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State says raised bike lanes won’t work on outer Powell after all

Posted by on July 28th, 2016 at 9:39 am

concrete with durable striping

A sidewalk-colored bike lane (described here as a “concrete shoulder”) set off by slightly raised striping is the state’s preferred alternative for bike lanes on a reconstructed Powell Boulevard east of Interstate 205. The state-run road carries about 20,000 motor vehicles daily.
(Image: ODOT)

After an advisory group agreed that it wanted an upcoming rebuild of outer Powell Boulevard to include raised bike lanes, the Oregon Department of Transportation says they’re not practical after all.

Instead, it’s drawing the ire of some (though not all) advisory committee members by saying there won’t be any vertical protection between bike and car traffic on the busy state-run street.

“[A raised bike lane] presents a long list of challenges.”
— Matt Freitag, ODOT project manager

Among the issues the agency has cited were difficulty getting water to run off the pavement and into drainage areas; the number of driveway crossings; and the difficulty of sweeping debris or snow from the bike lanes, which would be narrower than any of the equipment the agency currently owns.

“Each of their own wasn’t a dealbreaker, but taken in aggregate [a raised bike lane] presents a long list of challenges,” said Matt Freitag, an engineer and project manager for ODOT’s Portland regional office.

Instead, Freitag said, the agency’s “preferred alternative” for Powell between Interstate 205 and 172nd Avenue is what it calls a “buffered bike lane.” But Freitag and project manager Mike Mason said that the “buffer” along Powell might be built with a different-colored material from asphalt and/or might include some sort of non-curb vertical separators.

A February memo that summarized options for Powell illustrated the “buffered bike lane” option as including “durable profiled striping,” which ODOT has described elsewhere as thick enough to give “auditory signals” to people when they drive over it.

durable profiled striping

Another option for buffered bike lanes: durable profiled striping with no color change.

Freitag and Mason said Wednesday the project is mostly done discussing whether or not there will be a raised or buffered lane.

“What’s undecided is what gets in the buffer,” Mason said. “Is it profiled striping, that raised striping that creates a vibration when you go over it, or some other type of raised pavement markers?”

Potter and Grosjean: ODOT tried its best to make separation possible


A rendering of a raised bike lane on Powell, prepared by ODOT but rejected as an option.

In interviews, two members of the advisory committee who had previously expressed support for protected bike lanes on Powell said they’ve been persuaded that raised bike lanes aren’t worth the cost on the street, which gets unusually heavy runoff from nearby hills during rainstorms.

“They really went into it trying to figure out how to get enough drainage,” said Cora Potter, a frequent bike user who sits on the Outer Powell Safety Project’s Community Advisory Committee. “Anything that involves grade separation greatly increases, like quadruples, the cost. … If you have a curb, you basically get a puddle at the curb that then comes in and covers up the bike lane. If you don’t have a curb, it just flows off the bike lane in a sheet.”

Paul Grosjean, the committee’s co-chair and a member of the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association, said that “after thinking about it for several months,” he’d decided a buffered bike lane would be fine.

“I have driven the entire corridor with just that in mind, and kind of looked at as I drove and said ‘What is this going to be like?'” He said. “I think this is the best solution that is available.”


Potter said she thinks there’s still a chance for the street to get domes like those used in Houston, Washington DC and elsewhere.

“The turtle dome things are actually kind of good, I think, if they’re spaced close enough together,” Potter said.

Potter also said she expects the bike lane to be very visually distinct. If it isn’t, she said, more people will drive in the bike lane to jump the queue for right turns, etc.

“The asphalt would be a different color or they’d make it out of concrete,” she said. “If they don’t, then I’ll be really disappointed. Because it needs to be visually very very clear that the bike lane is not a place for cars on Powell.”

Protected intersections might yet be included


A rendering of a protected intersection included in ODOT’s memo for possible intersection treatments on Powell, for example at 122nd Avenue.
(Image: Nick Falbo)

Elizabeth Quiroz, a professional advocate for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance who sits on the advisory committee, said in a July 12 email she doesn’t like the new plan.

“Many community members are not happy with the final option presented by ODOT.”
— Elizabeth Quiroz, BTA

“Many community members are not happy with the final option presented by ODOT,” she said in an email. “Our understanding was that a raised bike lane was a top priority. … We expected better and safer infrastructure.”

Mason and Freitag said that none of the issues ODOT identified with a raised or otherwise protected bike lane were insurmountable.

The City of Portland might be able to get a narrower street sweeper. Higher-grade crossings and driveways might prevent the “up and down” bobbing that they fear a raised bike lane might give people biking. Even the drainage issues might be solved with enough money.

They and Potter, the advisory committee member, also said there’s still potential for greatly improving the signalized intersections at 122nd and 136th with Dutch-inspired elements like bend-out bike crossings and corner safety islands to force sharper turns.

“The intersections are what really scare me,” Potter said. “As a bike rider, my honest opinion is if they can do the treatment that makes it obvious it’s a bike lane, like a different surface, and then plow as much money as they can into the intersection treatment, as someone who will probably ride a bike there, that’s what I would do.”

Freitag said protected intersection designs are possible at the signalized intersections.

“We’re certainly looking at options that include those elements,” he said.

Mason said that whatever happens on Powell, it’s going to be settled quickly — at least for the stretch from 122nd to 136th where reconstruction was already funded by the state legislature.

“The discussions with the city should happen over the next couple of months if not sooner,” he said. “We’re on a fast track to get this designed and built, so we need to be making decisions.”

Update: The East Portland Action Plan, a prominent advocacy group that had four members on the project’s advisory committee, has come out strongly in favor of protected bike lanes and against what it sees as ODOT’s proposal not to use them.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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Correction 10:05 am: An earlier version of this post’s headline incorrectly summarized the most recent position of the project’s community advisory committee.

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  • Bob K. July 28, 2016 at 9:49 am

    “We’re certainly looking at options that include those elements,” he said.

    Classic ODOT statement. We’ll look at it and then tell you why we can’t do it. So disappointing.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 10:01 am

      “I drove the entire corridor and think buffered bike lanes are fine” signifies everything that is wrong wth ODOT.

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
        Michael Andersen (News Editor) July 28, 2016 at 10:07 am

        Note that that’s not coming from ODOT, but from the co-chair of the community advisory committee.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

          Oh good point. Still a ridiculous thing to say. Why not try biking the corridor to decide what kind of biking infra to build, instead of literally making a windshield perspective decision?

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          • Patrick Sullivan July 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm

            Because biking the entire corridor from Ross Island Bridge to Gresham would take a really long time and unless you did it at 4am would involve a lot of conflict with car traffic, hopping on and off sidewalks. For a visual inspection driving in rush-hour is actually great with all the traffic light stops.

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            • Keviniano July 28, 2016 at 4:59 pm

              You’re missing the point. There’s no indication that he biked any segment of it.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 5:01 pm

                David Hampsten reported in these comments that at least some of the committee members had biked the length of the project.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm

              Isn’t that the point? For them to realize how bad the road is for cycling and want to fix it?

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      • I wear many hats July 28, 2016 at 3:22 pm

        Exactly right. This is a prime example of being tone deaf. How can one survey and evaluate cycling needs from the seat of a car?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 3:25 pm

          David Hampsten reported elsewhere in these comments that at least some committee members biked the entire length of the project earlier. So, as usual, there is more to the story.

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  • eawrist July 28, 2016 at 9:49 am

    ODOT out of Portland.

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    • Eric Leifsdad July 28, 2016 at 10:14 am


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      • eawrist July 28, 2016 at 10:52 am

        In the words of Bon Qui Qui “Need to go.”

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  • ethan July 28, 2016 at 9:54 am

    They’re planning on rebuilding the entire roadway, correct?

    If that’s the case, why not plant the trees between the asphalt and make the sidewalks into 16′ wide MUPs on both sides?

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    • ethan July 28, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Also, this statement is very telling:

      “I have driven the entire corridor with just that in mind, and kind of looked at as I drove and said ‘What is this going to be like?’” He said. “I think this is the best solution that is available.”

      This project is supposed to be about safety. Why didn’t this person walk and bike the entire corridor with safety in mind, rather than drive the corridor with cost and convenience for drivers in mind?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

        Literal windshield perspective.

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    • Mark July 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      MUP’s suck for actual transportation needs. They’re fine in a park setting, but are too slow and dangerous to use for actually trying to get somewhere efficiently.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        If a MUP is designed for cycling speeds (as the new Sunrise path) and not for walking speeds (like the Orange Line MUP) they can be quite effective for transportation. Check out some of the Dutch intercity cycleways.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu July 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

          Depends on how much pedestrian activity there is. This “MUP” would basically be a sidewalk, and cyclists will be slaloming between pedestrians. Which is not safe for either.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Everyone saw this coming.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) July 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      I love all the “might” promises.

      Like when you asked your parent and they answered “we’ll think about it”.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

    ODOT cites cost as a reason not to build protected bike lanes, but keep in mind, this is from the state agency that spent 10 years and $130 million building a two-mile expressway.

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  • gretchin July 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

    This is why nobody wants to serve on committees. All that work and for what?

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  • Spiffy July 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

    “Potter also said she expects the bike lane to be very visually distinct. If it isn’t, she said, more people will drive in the bike lane to jump the queue for right turns, etc.”

    that’s cute… but the only way to stop people from driving in the bike lane is to make it impossible to drive in the bike lane…

    otherwise people will continue to illegally pass on the right in the bike lane either to pass people turning left or to pass people in order to turn right…

    those are the driver movements that worry me the most when riding that section of Powell…

    yeah, enforcement might work, but I don’t see that happening before infrastructure…

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Yep. Just this morning, I saw someone driving in the green bike lanes downtown. They finally moved after five cyclists surrounded their car and I motioned for them to change lanes.

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    • B. Carfree July 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

      I’ve seen enforcement work before infrastructure. In fact, I’ve seen enforcement work and then be abandoned in favor of more segregated infrastructure. The result: a massive loss of cyclists back to cars.

      My take home lesson from this is that any infrastructure can work if you have vigorous enforcement of traffic laws, but without enforcement things get pretty hairy no matter what you build.

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  • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
    Michael Andersen (News Editor) July 28, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Just adding a note here that we changed the headline away from “overrules its own committee” because last winter the committee had voted to endorse a raised bike lane but was subsequently convinced that a raised bike lane wasn’t the best way to do protection.

    Some committee members are definitely upset that no protection is being proposed, but there was no overruling because the committee never took a formal position on whether protection would be needed.

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    • rick July 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      a half-baked effort from ODOT

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  • Spiffy July 28, 2016 at 10:10 am

    ODOMCAFAP… Oregon Department of Moving Cars As Fast As Possible…

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    • ethan July 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Exactly. I looked at their project list recently, and there’s still nothing about fixing the Lombard gap or Barbur. I guess they just really only care about cars.

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  • JJJ July 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Remember that one time a highway lane expansion project was cancelled due to drainage concerns?


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  • rick July 28, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Pathetic !

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  • Paikiala July 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Street level bike lanes are only OK if the speed limit is 30 mph or less. The drainage hurdle is self-made. The storm water swales could be next to the car lanes.

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    • eawrist July 28, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Seems like a very simple fix with essentially the same cost. Is this correct to assume?

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      • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm


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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          Anyone know if this was considered, and if so, why it was rejected?

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. July 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

            Because someone drove the length of the project and determined painted lanes were good enough.

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      • Cyclekrieg July 28, 2016 at 1:19 pm


        One of the most expensive parts of curb & gutter (“gutter” being the real term for the ‘swales’ mentioned above) is the curb cuts. Curb cuts and the associated radi (either horizontal or the smaller vertical ones if you don’t have flares on the driveway) for driveways is a bit expensive. Tipping and the grading changes to get water to flow at curb cuts add to the cost of curb cuts fast. A lot more work is needed. If you move the curb and gutter out and do a concrete bike lane, you also have to ramp that bike line down to road grade at each driveway while retaining positive drainage, both from the driveway and the roadway. So at every driveway you now have 3 things that rack up construction cost: curb cuts, ramping and radi. If you have a lot of driveways, the $$$ starts adding up fast.

        Hate to be all “civil engineer” on that balloon.

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        • eawrist July 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

          Are you saying that having separated bike infrastructure on Powell, regardless of design, would be prohibitively expensive? Is there a feasible design?

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        • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm

          The swales are usually at least four feet wide, the driveway ramp can be in that space. If the ROW line is eight inches above the gutter, with a 2% slope toward the gutter, the drop is 2.8 inches over 12 feet (6ft walk, 6ft bike), so the slope in the last four feet is 11% (5.8″ over 48″) – not so tough for most cars to use. This can be eased further by having a drop from the walk to the bike space (or starting with a lower property line), with a very short ramp in the sidewalk (ADA only requires a 3-4 ft passage at 2% cross slope).
          The entries into the swales could be curbless, or use the metal curb top PBOT uses everywhere.
          Knowing the difference between a gutter (the concrete that moves water along a street to a catch basin) and a swale (the depressed vegetated space between the curb and sidewalk used to retain or infiltrate water) might help.
          Where did you graduate from?

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  • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

    PBOT has a street sweeper for narrow raised bike lanes, as on Cully. Mike Mason, the project manager from ODOT, knows this. Also, if ODOT wants to use SDC funding from PBOT for the bike lanes, they are going to have to either raise them or provide barriers; simply replacing existing on-street bike lanes with new on-street bike lanes is not going to get them SDC funding for the lanes. $6 million in extra match funding down the toilet.

    I’ve worked with Cory and Paul. I’m not pleased with their position on this. I thought they had more spine. Disappointed.

    Still, for those who hope for “protected” bike lanes, rejecting the cycle track should give at least a bit of hope, especially if ODOT wants more PBOT funding.

    If you want to campaign for better improvements, don’t talk with City Council – no, go talk with your state legislator instead, they have pull with ODOT.

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  • Nick Falbo July 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Two words: Valley Gutter.

    Valley gutter drainage puts the drains and water flow in the center of the street rather than at the curb. All water flows inward, away from the sidewalk.

    This is great for transit, as buses and cars will no longer splash water on waiting passengers as they drive by.

    This is great for safety, because the superelevation on turns actually encourages slow speeds rather than racetrack style turns.

    This is great for raised bikeways, as the water will flow away and off of them, rather than pooling in the bikeway itself.

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    • eawrist July 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

      I’m confused why a state agency with presumably a vast knowledge base would not consider this simple alternative. Is this inflexibility or are they simply being ingenuine?

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      • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 10:49 am

        Both and possibly neither. There may have been an internal change of engineers or designers at ODOT for this project, with the addition of some clueless old-school highway designer.

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      • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        water freezes. valley gutters can become iced over segments during the winter. Speed + ice is a bad mix.

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        • Nick Falbo July 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          I like your suggestion of putting the bike lane on the sidewalk side of the bioswale, which would also add a nice feeling of protection.

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          • Paikiala July 29, 2016 at 7:59 am

            Visibility clearances for the people leaving private property at the driveway will need to be worked out also.

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    • Jessica Horning July 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Three words: Huge water main

      A very large, very old one runs down the center of Powell and is not buried very deep. Unfortunately, as a result, reconstructing the road to drain to the center of the street isn’t feasible.

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      • Nick Falbo July 28, 2016 at 12:42 pm

        This makes sense Jessica. Reality has a certain way of getting in the way 🙂

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      • rick July 28, 2016 at 1:26 pm

        so the inner city Tabor to the River gets fancy project while outer Portland gets what?

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    • Andy K July 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      This is a good idea but its not perfect solution. For one, maintenance would nix it the instant it made it onto a piece of paper. I was trying to think of areas in portland where i’ve seen it done.

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  • Paikiala July 28, 2016 at 10:26 am

    The turtle bumps are a red herring too. They are not considered safe for motorcyclists at the speed the street would be posted.

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  • bikeninja July 28, 2016 at 10:28 am

    The raised bike lanes would move the drainage problem to the roadway, which would be a good thing. This would be poetic justice because the main cause of the run-off causing the road to flood is the acres of impermeable surface ( parking lots and roads) that prevent water from being absorbed by the ground in a heavy rain. Perhaps it is high time that motorists have to face the consequences of happy motoring and not pawn them off on others or the residents of the future.

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    • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 10:52 am

      The drainage issue is actually the soil and a high water table. Powell runs through or beside an old lake bed. Nearby Beggers Tick park was part of that lake. The drainage issues are quite real and expensive to deal with.

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      • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        Swales can be retention or detention. Retention, retains water, letting it soak into the ground. This can be enhanced with rock wells, or other artificial products, that store excess water in a space until it can soak in.
        Detention swales, detain, or slow down, how fast water from a storm event enters the pipe system (infiltration is not the first goal). Plants, and soil, in the swale adsorb (correct spelling), or even consume organics and metals from the run-off, or filter larger particles (wheel rubber, brake dust, etc.). The more busy the street, the greater the need to pre-treat water before it enters a pipe or the groundwater.

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      • rick July 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

        SW Moody Ave has gotten sweet deals. Must be nice to have a city without a district-based city council.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

          All those council members living in South Waterfront were only voting for their own self-interest.

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  • Adam July 28, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Well, it *is* ODOT you are talking about here…

    Or rather, ODOC, since the last letter of the acronym should really just be “cars” and not “transportation”, since cars seem to be mostly all they give a hoot about.

    Quelle surprise!!

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    • Tom Hardy July 28, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Adam it is ODOT for a reason Oregon Deportment Of Trucking.

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    • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 10:54 am

      The old Federal formula was “at least 90%” for cars and “no more than 10%” for bikes, peds, transit, and rail transit combined. Still is in most places.

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    • Mick O July 28, 2016 at 11:14 am

      The T is for Trucks. Never lose sight of that

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  • Eric Leifsdad July 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

    So many challenging trade-offs to be “engineered” (in a real engineering profession, safety factors are numbers like “2”.) Permeable pavement might really help with the stormwater issues if we can be sure to keep heavy vehicles off of it (seems like a good characteristic for a sidewalk and/or bike lane.)

    It only needs to be raised at the intersections and driveways. What’s the flow concern there? Maybe too many intersections and driveways?

    If we’re not going to have it physically protected, just stripe it with 8ft lanes and have a 25mph speed limit, strictly enforced. Trade-offs, right?

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    • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

      There are a huge number of driveways along the road, lots of single-family homes and apartment complexes, lots of small ethnic businesses. I suggest you take a look at Google Maps and streetview, should you not be able to (or not dare) to ride the bike lane along the roadway. Essentially from I-205 to 174th. Heavy truck traffic 24/7, one lane each direction, a rural highway in a highly dense urban environment, with one of the most heterogeneous ethnic populations in the state.

      25 mph? Did you not see that we are talking about US 26? An ODOT facility?

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      • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm

        Reply to Kitty: It is MUCH easier to get Federal funding for projects with more ethnic and racial diversity along the roadway. There is a $20 million TIGER grant application out there for this project still pending.

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        • Alex July 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm

          I don’t see anything in TIGER’s funding criteria ( having to do with diversity. I’m not aware of any federal transportation program that is explicitly about improving transportation in diverse communities, although their partnership with HUD involves some of those elements. Can you give some examples of diversity-rewarding Federal funding opportunities that you’re thinking Outer Powell might be good for?

          On a similar note, if there is something about the US HIghway System that requires that designated routes be fast or particularly accommodating, then a street with as many curb cut and neighborhood place types as Powell is not appropriate for it. Rather than try to shoehorn an intercity freight route into a place where people have to live their lives, the responsible engineering decision would be to resign some other route as US-20 and design Powell to be a livable place with livable speeds and levels of traffic. Mixing neighborhoods with lethal speeds and volumes of vehicular traffic is a design flaw.

          But I don’t think there is anything in AASHTO’s design guidance that requires that designated routes be anything but the shortest distance of interstate routes. Which means it is not contrary to the nature of a designated US Highway to be signed at 25mph and be designed to calm vehicular traffic to sub-lethal speeds. Correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t stomach AASHTO-style writing enough to read much of their Numbered Highways manual.

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          • David Hampsten July 29, 2016 at 3:29 am

            It’s under Title IV of the 1960s Civil Rights Act, and thus part of the NEPA process, of the underlying funding processes, which all Federal agencies must follow, and any local or state agency that uses federal funds.

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            • Alex July 29, 2016 at 6:40 pm

              No, that just prohibits discrimination. It does not incentivize awarding federal funds to diverse communities, or else 40/50 states would never get federal funding.

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      • Eric Leifsdad July 28, 2016 at 2:19 pm

        25mph? Physics doesn’t care who designs the road. Crazy idea, or crazy world?

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Would it make sense to invite some of the committee members out for a bike ride along the street, and give them the opportunity to share the reasoning for their recommendations?

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    • David Hampsten July 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

      We actually did that last August (2015), entirely along Powell, with several ODOT officials, subcontractors, April from PBOT, some committee members (including Paul & Cora, I think?), local activists like myself & Jim Chasse, two legislators, and at least one activist from inner Portland who got word from BP. We rode from Ed Benedict Park (104th & Powell) to 174th & Powell. It was a Saturday morning, so traffic was lighter.

      A 6 pm on a Tuesday evening in November would be a better challenge.

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  • JeffS July 28, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Fine with me. I’m not a fan of raised lanes adjacent to a travel lane.

    That said I think we all realize that the main reason they’re keeping the lane on-grade is so they can be parked in if need be. They probably refer to it internally as the breakdown lane.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      A parking car, or one having trouble, can easily mount a low curb. I think the reasons are what they said.

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      • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 12:41 pm

        Unless they are counting the bike lane as part of the clear zone for motor vehicle crash safety. If unoccupied, the reasoning goes, the profiled striping and extra space gives errant motorists time to recover from a roadway departure before a crash happens.
        big if.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty July 28, 2016 at 1:26 pm

          Cyclists can provide extra cushioning.

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  • David Lewis July 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    It’s funny how people regard Portland as a bicycling haven until they actually come here and find out that bicycle activism is a full time job because of the rigidly pro-automobile culture of the local layers of government. It’s absurd.

    And I find it especially hilarious how the vast majority of the city looks exactly like any other city’s urban sprawl with parkways and strip malls and SUVs and fat people and the whole nine yards.

    We elect our policymakers, and this is what we get?

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    • bikeninja July 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      It is scary that having just a few blocks that are different than the normal urban sprawl can make Portland a european style/cycling paradise. I guess in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

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  • Oliver July 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Putting “durable profiled striping” along the inside of the buffer adjacent to the bike lane (a la North Interstate, north of Denver) is ridiculous, and possibly dangerous to have adjacent to a bike lane. It’s unacceptable.

    Someone needs to tell the next contractor so we don’t end up with more of it.

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    • paikiala July 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Profile striping is an extra layer of hot plastic on top of the first layer that makes up the striping, in this case the edge line or first line between the auto travel lane and the bike buffer.
      It is very low profile, not the same as a reflective raised pavement marker that might go between lines, or rumble strips ground into the pavement.

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  • Jim Chasse July 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I’d like to make a comment, but work is busy and
    I’m committed to my employer at the moment. There is much more going on than what has been reported and I’ll try to fill you all in later this evening. East Portland Action Plan members, ODOT and PBOT staff met Tuesday evening to work on this issue and it was a most productive meeting. Thanks to all that are interested in this project and I think by working together we may all end up with a great facility on outer Powell. Jim

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  • Gerald Fittipaldi July 28, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Side note: Dan Kaufman, founder of Livable Streets Action and very involved advocate for making a safer Powell, testified at the Oregon Transportation Committee meeting on July 21st. He handed out photos of a bus stop on Powell that had been obliterated by a motorist that ran off the road. His testimony was very powerful and got the attention of the five governor-appointed commissioners of the OTC.

    Soren and I also testified that day to comment on the State’s draft Transportation Safety Action Plan (TSAP). Slightly off topic, but the deadline to comment on this plan is Monday, August 1st. Comments can be emailed to

    Full details on submitting comments to the OTC on the TSAP, including a link to the plan:

    IMO the TSAP is too car-centric and doesn’t acknowledge just how important safe infrastructure is for eliminating Oregon’s roadway fatalities, a stated goal. It also blames cyclists and pedestrians for wearing dark clothing and seems to send the message that peds’ and cyclists’ responsibilities are on par with motorists’ for everyone’s safety. I strongly disagree with this and I let the OTC know this in my testimony.

    And for anyone who’s on the BikeLoudPDX listserv, here’s one thread that goes into more detail on last Thursday’s OTC Meeting:!topic/bikeloudpdx/j5ocTQg9o-k

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  • Catie July 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Grade separated bikeways are the norm in Copenhagen. I might be mistaken, but it also rains there. Ramps to change grades to the road or sidewalk are easily made with a triangle patch of asphalt, the same you would use to fill in a pothole.

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    • GlowBoy July 29, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I have ridden a bike in Copenhagen, and I have seen it rain there.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty July 29, 2016 at 10:33 am

        Rain in Denmark is a pretty rare event… here’s a pic from my recent trip, on a road just outside of Copenhagen:

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  • Champs July 28, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    “…different-colored material from asphalt”

    What I’m hearing is the sound of a can being kicked down the road, all the way to the green lanes on the Sellwood Bridge. Ahem.

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