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After outcry, Saltzman promises new plan for bikes on Willamette Blvd – UPDATED

Posted by on October 31st, 2017 at 10:34 am

In just one day last week over 415 Portlanders signed a petition calling for safer cycling conditions on North Willamette Boulevard. And Commissioner Dan Saltzman (who oversees the Bureau of Transportation) agrees with them.

As we reported on Thursday, the grassroots neighborhood group Friends of Willamette Blvd, had spent years cooking up their ideas to improve cycling access on this crucial link in the bike network. Then when PBOT suddenly started a paving project on one section of the street, they saw an opportunity and swung quickly into action. To their credit, PBOT will often update lane striping for better bicycle access when they do repaving projects. But it’s not a given, and often the new, more bike-friendly striping only happens as a result of either a sharp staffer or community memnber flags the opportunity.

After an overwhelmingly positive response to their petition last week, volunteer advocate Kiel Johnson with Friends of Willamette Blvd sent an email to Commissioner Saltzman on Friday. “The City has an immediate opportunity to improve the street for people who walk, take transit, and bicycle,” he wrote. “Now is the time to re-purpose the low-use on-street parking to improve safety, comfort, and access for people traveling actively.”

Johnson than listed the names of the 415 people who had signed the petition. He received a response from Saltzman less than four hours later.

Advertise with BikePortland.
N Willamette Blvd bike lanes-5

Willamette Blvd in 2014. It has gotten very minor improvements since then, but it should be so much better than this.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Thank you for flagging this issue for me and for sharing your concerns and your ideas for making Willamette better and safer for all,” the commissioner replied. “Our office has been hearing all year about the dangers to cyclists and other road users from the potholes on Willamette, but you are absolutely right that the timing of this repaving is a perfect opportunity to make the road safer, a street that better serves people walking, biking and taking transit and allows more Portlanders to enjoy its impressive views.”

“Thank you” is nice to hear; but proof of Saltzman’s sympathy and grasp of the issue will only be evident with changes that live up to his words. To that point, he added a hopeful comment. “I have already directed PBOT staff to implement a plan to meet these objectives. Staff will begin this work and will be in touch with you and adjacent neighbors early next week.”

We’re looking forward to seeing what PBOT comes up with.

The Friends group is hoping for buffered bike lanes on both sides and a large shoulder on the south side. When PBOT last approached a major bikeway update on Willamette they proposed shifting the standard lanes south to make room for a two-way bikeway on the north (residential) side. Both of those scenarios would require space currently used for parking cars. Even though the existing lane used for parking cars sees extremely low use and even though almost everyone who lives on that stretch of Willamette has a large driveway and/or a sidestreet they can park on, it remains to be seen whether PBOT will have the courage to repurpose the space.

UPDATE, 2:46 pm: PBOT has released the plans. Looks like they did it! The official striping plan is essentially the same as Friends of Willamette Blvd asked for:

Here’s more from the project website:

To improve the safety, accessibility, and comfort for people walking, taking transit and bicycling, PBOT will be re-striping N Willamette Blvd to include a shoulder area on the south (bluff) side of the street for transit access and pedestrian space (see image, below). The re-striping plan will also add a buffer area to the bike lanes on either side of the street. The additional space required for re-striping the street will require removing automobile parking on N Willamette from N Rosa Parks Blvd to N Woolsey Ave (see project map, below). Access to driveways, parking lots, and on-street parking on adjacent side streets will not be impacted by the changes. These changes are expected to occur after November, 10th 2017.

Schedule
Repaving will take place from late-October 2017 to mid-November 2017; restriping to follow repaving work.

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

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80 Comments
  • maxD October 31, 2017 at 10:45 am

    This is great news! I hope they take this opportunity to make some important NP Greenway connections! Heading north, the 2-way, on-street path could head down the Waud Bluff trail to the bridge over the rr tracks. Once over, the stairs could be replaced with a 2 new ramps, one going east on to Swan Island and one going west to continue around the base of bluff below UP all the way to Cathedral Park.

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  • maxD October 31, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This seems like a great time to also revisit the St John’s Bridge! UP is expanding, St Johns is growing. There are nearly always pedestrians using the sidewalks now. People driving cars and trucks over the bridge continue to drive very fast, and use the second lane to pass and weave a,king the use of the sharrows by people who bike very sketchy. Riding on the sidewalk is not safe for people on bikes or people walking. The Population of North Portland is skyrocketing and the infrastructure is not keeping up with demand.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 31, 2017 at 10:55 am

      It’s always an excellent time to revisit the St. Johns Bridge. Especially now for the reasons you state and the general momentum in nopo transpo activism i’ve been reporting about.

      And good news is that a group of PSU masters urban planning students are doing a project about it right now. I’ve been in touch with them and sharing what I know. I studied its past quite a bit after Mitch York was killed but never published any of my findings. I have been wanting to dive into that travesty of a decision by ODOT years ago to make it a car-only bridge and it’s definitely time to revisit the issue.

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      • maxD October 31, 2017 at 11:53 am

        I am excited to read about this!

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      • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

        Jonathan – I would love to throw another crazy (for now) dream ODoT bike facility on the students’ plate for the next project: how about a “protected bikeway” on the shoulder of 405…a stop light free ride from Mississippi to the Pearl District (Cook St to Glisan St)?…just sleep on it…think about it for a few days with a scotch and then think about it the next time you are driving this section.

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        • Let's Active November 1, 2017 at 7:37 am

          Todd, this would be so great for biking mobility. But how would emergency response stage crashes, breakdowns etc. with a hard barrier separating the shoulder from the right travel lane? Those shoulders are valuable for moving vehicles off the road or allowing motorists space to move their broken-down cars off. I can’t see that happening/being allowed on an Interstate bridge.

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  • bikeninja October 31, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I think that to make this work, we must get many voices on board because there will no doubt be much push-back from the residents who will be losing their free storage spaces on the public right of way. PBOT will only have the courage to do this if they are more afraid of the cycling, walking, jogging, traffic-sanity sommunity than of the angry residents. This battle of public good over legacy free parking is going to have to happen all over town so we might as well make a stand now.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy October 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      When I park my bike, I am also storing it for free in the right-of-way.

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      • Gary B November 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

        Damn, amazing point. When the City needs that 8 sq ft of marginal curb strip space to accommodate the needs of our denizens, I’ll bravely sacrifice my free bike parking.

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      • Dan A November 2, 2017 at 8:04 am

        I only frequent stores where I can park inside. And I pay for bike parking at work.

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  • dan October 31, 2017 at 11:19 am

    At least put new paving all the way to the edge of the road, don’t leave a seam running down the bike lane!

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 31, 2017 at 11:29 am

      I actually like how they did it. There’s no seam or ridge at all. It’s very smooth. And I will use this as an example of another way bicycling helps the City save money. They didn’t have to repave the bikeway because bikes do so much less damage to the roads.. Imagine if we uncorked more bike use on more roads… We would save millions and millions in maintenance costs!!

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      • Bald One October 31, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        The damage to bike lanes mostly comes from utility access cuts, which tend to be highly concentrated in bike lanes. Maybe it doesn’t always warrant the extra cost to re-surface the entire street, but these access cuts really add up over the years making a bumpy ride. The brand new surface on N. Greeley is already all marked up with utility location paint….

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  • Allan Rudwick October 31, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I’ve always thought we should have a 2-way facility on the bluff side of the road. Obviously good pavement quality desired. Get rid of that unused parking already!

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  • rick October 31, 2017 at 11:31 am

    20 mph greenway.

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  • Toadslick October 31, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I recently biked on Willamette with a friend to go to Cathedral Park, and the behavior of the drivers on that road was very scary and upsetting.

    The worst moment was while we were waiting in the car lane to make a left turn from Willamette onto Bryant. Multiple large trucks and SUVs squeezed past us by swerving into the bike lane while yelling at us. One of them passed so closely that it caused my friend to yelp aloud.

    Serious changes to this road can’t happen fast enough.

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    • Travis October 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Right. Many recreational cyclists are feeling it daily in the dark and wet. It hasn’t gotten bad.

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      • Stephan Lindner October 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        I have stopped biking on that road when biking into North Portland. Such a nie road, but alas, not safe.

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      • Travis October 31, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        That should have been recreational cyclists aren’t feeling it daily. I mean commuters on bikes are dealing with Willamette at its worst during rush hour in all weather and in the dark.

        Also acknowledging that Willamette plays a huge role in accessing the west hills, Sauvie, etc

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  • Travis October 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    There was an injury car on car collision this morning on Willamette near Rosa Parks. Constantly, on neighborhood forums, drivers note they are afraid to slow/stop for pedestrians and cyclists on Willamette fearing they’ll be rear ended. Factoring the number of pedestrian collisions at UP, it should be apparent Willamette Blvd has a real and growing problem.

    With the new Amazon facility opening up near Kelly Point Park, Adidas’ growing head count, increasing west side jobs, the infill boom we’re already seeing in St. Johns, and planned developments along the water in Cathedral park… the city needs to be real about driving patterns, public transit, and improved options for cyclists and pedestrians in our most north neighborhoods. A real mess is going to sneak-up on us.

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    • h t October 31, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      That collision wasn’t the only travesty on that corner this a.m. The complete lack of traffic control for nbound traffic tearing it up through that corner into traffic and bikes swerving left to avoid emergency personnel, vehicles, and participants of the collision was another calamity waiting to happen. All while 4 PPB officers stood talking to one person involved in the crash. There wasn’t even a police car on the south side of the Rosa Parks Corner to warn travelers of the mess just outside of their line of vision.

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    • paikiala November 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Doesn’t fear of being rear ended increase with vehicle speed?
      So if they drove posted minus 5 mph, wouldn’t that risk decrease, even if the fear did not?
      Lastly, death by rear end collision is a rather uncommon thing, so are such fears even justified?

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      • Dan A November 2, 2017 at 8:09 am

        I have an employee who was rear ended two years ago and is still getting treatment for her back.

        I’m with you on driving slower though. How do we convince people to drive under the speed limit? I go 15-20 in my neighborhood, and slower when it’s dark & rainy, and I have to admit it makes me a little uncomfortable picking up tailgaters.

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  • I wear many hats October 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Why oh why do citizen activists need to direct PBOT on common sense solutions/ actions. Its asinine that improvements for vision zero/ peds/ bikes were not on the forefront of this paving project. Someone is dropping the ball here, and this action by Mr Saltzman is merely saving face.

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    • eawriste October 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      What other city leader has made a concerted effort to significantly improve road safety according to best practices/research in Portland? Wheeler? Fritz? Portland hasn’t had a political leader on this issue for a very very long time.

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    • Travis October 31, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      On the flip side, citizen activists of sorts: those “adjacent neighbors”. And UP’s lack of leadership on the issue too.

      From my experience Saltzman has been relatively approachable and responsive to North Portland traffic safety concerns. I’m not grading, but I do sorta fret losing his seat to someone more focused on other important issues pressing the city (housing, equity etc). Without naming names, some strong and disruptive (in a good way) candidates are or have suggested running. But their focus is not traffic issues: safety, equitable access, calming residential streets, prioritization/optimization for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit, taking Portland to the next level. For Portland’s style of council we need representation from folks experienced and focused on a variety of issues.

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      • I wear many hats October 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm

        I’m bummed to be losing Saltzman. He has been great for the city. However, we still have many areas of great conflict and unsafe infrastructure. Decisions like the ones mentioned in the article are a ‘no brainer’ and shouldn’t need cajoling to make it happen.

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  • Barry Cochran October 31, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    It would be nice to have a bike lane all the way down Willamette instead of stopping just past the cut. I regularly ride on Willamette but my spouse won’t ride to work at UP even though it’s a short distance because she doesn’t want to dodge cars with no bike lane. We can’t continue to prioritize giving a few people street parking in North Portland with the increase in population; we’ll look like Northwest in a couple of years.

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    • Travis October 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      For those newer to Portland: The Cut is the man-made rail road trench that essentially makes St. Johns and Cathedral Park islands. Inside of Columbia Blvd to the Willamette River, only three roads connect STJ and CP to the rest of Portland: Willamette Blvd, Lombard and Fessenden. No true residential streets connect.

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    • Jennifer Vitello November 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      I agree! Let’s not stop until all of Willamette has bike lanes and safe ped crossing.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Question: What year is it Portland? 1979 or even 1999? No, it is 2017.

    ..and the CoP (with Council approval) has set a 25% bike mode split and Vision Zero objectives, so WHY does the planners/ engineers of the paving section NOT rely on the Bike Element of the adopted 2016 TSP (see Willamette Blvd Bikeway) to judge when upcoming “planned paving” will provide an opportunity to fulfill Council directives and goals?

    Versus what was described here…and having citizens to bring the topic up at the 12th hour? as “…often the new, more bike-friendly striping only happens as a result of … community memnber [sic] flags the opportunity.”

    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/73307

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    • I wear many hats October 31, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Exactly! the tools are in place and PBOT is NOT using them!

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  • Bald One October 31, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Here’s another issue with 2-way bike lanes (adjacent, bi-directional lanes, or cycle tracks): 500 mega-What bike head lamps will blind on-coming cyclists and drivers in the evening and morning hours when it’s dark or nearly dark.

    Since I don’t see Portland bikers ever restricting their use of super powerful head lamps (or just pointing them downwards or turning them down or off) when they are commuting on a two-way path, it’s hard to advocate for a long stretch of 2-way bike lane to be installed when two, separate, one-way lanes could be made, like on Willamette. Maybe for the summer months, only.

    I support wider, better, (single direction) bike lanes on Willamette. Bollards are fine, as long as there remain sufficient room for passing other cyclists and joggers.

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    • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      I too share your concern with the blinding AND over powered bike headlamps becoming all too common on the streets of Portland. (Riders please check these at the city gates…and use them only in the dark rural areas or suburbs.) They are almost as bad as many of the new car models…

      Until then…I wish the Feds or the State would adopt many of the German Bike (StVZO) headlamp rules more typical of motor vehicles such as lamp light cutoff.

      The German StVZO just updated their rules so the US consumers may start to see more of these features on the market…such as turn-signals etc., http://www.bike-eu.com/laws-regulations/nieuws/2017/3/germany-adopts-new-regulations-for-bicycles-and-e-bikes-10129378

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    • Steve October 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      I had the same issue commuting in the dark on the Springwater Corridor.

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  • bikeninja October 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    If St Johns is to grow and require more people to move from there to the central city on a daily basis there are very few choices to increase transport volume. I5 North and Lombard are already gridlocked. Hwy 30 and the St Johns bridge are at capacity. The number of people that can be transported on Willamette by singe occupancy automobile is pitiful. The solution, a logical society, would arrive at is to make Greeley and Willamette a giant bike-only boulevard with separate lanes for e-bikes. It is that or we put our heads in the sand, and auto based traffic grinds to a crawl.

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    • dan October 31, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      I love this vision! Let’s add a roof as well for year round comfort.

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  • David Hampsten October 31, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    PBOT was formed from 3 bureaus and numerous sections, from the old Department of Public Works, in the 1980s, as was BES. The Bureau of Maintenance (BOM) went to PBOT, but 30% of its budget comes from BES (mostly for sewer maintenance). After many reorganizations, PBOT “absorbed” these various bureaus, but obviously still doesn’t operate that way. Technically, all the groups in that repave and restripe a street operate within PBOT, but still are not communicating with each other, let alone work with one another. That was the case in 1987, still when I worked there 2000-2006, and apparently still today. PBOT’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is that whoever repaves a street, be it Maintenance or a hired contractor, must put the linework back the way they found it; any changes to striping must come later, when old striping is removed (“scratched off”) and new added afterwards. Very bureaucratic and inefficient, very PBOT.

    Here in Greensboro NC (pop 288,000), the SOP is that whoever removes and replaces the pavement then chalk-marks the old lines, be it contractors or the city Department of Field Operations, but only GDOT has the machinery to put new striping in, so they design it and put it in. On any street where the posted limit is 35 mph or less, GDOT will put in 9-10 foot car lanes (to slow car traffic), 10-foot center turn lanes, and bike lanes when enough space is left over (at least 6-feet on each side; if there is more space, they’ll add buffered bike lanes.) There is a general policy to eliminate parking and/or car lanes on lower-traffic collector streets, after cursory public review (few people show up), filling the spaces with sometimes very wide bike lane buffers. On the faster streets (40+ mph) the city won’t add bike lanes (a set of battles we are still fighting, to get protected lanes on such streets.)

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    • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      David, thanks for chiming in.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 31, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    UPDATE, 2:46 pm: PBOT has released the plans. Looks like they did it! The official striping plan is essentially the same as Friends of Willamette Blvd asked for:

    Here’s more from the project website:

    To improve the safety, accessibility, and comfort for people walking, taking transit and bicycling, PBOT will be re-striping N Willamette Blvd to include a shoulder area on the south (bluff) side of the street for transit access and pedestrian space (see image, below). The re-striping plan will also add a buffer area to the bike lanes on either side of the street. The additional space required for re-striping the street will require removing automobile parking on N Willamette from N Rosa Parks Blvd to N Woolsey Ave (see project map, below). Access to driveways, parking lots, and on-street parking on adjacent side streets will not be impacted by the changes. These changes are expected to occur after November, 10th 2017.

    Schedule
    Repaving will take place from late-October 2017 to mid-November 2017; restriping to follow repaving work.

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    • Scott Mizée October 31, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Double YESSSS YESSSSS!

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      • Travis October 31, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        Triple YESSSS YESSSS YESSSSS!

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        • David Hampsten October 31, 2017 at 3:07 pm

          A very nice right-hand passing lane on the bluff-side, is it not?

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          • Chris I October 31, 2017 at 3:57 pm

            Seems like a good place for barriers in the bike lane buffer. The resulting bike lane + shoulder would be wide enough for a standard street sweeper.

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            • JBone November 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

              Yeh, debris cleanup, especially sequoia needles after windstorm is a big factor in the actual usability of these lanes. Frankly, I think Portland (city or users) should do a better job of stewarding what we have.
              And by the way, do the white lines serve as boundaries for bike tires or end of handlebars? I see riders riding on the line to avoid debris with bars hanging in roadway, forcing cars into other lane of oncoming traffic, then those cars having to move into opposing bike lane. I think some public education on this matter is inn order.

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    • David Hampsten October 31, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      When we were advocating for paved shoulders as “temporary” sidewalks in East Portland, PBOT gave us much grief for the lack of safety of them. When ODOT actually implemented them on outer Powell Blvd, the main issue that came up was that drivers were using the combined bike & ped lanes as passing lanes (12 feet on the above diagram.) When PBOT confronted ODOT about the lanes, some PBOT staff suggested that ODOT put in solid barriers at intersections, to prevent cars passing other cars making left turns from hitting cyclists and pedestrians. Will PBOT do the same on Willamette?

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      • Travis October 31, 2017 at 3:17 pm

        Passing on the right is terrible on wide streets with parking, bike, and bike buffer. But virtually impossible to make left N/W bound on Willamette through this section, so would likely only occur when driver stops for pedestrian — the worst situation.

        Is there enough room to pass on the bluff side for left turns? I guess it is 12 ft. Good point.

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    • maxD October 31, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      super great news!

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    • BarryJCochran@gmail.com October 31, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      I love it when a plan comes together!

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      • JBone November 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

        Ah, the great John “Hannibal” Smith – love me some A-Team!

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  • Scott Mizée October 31, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

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  • bikeninja October 31, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    thumbs up, now lets help them fight for it when the parking push-back happens.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu October 31, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Kudos to Friends of Willamette, everyone who signed the petition, and let’s not forget PBOT and Dan Saltzman. Comm Saltzman is not running for re-election and had no poltical need to listen to FoW, he did the right thing.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Saltzman also had no reason to worry about pissing off a bunch of ppl who think they are entitled to free parking. so there’s that side of it too.

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      • Barry Cochran November 1, 2017 at 9:18 pm

        …And the NIMBYs are already bellyaching on Nextdoor about losing their parking.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 1, 2017 at 10:19 pm

          Can u send me a link or screenshot?

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          • Barry Cochran November 2, 2017 at 5:59 am

            I sent you a link. I’m not sure how locked down Nextdoor is with the neighborhood verification, so I sent screenshots as well. A few people are chiming in in favor now, but some of the antis are trying to mobilize a little. This is on the Cathedral Park Nextdoor group.

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            • Scott Mizée - Friends of Willamette Blvd November 2, 2017 at 6:02 am

              Barry, can you paste the link here? I live in University Park. I’m curious how the link will perform with those of us not in Cathedral Park. Thanks!

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              • Barry Cochran November 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

                I think you’ve seen this one, Scott. I thought it was the Cathedral Park group, but it might be the University Park group and we see all of the adjacent neighborhoods. I’m not really sure how Nextdoor works on that. https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=69356993

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  • Dave Roth October 31, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    This is great news! As a resident of the area, a signee of the online petition, and a cyclist that regularly uses Willamette Blvd, I’m excited to hear that PBOT is making this simple and cost-effective measure to improve conditions for all road users.

    That said, I am a little surprised that PBOT staff had not already identified this relatively straight-forward striping change simply as a matter of course for the repaving project.

    Granted, removing on-street parking to increase cycling capacity/improve striping layouts can be a political challenge, but really – any and all repaving projects on the City’s capital improvement program/project list should be evaluated for these sorts of opportunities. They’re small wins that have a big impact.

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    • Todd Boulanger October 31, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      And these safety enhancements can be low cost if applied when streets are repaved…vs. being an independent project between paving cycles.

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  • Stephen Keller October 31, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Crumb. They’re going to screw up my eveving commute. Unless they carry the cycle path all the way past Buchanan, so it’s easy to cut over to Edison, then I’ll have to figure how to cross Willamette at rush hour. Sigh.

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    • Stephen Keller November 1, 2017 at 5:15 am

      Nevermind my comment. I overlooked the bike path on the residential side.

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  • Scott Mizee October 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Todd Boulanger
    Jonathan – I would love to throw another crazy (for now) dream ODoT bike facility on the students’ plate for the next project: how about a “protected bikeway” on the shoulder of 405…a stop light free ride from Mississippi to the Pearl District (Cook St to Glisan St)?…just sleep on it…think about it for a few days with a scotch and then think about it the next time you are driving this section.
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    I think it is definitely an idea worth exploring, Todd.

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  • Steve November 1, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Nice. Now lets hope they have the guts to stripe from Ida west…

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  • Bald One November 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Why are they stopping at Woolsey? Why not take it all the way along the bluff to UP? I guess 1/2 way through the bluff they will shift everything back over to how it is now – about an 6-8′ shift in all lanes (@ Woolsey: bluff side bike lane will shift over 6′; residential-side bike lane will shift over 6′; car travel lanes will shift over 6′)? This seems like a 1/2 way effort….

    It will be interesting to see how the 12′ combined non-car area on the bluff side gets used – now will it be filled with joggers, cars swerving around left-turning vehicles? And what will the joggers do at Woolsey – have to cross the street back to the residential side, or just keep running in the bike lane? Seems like they will need to add a zebra-stripe cross walk and perhaps an island at Woolsey, now.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Hi Bald One,

      They’re stopping at Woolsey because that’s where the paving project stops. This entire thing is predicated around seizing the opportunity to go along with the paving project.

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      • Bald One November 2, 2017 at 10:55 am

        It’s just paint….they could seize the opportunity to re-stripe the additional few blocks on the west end of the project all the way down to the corner at UP.

        Except I did notice one spot at N. Wabash where the built-in ped Island is butting into the roadway along the residential side, where they propose to remove the parking and shift the bike lane from outside the parking space to along the gutter/curb. They will need to rip up a couple of feet of the ped island concrete in order to smoothly take the bike lane through here according to plan. It would be unfortunate to have to negotiate a pinch point in the bike lane. Hopefully they can see through this design to completion, and deal with some of the little things to make it truly great, instead of half-way there.

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    • JBone November 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Totally. I live in University Park and my family and I ride the bluff daily. Hate to bring negativity to what is hopefully the start of something good, but I have issue with the way this initiative has been rushed and incrementalized (sp?). Maybe it is the only way to pragmatically seize opportunity in this political climate, but it feels half-baked and destined to only confuse and polarize residents and users. While I get the notion of perfection being the enemy of good, I think the design could have been much better if there was more collective thought and buy-in; if you are going to do it, do it right the first time. Personally, I wish they would elevate the bikeway like they do in the great cycling cities of Europe (and Multnomah Blvd:)

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    • Steve November 1, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Couldn’t agree more, they repaved that section either last year or the year prior, I forget, but they could easily enough restripe. And don’t forget the buses.

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  • rick November 1, 2017 at 11:55 am

    very glad to see more space dedicated to people who want to see the view while on a skateboard, wheelchair, roller blades, etc.

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  • Travis November 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Obviously advocacy for Willamette is far from over. Just last year last at Portsmouth and Willamette, more parking was added without zero improvements for cyclists. The situation was actually made worse.

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    • Bald One November 2, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Yes, this additional block of added street parking inside the bike lane where UP built their new dorm was quite a surprising stab in the back. Getting door-ed there is now a big concern.

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  • RH November 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    This is great news. Where I scratch me head is that this project is going forward very quickly. Many other projects seem to take years and have many meetings, etc…

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    • Barry Cochran November 3, 2017 at 7:03 am

      The headlie could also read “Many neighbors excited to have safer biking on Willamette.” I’m one.

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  • Scott Mizée November 3, 2017 at 7:24 am

    https://flic.kr/p/D1ajr3

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    • Scott Mizée November 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

      I was trying to reply to Barry. This is a map of the North Portland Neighborhoods that should be able to see the current Nextdoor discussion regarding this project.

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  • Phil Richman November 5, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Thank you Friends of Willamette, Dan Saltzman & PBOT! Let Portland be a Vision Zero leader, not a laggard!

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