One of Portland’s scariest places to ride a bicycle is about to be erased from the map and replaced with a new bikeway that is physically protected from motorized vehicle traffic.
At last night’s monthly Portland Bureau of Transportation Bicycle Advisory Committee, Portland Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller shared plans for a two-way bike lane on North Greeley Avenue between Going and Interstate.
Current conditions on Greeley are very stressful for bicycle riders. Between Going (a major freight route from Swan Island to Interstate 5) and Interstate, the street operates like an urban “freeway” (to use Geller’s words). It carries about 25,000 motor vehicles per day (14 percent of which are trucks) and a recent speed analysis showed people drive 56-59 miles per hour. At its southern end, Greeley leads directly onto an I-5 on-ramp — a ramp that crosses over a gap in an already unprotected bike lane.
Unfortunately, the Greeley freeway also happens to the most direct north-south bike route from St. Johns (and other north Portland neighborhoods) to downtown. Despite its nerve-wracking flaws, it carries about 700 bicycle trips per day (400 southbound, 300 northbound). The existing unprotected bike lanes are six-and-a-half feet wide but they feel much narrower with speeding vehicles passing by. The Greeley bike lanes are also notorious for being riddled with debris like motor vehicle-related detritus and gravel.
Here are two views of the southbound (west) side of the street…
And here’s a bicycle rider making the jump across the bike lane gap across a freeway on-ramp with people driving 60 mph…
Finally there’s a fix on the horizon.
Here’s the cross-section being considered by PBOT for implementation…
At the meeting last night Geller said PBOT has a “Once in five year opportunity to reconfigure the roadway.” The opportunity is a repaving project already in the PBOT pipeline that stretches about 3/4 mile from Killingsworth to Interstate. Geller and PBOT’s Active Transportation Division constantly scan the paving project list for chances to improve biking conditions. “Once the street is paved, and if we just put the stripes back the way they are,” he said last night, “we won’t be able to touch it for another five years.”
The City of Portland’s Freight Committee supports this proposed protected bike lane because it would create safer conditions and keep vulnerable road users away from truck drivers.
PBOT’s plan is to shift the existing four standard vehicle lanes to the west and create a two-way biking path on the east side of the street (see cross-section above). The path (which would also be open for walking and other non-motorized uses) would be 10-feet wide and separated from motor vehicle traffic with concrete jersey barriers. The width was a topic of conversation among Bicycle Advisory Committee members last night. 10-feet — which is the width of the path on the Hawthorne Bridge — isn’t ideal by any stretch. Even the City’s own bicycle design guidelines call for a minimum width of 12-feet for a shared-use path (the standard is 16 feet). When PBOT designs new bike lanes, the new normal is to try and make them eight feet wide. The proposed Greeley bikeway would offer ten feet of width when there’s no opposing bicycle traffic — and half that when the path is shared.
Geller said PBOT recognizes that 10 feet for a shared path is “too narrow”. However he said they’re attempting to work within the existing pavement width and other project constraints. If PBOT sought to widen the road and path, Geller said it would double the cost (one BAC member suggested the possibility of a natural surface/gravel path to add some width and Geller liked that idea). As it stands, the bikeway element of the paving project will cost $650,000 — almost all of which will go toward the jersey barriers.
Another important wrinkle to consider is that Greeley is classified as a “priority truck street”. Its location between Swan Island and I-5 make it a key route for big trucks. This means the convetional wisdom at PBOT is that nothing happens on Greeley without the support of the Freight Committee. We learned last night that the committee supports this proposed protected bike lane because it would create safer conditions and keep vulnerable road users away from truck drivers. In fact, PBOT is using the city’s heavy vehicle user tax to help pay for it. This deal with the Freight Committee is a great sign of collaboration; but it also means compromise.
BAC member Reza Farhoodi asked Geller last night why this project isn’t coming with a road diet that would trim Greeley from four standard vehicle lanes to three (and thus give more room for a bikeway). Geller said they considered a road diet, but with such high motor vehicle volumes, the city traffic engineers weren’t willing to push for it (current volume is 25,000 motor vehicle trips per day and PBOT would need about 18,000 per day to strongly consider a road diet). Not only that, but a road diet isn’t on the table, Geller confided, “Because we were seeking approval from the Freight Committee. They wouldn’t have approved it.”
If PBOT pushes for a wider bike path that leads to either less lane width for truck driving, they will likely lose support of their Freight Committee and up with no improvement to the bikeway. “If we want to advance the project now,” Geller added, “we have to go forward with this.”
Also coming with this project are new buffered bike lanes between Going and Killingsworth. The southbound transition from the bike lane at Going to the new two-way protected facility will come via a new signal. Riders will have to stop at Going, actuate a signal (likely via a button) and then cross over Greeley to continue south. The northbound transition will be much easier since the new protected lane will start right where an existing path drops onto Greeley (see photo).
Greeley is classified as a “major city bikeway” in the 2030 bike plan and its lack of safety has been an issue for many years. If this project goes forward — and Geller is confident it will — it would be a significant change and it would be in place by this spring or summer. If you’d like to share your feedback about the project, contact Roger Geller at (503) 823-7671 or roger.geller(at)portlandoregon.gov.
CORRECTION, 1:29pm: We initially stated the cost of the paving project (including the bikeway) is $650,000. That was incorrect. $650,000 is the cost of the proposed bikeway only. Sorry for any confusion
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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Despite the high vehicle speeds, this area never bugged me much in general. Separating the area as shown in the diagram will make it impossible to descend Going at speed anymore or quickly transition onto Interstate.
I’m sure everyone will be glad to not have cyclists going across that I-5 ramp. It’s genuinely hairy in heavy traffic and I’m certain those few yards have persuaded more than a few cyclists not to take that route.
It won’t bug you until you are dead when a 60mph truck runs you down
Anyone who rides highways will tell you this is no big deal. You get a lane, there are not issues with roads, driveways, or other threats from the right side, visibility is good, and bail options are decent in the highly unlikely scenario you need to. Motorist attentiveness as well as predictability is decent here and I’ve never experienced issues with drivers having problems staying in their lane on this section.
The only issue I’ve ever had is crossing the ramp. So I might have to stop for less than any of the lights delay me for get a gap I can use — an annoyance, but hardly a serious problem.
In any case, you’re toast whether the truck is going 30 or 60.
The vast majority of us do not “ride highways” though.
I get that and I think a safer way through here is a good idea since the I-5 merge is genuinely dicey when the traffic is fast and heavy.
My concern is that people will ride down the hill too fast. The tradeoff being made here is that two good shoulders are being traded for a thin bidirectional lane. The only gain is the separation from vehicles.
I agree with you, although this proposal has merit. Another fix could simply be speed enforcement along here. Cars should not be going 56-59 in a 40 zone. There is definitely some hot-rodding down this road when it is not jammed full of stopped cars. And there are definitely a lot of drivers who, for no apparent reason, will drive with a tire on the bike line stripe, even with no car in the outer lane – or who will pass a cyclist giving no quarter.
Normally I don’t sweat vehicle speed so much, but slowing things down to the actual posted speed would make crossing the I-5 ramp a lot safer.
I also see people driving with a tire on or over the stripe on a regular basis though it seems to happen more frequently when cars are moving slower than bikes. Some of it is accidental because people get inattentive when they think it’s slow enough. Having said that, I’m convinced that some of it is intentional, so I brush their mirrors with my shoulders. Seems to help push them out.
Narrowing up the traffic lanes to 10 feet would slow traffic quite a bit. I still don’t understand PBOT’s preference for 11-12 foot lanes. The extra space then could be used to widen the protected lane.
That’s what I thought. Couldn’t there be four 11′ lanes, and a 12′ MUP?
45 zone Bald One
Your last statement is completely false:
I ride Greeley and it is a big deal to me. Please don’t speak for everyone. Furthermore, the actual speed a vehicle is traveling does impact your ability to survive a crash.
Getting hit slower is better than getting hit faster, but it does not follow that slowing everything down makes things safer — particularly if going slower results in situations where the chances of being in an accident rise.
When this project is finished, I expect cyclists bombing down a path that no one should be going fast on by peds and uphill riders. It may be lower speed, but I’ll bet the odds of crashes go through the roof.
I’ll check this place out when they finish, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I find it less safe than the current iteration. Right now, there are great sight lines, a good shoulder, and no real pullout or hooking threats. The only way for to get hit is for someone to leave the lanes or for the cyclist to pull in front of a moving vehicle when crossing a lane. Motorist attention on this section of road is good. Which is why it’s not particularly accident prone.
Would you rather ride this section of Greeley or Lombard? Despite the fact that traffic is much slower on Lombard, I find that riding considerably less fun and consider it much less safe.
“but it does not follow that slowing everything down makes things safer ”
I’d like to hear your logic behind this statement (while I laugh loudly). how could you possibly think this? as a crazyautocar pilot, what is the difference in your reaction time to avoid a collision when travelling 35mph vs 55mph? (an estimate/ more-less/ up-down will do)?
As a like minded person, it must be said that even I pulled out “never bugged me much in general” as a bad take.
I’m not inherently bothered by highways or descending, but on Greeley there’s enough road debris and heavy truck traffic to rate my minimum apprehension as maybe a five out of ten.
“Separating the area as shown in the diagram will make it impossible to descend at speed”
surely a highly-skilled and daring cyclist, like yourself, can still “take the lane” and descend at woo-hoo speed???
Good to read about the improvements being made since this is a sketchy stretch of road. Also, the south side nearest the railyard often has standing water. I usually go about 51 on that road, but have seen people going 70-80.
Teddy. Your admission of 51mph is 6 miles over the limit.
The limit is currently 45 and should be 35.
Look at this video of Saia Trucking Inc clocking 63mph next to bikes. When I posted this and called their office with the complaint one of their staff decided to nag me on social media. You would think they would thank me for and fear that I would contact their insurance provider.
So then contact their insurance provider!
drivers going 10-15 mph over the limit? somehow I’m not surprised…
14 foot lanes will do that.
It think 10 feet will probably be wide enough. It is a 1.5 long stretch of nothingness from Adidas down to Widmer on Interstate. I can’t see many people walking using it. Though if the North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail ever happens, I hope this is upgraded or they go along the river.
This will be a huge improvement. It will remove two super sketchy merges across high speed traffic. And hopefully it will result in less debris in the bike lane due to the barriers blocking.
My experience is that a surprising number of people *do* walk on this stretch of Greeley, and a protected path will likely increase the demand. About two-thirds of this stretch is flat, and has a narrow strip of gravel next to the asphalt. This could be a good option for pedestrians if there was signage encouraging use.
I agree with you jcohen71. i even mentioned to Geller last night during his presentation that – especially given the Adidas HQ up the road — this could become a popular running route.
Unless not called a MUP?
If they ran the trail on the west side of the road, it could go under the Going and run along the base of the bluff. There could be a very nice small network of trails in the woods between Going and Adidias. The path could gradually climb the bluff and meet Willamette Blvd between Ainsworth and Curtis.
One of the issues with width is the hills on this section – hills create more of a need for passing other cyclists moving the same direction within bike lanes. If this becomes more attractive to walkers and runners, then we need a wider lane to pass them and on-coming cyclists at the same time.
Thanks PBOT! I may consider using Greeley after this fix. However, I’m confused on how this would improve the existing conditions at the freeway onramp at I-5.
That onramp merge would no longer exist under this proposal because you’d already be cycling on the east side of the street and would connect directly to the sidewalk/path that goes between Interstate and Greeley (adjacent to the tiny house village).
Thanks. Does this mean we should get out our effigies for the “Concrete Road” alignment? RIP http://npgreenway.org/
I’ve been seeing a lot of FedEx delivery trucks using the N. Tillamook entrance down to Swan Island, and presumably to return home to their dist center, but haven’t confirmed they got access to the Cement Road. Anybody else see them down there using that passage?
I visit Skidmore Bluffs for an hour or two every month. I’ve never seen commercial traffic on the Concrete Road. I doubt FedEx trucks are using a private road, but I’ll watch carefully next time I’m there.
since Cement Road is an official freight route isn’t all freight traffic allowed to use it?
and does that mean a cycle-truck could bike there?
It’s not an official freight route. It’s a private road.
Meaning that it’s even more important that the connection at the shanty town stay clear. Residents there have been parking vehicles on the pathway for months.
why can’t trucks use the Going St connection to I-5? it only goes through 3 blocks of developed area near I-5…
we could ban all motor vehicles from that section of Greeley… there’s nothing on Greeley to drive to, not a single driveway, it’s simply a redundant freeway now that I-5 is there…
the city would save in maintenance costs, the oil trains would be free of collision risk, and bikes would have a huge safe path to take their time on…
turn it into a park!
Valid point. Or even just ban trucks, turn it into a quiet road, and limit the backlash from drivers. For that matter, make Going truck-only and maybe everyone would be happy.
Likely because the freight community wants “redundancy” in case one entrance to I-5 is blocked. If only we had the same mindset for cycling infrastructure…
we’re talking about Swan Island here, which only has one way in and out… an argument for redundancy is pointless… also, Interstate is a truck route, so they can just go to the next I-5 ramp that way…
Portland Truck Route Map: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/index.cfm?&a=476724
Redundancy…like one street over?
Most multi use paths are 8 feet wide. So, 10 feet is a luxury.
That’s inaccurate. The minimum recommended width is 10 feet (this is according to the American Assoc. of State Highway guidelines). A 12 foot to 14 foot paths is recommended where there’s heavier use, and I suspect this would qualify as heavier use with 700 trips or more per day.
that’s inaccurate… “minimum recommended” isn’t the same as actual, which is what they were talking about…
yes, if they follow the recommendation then we shouldn’t see anymore narrow paths…
I can read, Spiffy, and know what they were talking about. There aren’t many, if any, 8 foot multi-use paths in our state.
Whatever happened to the cement road bikeway? Seems like a year ago there were rumors that Daimler was going to use its leverage to make some kind of deal with the railroad and open up a bikeway near the river from Tillamook st. to Swan Island in conjunction with the opening of their new headquarters.
I believe that was regarding the north portland greenway trail – a separate project that had seen ideas of cement road, greeley, and interstate as some options in that section.
The proposal would be a big improvement over today’s conditions, but it is a long downhill, and some riders are going to go really fast. Is 10′ wide enough to safely accommodate bi-directional cycle traffic (and the occasional pedestrian!) with cyclists in one direction going 25 – 30 MPH?
and if you slip on gravel you could end up over the jersey barrier head-first into traffic…
at least on the I-205 bridge if you did that there’s a buffer between the center path and the auto lanes…
There could be quite a few pedestrians, many with strollers, dogs, and shopping carts. This is not nearly adequate and is a real insult to peopel who bike here and would like to walk here. I am so frustrated by Portland’s desire to continually offer up opportunistic half-measures in lieu of offering any real solutions! They know this is very dangerous, long-standing problem. They have adopted Vision Zero. Why not take a lane of traffic off the road and/or close the on-ramp to the freeway, just for 5 years, until a proper solution or money can be found?
No. I will still avoid the area unless absolutely needed…..Or it is a group ride and we take the lane.
No, most likely not. Especially with joggers and folks pulling out to go around them. It will be hard for up-hill cyclists to judge the speed of down-hill cyclists when passing slower moving joggers.
Hooray! This is fantastic and also deals with the issue of persistent puddles, mud and gravel that seems to linger for most of the winter on Greeley that I don’t feel safe either avoiding by taking the lane or riding through at full speed.
I would think this would make the mud and gravel worse due to them not sweeping the protected path often enough…
From merely a safety standpoint, this is a good step. I’ve been commuting along here almost daily for nearly four years. I’ve seen a few near-misses – both at the I-5 crossing and with trucks coming up the on-ramp to Greeley – involving other cyclists that have left me shaken.
My concern is that this only feels like a stopgap measure, and perhaps that’s the intention. St. John’s and the peninsula in general are changing rapidly. There’s increasing density and gentrification, bringing more bike commuters. At some point, the limitations in this design won’t support the daily riders. My hope is that this doesn’t derail any potential momentum for NP Greenway to be built – when finished, it’ll be much more direct to St. John’s, and it would attract cyclists who don’t feel safe or confident on Greeley, despite these planned improvements.
This is great news for folks that currently commute on Greeley, and those that would be interested in doing so, if only it felt safer. I ride that stretch several times a week, and it’s often a bit hairy because the merges required and speeds involved leave so little room for error.
When planning this project, I hope PBOT will pay special attention to the area around the Hazelnut Grove camp. I do not wish to judge or assign blame because I understand this is a complex issue. My own experience is that it has become more difficult to ride the pathway running down the hill from the intersection of Interstate and Greeley. I frequently encounter debris on the sidewalk, rats running across the path, and vehicles parked in the pathway at the outlet. On the flip site, we have people living in this area now, and I don’t imagine they love having people zoom by the front door of their community at high speed.
Some possible solutions: better lighting, signage, a good neighbor agreement regarding trash pickup and pathway cleanup. I’d be interested in hearing more suggestions. A thorough dialog with stakeholders should be part of this project planning process.
We as a City have agreed to live under a set of laws and regulations to guarantee a free and safe environment. These include zoning regulations, permits for construction, professional licensing requirements, and laws governing behavior in public places. Obeying these laws is onerous for everyone, but this is the cost of participating in the City.
Hazelnut Grove represents a suspension of this civility. In effect, the City is saying that these people represent a new class of people in our society to whom the same laws do not apply. Overlooking the need for people to follow our City’s regulations creates a new class of people not deserving of protection from poor construction, unsafe practices or illegal behavior. Instead of following the civil laws and penalties, they define their own space, create their own rules, and mete out their own justice.
The City did not set out to create this class, but they cannot be excused for doing so. Hundreds of decisions and inactions have brought us here including tax breaks for big corporations, lack of protection for renters, unwillingness to meet low-income housing mandates, and lack of enforcement of existing laws. We clearly have a housing emergency and drastic action is needed. Creating a shanty town on a piece of land no one cares about is not a solution and will only create further problems.
Hazelnut Grove is a far distance from social and health services. It is far from commercial areas and transit. The area has no utilities. Because it is isolated and lies adjacent to a high-speed arterial, it is difficult for the police observe and dangerous for medical and fire response. Because it is isolated, there is no social policing, and vulnerable members of our society face a greater danger here. The summer wildfire threat is very high due to the combination steep, dry grassy hillside and open cooking fires. The threat of landslide in winter is high due to increased erosion from paths and construction on the hillside. Hazelnut Grove has clay soils and tall grass not suitable for high use in wet weather; this has led to extremely muddy conditions, highly compacted soils, loss of vegetation and erosion. This isolated site has undefined boundaries leading to more and more campers spilling along Greeley and up the slope.
There was no site analysis or feasibility study done prior to creating this camp. Any cursory look would have shown this site to be incompatible for human habitation. Although this site is largely out of sight, it is unacceptable for the City to ignore its citizens in this way. All people deserve to live under common expectations, and it creates a very dangerous precedent to separate the expectations for any group of people. The City can do better than this.
Get used to it. This is what the slow decline of the empire looks like up close.
Good idea, generally. Been some years since I rode this section of Greeley, but unlike bannerjee, my recollection as a strong rider, was that traveling this road on a bike was very unpleasant and scary…fierce gusts of motor vehicle and particularly big truck produced wind…the loud, unrelenting noise from the vehicles. Travel conditions on that road then, were what I’d have to consider to be thoroughly insufficient for people interested in biking of a basic commuter type, not particularly strong in terms of condition and assertiveness.
MUP’s or shared use paths…sounds like the same thing to me….are a compromise for fast efficient bike travel, and in terms of safety for people walking on them…but I find myself wondering who in the heck would ever want to walk this section of Greeley. Possibly, there will be very few people walking on the path as proposed, effectively leaving it exclusively for bike use.
I realize the component style construction of jersey barriers lends them well to relatively quick and easy traffic barrier creation, though for something like a bike lane or MUP, a variation with some openings in the continuous expanse of concrete might be helpful without diminishing their strength to much; to use a fancy word: ‘fenestration’ or windows in the barriers to let light pass through; basket-weave, portholes, or something more creative.
“…If PBOT sought to widen the road and path, Geller said it would double the cost (one BAC member suggested the possibility of a natural surface/gravel path to add some width and Geller liked that idea). …” bikeportland
Any form of additional widening would be better than none at all, as long as it’s level, rather than a shoulder that slopes to a degree it’s not really good for riding, even with a mountain bike. If it were level, even being just hard packed dirt might be very good for some bikes some people are inclined to use for riding on commutes and beyond.
Are there any unused Jersey barriers on vacant lots in industrial properties in industrial spots of Portland? Bargaining? B-grade barriers? I’d love this concept more industrial neighborhoods around the Portland area.
Jonathan, I apologize if this has already been discussed (I am reading this on my phone so not sure if I’ve seen every word in the article and comments). What is the time line for this project?
I typically add 3-5 years to any PBOT proposal start date once approved, but it was mentioned to be conjunction with some already planned work, so maybe a bit less. How’s that SE Foster Road Diet coming along?
The Foster road redesign is still in progress. Currently, PBOT’s funds are already allocated to East Portland (i.e. outer Division, Gateway, et al) and the bureau is awaiting more funding to commence with the Foster plan.
Right, maybe 6 – 8 years? I expect they are just waiting for 20 blocks of 5-story mixed-use apartments and a street car track to be built along Foster before they put in the road diet.
This seems like a big step backward. At the north, bikes are going to have use a beg button and wait at a signal to get on the path. Then they get to ride through Hazelnut grove and share the skinny path, now a bi-directional bikeway, with frequent truck traffic picking up trash and port-a-potties. The residents of Hazelnut Grove are also driving a personal vehicle on this path and parking in the fenced storage area a few hundred feet off the path. At Interstate the bikes heading north get to use another beg button and wait for a signal and those heading south will merge on to a 5′ wide bike path at the bottom a long, steep hill- super fun for everyone involved. Meanwhile, cars and trucks get uninterrupted, high-speed merges and automatic signals. I think Roger Geller has Stockholm syndrome!
Why not put this path on the west side of Greeley and make it twice as wide? Why not make a new connection west of the on ramp to avoid the crossing conflict? How about running the path under Going and following the base of the bluff heading north, gradually climbing to Willamette between Ainsworth and Curtis?. How about Jersey-protected bike lanes on each side of Greeley with a signal and right-turn to enter the freeway? Make Greeley one-lane in each direction and have a shared bike/walk lane on either side of the road?
All great ideas, but…
“the opportunity is a repaving project already in the PBOT pipeline that stretches about 3/4 mile from Killingsworth to Interstate. Geller and PBOT’s Active Transportation Division constantly scan the paving project list for chances to improve biking conditions.”
As best I can tell, N. Greeley has some of the best/smoothest pavement in all of Portland. Why are they going to tear it up and repave, now?
tear it up? ha! I wish… they just keep repaving over the old broken road… raises the road level, creates a worse crown, makes areas for puddle to develop, etc…
my road is about 4 inches higher than it originally was… all the old houses get water and mud accumulating in the driveway cuts because they are no longer level with the street and don’t drain… the drains are way below grade so they jolt hard on a bike…
These are great ideas. Maybe we shouldn’t settle for an afterthought/tack-on project like the one they are proposing, and rather demand something bigger, better.
If we want solutions for NP Greenway, we need to challenge Union Pacific.
For those who haven’t poached a ride along the Willamette below the bluff, do. It is a special place.
I use this route a lot, especially when headed to downtown, and have mixed feelings about the proposal. Not having to cross the Greeley/I-5 on-ramp is a huge win, but I see issues.
Coming from the Willamette side going toward downtown, it means cyclists have to somehow get across Greeley. At high-traffic times, this can be tricky. It all depends on what access to the path looks like from the Adidas end of things. If this path doesn’t begin until Going St. I don’t see how downtown-bound cyclists will get to it very easily. If it simply dumps cyclists out at the south end of the Greeley/Going intersection, then how will riders safely cross Going? At lot of northbound traffic turns right for the eastbound ramp to Going. At lot more heads right for the westbound ramp to Going. These seem like mixing conflicts just waiting to happen. Separate traffic signals for cyclists might help, but then I predict a lot of right-turn-on-red misbehavior. The mixing issues at Going are the main reason I don’t take this route homeward very often and tend to prefer Interstate-to-Willamette (with all its flaws) instead.
It seems like a better, but certainly more expensive approach, would be to put the path on the other site, with a cycle overpass to avoid conflicts on the Going/Greeley on-ramp and a bypass around and under the Greeley/I-5 on-ramp. Perhaps railroad rights-of-way make that last bit difficult.
Yet another example of a cars-first bikeway project. The fact that PBOT is unwilling to make the street safer for the sole reason that there are too many cars on it is telling. That being said, this would be a welcome (if not half-assed) improvement to a terrible stretch of road and if this is the best PBOT can come up with then so be it. Still, these are not the bold actions that will get us to 20% mode share.
I believe PBOT is proposing making the street safer.
I was referring to a lane reduction and reallocation.
So what you’re saying is that PBOT is not willing to reduce lanes because on traffic volume. That doesn’t sound unreasonable.
It sounds unreasonable if our goals are less cars and more bikes.
This is actually about trucks.
You are purposely being pedantic. Trucks are basically just large cars.
I beg to differ; they are categorically different, not just in size, but in function, replaceability, political pull, economic impact, “pleasantness” to cycle next to (think noise, wind, etc.), and level of driver training.
In fact, I can’t really think of any meaningful ways in which they are similar, except perhaps in the fact that cars and trucks both have engines and both drive on roads.
The are the same in the sense that a proliferation of either is detrimental to safe cycling.
If so, why allow cars here?
Why allow cars anywhere?
Having to cross and wait is going to make this no better than using N. Concord/Interstate to get downtown, even for people coming from St Johns or University Park.
If you’re going to put a two way path in, put it on the fast side, and make the uphill travelers jog back and forth across the street.
Giving this quick thought. I don’t want runners or walkers or pets sharing a 10′ multi-directional travel bike lane. I’ll be giving it more thought, before stressing my concerns to PBOT. Very much would like to hear how others feel regarding the MUP status.
I don’t believe that the I205 MUP is any wider than ten feet, either. Greeley would be very similar, minus the bone jarring joints. You might need to slow down at times, but that’s still plenty of runway.
This could be a whimsically engineered litter and gravel depository instead of a clear path with simple transitions for contraflow users.Ride north from NE 21st & Irving, then make your way to Williams. Now guess which one of these is the hope and which is the expectation.
The steep hill makes this unlike I-205.
Have you ridden the path past Gateway Green (between Gateway Transit center and Maywood Park)? It’s quite steep.
It seems like just yesterday we read about a one-mile, 12 foot MUP along SE 17th. It cost $3.3 million, and still has substantial deficiencies.
Geller has found a way to eek out a comparable project, with physical protection, for $650k. Wishes and desires for an even better facility are certainly valid, but let’s give Geller some credit for finding a way to pull this off, given the realities of the current budget. It’s a major improvement on a shoestring budget, and without a fight from other, powerful interests. Great job.
Please note just added: CORRECTION, 1:29pm: We initially stated the cost of the paving project (including the bikeway) is $650,000. That was incorrect. $650,000 is the cost of the proposed bikeway only. Sorry for any confusion
Yikes. On the one hand, that’s a substantial investment in bike infrastructure. On the other hand, does it make sense to spend this on a project that isn’t likely to be the necessary permanent solution for North Portland?
We’re so so so so so far away from access to Union Pacific’s property. It may never happen. Or they could decide to alter operations and sell that land to developers tomorrow…
Exactly. While some people are dreaming of Strawberry Fields on Concrete Road (admittedly I am included), let’s have a safe alternative route in the interim.
Yeah this is really going to kill my downhill bomb. My commute to work is a good 10 minutes faster than the return trip because I can just rail down the hill. If you get the timing right you don’t usually have to wait to merge across the on-ramp up from Swan Island, or back across the lane headed to I5. Stopping halfway down the hill to hit a button to cross Greeley, and then waiting for a button again to cross the intersection to continue down Interstate, is really going to add up.
I will also agree with what other folks have said about Walnut Grove. The folks living there treat the pedestrian path like their own personal driveway, and the folks that service the dumpster and port-a-john container love to park right in the middle of the path as well.
I know I’m probably in the minority here, as my wife won’t go anywhere near Greeley as it currently stands – but I’d rather see them just keep the existing bike lanes and storm drains cleaner.
I rip the hill the too. But to grow numbers and improve safety, I can handle the 50 second difference in 20 vs 30 mph south bound (.83 miles distance). Waiting to cross at Going might cost another minute. My STJ to Pearl commute will go from 23ish – 25ish minutes, but my wife’s will improve by 5-10 minutes as she now avoids Greeley all together.
When I got wind of this proposal the other night at the npGreenway board meeting, I thought…there goes the Cement Road option for the Willamette Greenway Trail (WGT). But as a “trail” this proposal is clearly substandard, so we should keep the pressure on the City proceed with the approved alignment along the River between Swan Island and Lower Albina. Already lots of folks ride the very peaceful, safe, but illegal, Ash Grove Cement Road through UPRR property. Wave to Officer Bender, the UPRR bull! when you do!
PBOT did look at an option that would put the WGT on the east side of Greeley, but that would require a new bike/ped bridge parallel to the existing Going Street rail overpass, and the estimated tab looked to be about $25M (yes, million!). So that’s DOA. So its back to the much superior Riverside option with the City, State, Feds (that’s you Earl!) using their leverage with UPRR (Connect Oregon) to get them to cede a track or two for creation of a 40′ public ROW between Port Center Way to N. River Street…about 1 mile. That width would accommodate two motor vehicle lanes for a 2nd Access to SI, AND a separated 12 foot plus WGT. Yes, some restrictions would apply for when rail cars are moved at night into the Ash Grove Cement docks, but that could be worked out in design.
The North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail was/is the signature trail that was called for in the City’s Bicycle Master Plan for 2030. Parks Bureau was tasked with implementation, hopefully by 2030. Several years ago, Parks wen through a ‘trail alignment study’ for the trail. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/56617
Segment 5 had 3 proposed options for this piece, one being the “concrete road” owned by the UP Railroad, an alignment on the west side of Greeley near the Albina Yard, and the ‘East Greeley’ alignment that is where this new path is proposed.
Concrete Road is the preferred alignment but not likely as to ownership issues. UPRR looks after UPRR. The East Greeley segment called for bluff removal, and was pricey, but one aspect is the safety crossing and connecting at Greeley where much traffic, freight and general motor traffic enters and leaves Greeley. As a result, Greeley East was the least desired alignment. Greeley West did get recent traction with the idea of UPRR selling the set of track next to Greeley for a separated connection from Going to the Tillamook St overpass.
I left npGreenway, the advocacy group about a year ago, and am not sure of recent developments.
My point being, this bluff-side of Greeley is the least favored alignment and presents added challenges of conflicts at the Going interchange. This makes this segment usable mostly by Gellers ‘strong and fearless’ set. It does nothing to further the Greenway vision. I would suggest the City save their money until they have a safe option.
connecting at Greeley where much should have read ‘connecting at GOING’
Was there any discussion about lane width?
Seems like 11/10/5/10/11 would be safer for motorists. Considering the speeds and potential for head on collisions, that 5 feet with rumble strips or a barrier would be a lot safer.
Interesting. I’ve heard that above 10 or 11′ (I don’t recall which) there is no safety improvement for wider lanes, but there is a safety improvement for wider medians and shoulders.
Certainly vehicles would go slower in 10 and 11 foot lanes, rather than 11 and 12.
This was my first thought. Why 12′ lanes, and how can a safety redesign justify a lack of median? VZ doesn’t only include people walking and biking. Presumably it includes people in cars who make up the vast majority of our 40k deaths.
the pbot car is 10.5ft wide. it’s a tight fit
According to one of our local traffic engineers, the Feds allow for traffic lanes as narrow as 9′, as long as there are two traffic lanes in each direction. We have one arterial with such lanes, 46 feet wide with 4 9′ travel lanes (including the gutter) and a 10′ center turn lane. Drivers here hate the roadway because they have to slow down to avoid sideswiping other cars. Bikes either have to “take the lane” or else ride on the narrow 5′ sidewalks.
the pbot car is 10.5ft wide. it’s a tight fit
N. Greeley has great width available on both sides of the road outside the current paved surface all the way up to Adidas. City really needs to take advantage of this extra width if they are going to do something like this. They should skip the re-paving and spend all that money on building a quality separated bikeway that will handle the increased ridership coming in the future.
I understand they are just going for a tack-on project on the cheap, but isn’t there a lower cost, lighter footprint, barrier that will also have lower long-term maintenance (weeds, debris, shifting barriers are problems with a continuous run of Jersey barriers) could be used instead of the Jersey barrier. I guess the city probably doesn’t want to put up anything that requires re-work if it’s hit by a car or truck. Not sure how the water will drain off the roadway through a continuous run of Jersey barrier – most likely in a way that impacts bicylce users.
The southern access point at N. Interstate needs to be discussed in this project. What improvements will be made there? The access MUP along the tiny-home encampment needs to be improved so campers can drive and park their cars in the camp and get work trucks in and out of there and not have it impact cyclists. It needs to be widened. How will maintenance on this section of the MUP be handled – debris, garbage collection? How will this transition to the N. Interstate roadway? What about cyclists who use the full signaled left-turn lane on N. Interstate to enter onto Greeley northbound – how will they get into the MUP behind the barriers? Or, will everyone be forced to ride on the sidewalks?
This is not an appropriate place for an ad hoc shanty town. If peopel are allowed to camp here, the City should provide a driveway and parking lot off Greeley nad NOT down a multi-use path.
Enforcement is the biggest problem on this stretch. Portland is pretty lawless in regards to traffic laws, but what’s new. Photo radar would slow things down, Greeley and most roads on Swan Island are a race track. Greeley should really be 35 mph in that section.
Hopefully something happens on this stretch, I’m glad it on Roger’s radar.
I see a cop on Greeley once every 6 months or so. I would not expect any enforcement on Greeley in my lifetime.
So, its an improvement for safety. The “onramp” southbound at Going and the “exit ramp” southbound at I-5 are clearly spots where a fatal crash is waiting to happen.
If anyone hasn’t been there and done that, imagine riding these two maneuvers in 50 mph car traffic.
The problem with “both sides => one side” bike routes is the transitions at the ends. This one only has one transition point — you’ll need to cross over 3 lanes of Greeley at a signal at Going, which will require coming to a stop and waiting to do a Copenhagen left.
But at the south end you’ll have a seamless right turn onto southbound Interstate — you’ll just pop out on the existing path and continue down the hill on Interstate.
So, it will delay travel, and inconvenience southbound bicyclists, but there will only be one point with an awkward transition, not two.
Pretty clever overall.
I haven’t seen many people comment here that are or have been regular Interstate riders, I’m curious as to what they think.
My wife rides down to Moda Center routinely and we ride the commute home together. Interstate to Willamette is by far our preferred route home. Unless the mixing at the Greeley/Going intersection going north is extremely well-managed (i.e. close to zero potential for conflict), I expect Interstate will remain our route of choice. Ymmv, but from my perspective, the drivers on Interstate seem to be less clueless than the Williams drivers and much more courteous than either the Greeley or Williams drivers. I don’t have an explanation for this.
I am a daily Interstate rider. I think this proposal is pretty unfortunate and will likely undermine future improvements. There are so many safety needs in north portland, including N Greeley. I think spending this money on such an awkward solution will make this temporary, bandaid fix into the default permanent solution for the next 15 years. I would like to see PBOT come up with a real solution that is safe, comfortable and direct for people biking. That would not involve pushing a button, crossing a road twice just to continue on your way.
I do not think this proposal will have a very big impact in the Interstate lanes, however. The current merge is occasionally dangerous when a person biking on Greeley rides through a red and on to Interstate without a head check, but there is really good sight lines. Now these people will be popping out of a place with limited sight lines, but they will have to cross a sidewalk and make a hard right to enter Interstate so I doubt they will be going very fast. If PBOT goes through with this plan, I hope they add a sign at the Greely traffic signal that allows people on bikes traveling north to ignore the red light and proceed to the Interstate crossing
I’ve never understood the issue people have with Interstate. I ride it every weekday — it’s fine. There’s a lane and both the riding and traffic are straightforward. I ride this section of Greeley occasionally. Aside from the ramps, it’s also straightforward.
In fact I like both of these streets more than some streets that are supposedly cycling friendly like Williams. Traffic might be slow there, but it’s a mess. I agree with SK’s assessment that for whatever reasons, drivers on Interstate seem better than those on Williams or Greeley.
To be fair, you seem to not understand any issues people who can’t ride as fast as you have with specific roads.
What is true is that I don’t understand why some roads get called out so frequently for being unsafe or dangerous when they don’t have features that make them worse than other roads.
Take Interstate. From Moda all the way to Kenton, you get a bike lane, better visibility and fewer right hook or left cross opportunities than most streets (particularly between Moda and Overlook Park). Max speeds you’ll ever see people drive is maybe 40 to Overlook Park and a bit over 30 beyond but it’s much slower when busy and things are gummed up. There are a couple minor issues along the route, but the overall situation is decent and drivers are very predictable overall.
I can think of a bunch of roads that are worse and take Interstate because it’s the best option.
Kyle. Your data is factually not correct. There are many places on interstate where the bike lane vanishes for long stretches. Moda to Kenton. You must be trying to lie with intent or your are just reading some alternative facts bike map.
The door zone is deadly. I was eating at Pause Restaurant and witnessed a cyclist get serious injuries because a car driver doored him and his friend. A passing car almost killed him.
Many places with long stretches? Just before Killingsworth and beyond there’s some area without bike lane, but it’s plenty wide and the cars don’t move very fast. I can’t think of any other stretches worth mentioning. I think there’s supposed to be a greenway nearby which people can also take, but Denver is a nearby option that can be faster because it has fewer lights. In any case, Interstate is definitely not as bad for hooks and people pulling in front than most roads for the simple reason that there are fewer turn places for cars to enter and exit.
Interstate is a decent cycling road. There are streets all over the place in this vicinity that aren’t as good better. Skidmore, Alberta, Ainsworth, Killingsworth, and Lombard (which is particularly sucky) leap immediately to mind. Columbia, Grand, MLK are not far away and are much worse. Anyone who finds Interstate bad will find a lot not to like.
In any case, I think a lot of these slow streets are more dangerous than the fast ones because visibility is terrible, people are constantly pulling in and out
The difference between INterstate and SKidmotre versus the other streets you mentioned: They have bike lanes on them that abruptly disappear and they serve as direct links in the bike network. Bikes are led to these streets because of the bike infra, then they are put in harm’s way when it disappears. Fix the gaps in Intersate and Skidmore!
This is true, but I suspect the overall effect isn’t that dangerous as appears on the surface. It would definitely be desirable to fix the gaps, but I think the danger of these gaps is overstated while other dangers are understated.
From what I can tell, at least with Interstate people turn off a bit before the bike lanes end and ride parallel — I often see these people later and believe they are taking Denver. I’ve thought about doing that myself except the light timing works out better if I stay on Interstate. I’m not sure what people do on Skidmore since I ride that only occasionally and rarely during commute times.
I also think it’s desirable to have people riding everywhere. If drivers are conditioned to expect cyclists everywhere and not just where there is dedicated infrastructure, it’s safer for everyone.
My personal experience on busy streets without dedicated infrastructure is drivers play much rougher because they think bikes should stick to dedicated areas. Cyclists in turn avoid the areas. The result is a self perpetuating cycle where way fewer people ride.
10 feet is a perfectly fine width for the MUPs of the future — as the diagram clearly shows, the pedestrians of our brave future will be alien-thin and capable of walking a balance beam’s width from the edge of the path at all times.
The Ash Grove Cement Road is open for emergency vehicles; there are no gates or other barriers, just two modest “No Trespassing” signs. Bike commuters to Swan Island have been using it for years; many of them are Daimler employees. I have heard from a good source that some parcel delivery vehicles are making use of it. Given that a lot of UPS trailers come in via UPRR, it only makes sense that the RR would look the other way.
Southbound Greeley was my daily route for many years. I personally wouldn’t consider this an improvement. I could easily ride from Killingsworth to Interstate without stopping in under 3 minutes. I’d imagine the signal to cross Greeley will take at least 1-2 minutes to turn green for bikes. Then you’re being forced into an acknowledged narrow path down a steep hill into oncoming cyclists and pedestrian traffic. That’s a recipe for a few big wrecks. Hope I’m wrong…
Personally, I loved the ride South down Greeley in the mornings. I also really enjoyed the large trucks blowing by me because I would get a major wind assist and could travel more quickly and maintain my speed. Never had any serious issues with gravel or debris in the West bike lane. Zero flats in approx 1000+ rides. Water would pool on a rare occasion and I’d have to take the lane for a moment.
Most my issues occurred once I made my way onto Interstate Ave. South through to Rose Quarter… right hooks, drivers yelling and trying to intimidate me, rolling coal, buses and trucks encroaching the bike lane, you know, all the fun stuff we have to deal with…
Hey nameless “PDX2Wheeler” I challenge your alternative facts. Why be so cowardly that you can’t use your real name? Do you work for the industry crying wolf that your profits might lower if you can’t keep the status quo?
The Greeley Ave bike lane headed south is covered in mud for 6 months of the year. The gravel at this merge is 45 days old this week. The one streetsweeper visit on Jan 30th has cleaned only half the bike lane. The mud is so deep that streetsweepers never really get to the pavement. This is just packed mud. Often PBOT staff pack the mud deeper into the storm drains as they try to “clean” with one fast past.
How many pictures should I post?
The problem with trying to argue with alternative fact people is that no quantity of facts will win.
Take a look at my Twitter account. I’ve been one of the leading advocates on this route over the years trying keeping it safe, as well as calling out lots of other bad behavior around town.
I’ve commuted 15,000+ miles over the last few years and I’ve ridden this route 1000+, I’m sorry my personal opinion doesn’t reflect yours, that’s no reason to attack me. I hate Trump too Dude!
Personally, my experiences on Greeley are similar to yours. At the time of day I usually take it (6:00 am), the route is fast and convenient and does not feel especially unsafe, provided I keep alert. There are usually few cars and getting across the two mixing conflicts is generally pretty easy. Like you, I’ve never had a flat along that stretch. It has been my “winter” (time-change to time-change) route from St. Johns to downtown for the past six or so years for the two days per week that I cycle commute, so I know if fairly well. It typically has less crud on it than my “summer” route (Hwy 30 between St. Johns Bridge and Kittridge) and far less traffic.
The few times I’ve ridden Greeley an hour or two later in the morning, however, however tell a completely different story. By 7:30 or so traffic is heavy enough to make getting across the two mixing points both treacherous and time-consuming. I think the change will likely benefit the many cyclists who ride later, but I doubt I’ll use the new path. I don’t like the thought of riding through the camp down at end at 6:00 am. As for going north, unless they solve the mixing problem at the Greeley/Going interchange, it’s a non-starter. I’m not sure what I’ll do, as the alternate east-side routes add a lot of distance and time. St. Johns Bridge and Hwy 30 in the pitch-black of winter are not very inviting.
Sigh…, maybe it’s time to hang up my winter cycling gear.
I’m not attacking anyone. I posted my opinion with facts and photos. When I question these nameless people for posting zero evidence on their claim “Never had any serious issues with gravel or debris” that is not attacking
. Show me some facts or photos to back this up. Clearly you may not ride Greeley in the last 3 winters when I collected my data above. Stop crying wolf you are under attack.
you called the poster ‘cowardly’. Name calling is an attack. Jonathan explained his support for nom de plumes.
This is great news! But doesn’t S.E. Clinton need some more diverters or paint or something?
Funny. Actually, Clinton (12th – 26) needs to be repaved, not Greeley. Greeley is smooth like butter, Clinton, not so much….
Did you miss that it is scheduled for repaving, 21st to 26th?
Where Clinton really seems to be suffering is between about 12th & 15th, in my opinion, although some of the problems could be addressed with a few shovels of asphalt and a roller.
The 10′ width does not take into consideration any shy zone from the barrier. USDOT recommends 2′ shy zone on bridge railings, which are typically on nearly level surfaces. When ever railings or barriers is this case are used on a path with a good slope, such as Greeley and higher downhill speeds are expected, the shy zone should be increased to 3′-4′. That only leaves 6′-8′ of viable path cross-section for bikers and walkers to travel in both directions.
Another concern is keeping the protected path clean. Now at least there is some minimal cleaning from wind blast and errant whiles crossing the lane line.
All-in-all the proposal needs to be a 15′-16′ facility if it’s to be multi-use. Plus, alongside Hazel Grove’s (homeless village) fence, there will be a shy-zone on both side of the path,.but speeds are slower through it as it’s flatter. No parking will need to be strictly enforced along Hazel Grove, too.
can you provide us the reference?
Why is the facility changing from a two-way protected bikeway south of Going to buffered bike lanes between Going and Killingsworth? I would think there would be value in having a consistent treatment for the whole corridor.
Roger, nice work on this! The stretch mimics the great riding on Barbur Blvd. On Barbur moving the existing jersey barriers from Hamilton to Capitol Hwy could be done to create a separated bikeway just like this. Will PBOT inspire ODOT to take such bold action?!
I bike 125 miles to work weekly and depend on this route.
See the picture of Greely from the last 18 months.
I’ve sent in 3 years of evidence to prove neglect. Any death or injury on this road is due to inaction of the city.
PBOT should fire the people who approved this road long ago. Fire the people who stonewalled efforts to fix this sooner. This is way overdue. Even with a new bike lane the cars should be lowered to 35 and given a median between opposing car lanes. If the center lane of the Hawthone bridge scares you this road will make you seek therapy.
PBOT can’t seem to send people out to observe the dilemma and take a hard stand on VisionZero. Bikes win in this round, but people will still die needlessly in cars for the sake of lies about capacity that 4 lanes delivers.
The problem with 4 lanes is that everyone breaks the speed limit at rush hour only to come to standstill traffic a few feet up the road. When it is rush hour the lanes are rendered useless by the limited capacity at both ends. The only place that needs 2 lanes is one direction is the evening Northbound commute. People who drive alone block all the freight trucks who need to get off Greeley and turn to reach Swan Island via Going Ave. So make that small segment 3 lanes. One lane South, 2 lanes North.
When it’s not rush hour we don’t need 4 lanes on Greely. It’ has tons of capacity with 2 lanes in each direction.
Portland is loaded with these ticking time bombs!!
The next major deadly spot is the Hawthone bike lane Westbound on the West end. Our city should be demoted for a near death experience for thousands of cyclists a day at that spot. Wake up Portland. PBOT and ODOT engineers are killing us.
Absolutely true — drivers here don’t seem to be able to figure out it is faster to drive slower at a steady rate than to alternate stomping on the gas and the brake (often screwing with their phones while stopped) causing an inefficient, less safe, and erratic slinky type of motion.
However, there is some value in having these lanes even with the choke points at the end — namely vehicle storage. If there were only one lane, the length of the second lane gets added to the line. Even on a normal day, that results in a ridiculous line and if anything happens, everyone is hosed (except the cyclists). With one line, it just gets crazy bad because then you get people blocking intersections further back.
I know people here don’t sweat that sort of thing, but just as I get called out for not giving sufficient weight to the concerns of cyclists who are uncomfortable with vehicles and speed, we also have to recognize that the vast majority of people drive. Any plan that guarantees considerably worse motor movement will go nowhere.
You are widening the outside lanes 2 ft each side. Taking away 4 ft from the buffered bike lane. Very disappointing Roger.
Look at this video of Saia Trucking Inc clocking 63mph next to bikes. These are the community partners who say they care about people. They care about profit only.
When I posted this video what was the result? Their staff came after me on Social Media. I asked for a meeting with my stalker and they refused. Total cowards. Their trucks still pass me going 65. I know this because I sometimes drive, and I go exactly 45 to piss people off.
Keeping in mind that gumming things up undermines safety even what you’re doing is totally legal and what they what they’re doing is not.
Bunching up cars reduces visibility and response times. Plus angry people get fixated, are less able to perceive and respond to conditions, and become more prone to pull dangerous maneuvers. That the law is on your side does not change your contributions to the outcome.
How dare you make a fake claim that I am gumming up roads when I am Driving at the fastest legal limit of 45. Please stop the baloney and use your real name
You say my claim that you’re gumming up the roads is “fake” when you specifically said you do this to piss people off? And I’m hiding behind a fake name when it is completely unique and googling me instantly retrieves all kinds of info about me down to my personal and work phones?
I’m about to have meetings from 2-4, but I’m happy to chat or ride with you for a bit on the way home if you like. I propose we ride this very stretch of Greeley together — I’ll ride in whatever position will make you feel safe. When I’m helping other people develop confidence, I typically follow and ride left so they set the pace, any maniac drivers hit me first, and I can use my tricks to push drivers out a bit 🙂
Don’t be dissuaded by the November results — your command of alt-reality will help you go far in politics. Unfortunately, you won’t get my vote despite our common interest in cycling.
Purposely mucking things up on the road is irresponsible and dangerous. Just remember that if your petty lashing out triggers an event on the roads, the people hurt will likely be totally innocent. It could be a kid or even a cyclist.
“Purposely mucking things up on the road is irresponsible and dangerous.”
Amazing to see one of our resident law & order types urging people to break the law.
Joe Rowe apparently drives at or near the speed *LIMIT* (and almost certainly violates the law by exceeding the limit occasionally). I, on the other hand, make a point of following the letter of the law when I drive by going well under the speed limit. On Greeley I’d probably drive 25ish.
buildwithjoe screams, “Use your real name”. You’re a builder? I’ll I see you doing is tearing people down. Not working!
In all fairness, many great construction projects begin with demolition or digging a deep hole in the ground 😉
Hey pdx2wheeler! I think I like this guy — he’s certainly entertaining.
However, I wonder if he’s a sock puppet for someone famous whose name eludes me but who:
1) Communicates primarily on Twitter
2) Has a very distinctive style. Consider this tweet from this morning:
“Sad anaonymous @pdx2wheeler does not have any evidence to backup false claims on Greeley.same claims by anti bike crowd @BikePortland”
3) Frequently labels things as fake and wants “real” facts. (With regard to my own questionable name, I can provide my birth certificate but can’t prove that isn’t fake. Dang! 😉 )
I wish I could think of who he reminds me of — I just know I can trust him to build a wall to separate bikes from traffic and get the cars to pay for it. Let’s make cycling great again!
p.s. While you’re compiling photos proving that you don’t have problems on Greeley, please also provide pics proving that you don’t regularly get ambushed by urban coyotes. If you don’t, we’ll all know everything you say is fake 🙂
“…I know this because I sometimes drive, and I go exactly 45 to piss people off. ” buildwithjoe
I haven’t watched the video, but I’m guessing it’s yours or someone else’s go-pro vid that you’ve personally recorded, showing company trucks vastly exceeding the posted speed limit. Clarify please if that’s not the case.
If the speed limit is 45, and that’s the speed you’re driving at, and despite this, other people driving are tailgating you, possibly even to the point of creating a traffic backup…it’s they that are gumming things up, not you. As I guess, brits say: ‘Carry On’. …by the way: don’t be not exceeding the speed limit, “…to piss people off…”, but instead because you believe, and hopefully it’s true in your case…in being a safe and responsible road user.
This habit some people have, by intimidation; tailgating, etc, of pushing road users to excessive mph speeds traveled, has got to be resisted.
I watched the vid. A handheld radar is pointed at the road while speeds are recorded.
The radar jumps around and I’m not convinced the 63 recorded for the truck was accurate partly because the numbers were jumping around but also because it would mean that a tandem truck was going 20mph faster than the vast majority of vehicles in front and behind.
Whether or not is accurate is immaterial in my mind as I’ve personally witnessed speeds like that.
I also believe in resisting and calming aggressive drivers. That’s not the same as blocking to piss them off.
700 bicycle trips per day and the best we can come up with is $650k? Could do better with a kickstarter, but maybe let’s make freight and cars pay their way for once?
I do not know this road but have a general comment. This infrastructure redesign strikes me as similar to most others in the city. There is a possible improvement, but pedestrians and bicyclists are not prioritized. The standard argument for that is: this is a street segment with a lot of transit, so that has priority. So this plan would be yet another small improvement, but it would not get us closer to the 2030 plan and might even be counterproductive to Vision Zero in the medium-to long run because it cements the status quo.
My suggestion would be for the Bicycle Advisory Committee to create another plan — Plan A — that prioritizes walking and biking (and public transit if it uses this stretch) over cars and transit. This plan would need to start with how an ideal bike and walk path would look like, and then determine how much space is left for cars and trucks and how they can be fitted into that. PBOT created a competing plan for one of ODOT’s projects, so why not doing that here?
Then, bring Plan A (the one that prioritizes walking and biking) and Plan B (the current plan) to the city council. This way the commissioners and mayor have a clear alternative: they can either approve the plan that will push the agendas that they said they support forward or they can approve the plan that makes small changes, keeps the status quo intact, and will do nothing in terms of a systemic change.
I think this plan was presented as a choice between doing something now, however imperfect, or waiting at least 5 years (due to rules against work on rebuilt streets) and hoping to do something better. I believe PBOT wants to make the path wider (the ROW exists) but is constrained by funding.
I do not believe anyone (including PBOT) thinks this is Plan A. This is an opportunistic way to do something on Greeley that may (or may not) be better than the status quo.
In our current climate I’d almost say to give up on plan A. Underfunded, shoddy, half-assed solutions are becoming the new normal. Keep pushing for the best but understand that it will likely won’t be feasible any time soon due to declining revenue streams and ever-increasing maintenance backlogs.
I agree! If they have $650,000 to put into a bike project in North Portland, don’t waste in on such a substandard and dangerous fix that will need to be undone in 5 years. Instead, fix the bike gap on Skidmore and Interstate. Paint buffered bike lanes on Skidmore between Michigan and MLK and connect the bike lanes on Interstate.
I’m not sure “they” have $650K — I think the money is coming from a freight oriented funding source, so there are limitations on how/where it is spent. I am pretty sure this isn’t money that could otherwise be spent on other bike projects.
Underfunded is the word of the decade. PBOT is way underfunded, even unable to take care of the roads we have. We simply need more money. How do we get it? Look what happened to the two politicians who last tried to solve that problem.
I have lots of suggestions, but all fail on either practical or political grounds.
I’m not sure this problem is solvable by simply injecting more money. Our country has shown to be irresponsible with transportation funding, and more money will likely result in more highways and space for cars. We need a fundamental shift in how we think about transportation, and this is tied to land use (i.e. density) as well. We need to somehow reduce our reliance on motor vehicles. Instead of looking for more money, we should be reducing the costs of what we have. We should be building up communities to allow for more sustainable transportation options rather than relying on the state to swoop in and magically make our problems go away.
>>> We need a fundamental shift in how we think about transportation <<<
I think we're about to see one, but one that shifts away from human driven vehicles to robot controlled ones. I think buses will slowly give way, and we'll be left with a transportation system that is safer and more performant, but probably just as congested as today, and equally reliant on motorized vehicles, but smaller and better behaved ones.
I don't think anyone expects the state to do much of anything to fix our road network. At the moment, it's all we can do to get them to lower a speed limit on a residential street from 30 to 25.
The above is somewhat speculative, but what is certain is that without more funding, our roads are going to continue to deteriorate, and there won't be as many nice new bike projects as most of us would want.
One of the major shifts lately is the demise of “big box retail”, now being replaced with deliveries from Amazon, Wiggle, etc. The era of driving your car to the mall or to Target for shopping will soon start to disappear. Cities like Portland that have already de-prioritized local street repairs will start to de-prioritize commercial corridors in favor of delivery routes from UPS and FedEx hubs. Essentially the airport and harbor will be higher priority facilities than downtown, hence the emphasis on Greeley or 122nd. You are right, there isn’t enough money to go around anywhere in the US (not just in Oregon) and crumbling local streets are likely to become the new normal for the foreseeable next few decades. It makes you appreciate the narrow cobble-stone streets of Europe all the more.
Those European cobblestone streets aren’t exactly maintenance free. They do, however, provide a great source of ammunition when protests turn to riots.
I wonder is they looked at reducing lane widths, increasing enforcement to reduce speeding, and striping wider bike lanes on both sides of Greeley? I wonder if the ramp/merging-crossing portion of southbound Greeley could be shortened to require a slow- turn instead of a merge? The fix on southbound Interstate at the Larrabee viaduct is significant improvement. What if they just built a 12′ wide path south of the ramp to ramp bikes to the outside of the ramp instead of across it? I think PBOT could find much better uses of this money.
A word about Interstate. I was on the Task Force during Interstate MAX design that agreed to the removal of the bike lanes from Interstate between Willamette and Dekum. I regret that decision every time I take a look at Interstate or the subject comes up.
PDC, and everyone else, wanted to see denser commercial development at MAX stations, and the best candidates were Killingsworth Station and Portland Blvd (now Rosa Parks). On street parking was the plea…but look what New Seasons did at the latter station….fronted their suburban style store with a parking lot, and of course failed to include any housing. So much for on street parking!
We accepted Denver Avenue as the designated “Regional bike route” between Willamette Blvd and Kenton. We did insist on bike access to stations from cross streets, hence the lanes on Killingsworth and Rosa Parks.
Some folks on the Interstate MAX CAC wanted no bike lanes from Overlook Park station to Kenton station. So it was a compromise.
Just remember Interstate Avenue is just barely wide enough for one traffic lane each way, MAX, a bike lane (except at those two station areas) and sidewalk. Bike lanes on lower Interstate are even narrower due to bridge structures. But it is an immeasurably friendlier street for all modes than old Interstate with its 4 traffic lanes.
Using compromise to find common ground so progress can occur? Heresy! 😉
As far as things that could have been done better, hindsight is always 20/20. So long as people learn from what they try, things will continue to improve.
between parking and turn lanes there is room for a contiguous (and overall wider) bike facility on interstate.
hopefully more people do not have to die before this so-called bikeway is improved.
Since the street is so busy and space is so dear, I’m unclear why having cars going zero mph on the side is so important — particularly since on street parking can barely scratch the actual demand.
Removing the on street parking would not just open up space, but it would improve sight lines and safety for everyone, including drivers.
Roger – take all the money for the re-paving and put it to the original plan for the NoPo Willamette Greenway Trail along this section. Why would PBOT waste money on re-paving this street when it doesn’t need it?
Well, that’s a great question. With budgets so tight, why would PBOT repave roads that don’t need repaving? Is this what they’re doing?
Cities repave (grind and lay new asphalt) streets to avoid rebuilding them later, which is much more expensive. I expect this project is being partly paid for with the new gas tax, part of which is supposed to go to repaving.
What are you talking about? PBOT wouldn’t be repaving the street if it wasn’t needed. The street is in bad condition.