East Portland advocates say they won’t take no for an answer on Powell bikeway

Posted by on July 28th, 2016 at 4:09 pm

SE Powell near 125th. The state’s current plan is to add sidewalks and a center turn lane but potentially no vertical separation between bike and car traffic.
(Image: Google Street View)

East Portland’s most prominent advocacy group is unanimously opposed to the state’s current plan for outer Powell Boulevard, its top staffer said Thursday.

“Every one of our transportation advocates — from pedestrian to bicycle to transit to overall transportation — was in disagreement with their decision and they want a separated bike lane on Powell,” said Lore Wintergreen, advocate for the East Portland Action Plan.

“ODOT’s message to the community advisory group and to me was basically ‘It’s our way; it’s our highway.'”
— Lore Wintergreen, East Portland Action Plan

As we reported this morning, the Oregon Department of Transportation says it’s rejected raised bike lanes on outer Powell as inviable and plans to move ahead with what it called “buffered bike lanes,” which project managers said might or might not include some sort of vertical barriers.

Powell Boulevard is within Portland and Gresham city limits but controlled by the state government. It carries about 20,000 cars and trucks per day in the project area east of Interstate 205.

Wintergreen called BikePortland Thursday to say that EPAP volunteers had learned about ODOT’s decision only “a week and a half” ago themselves.

“ODOT’s message to the community advisory group and to me was basically ‘It’s our way; it’s our highway,'” Wintergreen said.

“They didn’t talk about it until the last meeting,” she continued. “They came to the last meeting basically saying ‘This is what we’re going to do and here’s why.’ … Their assumption was that they could kick the children out of the house if they could not get along with it. But these people are not children.”

A sidewalk-colored bike lane (described here as a “concrete shoulder”) set off by slightly raised striping is ODOT staff’s currently preferred alternative.
(Image: ODOT)

Wintergreen, who essentially functions as a staff community organizer paid by the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement to support the agenda of East Portland neighborhood advocates, said she and EPAP volunteers aren’t convinced that protected bike lanes are actually inviable on Powell.

“City engineers that I’ve spoken with think there are potentialities to make this safer, and they think they’re viable,” Wintergreen said.

She said that in the last week and a half, EPAP has gotten signoff from multiple legislators and the office of Gov. Kate Brown to convene a meeting between city and state engineers and reconsider the possibilities on Powell.

The reconstruction of Powell between 122nd and 136th avenues is possible because a coalition of seven state legislators struck a legislative deal in 2015 to get $17 million for the street.

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EPAP feels that some sort of vertical barrier is needed on Powell, Wintergreen said, because if it’s not there then people will drive into the bike lanes.

“People are very accustomed to passing on the right, because they feel they can do it,” she said. “There is a need to have a separated bike lane on Powell to keep people safe.”

One problem is that with more than 300 driveways and side streets in the project area, a protective curb would look like “Morse code,” as ODOT engineer Matt Freitag put it.

That’s part of why a raised bike lane has been seen as a reasonable option. (Raised bike lanes crossed by numerous driveways are common on lower-density bike-friendly commercial districts in the Netherlands, for example.) But a raised lane might make stormwater drainage more difficult or expensive, ODOT says.

Mike Mason, an ODOT project manager, said in an email Thursday that although he had on Wednesday suggested that anything more than a slightly raised stripe might be inviable because of sweeping equipment and other issues, ODOT still sees a possibility for getting a physical barrier between bike and car traffic.

“The current plan is for the ODOT team to continue working with colleagues at the City of Portland to look at treatments in the buffer zone of the enhanced buffered bike facility that may provide some separation or protection to people bicycling,” Mason said.

Wintergreen said her understanding is that ODOT and city staff have already “agreed to disagree” about what’s possible on Powell.

“East Portland Action Plan members don’t agree to disagree,” Wintergreen said. “They feel that the safety of people is more important than relationships at this point.”

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

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81 Comments
  • Avatar
    J_R July 28, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    It’s beyond frustrating that motorists currently use the bike lane as a passing lane when they come upon cars stopped to make left turns into driveways and intersecting, local streets.

    In the past year I’ve seen two Portland police cars do use the bike lane in that section of Powell as a passing lane. The PPB cars were clearly NOT responding to emergencies (no flashing lights or sirens) and no high speeds after they went around the stopped cars. I’ve previously complained via email to the chief of PPB about similar actions. I received a polite response, but I doubt anything was even mentioned to the offender. PPB officers are either ignorant of the law or think that it doesn’t apply to them or that they have a blanket “waiver” because they are LE.

    The current configuration is so bad, I’m willing to accept the current proposal rather than the ideal, protected lane sought by others. Just my opinion.

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      Buzz July 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      If there are no cyclists present, what’s wrong with a motorist using the bike lane as a passing lane?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        Because sometimes a driver might think there are no cyclists present, only to find out, too late, that they were wrong. Especially if it becomes a habit to use the lane to pass.

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          David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          Also there are no sidewalks, so pedestrians must use the bike lane to get around, including at night. Most of Powell is poorly lit.

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      • Avatar
        J_R July 28, 2016 at 4:55 pm

        ORS 811.435 Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail
        • exemptions
        • penalty

        (1) A person commits the offense of operation of a motor vehicle on a bicycle trail if the person operates a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane or a bicycle path.

        (2) Exemptions to this section are provided under ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane).

        (3) This section is not applicable to mopeds. ORS 811.440 (When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) control the operation and use of mopeds on bicycle lanes and paths.

        (4) The offense described in this section, operation of a motor vehicle on a bicycle trail, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §643]

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 4:59 pm

          811.435 references 811.440, which says:

          A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:
          (a) Making a turn

          Doesn’t apply here, (unless the driver is sneaking around “in preparation to turn” into a driveway), but has come up recently.

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            Dan A July 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

            Is making a turn the same thing as preparing to make a turn? How far back might one prepare to make a turn? Oregon law says you need to signal 100 feet before turning — does that mean at 100 feet back you are now preparing to make a turn and so may drive in the bike lane at that point?

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            • Avatar
              J_R July 28, 2016 at 6:31 pm

              OK. So, here’s the complete text of ORS 811.440

              811.440¹ When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane

              This section provides exemptions from the prohibitions under ORS 811.435 (Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) against operating motor vehicles on bicycle lanes and paths. The following vehicles are not subject to ORS 811.435 (Operation of motor vehicle on bicycle trail) and 814.210 (Operation of moped on sidewalk or bicycle trail) under the circumstances described:

              (1) A person may operate a moped on a bicycle lane that is immediately adjacent to the roadway only while the moped is being exclusively powered by human power.

              (2) A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when:

              (a) Making a turn;

              (b) Entering or leaving an alley, private road or driveway; or

              (c) Required in the course of official duty.

              (3) An implement of husbandry may momentarily cross into a bicycle lane to permit other vehicles to overtake and pass the implement of husbandry.

              (4) A person may operate a motorized wheelchair on a bicycle lane or path.

              (5) A person may operate a motor assisted scooter on a bicycle lane or path.

              (6) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a bicycle lane or path. [1983 c.338 §645; 1991 c.417 §1; 2001 c.749 §24; 2003 c.341 §8]

              Part (2)(a) allows an exemption for the motorist to “operate upon a bicycle lane when making a turn.” I interpret that to mean that the motorist must be actually turning, not “preparing” to turn. If we really expected the motorist to use the bike lane In the manner you describe, it think the exemption would be written allowing the motorist to operate in the bike lane when preparing for or executing a turn.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 7:36 pm

                Your interpretation, if correct, would preclude leaving a bike lane early to make a left turn. Which would suck.

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                B. Carfree July 28, 2016 at 7:54 pm

                No, bikes are explicitly permitted to leave a bike lane to prepare to make a turn.

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                J_R July 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

                Kitty: The requirements for a bicyclist to use a bike lane under most circumstances (there are three specific exceptions) are found in ORS 814.420 – Failure to use bicycle lane or path; exceptions; penalty.

                Bicyclists’ obligations under 814.420 do not conflict with motorists’ obligations under ORS 811.335 or 811.440, which relate to motorists using bicycle lanes.

                Forty-three pages of statutes pertaining to bicyclists and pedestrians can be found at:

                https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/STATUTES%20PERTAINING%20TO%20PEDESTRIANS%20AND%20BICYCLES%202008.pdf

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm

                My thinking was one can leave a bike lane to execute a turn. If the definition of executing a turn is minimal for cars, it may well be minimal for bikes. I would prefer a broad definition, so I can leave the bike lane early; very early if I so desire.

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                Spiffy July 29, 2016 at 8:16 am

                RE: 814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path

                the wording is “Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.” which is different than actually executing the turn…

                bikes can leave the bike lane to prepare to turn, cars cannot use the bike lane to prepare to turn…

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              • Avatar
                J_R July 29, 2016 at 8:38 am

                Kitty: You have to actually read the statutes to see the nuances between them.

                With regard to bikes leaving the bike lane the relevant portion of the law reads “Preparing to execute a left turn.” With regard to motorists’ exception allowing them to traverse a bike lane reads “when making a turn.”

                One uses the action verb “making;” one uses “preparing to execute.” Big difference.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 8:41 am

                Good point!

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

              I sometimes prepare for a turn 1/4 mile ahead of time, or more. 100 ft is not much on a facility like Powell.

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      • Avatar
        gretchin July 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        In addition, I’ve seen cars pile up in the bike lane if they’re turning right, keeping bikes from getting to the front of the lane or forcing them to squeeze between cars.

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      • Avatar
        Doug July 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        It’s basic bad driving. It’s illegal to pass on the right. All your silly bike lane legal bs aside. IT’S ILLEGAL TO PASS ON THE RIGHT.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 12:09 am

          Not if “the paved portion of the highway is of sufficient width to allow two or more lanes of vehicles to proceed lawfully in the same direction as the overtaking vehicle.” Since driving in the bike lane is legal in order to execute a right turn, one could argue that passing another vehicle while doing so is also legal.

          But yes, either way it’s bad driving.

          http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.415

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          • Avatar
            Spiffy July 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

            “Since driving in the bike lane is legal in order to execute a right turn”

            it’s not legal…

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

              Not only is it legal, it’s illegal not to. In both the approach and the execution of the turn, one must be as close as is practicable to the right-hand curb.

              A person commits the offense of making an improperly executed right turn if the person is operating a vehicle, is intending to turn the vehicle to the right and does not proceed as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway:
              (a) In making the approach for a right turn; and
              (b) In making the right turn.

              http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.355

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              • Avatar
                John Lascurettes July 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

                As close as physically possible and as practicable are not the same thing. By virtue of the specialized lane being illegal for use by motorized cars, “as close as practicable” is as close to that bike lane without using it as possible. Ray Thomas has covered this at other times on Bike Portland.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 11:31 am

                I don’t buy it.

                We have two statues that clearly allow/require driving in the bike lane to make a turn (the one I cited, and ORS 811.440 [“When motor vehicles may operate on bicycle lane”], which states “A person may operate a motor vehicle upon a bicycle lane when: (a) Making a turn”).

                On the other hand, we have a convoluted interpretation that suggests the plain language meaning of these two laws is wrong. (“As close to the curb as practicable” doesn’t actually mean near the curb, and “operating upon” doesn’t mean “driving on”.)

                If lawmakers meant to ban people from using the bike lane to execute a turn, why didn’t they just say so? Is there any judicial precedent that backs up the interpretation that using the bike lane to turn right is in fact illegal?

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                Tom Hardy July 30, 2016 at 10:27 pm

                As close as practical to the curb unless it in a bike lane.
                That is how car doors get foot prints in them when a car drifts into the bike lane to make a right turn. BTW the auto usually does not use the right turn signal when this happens.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 31, 2016 at 8:17 am

                That exception is not in any law I’ve seen. In any event, you’ve still got a problem if a right-turning vehicle is positioned to the left of a rider going straight. It’s an inherent conflict.

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        • Avatar
          GlowBoy July 29, 2016 at 10:25 am

          It’s not necessarily illegal to pass on the right in Oregon. Note that it IS illegal in nearby Washington. Laws like this vary a lot by state, and Oregon may be different than the state you moved from.

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            Alan 1.0 July 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm

            Here’s Washington’s law on that…

            http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.61.115
            RCW 46.61.115
            When overtaking on the right is permitted.
            (1) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
            (a) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
            (b) Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
            (2) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

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            • Avatar
              GlowBoy August 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

              I think the RCW might initially look like it’s legal, but notice “shall not be made by driving off the roadway.” I believe the shoulder is considered to be “off the roadway.” I used to spend a lot of time on Whidbey Island, where SR525 has wide paved shoulders – and a lot of roads where the occasional car turns left off the 55mph highway, tempting everyone else to go around. The State Patrol keeps itself very busy ticketing people who passed those left-turning vehicles on the right, and the locals all know not to tempt fate.

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              • Avatar
                Alan 1.0 August 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

                I don’t want to belabor the legal details, and I certainly don’t know what you experienced on Whidbey, but…

                http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=468-34-110
                (7) Roadway – The portion of a highway including shoulders, for vehicular use. […]

                I think you (GlowBoy) made a very good point when you said, “Laws like this vary a lot by state,” and even within our own states there are few of us who are expert enough to be truly authoritative on all the details while we’re actually driving (I had to look those up, and those don’t include court prededents nor WSP policies, of course). The important thing, I think, is to drive (or bike, or walk) safely and courteously. To me, that overall safe practice is more important than minute attention to statute details. So, while “Doug July 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm” is wrong about passing on the right being illegal, he’s very much right in spirit when he says, “It’s basic bad driving.” At least, it’s bad driving if it’s not done with extreme caution, looking and seeing possible conflicts.

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          mh July 31, 2016 at 12:12 am

          I wish all bicyclists believed that. The only time I want to be passed on the right is when I’m in a left side bike lane like Williams. It’s distressing even then, because I have a rear view mirror on my left bar end, but none on my right. I’m slow. I get other riders passing me on the right in a bike lane, and I want to injure them. YOU ARE A FASTER VEHICLE. PASS ON THE LEFT. Traffic laws exist to make our behavior predictable. Creative road behavior only creates chaos.

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      • Avatar
        CaptainKarma July 30, 2016 at 11:45 am

        Lots of mamas pushing strollers, people waiting for the bus, kids on skateboards, well I could go on and on. You could potentially kill a lot of people with one hasty pull-around.

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          Tom Hardy July 30, 2016 at 10:30 pm

          a few weeks ago a gentleman was killed on SW Multnomah by a driver passing on the right. Of course he did not see the cyclist as the driver could not hardly see his hood ornament because he was stumbling drunk.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Painted bike lanes on a street that sees 20,000 vehicles per day is absurd. That level of motor traffic volume warrants separation. No, those in-roadway sidewalk things don’t count.

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  • Avatar
    rick July 28, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Why does SW Moody Ave get a world-class overhaul in an area with former toxic dirt but outer Powell gets chump change?

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      J_R July 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Maybe because there’s 40 times more bicycle use in one location than in the other. It’s a little hard to read the charts in the Portland bike count report, but it appears there are about 50 per day on Powell at 162nd and over 2000 at Moody and River Parkway. I know where I’d spend the money if it were mine.

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        David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 6:23 pm

        Exactly, in the high-rent white district (Moody), rather than a poor multi-ethnic district full of immigrants and no basic infrastructure (outer Powell). Very Portland.

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        Nick Falbo July 28, 2016 at 8:40 pm

        You don’t decide where to build a bridge by counting the number of people swimming across.

        Outer Powell has no functional bicycle boulevard alternative. I needs to be the best facility we can get.

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        • Avatar
          rick July 29, 2016 at 7:44 am

          YES !

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          J_R July 29, 2016 at 8:46 am

          So, do I interpret your comments to mean that you will be actively testifying against implementation of any improvements in the central city plan or even any planning for improvements in the central city until the transportation infrastructure is brought up to standards in outer Southeast?

          Do you advocate delay in implementing new crosswalks or signals at Powell and 26th or Powell at 28th near Cleveland High School until Powell east of I-205 has complete sidewalks and crosswalks? Too many rich white people attend Cleveland HS, right?

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          • Avatar
            Eric Leifsdad July 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

            The great thing about campaigns like http://www.20splenty.org/ is that everybody gets the same speed limit instead of arguing over where we spend millions of dollars to get one mile of sidewalk. There are 15ft wide streets in southwest with blind corners and no sidewalk or even a shoulder, let alone a ditch. Let’s set the speed limit on *every* street to something appropriate for its current condition so everyone is safe now and *then* bicker about where to spend money?

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            Tom Hardy July 30, 2016 at 10:32 pm

            Cleveland high school needs a 20 MPH school zone like 90% of the rest of the public schools do in the state.

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        • Avatar
          Tom Hardy July 29, 2016 at 10:17 am

          ODOT would prefer to have cyclist use Springwater or Division in outer SE instead of Division.

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      paikiala July 29, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Rick,
      One is city jurisdiction with Federal funds, the other is ODOT jurisdiction with Federal funds.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    There definitely needs to be some sort of barrier or physical separation. It just won’t work without one. The only alternative would be to engineer the street for 25MPH.

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    MB July 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    why not go 8′ peds /6′ bike/4′ greenway/curb / roadway…
    on both sides…

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      David Hampsten July 31, 2016 at 5:04 am

      The objection that came up for that configuration was that blind people in the area (there are many) would have trouble distinguishing between the bike lane and the sidewalk. The same issue comes up if the bike lane is inside of the sidewalk, as suggested on other posts. I’m not certain how important the objection is, given the very limited right of way (72 feet in most places) and the limited realm of possible configurations.

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    Eric Leifsdad July 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The driveway density would seem to mandate slower (20-25mph) speeds and/or access control and consolidation.

    The gaps at driveways only need to be 7 or 8ft. Maybe 20 with a post in the middle if there’s lots of two-way traffic. (Was the post wearing hi-viz clothing and a helmet?)

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    Tom Hardy July 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    In the whole length of the proposed Powell stretch ODOT would save a lot of money just removing the bike lanes inside the power poles and leave them in place. Put the 2 inch rounded raise for the bike lane in line with the poles and eliminate the curbs and driveway cutouts to the commercial parking and residential driveways. The drivers would be unaffected and the cyclists and peds would have some security from the drunks, letting them run into the power poles.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Is this an example of what Mayor Hales meant when he said to advocate louder?

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) July 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      gonna say yes

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 28, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Bingo adam!

      BTA is also on record in opposition to it. Wonder what their next move will be. We’ll have to ask them.

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      • Avatar
        David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

        Michael & Johnathan, a correction:

        Shemia Fagan did get $4.9 mil in 2013, but that was spent already on the engineering study and a bunch of crossings. What really matters is the $17 million she got in 2015 for 122nd to 136th on Powell. PBOT had already gotten $3 million in 2012 for Powell, so there is already $20 million ready to be spent. In addition, PBOT has allotted about $13 million in existing SDC funds for Powell, and are apply for a federal TIGER grant for another $20 million. Depending how ODOT does this project, they have at least $20 million to work with, maybe up to $33 million if they add capacity (such as sidewalks and cycle tracks), and as much as $53 million by the end of next year, enough to rebuild Powell from 122nd to 162nd. On top of everything else, there are regular maintenance funds for Powell ($2-5 million) and additional funds if the state legislature passes a gas tax increase. It is actually possible for the whole $66-$84 million project to get funded. Which is why EPAP is getting ready to rumble – this project is so close to getting fully funded that they can taste it.

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        rick July 29, 2016 at 7:45 am

        Opposition to what?

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    • Avatar
      Gerald Fittipaldi July 29, 2016 at 12:46 am

      safety@odot.state.or.us is probably the best place to send feedback.

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    Allan Rudwick July 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Was a 2-way bikeway on one side considered? It might reduce some of the conflicts that are in the area. I know this isn’t popular w/ everyone but it can work in some situations — at least it would reduce # of curbs slightly

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      That would be highly dangerous for riders going against the flow of traffic, as drivers pulling out of driveways won’t always be watching for people traveling at relatively high speeds in unexpected places.

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        eawrist July 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        There are a few of these in DC. I can attest to Hello, Kitty’s example. Not a great design.

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    Mossby Pomegranate July 28, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    And you wonder why lower income people out there don’t like to ride bikes.

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      dan July 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      As opposed to the middle income people out there?

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  • John Liu
    John Liu July 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    How would stormwater drainage be handled if the street has raised bike lanes on each side? Absent drainage, such a street will turn into a mile long lake during storms. Besides this being really dangerous for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will be soaked by cars wading through standing water. Presumably buried drains could be installed, but that might be very costly.

    Similar problem if there is a curb or wall between bike lane and the traffic lanes, unless the curb or wall has frequent drainage openings at pavement level.

    Perhaps the buffer zone between bike lane and traffic lane can get the aggressive rumble strip treatment. That stuff is really nasty to drive on, passenger cars get shaken so badly that drivers avoid it, at least when driving faster than walking speed. However, cyclists who wander onto aggressive rumble strip can get flats or crash.

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      Nick Falbo July 28, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      This is a reconstruction of the road edge, not a retrofit. Drainage on a newly constructed raised bike lane works exactly like drainage on a newly constructed sidewalk.

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      Tom Hardy July 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      The land is flat on both sides of Powell above 110th. The street is high ground.

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      Robert Burchett July 29, 2016 at 7:07 am

      They could lower the bike lanes so they better perform the bike lane function of collecting stormwater and debris 😉 –also concrete is good because the seams and finishing marks help adjust your spine. I know there’s a standard for how much deviation there can be in pavement. Doesn’t seem to apply to bike lanes.

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    • Avatar
      paikiala July 29, 2016 at 8:46 am

      John,
      If the sidewalk is 6 feet and the bike lane is 8 feet and the vegetated swale is four feet, the swale can go in the ‘furnishing zone’ between the non-motorized traffic and the motor vehicle lanes.
      The swales can be 6 inches below the gutter level (good for catching the really errant drivers) between any power poles or street light poles. ODOT, if following safety standards probably even wants those poles as close to the right of way line as possible (clear zone). The 2 foot needed for such poles could fit in what PBOT calls the ‘frontage zone’ – space needed near buildings for doors to swing out and stand pipes to emerge from buildings.
      The bike lane could be inside the sidewalk (defining the center of the street as the ‘middle’), and lowered 2-3 inches. Cars can drive over a 2-3 inch rounded curb – there is even an example of this on SW 3rd Avenue already – so no curb cut to interfere with the sidewalk. Then a short driveway ramp can be placed in the furnishing zone to get the cars down to street level.
      Requirements to exit private property facing forward, and needed visibility before entering the non-motorized vehicle space will need to be worked out. Nick F is probably working on, or already has a sketch 😉

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      Tom Hardy July 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Have the storm drains in the curbs like many that are going in to replace the in line grates that capture bike tires. That is why the 2 inch raise for the bike path.

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    curly July 28, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hi everyone. Glad to see great comments from all.
    Bike Portland has been an asset to me to see the types of bike infrastructure that abounds in the city of Portland. The different, and creative designs which have made bicycling safer throughout the city.
    I love Portland, and I especially love east Portland!
    We had an East Portland Action Plan bike subcommittee (EPAPbike) meeting Tuesday evening and invited PBOT and ODOT to discuss the options of a protected bike way along the Powell Blvd. alignment between 122nd and 136th. Mike Mason, Project mgr. for the Powell Safety Project, Matt Freitag, ODOT engineer and Shelli Romero, ODOT interim Region 1 manager, west side, along with April Bertelson from PBOT were in attendance. All parties agreed that this section of Powell needs to be safe for all modes of transportation. We also agreed both bureaus needed to work together to design the best facility possible. Especially in constrained areas. This is big.
    There is an opportunity to build something that will be safe, have great access to the most prominent commercial district along the alignment, and be something very special for the neighborhood. It will also accommodate the first north/south Neighborhood Green Way crossings in east Portland east of I205 at 129th/130th, and also travel through one of the most dangerous intersections in the state at 122nd and Powell. It’s an important project! It will also set the tone for active transportation options for the remainder of the facility. It’s a very important project!
    Since we’ve been at the table with PBOT and ODOT re: Outer Powell, I’m optimistic about the potential for the outcome of the project. Really optimistic. We have great staff from both entities working together. This may be a first!
    I continue to view this particular project as a stepping stone to completing the entire alignment with the safest facilities available at the time of design. I also consider this project to be an opportunity for ODOT to step up, make a statement about Vision Zero, and promote active transportation options for ODOT facilities.
    We’re all waiting for the final plan, but my opinion is it will ultimately be a great street. A Portland street. Hopefully with protected bikeways.
    The East Portland Action Plan representatives on the Powell Safety Project Community advisory committee (CAC) have been a huge asset to keeping the rest of the community informed about the progress of this plan. Thanks to Teresa and Kem.
    Jim Chasse
    East Portland

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    rachel b July 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I love that EPAP and Wintergreen are digging their in heels on this. Esp. like this:

    “East Portland Action Plan members don’t agree to disagree,” Wintergreen said. “They feel that the safety of people is more important than relationships at this point.”

    Inspiring! Helps me to gird loins for when ODOT comes for SE 26th’s bike lanes (w/ PBOT’s helpful help help). “For bicyclists’ safety.” Of course.

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      rachel b July 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      erp–“heels in.” Not “in heels.”

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 12:02 am

      The “for cyclists safety” is a point we both disagree with, but there is some logic to it, and ODOT is not completely batty to make that argument.

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    Gerald Fittipaldi July 29, 2016 at 12:43 am

    safety@odot.state.or.us is the email address I recommend writing to, for anyone who is frustrated and feels the need to be heard by ODOT. Perhaps there are other people/email addresses we should be contacting. Feel free to suggest any that you may know of.

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      paikiala July 29, 2016 at 8:49 am

      The State Traffic Engineer? Or, maybe, his boss?

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    Doug July 29, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Writing to state legislators is sometimes more effective, as they are ODOT’s bosses.

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    nuovorecord July 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    “ODOT’s message to the community advisory group and to me was basically ‘It’s our way; it’s our highway,’” Wintergreen said.

    ODOT should just adopt this for their mission statement.

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    David Hampsten July 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Quote from J_R “So, do I interpret your comments to mean that you will be actively testifying against implementation of any improvements in the central city plan or even any planning for improvements in the central city until the transportation infrastructure is brought up to standards in outer Southeast?”

    Yes, I personally do, and I have testified in the past several times with passion that East Portland has been unfairly taxed at a much higher rate than inner Portland (since 1992, well documented by the county) and has largely subsidized the redevelopment of the central city and the surrounding hip neighborhoods, and continues to do so. Moreover, East Portland has within it the largest high school in Oregon, David Douglas, which has a very high rate of students in poverty, on free or reduced lunches, over 92 languages spoken, and yet has a vastly higher graduation rate than the Portland Public School system (73% vs 53%). Further, this roadway section of Powell has had more deaths and injuries than inner Powell, especially of pedestrians.

    Thank you for asking.

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      David Hampsten July 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Oh joy, my comment ended up in the wrong location. Michael & Johnathan, what’s going on here?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

        It’s the work of Satan. #satanhatesbikes

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      It’s almost as if E Portland are annexed after our road system was mostly built out and the city was in less of a road building frenzy. But we all know that more nefarious forces are at play.

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    Madeleine July 31, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Is there anything in the works for some sort of bike infrastructure to Beaverton and Hillsboro? A lot of the Powell traffic is heading onto the 26 to Nike, Intel, etc. That will be part of the equation.

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    Alan 1.0 August 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I don’t want to belabor the legal details, and I certainly don’t know what you experienced on Whidbey, but…

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=468-34-110
    (7) Roadway – The portion of a highway including shoulders, for vehicular use. […]

    I think you (GlowBoy) made a very good point when you said, “Laws like this vary a lot by state,” and even within our own states there are few of us who are expert enough to be truly authoritative on all the details while we’re actually driving (I had to look those up, and those don’t include court prededents nor WSP policies, of course). The important thing, I think, is to drive (or bike, or walk) safely and courteously. To me, that overall safe practice is more important than minute attention to statute details. So, while “Doug July 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm” is wrong about passing on the right being illegal, he’s very much right in spirit when he says, “It’s basic bad driving.” At least, it’s bad driving if it’s not done with extreme caution, looking and seeing possible conflicts.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 1, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      I think this is exactly it. The legal particularities are far less important than the overall context — if you drive defensively, courteously, and at a reasonable speed, most of the details lose significance.

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