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Neighbors will hear City plans to reduce driving on Lincoln-Harrison greenway tonight

Posted by on August 14th, 2017 at 1:00 pm

These signs have been plastered up and down Lincoln-Harrison in advance of tonight’s meeting.
(Photo: Amy Wren)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants fewer people driving on the Southeast Lincoln-Harrison neighborhood greenway.

The Lincoln-Harrison greenway is a major east-west bikeway between Mt. Tabor and inner southeast. The problem is that it’s also a popular route to drive cars on. A 2015 traffic analysis by PBOT showed it was one of the worst-performing greenways in the system in terms of auto volume, with traffic well above national standards. PBOT aims for greenways to have only 1,000 average daily cars per day; but portions of Lincoln between 30th and 50th have 2,500 to over 3,500 cars per day.

From PBOT’s Neighborhood Greenway traffic analysis, February 2015.

The city plans to share a proposal for a host of updates to the street they hope will bring these numbers down. They’ll present this plan at the Richmond Neighborhood Association tonight at 7:00 pm. PBOT hasn’t released the full proposal on their website, but a copy floating around neighborhood and activist circles gives us an idea of what’s in store.

The project will cost an estimated $170,000 and will install several methods of traffic calming and diversion between SE Clay and Ladd Streets (the western end of the greenway) all the way east to 64th. 31 speed bumps will be added along with new 20 mph speed limit signs. There will also be updated crossings and various types of median diverters and key cross streets. A semi-diverter is planned at SE 26th, and at 50th there are plans for a full center median to prevent turns onto Lincoln and make the crossing safer for bicycle and foot users.

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Here are images of the proposal shared on the Bike Loud PDX email list (PBOT has not responded to my request for the plans):

Initial reaction to the plans by activists are that more diverters and fewer speed bumps should be used. “[Speed bumps] are a sign that you haven’t installed enough diverters,” Bike Loud’s Jessica Engelman said in an email last month. ”

In March 2015 a BikePortland commenter named Tyler shared his support of more traffic diversion. “Lincoln between 52 and 39th is almost as much of a race track as Clinton [a nearby greenway that PBOT recently finished a similar project on], especially in the morning, with Tabor-ites rushing their kids to the elementary at 42nd. I’d love to see the traffic reduced to almost nil on both of these routes… The city’s failure/refusal/inability to act will eventually result in a tragic situation.”

On that same thread, east Portland advocate Jim Chasse offered this perspective: “Forgive me if I consider all the whining about speeds on Neighborhood Greenways a little uncalled for. My morning commute takes me down Division Street — the busiest street in Portland with 48,000 vehicle trips a day, through 2 of the top 5 high crash intersections in the city (122nd and 82nd) and it isn’t until I cruise onto Lincoln St. at 60th that my blood pressure drops 20 points. While I agree speeds on the Greenways should be kept in check, it would also be nice to have a few more facilities in east Portland besides major arterials.”

PBOT is said to be presenting this to neighborhood groups in hope of getting endorsements before finalizing design plans and moving forward. A public open house for the project is reportedly set for this fall with construction starting in 2018.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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

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Toadslick
Subscriber

PBOT really needs to stop using the same indicator for “low traffic” and “no data” on their maps. It presents a very misleading picture about car traffic volumes.

dwk
Guest
dwk

Make the speed limit 15 mph on Greenways and enforce it…
Problem solved.

mran1984
Guest

Uh, I am not riding my bicycle at 15 mph. I live here. I must be able to escape this crowded google hole by car to ride my mountain bike without too much extra delay due to timid riders. It used to be so wonderful to ride in this town. If you want safer streets you need less people. Kids being dropped off safely is more important than coddling the Oberlin crowd. Wow, somebody rolls four ways because they are counting on their “enemy” to stop? The future looks pretty pathetic. The traffic exists due to avoidance of Hawthorne and the recently ruined Division.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Kids don’t need to be dropped off safely at the expense of their health and environment. That’s just the excuse lazy parents make for driving half-mile trips.

Mary Wardell
Guest
Mary Wardell

Richmond is not a neighborhood school – it’s a magnet school. People come from all over the city. They are not lazy. They want their kids to get a good education.

Oh – and I live in the neighborhood and think it was much better before someone decided we needed to live so crowded together.

Adam
Subscriber

***Comment deleted. Adam, You are getting a little too abrupt and unwelcoming with your tone. Please be nicer. Thanks – Jonathan***

Dave
Guest
Dave

Do you have to be so condescending? Perhaps try to not marginalize other people’s opinions.

Adam
Subscriber

Portland is objectively not crowded. It’s one of the least dense major cities on the west coast and far less than any major city in the east. There are even inner-ring suburbs of Chicago that are denser than Portland. I always laugh when people say Portland is crowded because I can walk around my neighborhood (Richmond) and hardly ever see another person.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“If you want safer streets you need less people.”

Vision Zero Babies

Adam
Subscriber

Way too many speed bumps. PBOT should take the money for speed bumps and use it for additional diversion and neckdowns.

I wish PBOT would do what Chicago does on all of its side streets – four-way stops and ban parking a certain distance from the corner. This not only improves sight lines, but because of the stop signs, you know drivers will at least slow down. This also results in drivers not pulling halfway into the intersection to see around the corner, like they do on all of the greenways in Portland. As a cyclist, I’d much rather have a bunch of stop signs that I could roll though rather than have to deal with speed bumps. PBOT doesn’t like to admit that stop signs do indeed calm motor traffic.

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

I’d rather not have stops every block on a greenway I’m pedaling on either. I avoid NE Tillamook as it is because of too many stop signs. Diverters and other traffic controls would be better.

Adam
Subscriber

I just roll though the stop signs anyway. It’s much easier when all the intersections are four-way stops because you know that cross traffic has to stop (or at least slow down) too. Portland inexplicably likes to only do two-way stops for cyclists crossing busy streets because they don’t want to slow cars down.

mark
Guest
mark

I much prefer that bike infrastructure be direct and efficient without breaking the laws that provide me with legal protection in case of a crash.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

@mark, yes! I am bicycling usually because I Need To Be Somewhere^(tm). Inefficient routes with too many stop signs don’t make the cut due to this need and sometimes are the reason why Sandy Blvd, Foster Rd, Broadway Blvd, et. al. are the best choice for quickly getting from point A to point B via bicycle.

Adam
Subscriber

I have zero faith that the law will be used in my favor should I be in a crash, even if I was 100% following the law. Police, judges, and juries almost always side with the driver regardless of actual evidence or legality. So I might as well roll though that stop sign.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It definitely won’t protect you if you’re breaking the law, and you’ll give more ammunition to bike haters everywhere. Thanks in advance.

Adam
Subscriber

I don’t ever claim to represent all cyclists, just as a few aggressive drivers don’t represent all drivers.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

But you do anyway, as I’m sure you’re aware.

Adam
Subscriber

Honestly, it’s not my problem if someone else decides to stereotype me. Haters gonna hate regardless of actual evidence to the contrary. 😉

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Who is stereotyping you? You’ve just said:

“I just roll though the stop signs anyway. It’s much easier when all the intersections are four-way stops because you know that cross traffic has to stop (or at least slow down) too.”

When you do that, other people stereotype ME. It’s pretty selfish of you to think otherwise.

Adam
Subscriber

Again, neither I nor anyone else should be expected to represent a larger group or be a “model cyclist” or whatever. The person who is doing the stereotyping is the one with the problem. Why bother arguing with someone who is not thinking rationally anyway? I don’t have the mental energy to be constantly concerned with how I am representing whatever minority groups I happen to be associated with.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Yes, I see now how stopping at 4-way stops can be so difficult on the brain.

mark
Guest
mark

Also, parking is already illegal within 20′ of a crosswalk (marked or not). ORS 811.550(17) is just never enforced.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Not only that, but Portland has painted metered spots directly adjacent to crosswalks in the city. Here are two on the same block: https://goo.gl/maps/idwyekixkvN2

It’s not just that they aren’t enforcing it, but they are encouraging it. This is right next to a parking garage, which is next to another parking garage.

Adam
Subscriber

Roger Geller said at yesterday’s RNA meeting that PBOt was “looking into” dealing with this issue of banning parking at corners. We’ll see if anything actually comes of it.

dave
Guest
dave

Unless the other traffic is another bike. Or group of bikes… All expecting *you* to be the one that’s going to stop.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It’s pretty lame when you come to a stop at a 4-way stop, and then when it’s your turn to go a cyclist rolls through from the cross street in front of you. And yes, I’ve had that happen more than once. It’s no wonder some people feel safer riding around cars than around other bikes.

Adam
Subscriber

Yeah, I wonder how the Dutch manage to do this, then.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Oh neat, must be fun to have people suddenly turn across your path just a foot or two in front of you. Yes, let’s shoot for that.

Adam
Subscriber

People walking on the sidewalk somehow manage not to constantly bump into each other.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Do bikes = shoes?

mran1984
Guest

Maybe Chicago was your place to be. I don’t want Portland to be anything like Chicago. While the architecture in Chicago is breathtaking the new buildings in Portland our hideous. Most apartments are.

Adam
Subscriber

Portland can definitely stand to import a few things from Chicago. They’ve really been killing it with downtown protected infrastructure. They’ve added four or five new streets with protected bike lanes since I last lived there, and you can now cycle from the Loop to Union Station completely separated from motor traffic. They are also widening the popular Lake Front Trail in busy areas to give more room for cyclists, and are constructing a bike/ped flyover ramp to avoid a notoriously dangerous pinch point near Navy Pier.

The neighborhood I lived in did not have any skyscrapers (save for right along the lake shore) and was mostly mid-rise buildings of 3-5 stories. Closer in comparison to Portland’s Alphabet District, with older apartments buildings and houses all tightly packed together (with alleys!).

Eli
Guest
Eli

I moved from Seattle to NYC last month, and it impresses me that most of the infrastructure I rely on every week didn’t even exist 2.5 years ago.

(they’re building around 20 miles/year of protected bike lanes, up from a few miles a year before)

oliver
Guest
oliver

I’m going to 3rd (or 4th or 5th) for fewer stop signs.

I can ride over a speed bump at a full sprint, I would never run a stop sign faster than 5-10 mph, even 4 ways.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I was on a pedalpalooza ride in June with a newbie to Portland cyclist. I was attempting to explain the concept of neighborhood greenways as the ride turned on to Lincoln. I had explained how the use of diverters, traffic circles and speed-bumps drastically reduced auto traffic. But as we rode along , my new aquantance looked puzzled as we had not seen any of these features even though we had traveled quite a few blocks. So, in a nutshell ,the car deterrents could certainly use beefing up.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

I will be proposing a more agressive series of diversion. I don’t believe PBOT’s plan is good enough. We will still have speeding pick ups and too high of volumes.

William Henderson
Guest
William Henderson

Thanks Terry. One can argue all day about whether there is enough traffic on a given street to warrant diverters, but I believe that is missing the point. We all know Portland’s traffic is going to continue to get worse, so why keep installing Greenways that may be obsolete the day they open? Let’s build Greenways that are future-proof!

rick
Guest
rick

It would be nice to have a greenway on SW Montgomery in the SW Hills by Ainsworth Elementary School.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Isn’t that practically a greenway already? I take Montgomery from PSU to Patton on my way home and see maybe 10 – 15 cars in about 15 – 20 minutes. I do tend to see more cars on “lower” Montgomery (below Vista) than “upper”.

Adam
Guest
Adam

It is worst between 50th & 60th.

I used to do yoga at the studio that was right at the intersection of SE 50th & Lincoln.

One out of every two cars (I am not exaggerating. I do literally mean one out of every two cars) heading southbound on 50th turned left onto Lincoln, presumably to avoid the light at SE 60th & division.

It made my blood boil to see it. I’m sure it’s 2X worse now.

It was things like this, all over the city on our bikeways, that made me put my bike in the garage where it has gathered dust for the past two years or so.

RH
Guest
RH

Hey Adam,
Totally agree with you about putting the bike in the garage. Cycling hasn’t been much fun the past couple years during rush hour. Cars are still the king of the road in Portland.

Dick Pilz
Guest
Dick Pilz

I live just off Lincoln, between 50th and 60th. The turn at the yoga studio is on my main route home. Otherwise, I either have to drive south on one of the other streets between Hawthorne and Lincoln or I must go farther to turn left on Division and then left again across the heavy traffic to my side street.

I’m all in favor of additional stop signs, though that hasn’t help much for my side street being used as a cut-through around 52nd. Speed bumps, too. It really peeves me to see traffic in that area going faster than 15 mph, let alone the posted 20.

(Currently, I must use a car BTW, at least until my knees heal enough to walk/bike easier.)

resopmok
Guest
resopmok

When the going gets tough, just give up and go with the crowd. That’s much easier!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Twelve miles away……..across a river and a hill or two………I can already hear the whining of the drivers.

dan
Guest
dan

I live on Lincoln and bike commute during rush hour all year round. Honestly, I generally have good interactions and don’t feel like there’s that much traffic. Richmond school could use some parent education – they should ban drop offs by car and have all the parents drop off in the church parking lot on 39th then walk the kids over to the school. We could also use 20 mph signs with some enforcement – I’d love to see permanent photo radar – and speed bumps. But I really don’t see the need for more diverters — the volume isn’t unreasonable in my experience, it’s the speed that’s sometimes a concern.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

I generally echo this. I used to live right on Lincoln (at 48th), and still bike up and down it pretty regularly. Lincoln really benefits from width and openness – especially when you compare it to Clinton a few blocks over. It isn’t perfect, and if I had to suggest something it would probably be more of those little islands (I wouldn’t recommend something as dramatic as a diverter), placed maybe at 36th and another at like 55th.

Madeleine Anderson-Clark
Guest
Madeleine Anderson-Clark

This is my route. I ride it daily with a kiddo on a cargo bike. Zero complaints about traffic or the bumps. Honestly, it is a pretty amazing route as-is.

I wish more energy was diverted to the deep East, which is also part of my commute. Super dodgy out there, and a lot of Portlanders have been pushed/priced out by the transplants. We should take care of them, and focus efforts to build infrastructure to help our former neighbors stay safe on bikes, instead of spending any time/money on the great close-in bike routes.

nc
Guest
nc

I like speed bumps, if you pump them right you can get a nice speed boost on your ride.

Adam
Subscriber

And if you’re huffing up a hill in a cargo bike, they can put a serious damper on your momentum.

Kyle Banerjee
Guest

I don’t follow. The bumps are a few inches high. How would that have a significant effect on momentum, especially compared to even modest hills?

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Well, for me, the badly crafted ones are as jarring as any pothole, so I stand up and don’t pedal on them lest I lose my footing. Hence, momentum loss. (Note: I ride an incredibly stiff aluminum cargo box-bike. Between the stiffness and the closeness of the saddle to the rear axle, big bumps are a big deal).

Also: different people and bikes are different. Kath Youell has said that, on her extremely heavy steel box-bike with her not being the largest or strongest person in the world, a bump made her downshift two gears (out of eight).

Adam
Subscriber

Yes. Despite what you seem to think, not everyone is as strong as you. When you’re riding 8 mph uphill, a speed bump can cut your speed down significantly.

Adam
Subscriber

I should also note that it’s hard on the folding bike as well as the cargo bike. Also, on the folder, hitting a speed bump going downhill makes the bike wobble a bit and feel unstable. Standing on the pedals helps but it’s still annoying.

Madeleine Anderson-Clark
Guest
Madeleine Anderson-Clark

I am 5’1 and ride a cargo bike with a kid on this route. We have never thought twice about the bumps. I wish they were on all residential streets.

Adam
Subscriber

Does your bike have an e-assist? I imagine that the impact of the bumps wouldn’t be as big of burden if riding assisted. Lincoln has some pretty steep hills that I usually avoid if I can.

Madeleine Anderson-Clark
Guest
Madeleine Anderson-Clark

No way to e-assist:) We just sweat a little more. It hasn’t occurred to me to be mad at that hill. If I’m feeling lazy on the lower part, we divert to Clinton.

Adam
Subscriber

Heh, I was just curious because I find the bumps challenging on my unassisted cargo bike heading uphill. I usually ride on Clinton because it’s flatter.

BB
Guest
BB

You’ve also made repeated statements in which you point out that you’re far below average in your riding ability. Don’t be surprised when your experiences aren’t in line with most of us out there.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

“Average” for the 7% of Portlanders currently riding regularly is probably well above average for the people we’d need to convince to ride regularly in order to meet our mode share goals. Adam’s ability to make his bike accelerate is probably more typical of the *next* 7% of Portlanders than yours is, so I think his perspective is very relevant to a discussion of infrastructure aimed at increasing the number of people who ride.

Stephen Keller
Guest
Stephen Keller

I’m in agreement here. Speed bumps uphill are drag no matter what you ride. If the hill is at a 4% grade and the speed bump is 8 feet wide and 6 inches tall, you have a momentary grade increase to about 10%. It’s actually steeper at the beginning of the bump and tapers off by the middle. I find these sorts of abrupt momentary grade changes to be jarring and fatiguing.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

I don’t ride that route much so won’t comment on the specifics. I just want to say I’m am really happy to see that the bike community’s and PBOT’s work, and the positive results, on SE Clinton and SE Ankeny have emboldened PBOT to take similar steps on other greenways. At least that is how I interpret this news . . . tell me if I’m reading it wrong.

Oh, I’d like to see the city start using its new authority to reduce speed limits on side streets too. Again, that’s a general comment, I don’t know if auto speeds on this route are too high.

I like greenways because they show how cars and bikes can co-exist without measures like concrete barriers and parking removal which, while appropriate sometimes, are just not practical to use all over the city.

kenny
Guest
kenny

Seems Stop Signs and cameras would really have an impact. If you must stop, and it is enforced, there is less chance of speeding through a greenway or other street as a Cut Through. Lowering limits to 15-20mph is also a Need.

I for one hope far more Stop Signs are also added on SE Harold St (a Safe Routes to School street) since the speed bumps are too low, & too far apart to be effective at slowing down traffic cutting through from SE 72nd to SE 52nd. They drive right over the bumps, often not even slowing down beyond not hitting the accelerator as they drive over them over 25 mph. 25 is the recently updated slower speed on Harold, it was 30 MPH. Far too fast. But 20 seems like a reasonable amount for a street intended for school children to walk and bike.

Stop Signs are tall speed bumps work well. I think Cameras are overlooked as an additional deterent.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The bumps on Harold, 52-72, are 22-foot speed tables, constructed when the street was posted for 30 mph, hence the size and spacing.

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

Isn’t that section of Harold 25 mph….

SE Rider
Guest
SE Rider

My bad, I get you now.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

I am definitely NOT in favor of more speed bumps.

Laura
Guest
Laura

This is long overdue. With something like 500+ units coming online between 2016 and 2018, on 50th between Hawthorne and Clinton, we need to be protecting our bike boulevards now, not in a year or three. I run, walk and bike on Lincoln from about 45th up to Tabor and back, and sometimes the rudeness of car drivers (often those sporting Lyft or Uber logos) is beyond belief. It would be great if we could get Popo to enforce speeds and things like double yellow lines, but we all know that enforcement is NOT part of vision zero.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

There are other ways to regulate Uber and Lyft drivers and Waze users besides speed bumps. it would just be another PBOT mistake to go that route.

Clark in Vancouver
Guest
Clark in Vancouver

1000 cars a day? That’s still too high for a greenway. They need to reduce volumes lower than that. 500 should be the goal.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

CiV,
Have you watched a street with 1,000 cars per day?
Consider if all trips happened between 7 AM and 7 PM, 12 hours, that’s 80+ cars an hour, or maybe two a minute.
Worst case 20% of the cars during each 1 hour peak (AM or PM) on a local street: that’s just over 3 per minute (typical peak hour is 10% of daily volume).
Every tick down in the goal is an increase in $ to achieve.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

… so if my family rides on the hypothetical “worst-case” 1000 VPD greenway for 20 minutes at low speed at rush hour, we’d be passed by around 25 cars going my direction (and 35 going the other direction). As someone with two young kids who will soon be riding their own bikes, that feels like a lot. It feels like a number and a feeling while riding that would make me decide to not ride with my kids on their own bikes on that route at that time until they were 10 or 12.

Every tick down on the goal is a tick down in the number of “interested but concerned” riders who will opt to give it a shot for any given trip.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

A,
‘Feels’, or ‘sounds’?

BB
Guest
BB

Is.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I’d say how it ‘sounds’ induces a ‘feeling’ so both?

Honestly, every time I’m passed in shared space by someone driving, I wonder whether this is going to be the person who clips me too close. I know it’s not rational, but something about the distinct, physical possibility of being gruesomely injured by a large object flying really close to you just is not pleasant in the slightest. Add kids’ unpredictability into the mix, slow me down to kid speed so way more people pass us driving… yeah, I think that’s a huge impact on people’s willingness to bike.

And given that most times that I tell people that I bike, they tell me to be careful, I’m pretty sure my paranoia about moving objects that could kill or maim me – even though the probability is low and the health impacts of biking vastly outweigh it – is widely shared.

Has PBOT looked under every rock for ways to get that $20,000 / diverter cost down? Berkeley has tons of diagonal diverters that are just concrete planters. Here’s one:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8745662,-122.2848781,3a,60y,89.04h,76t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEwRfpthYcyFntbsCLpfjQA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!5m1!1e3

It looks to me like the cost for planters is about $200-400 per planter.
https://www.theparkcatalog.com/concrete-stone-planters
Say it’s $400, with 6 planters like Berkeley’s, so $2,400.

Add $400 each for two sets of posts and signs like Berkeley’s (so $3,200), plus $200 per planter for reflective treatments (so $4,400).

We’re still way far from $20,000. Personally, I think dirt and plants are optional in wealthy neighborhoods – if it’s made clear that it’s allowed and encouraged, someone will adopt the planters. But add $600 for dirt and plants in poorer neighborhoods, that’s $5,000. Say $3,000 for forklift installation. Total of $8,000 seems liberal to me.

Then we could get 2.5 diverters for the cost of 10 speed bumps. Once you’re putting diverters in that often – every 5 blocks or so – I think you’ll see a serious impact on the number of speeding vehicles. The percentage? I don’t know; I suspect so, but the percentage is not what really matters to people – it’s the number.

Adam
Subscriber

Honestly, every time I’m passed in shared space by someone driving, I wonder whether this is going to be the person who clips me too close. I know it’s not rational, but something about the distinct, physical possibility of being gruesomely injured by a large object flying really close to you just is not pleasant in the slightest. Add kids’ unpredictability into the mix, slow me down to kid speed so way more people pass us driving… yeah, I think that’s a huge impact on people’s willingness to bike.

Yep yep yep. And for those of us who do ride, this feeling is constantly wearing you down and making you feel on edge. It gets exhausting after a while. Call them “microaggressions” if you will, but if I get overly upset about something stupid a driver did that to the common observer seems minor, it’s because I was bombarded with hundreds of these microaggressions leading up to this point. I still think the benefits of cycling outweigh this drawback, which is why I continue to ride; but it would be a lot nicer to have far less migroaggressions on my daily ride.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“if I get overly upset about something stupid a driver did that to the common observer seems minor, it’s because I was bombarded with hundreds of these microaggressions leading up to this point.”

I think this is a vastly under-appreciated point. People that never (or very infrequently) ride a bike for transportation don’t see the “occasional” close call or rude affront by a motorist, or pothole, or glass-strewn bike lane, or what-have-you as any kind of big deal. I also think that some people who ride a lot have become inured to some of the risks imposed on them by infrastructure or motorists, believing they are able to mitigate those risks via application of their vast experience and hyper-awareness, coupled with athleticism and cat-like reflexes. I find myself somewhere in the middle, where I can deal with most of the crappy conditions and occasional jerk-wad drivers, but when somebody does something outside of what I’ve grown accustomed to dealing with, my reaction may seem exaggerated for the very reason you suggest. Any onlookers who might see me yell or, uh, gesture would probably think I’m just another one of those crazy, angry bikers.

Related to Jonathan’s other recent article, I think this same principle is at work and can be seen in some protests/counter-protests (and other situations, too) where folks who are being blatantly assaulted, even if only verbally by “free speech”, may seem to have an out-sized reaction due to the build-up of previous, perhaps more subtle but no less real, “micro-aggressions” they’ve experienced daily.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

“… traffic well above national standards.”

Which national standards, exactly?
NACTO? Nope. Their standard is 1,500 – 3,000 autos per day:
https://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/bicycle-boulevards/volume-management/

FHWA? HA!
“Shared roadways are suitable in urban areas on streets with low speeds – 40 km/h (25 mph) or less – or low traffic volumes (3,000 average daily traffic (ADT) or less, depending on speed and land use). ”
https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/univcourse/swless18.cfm

PBOT set the bar at 1,000 autos per day and flags streets with more than 1,500 per day for treatment.

Eli
Guest
Eli
paikiala
Guest
paikiala

“The project will cost an estimated $170,000 …”

The project budget is $170k.

John
Guest
John

Maybe I’m reading too much into the punctuation on these signs but I’m expecting somr vocal opposition at these meetings. Bike Route? I feel like writing ‘YES!’ on every one of these…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

“How To Build Opposition To Traffic Calming”, by the National Motorists Association:

https://www.motorists.org/issues/traffic-calming/build-opposition/

mh
Subscriber

No mention of VRU traveling on roads supposedly optimized for VRU. They paint obstruction as coming from what I’ll label NIMS, akin to NIMBYs – not in my street.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

VRUs don’t exist in the NMA world. We are just speed bumps.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Vapor Recovery Units? ’cause that’s what google tells me…

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Vulnerable Road Users.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I ride this greenway frequently, and I strongly support diverters. I have encountered the occasional dangerous driver, but most people are pretty respectful. The problem comes from sharing the road with a car who wants to drive the same route for 20 blocks. The cars often get stuck behind the slowest bike, and then other bikes get stuck behind the car. Cars are difficult and scary to pass, and they tend to accelerate quickly, then slow quickly at speed bumps all the way down the road. I get that some cars may want or need to access parts of the route, and I support that. However, diverters are needed to prevent this from being an available route because when a greenway is functioning well, there are people jogging in the street, people are riding bikes with their young kids, people are cruising on bikes, and others are riding relatively fast on bikes. A single car can crowd this and screw the whole thing up. An occasional car for a block or three should be expected and tolerated, but having a car moving parallel with you for the whole length ruins the ride.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

Good point! Routes that are comfortable and safe-feeling across the whole route for the “interested but concerned” are so rare that Portland bike advocates tend to focus on that. But going beyond comfort to convenience is necessary if we’re going to greatly increase the number of people riding. For people who can pedal hard enough to go fast (or who can afford an e-bike) the ability to pass other riders easily is a big benefit.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“But going beyond comfort to convenience is necessary…”

This is what driving offers: comfort AND convenience. Hard to beat without also offering both in other modes.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I don’t mind speed bumps but I agree that they are a sign you don’t have enough diverters.

I used to live a few steps away from this greenway, rode it daily for years, and still ride it from time to time. I haven’t noticed traffic being a serious problem, but as everywhere it is heavier than before.

The existing diverters at 20th and 39th, if memory serves, were already in place when I moved to Portland in 1997. We’ve learned a lot since then, especially on neighboring Clinton. Time for an update, with a couple more diverters.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

I *do* mind speed bumps, myself. I think they are unpleasant, uncomfortable, and slowness-inducing for a good percentage of people biking – comparable to their effect on people driving. It just seems crazy that, if the problem is too many people driving too fast, and the whole point of the project is more people walking and biking, we can’t find an affordable tool that has way more impact on driving than on biking.

Adam
Subscriber

Don’t forget bus riders! 🙂 Speed bumps are really jarring on a bus, especially the older ones with worn-out suspensions. Try holding a baby and unfolding a stroller while going over a speed bump on a bus; it’s not pleasant. 😛

I do think PBOT should look at more bike-friendly ways to slow motor traffic down. I’m particularly fond of neck-downs or “chokers” which add horizontal obstructions (rather than vertical, like speed bumps) that narrow the travel lane a bit so drivers must slow to avoid them. Cyclists can easily just ride straight though due to bikes being far skinnier than a car. When I mentioned this to Roger Geller at this week’s RNA meeting, he said that PBOT had tried one somewhere in Sellwood, but that it “didn’t work”, though he never specified why it didn’t work. I suspect it’s because they just got too many complaints from drivers.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Remember, we’re not talking about those short, abrupt speed bumps like you find in parking lots. Those aren’t legal on city streets.

What we’re talking about are actually called speed tables, which are 10 to 15 feet long. You rise up fairly gradually and drop back down. I can’t even imagine them being “slowness-inducing” or “uncomfortable” at typical 10-15mph bike speeds. Also, often there is a “groove” a couple feet wide near the edge of the speed tables that let you avoid them completely.

Adam
Subscriber

Yes, I know. The speed tables on uphill blocks of Clinton Street do in fact cut quite a bit of my momentum. Also there is often a car parked over the groove area and it’s not like I really want to swerve over to get there even if there wasn’t a car parked over it.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

For me, it’s the transitions at the beginning and end of the speed tables that are uncomfortable and slowing. There are some that are pretty smooth, but most have something of a hard angle, and those aren’t fun for me. Albeit, I think my bike is on the far end of the spectrum – a beefy, fast, stiff, long-wheelbase aluminum e-box-bike rider I’m sure feels the tables more than most. But, even on other bikes, I notice and dislike the tables a good bit more biking than driving. My typical speed is 15-20 mph.

Bonnie Hastings
Guest
Bonnie Hastings

The reason why traffic is so bad is that we all insist on driving too much. Our streets just cannot handle this much vehicle traffic. I include myself in this and I am in the process of finding an ebike so that I can be less of the problem. We are going through growing pains because our lower density urban environment is becoming higher density. In other cities, the solution is to use more public transportation and biking. I am sure that Lyft and Uber are making things worse. Check the app and notice how many of them are around – usually 5-6 cars within a 5-10 block radius. I know not everyone can use alternatives, but those of us who can need to follow Europe’s lead and get out of our cars. I have to get around Portland a lot and it isn’t getting any easier by car. With the mileage that I do – an Ebike makes more sense. It is more of a hassle to bike, but I know I’ll arrive at my destination in a better mood and know that I’m doing the right thing for the environment and my community.