Why give them a straight path?

Mike D in the house
Mike D in the house
6 years ago

Great news — and a great victory for pedestrians and Oregon Walks.

A safe, direct connection between Flanders and the Waterfront/Steel Br across Naito is the other critical piece to this that folks are working hard to make happen, including PNCA, Old Town/Chinatown, and many many others.

BTW would love to see frmr Portlander Matt Groening’s Ned Flanders a part of greenway concept and design.

Bike Guy
Bike Guy
6 years ago

Burnside. Couch. Everett. Glisan. These are just some of the streets that come to mind that have bridges crossing 405. Perhaps it takes a little ingenuity to cross them on a bike or on foot, but I’ve been doing it for the last five years without major issues. I’m sure blowing a wad of cash on a bridge is just what we need.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Bike Guy

I’ve been doing it for the last five years without major issues

Then this bridge clearly is not meant for you, but for the people who find it uncomfortable and scary to ride over any of the other bridges.

Bike Guy
Bike Guy
6 years ago

Or go under at Johnson.

Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders
6 years ago

And this crossing could open the door for ped / bike connections to the west, NW, and SW. An alternate way to get to the zoo and Washington Park, connections to Beaverton, Banks, and the coast, and points south could be possible if the Flanders Bridge gets built. Let’s do this.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sanders

If someone would bike to the coast with the Flanders bridge in place is the less than half mile round trip detour to Johnson for a comfortable crossing of 405 really going to kill the trip? The bridge’s value is much greater for local trips than longer distance trips to Beaverton too.

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

I’m riding Beaverton to Lloyd, and it will make a difference for me.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan A

A difference worth $6 million? While numerous other areas of the city suffer?

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  TJ

Of course not. But are there groups of employers in other specific areas of the city banging the drum for more walking/biking infrastructure? It sounds to me like the businesses made this happen more than anything else.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. This is just another domino.