Last chance to tell Metro which bikeways to include in SW Corridor project

Posted by on October 3rd, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Metro map of additional bike/walk projects that could be included in SW Corridor Draft EIS.

Metro is moving forward on the SW Corridor, a project that aims to build a new, 12-mile long light rail line that will connect downtown Portland to Tigard and Bridgeport Village.

The project is currently in its scoping phase and today is the final day to submit feedback on which projects should be included. This scoping phase is part of the federally mandated process to produce a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. As part of that statement the project organizers can include complementary projects that the project will be able to address in the coming steps of the process. Put another way, if your favorite project — for instance protected bikeway on Barbur adjacent to the new MAX line — isn’t included in the Draft EIS, it won’t even be on the table.

After years of planning Metro has queued up 36 addition biking and walking projects that are under consideration to include in the Draft EIS (you can review them all in this PDF). Here are a few of them:

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Naito Parkway to Hooley Bridge bikeway
This project would create a two-way shared street bikeway on Grover Street, Corbett Avenue and Gibbs Street to connect a light rail station at Naito Parkway and Grover Street to the Darlene Hooley pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-5.

Chestnut Street Bikeway
This project would restripe SW Chestnut Street to create a westbound bike lane (uphill) and an eastbound shared street bikway (downhill) between SW Vermont Street and SW Terwilliger Boulevard.

Pedestrian/bicycle bridge over I-5 near Custer Street
This project would construct a new crossing over I-5 for pedestrians and bicyclists near the proposed light rail station on Barbur Boulevard between SW Custer Street and SW 13th Avenue. The bridge would connect to SW 11th Avenue and SW Canby Street at the north end of Burlingame Park, and provide a street light in this location. The need to construct water quality facilities is anticipated.

Metro is asking specifically for input on: “What are the most important factors for decision makers to consider when deciding which additional roadway, bicycle and pedestrian projects to study in the Draft EIS?” and, “Are there any additional projects that would provide improved access to a proposed light rail station that should be studied in the Draft EIS?”

You can also make your voice heard by taking a survey. There’s a short and long version depending on your time and level of interest. The short one takes about five to seven minutes and the long one takes about 20 minutes. Email is another option to share your feedback. Send your comments to swclrt.scoping@oregonmetro.gov. Surveys and all other scoping feedback must be received by 5:00 pm today.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

20 Comments
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    Ed October 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    With all the light rail routes paralleling freeways it creates very little opportunity for placemaking or desire to live around stations. I realize other options are more expensive but this is turning into a low quality rail system.

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      rainbike October 3, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      There’s a station a few blocks from my house. I think it makes my neighborhood more desirable. It certainly increases my transportation options. I don’t see those things as hallmarks of a low quality rail system.

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        bradwagon October 4, 2016 at 4:31 pm

        Do you also live next to a freeway? While there are some good routes this corridor is primarily through commercial or industrial areas.

        A good transit system passes through residential areas as well. Looking at this plan I only really see WES 2.0, connecting people that live downtown to jobs in Tigard area and people using it as a park and ride to get downtown… as long as it doesn’t stop every mile along Barber. None of these things are bad… I would just like to see transit that aimed to serve a larger range of users instead of using an easy freeway alignment (where bus only lanes could mimic a train for much cheaper). Going through Hillsdale, Mult, even Garden Home then down to Tigard would help promote start to finish transit use.

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      Eric Leifsdad October 4, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Like the red/blue line east of Lloyd district?

      This rail line isn’t a bad idea, but there’s an assumption that nothing will change in the decade between now and when they start building it. If we had a carpool lane on I5 from Tigard and frequent bus service, at least half of the traffic could be out of SOVs in 5 years. Meanwhile, people will keep making decisions based on the current conditions and this decade will be the beginning of the end. At least the bars will have plenty of parking.

      Or, we might do something significant in the meantime and most of these active transportation and station access projects we’re submitting for federal funding will be redundant by then (except for maybe fixing the problems they’re creating by putting rails in the bikeway.) Either way, things will be different.

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      andrew October 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      A benefit of placing rail in the same right-of-way as a freeway is that it can attain higher speeds than if it ran in the median of a street, like on Burnside. Grade separation is difficult and costly to achieve and freeway ROWs are low hanging fruit.

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      Tad October 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Agreed, presuming I-5 is used for the ROW. Although, in this case, they’re not just planning on using the I-5 ROW for this,right? I thought the alignment for light rail was going to be down Barbur Blvd? In that case, there are still ample opportunities for transit-oriented development along that corridor.

      I live near the end of the new Orange line, and there is plenty of upgraded construction happening in the area now that it’s finally a somewhat more desirable place to live due to transit & bike opportunities.

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      cherriotsrider8 May 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Why does there need to be a desire or why does there NEED to be development??? Shouldn’t the transit system be designing their system around existing riders instead? This is why they opposed yellow, orange and green max. It focuses for the yuppies and park and riders, not what the community needs. This is why BRT would fit, yet portland needs to cater to the damn yuppies and park and riders who get free subsidized parking spaces. Meanwhile bus riders are left in ditches without sidewalks so we can build and run failed rail. Portland hates bus riders and treats them as third class citizens. Get your act together Trimet and Portland!! Quit living in the 70s!!!

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    Ed October 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Think about other good transit systems around the world. When you exit the station you are in a desirable place. Here when you exit many of the stations you are next to a highway (because it is cheaper to build rail along existing highway corridors). This also limits future transit oriented development.

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      rick October 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Outlaw strips clubs and pot.

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    bikeninja October 3, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I wouldn’t count your chickens on the proposed light rail line. It has to pass a popular vote in Tigard or it is most likely dead for now. I was in Tigard on saturday and the town is blanketed in yellow ” No Tax for Max” signs. I think we should plan west side bike corridor improvements as if the Neanderthals in Tigard are going to obstruct it for now. Disclaimer: I grew up in Tigard.

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    Matt S. October 3, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Nice, now you can buy your Gucci at Bridgeport and take the Max downtown and buy Louis Vuitton. Oh wait, all those people drive Escalades…

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    Roger Averbeck October 4, 2016 at 6:21 am

    This project, like it or not, is the best opportunity that may ever occur to get complete bikeways and sidewalks along the Portland segment of Barbur Blvd. Please take the time to complete the survey before posting snarky comments on BP.

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    Vince October 4, 2016 at 8:28 am

    How do I access the survey?

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      Alan Love October 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Unfortunately, it seems the survey closed 3+ hours after this was posted. I missed the opportunity too.

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    JL October 4, 2016 at 9:05 am

    No Max to Tigard, just investigte the timing of the lights. (especially when doing studies on barbur and naito)

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2011/09/what_do_joan_rivers_and_sherwo.html

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      bradwagon October 4, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Care to try again with a bit more detail and / or pertinent link?

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    Jack G. October 4, 2016 at 9:18 am

    In the PCC Sylvania connection options, they are exploring quite a few different options. One of the more interesting options is an electric bike share for getting between the campus and the future 53rd station.

    Here’s a PDF of the document: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/AttachmentH_PCC-SylvaniaConnectionOptionsForScoping_0.pdf

    Of the “mechanized connection options” that they are looking at, I think it’s the most likely option. The others are: small autonomous shuttle buses that would run along 53rd, Personal Rapid Transit (something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown_Personal_Rapid_Transit), another Aerial Tram, or a skylift/gondola.

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    Mike Sanders October 4, 2016 at 11:56 am

    What are the anti-MAX arguments? One that has popped up regularly every time a new extension is proposed is “It’ll bring Portland’s crime crisis to the suburbs!” And then there’s the “stop Portland Creep” argument that sank the Columbia River Crossing project. And more recently, conservatives have claimed that MAX and streetcars are wastes of money that we can’t afford and won’t get enough ridership to justify building it. They insist that Tri-Met must adopt a buses only policy forever, region wide, if they fail in Tigard next month. Those arguments need to be refuted. A loss in Tigard might also doom funding for region wide bike / ped trail systems, not just MAX and streetcar projects.

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    Roger Averbeck October 5, 2016 at 11:47 am

    From the Metro SW Corridor website: The scoping comment period closed Oct. 3, but we will continue to accept emails sent to swclrt.scoping@oregonmetro.gov through Friday, Oct. 7.

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    cherriotsrider8 May 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    This light rail will be bad. They need to do BRT as that is the right choice for Portland and outlying cities. No more failed rail! BRT works in Eugene!

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