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Advocates will rally to save bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue tonight

Posted by on February 20th, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Flyer for tonight’s rally by The Street Trust.

The Street Trust will host a rally this snowy evening at 5:30 pm Powell Park to show support for the bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue.

The saga on this street (which we’ve been reporting on since 2015) has opened up an important debate over whether narrow bike lanes are better than no bike lanes at all — and whether having a safer bikeway two blocks away is a reasonable justification for getting rid of one. It also shows just how far the City of Portland is willing to go to stay in good graces with its powerful state partner, the Oregon Department of Transportation.

PBOT has colored the narrow bike lane and added bike boxes at Powell.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported earlier this month, the removal of these bike lanes is imminent because the Oregon Department of Transportation has deemed them unsafe. The Portland Bureau of Transportation also signed an agreement with ODOT that they’d removed the bike lanes in exchange for the permit needed to put a new crossing and signal on state-controlled SE Powell at 28th. Beyond that permit agreement however, ODOT has been unable to cite any research or statistical analysis to justify their decision. ODOT reasons that simply by encouraging people to avoid using 26th, they are making cycling safer.

The Street Trust however, calls the 26th Avenue bike lanes, “a critical piece of bike safety infrastructure located directly outside Cleveland High School.” As such, the organization says, “We must do everything we can” to prevent their removal. A former leader of The Street Trust said they’d even consider a lawsuit if necessary. A petition started by The Street Trust earlier this month has been signed by 1,000 people.

So far it appears ODOT is unswayed. Asked again last week for a specific justification for requiring PBOT to remove the lanes (the street is owned and managed by the City of Portland), ODOT told us via email that the existing lanes, “Provide a false sense of security and are worse than having no marked bike lanes at all.”

Here’s more from ODOT’s response:

“Bicyclists currently are drawn into a dangerous intersection at 26th and Powell – one with a history of bike crashes. ODOT worked with PBOT on their 20’s Bikeway project, and we together agreed to the new bike/ped signal at SE 28th that provides a better, safer crossing. Consistent with transportation agencies around the country, ODOT is closing unsafe pedestrian crossings and making changes in vehicle traffic flow to avoid situations that compromise safety.”

The bike lanes are definitely substandard and have a width of just three feet for 130-feet immediately north and south of Powell Blvd. Beyond that they widen to just 4.5 feet. 26th itself doesn’t have a bad crash safety record, it’s the intersection at Powell that’s problematic (and PBOT has already added green bike boxes there). Even still, ODOT claims the street would be better off without the bike lanes.

The question remains: Will getting rid of the safest vehicle users and giving more space to the most dangerous ones really improve safety?

Opinions are mixed.

Some people who ride bikes say it’s not that big of a deal and they’re happy to use the safer bikeway on 28th. “As someone who lives and commutes through the area, I’m failing to see the reason for the outrage,” wrote a commenter named Jeff. “At this point, why wouldn’t you choose to ride on 28th?” And on Twitter this morning, Rich Posert told us, “I’m not sure I agree we need or want the lanes on 26th to stay.”

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In an opinion piece we published this morning, reader Kiel Johnson shared his opposition to ODOT’s decision. He feels it’s just the latest sign that ODOT leadership needs a major shake-up:

“How did the city that once served as the national beacon in innovative transportation policy get to a point where we are reactively removing bike lanes with no justification? This is a question that I hope the elected officials who oversee ODOT think deeply about. The lack of vision and a culture that apparently does not value facts or community input ultimately falls with the director of ODOT in Portland, Rian Windsheimer.

We all love Portland because of its livability. Today one of the biggest local institutional obstacles to that is the reductionist and reactionary culture at ODOT. A culture that is willing to trade safety of intersections around like baseball cards. For Portland to become the city it can be, where livability is shared equally among all the people who live here, ODOT needs to change. Keep the bike lane on 26th and show Mr. Windsheimer the door.”

What about PBOT? After all, it’s their bike lanes they’re being told to remove. ODOT’s statements make it seem like the city is in lockstep with them on this issue. But that’s not the case. Yes, the city’s official line is one of agreement with ODOT. That’s predictable because PBOT not only signed on the dotted line and made a promise to remove the lanes, they also know ODOT holds considerable power and pursestrings and it’s not politically smart to pick a fight over this.

But it’s also clear PBOT has mixed feelings.

Citing a traffic analysis taken after the new crossing on 28th was installed (we’ve requested that data), a PBOT spokesperson told us on February 6th that, “PBOT believes there was evidence to justify the State Engineer to reconsider his decision and leave the bike lanes in place.” (Last week we asked ODOT to respond to that statement. They said, “The data was reviewed by ODOT Region 1 decision makers including both the Region and State Traffic engineers and found to be inconclusive and did not provide sufficient justification for reversing the decision to remove the bike lanes.”)

And let’s not forget the difference of opinion shared by PBOT’s lead bike planner Roger Geller when this issue first popped up. “The research on safety seems clear,” Geller said in a letter to the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee in 2015. “There is a safety benefit to having bicycle lanes on the roadway—even at only 3’ wide. This safety benefit is not just for people bicycling on the street but also for people driving on the street.” He then cited four studies to prove his point and concluded the letter by writing, “Would the street operate more safely without bicycle lanes than with? Based on the evidence I’d have to say no.”

ODOT spokesperson Don Hamilton dismissed these disagreements when I brought them up in a phone call last week. “That’s not what we’re hearing form PBOT,” he told me. Hamilton acknowledged that bicycle users are bearing a heavier amount of burden due to ODOT’s decision, but he maintains the agency is just trying to, “Make this safer for everybody involved.” “And part of that,” he continued, “is to move the bike lanes to a safer location.”

“We’re not banning anybody from crossing Powell from 26th, we just don’t want to encourage it.”

PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman tells us he’s aware of the issue. His Senior Policy Director Matt Grumm said PBOT was hoping to do more thorough counts in spring. “The commissioner is disappointed that ODOT is requiring PBOT to remove these lanes before the spring when PBOT could conduct more realistic counts,” Grumm shared via email. “We’ve also come to understand that PBOT and ODOT do these counts differently with PBOT counting bikes and ped, but ODOT only counting bikes.”

But similar to PBOT, Grumm said Commissioner Saltzman’s hands are tied. “The commissioner supports PBOT following through on their commitments as integrity is key to any relationship and the one between PBOT and ODOT is already challenging. It would be seriously impacted if one party believes the other has not followed through on their commitment.”

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

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71 Comments
  • rick February 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Let’s close a bike lane and crossing to make it safer? That’s like Washington County closing a crosswalk on SW Barnes Road in August, 2016 to St. Vincent Hospital and offices. The largest hospital in the county.

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  • Carter Kennedy February 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    It’s hard to see how eliminating those bike lanes is going to make bikers want to tackle the steep grades on 28th.

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  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike February 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Love that they are still doing the rally even in the snow! Unfortunately, I will be at the bike valet but I encourage you to attend. No better way to show how important our bike lanes are then standing up for them even in the snow. Hope they get some news coverage of their dedication!

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    • Gerik February 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Thanks for your support! The rally was great and we’re thinking about additional strategies to save these bike lanes.

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  • SafeStreetsPlease February 20, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Has Rob Nosse been contacted? Kate Brown? We need to get folks on the state level to get on ODOT.

    Also… lawsuit. The Street Trust, or someone, needs to file a lawsuit. This is beyond absurd, and ODOT’s press releases read like some mega corporation spewing toxins in the air that is simultaneously in utter denial of the public safety impacts they’re creating. They will have blood on their hands over this. Will, not might. Cars are going to start speeding like crazy with how wide those lanes will become.
    #ODOTKNOWS

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 20, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      TST doesn’t file lawsuits… you must be thinking of the BTA. The old BTA, back when they filed lawsuits.

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  • SafeStreetsPlease February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    (503) 731-8256 . CALL THAT NUMBER!!! It’s for Region 1 ODOT manager Rian Windsheimer who’s overseeing the Portland region. I took this straight from ODOT’s public website. They need to know the community will not go down lightly over this.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Just added comment from Commissioner Saltzman’s office:
    ===

    PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman tells us he’s aware of the issue. His Senior Policy Director Matt Grumm said PBOT was hoping to do more thorough counts in spring. “The commissioner is disappointed that ODOT is requiring PBOT to remove these lanes before the spring when PBOT could conduct more realistic counts,” Grumm shared via email. “We’ve also come to understand that PBOT and ODOT do these counts differently with PBOT counting bikes and ped, but ODOT only counting bikes.”

    But similar to PBOT, Grumm said Commissioner Saltzman’s hands are tied. “The commissioner supports PBOT following through on their commitments as integrity is key to any relationship and the one between PBOT and ODOT is already challenging. It would be seriously impacted if one party believes the other has not followed through on their commitment.”
    ====

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    • SafeStreetsPlease February 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      No backbone from Commissioner Saltzman. This is the response from the city commissioner overseeing the transportation bureau of a platinum rated bicycling city everyone. Portland seriously needs to be demoted to bronze at best. We’re rapidly falling behind other cities who actually take Vision Zero seriously.

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      • RH February 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        Totally. Bike tax ,taking away bike lanes, expanding freeway….yet when the tried to court Amazon/tech companies, they celebrated about being bike friendly, etc…

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        • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 8:59 pm

          The expanding freeway will only add more auto users to the streets because they won’t pay the tolls. Funny how that works.

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      • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm

        pewter

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        • Buzz February 20, 2018 at 4:18 pm

          guano

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  • bikeninja February 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Seems to me that ODOT is the poster child for regulatory capture. Perhaps we should rename them the Auto and Freight Industry Road Regulation Alliance , AFIRRA, instead of ODOT.

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    • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      ODOT has a knack for always making gestures toward those who bike that are 180 degrees opposed from good PR. If it were simply an occasional misstep you’d think they’d once in a while get it right…. but no.

      Barbur, Sandy, Hwy 101 shoulder repaving fiasco, bike safety pamphlet ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself,’ and the list goes on and on and on.

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  • Jim Lee February 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Kiel Johnson’s points are very good, but he is mistaken on one fact:

    “Elected officials” do not oversee ODOT. The Oregon Transportation Commission, which allegedly does have oversight, is appointive, by our Governor.

    ODOT is run entirely by autocratic bureaucrats, who do pretty much what they choose, generally controlling our elected officials.

    It acts like an old-fashioned highway department, beholden to no one but the “transportation” industry, its primary customer.

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    • Art Fuldodger February 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Good points, JL. In fact, ODOT actually has a Bike/Ped advisory committee. Not sure who the members are these days but there’s likely at least one from the Portland area. One would hope they are advising the heck out of ODOT on this…

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      • mh February 20, 2018 at 9:21 pm

        And one would also hope that ODOT actually pays attention to what that committee says, and it’s willing to change something – anything – based on it.

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  • SD February 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    No commissioner Saltzman, your “hands are tied” to demand that the bike lane stays because you work for us, not ODOT.

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    • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      “you work for us, not ODOT.”

      and of course ODOT also (supposedly) works for us. Ha!

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  • SilkySlim February 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I live at 35th and Gladstone, and the vast majority of my bike rides (commutes!) send me towards even Inner SE. To get across Powell, I’ve ridden 26th like 1% of the time, because it is terrible. That leaves me with 20th (70%), 33rd (20%), and 28th (9%).

    Good riddance to a terrible bike lane. There are three better options, all within a half mile.

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    • SilkySlim February 20, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      I call a recount on my own math! I want to toss in the Trimet flyover at ~17th. So that makes FOUR crossings better than 26th, all still within a half mile.

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    • Paul February 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Meanwhile, auto drivers have a convenient route every block. Hmm.

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      • SilkySlim February 20, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        So, you are saying a car can cross Powell N/S at every block?

        Let’s try that, tallying up from 15th to 39th.

        Possible: 20, 26, 33
        Impossible: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38
        Possible If You Are An Insane Driver: 21, 29, 31

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty February 20, 2018 at 11:01 pm

          You keep saying 20th, but I think you mean 21st.

          When I ride at night, I actually cross Powell at 24th; this is usually fastest, and will be safer when the rapid flash beacon is installed. If not there, then 21st, which is my choice route to Clinton, Ladd, and points north.

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          • SilkySlim February 21, 2018 at 10:20 am

            Ack you are right. Got that twisted in my head!

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  • Greg Haun February 20, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    This is so *not* the hill to die on. 26th is one of the very first bike lanes striped in Portland, and is hardly worthy of the term. I’ve traveled this corridor for decades, and anything is better. Riding on the 26th sidewalk SB, riding on 28th, riding on 21st, all are better facilities. Most importantly, riding on 26th where it doesn’t have bike lanes is better. Street Trust, stop worrying about markings on a map. There is nothing here worth saving.

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    • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      “I’ve traveled this corridor for decades, and anything is better.”

      You are focused on how the ‘facilities’ are better elsewhere after you just mentioned the sidewalk. I think we’re not on the same page. Some of us have business to take care of on 26th, and some of us live there.

      Weird.

      “riding on 26th where it doesn’t have bike lanes is better.”

      Fine. I don’t personally need a bike lane to go where I’m going, but you are eliding the symbolism of removing a bike lane. To me the message that sends in this time and place reads as FU bikers.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 20, 2018 at 11:06 pm

        Think more strategically. What could we get in return? 28th sucks, but maybe we could improve 21st. A better crossing at Powell (like the one at 28th) to shave some of the volume off, and sharrows would help a lot. Speeds are already low, and the street generally feels slow, and has great connectivity to Clinton and Ladd. And it has the 7 Corners bike shop, People’s, New Seasons (one block away) and a great cluster of bars and restaurants.

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    • Buzz February 20, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      I don’t ride 26th because the bike lane is narrow and full of utility cuts and valve and manhole covers and the last time I rode it I got into a conflict with a TriMet driver while trying to avoid all the hazards in the bike lane.

      Not that the 28th bike lane is worth trading anything for, even the crappy bike lane on 26th; the pavement condition and the steep grades on 28th are plenty of reason to avoid this one as well.

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  • SD February 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Bike lanes aren’t endorsements of travel routes and they are not permission to ride on a road. Bike lanes are imperfect guides and reminders to car drivers to leave enough space for someone to ride a bike. If it was free and easy, every street in Portland should have a bike lane.

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    • mh February 20, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Every street in Portland should be narrow and have sharrows.

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  • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Maybe I’m missing something in this write up about the 20’s bike way but it seems to be an enormous win for folks that ride bikes. It connects 9.1 miles of N|S travel and “provides a seamless, low-stress cycling path through these obstacles that serves a broad range of cyclists.” So the city worked with ODOT on the project and came to an agreement to make this happen. I read Sadowsky’s guest column from a few years ago and I’m not sure everything he said was right but I can agree that protect bike lanes and do save lives. In this case ODOT deemed that 28th would provide that avenue and the city, like it or not obliged for the greater good it seems. My question is this, why do we have to sound greedy when it comes to this when in reality the biking community won overwhelming with the project. 26th is about the opposite of low stress as it gets. We should be celebrating.

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    • Carter February 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      You’ve obviously never ridden the new 28th path. It is terrible. I mean, sure, if all you want to do is meander through the streets in a lazy ride with no destination, I guess it’s okay (except for the street conditions, the crossing of major streets, the ability to find where the path continues, and the steep grades) but if you have an actual destination in mind, it’s the pits.

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      • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

        Then why didn’t you fight against it when it came to the drawing board? Wonder what the headlines were when it was promoted? You may not like the end result but it still connects people. I don’t think PBOT was hoping it was going to be a race track because as they put it “slower speeds save lives. I’m sure you’ll agree.

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        • Carter February 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          Oh man, you’re totally right. Why didn’t I fight against it? It is completely my fault for trusting that a city planner in charge of bike paths would know what they’re doing. I should have scoped out every inch of the path to give my feedback. I should have crossed Powell at 28th a bunch of times before they built the light, just to make sure it was going to be okay. I should have been at the city offices for daily updates.

          No one is asking for a racetrack just multiple, viable options (which is not “greedy” if you’re in a city that is trying to promote biking culture). Don’t break my legs and then expect me to thank you for giving me crutches.

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          • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 8:53 pm

            Slim provided 4 alternative routes ^^^ 🙂

            “I live at 35th and Gladstone, and the vast majority of my bike rides (commutes!) send me towards even Inner SE. To get across Powell, I’ve ridden 26th like 1% of the time, because it is terrible. That leaves me with 20th (70%), 33rd (20%), and 28th (9%).

            Good riddance to a terrible bike lane. There are three better options, all within a half mile.

            SilkySlim
            I call a recount on my own math! I want to toss in the Trimet flyover at ~17th. So that makes FOUR crossings better than 26th, all still within a half mile.Recommended 1

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        • Chris I February 21, 2018 at 11:33 am

          There were an extensive number of articles on BP, public comments/meetings, etc in opposition to the chosen route for the “28th” Bikeway. **Portion of this comment has been deleted. Chris, please don’t insult or label anyone. If you have a problem with another commenter, please tell me about it. Thanks — Jonathan

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        • Bald One February 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          Sure, like when I went to all those planning meetings and open-house sessions that they held about this location, it became clear that the city had already made up it’s mind when they went to ask for public input. They clearly had already gotten an earful from the freight lobby and made their decisions on 26th prior to asking for public comment. The public input portion was a hi-jacked process from the start.

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    • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      “the biking community won overwhelming with the project.”

      We did?

      maybe if you only read the PBOT press release.
      There are so many jigs and jags I lost track. And then there’s 30th & Stark…

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      • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

        They seem to be praising the overall project from there very own website. Added the link for your reading pleasure. Overall it was a win for the biking community.

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        • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm
          • TonyT
            TonyT February 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm

            And that is proof of what? That PBOT likes it? It’s terrible. It is an absolute cluster@#*$. Go sit at SE Stark and SE 30th and see how many people ride it. What a criminal waste of funds. PBOT thought that they could make a route desirable by fiat and surprise, surprise, it doesn’t work that way. We didn’t want it. Many of us did object and of course PBOT lives in their little bubble and in the end they do what they want. Unless of course the people complaining are defending parking spots, then PBOT folds like a wet bag.

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            • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 8:49 pm

              People value safety in Portland. PBOT must have ran the numbers like they do of all of their projects… We can then deduce that they came up with a route that is suitable, maybe not realistic for a handful, for all. I’d also like to see some numbers on the 20’s “ghost town” example that you provided. PBOT, in my estimation, folds more for a cycling advancement then not. A current prime example is PBOT not listening to the folks who live on the Lincoln Corridor where the diverter is still being added despite community opposition.

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              • TonyT
                TonyT February 21, 2018 at 4:58 am

                I’m sure one could design a very safe building on paper, but if no one used it, would it actually be a step toward improving building safety? I’m sure the route probably passed a safety analysis that some very serious people found very impressive, but the simple fact is that it doesn’t improve overall safety for 2 reasons. 1. people continue to ride on more intuitive and useful routes that STILL haven’t been made safer, and 2. the ungodly amount of money that went into it is now unavailable to be used where people actually ride.

                To be clear, certainly there are sections of the 20s bikeway that are probably seeing use. But that’s because those sections were likely already being used because they made sense to people who actually ride. But I will again point to the boondoggle that is the SE 30th section crossing SE Stark. $100s of thousands of dollars went into that FUBAR section and it gets very little use. If we were to uncover the PBOT process that forced that section into being, we would be uncovering a portion of PBOT process that desperately needs to banished from existence.

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              • Buzz February 21, 2018 at 8:54 am

                If the 28th route is so great, why isn’t it overrun with cyclists? They should be flocking to this route in droves!

                Instead, as far as I can tell, cycling is up on this route about 0.00001%. I guess all the cyclists didn’t read the PBOT press release and didn’t immediately rush out to use this truly wonderous facility.

                Oh yeah, that’s right, no one uses it because in actuality, it sucks!

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    • SD February 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Just like we should be ecstatic about the bike tax…

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      • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 4:32 pm

        Cyclists benefit from the gas tax at about 46%, for cycling improvements, which is roughly 9.2 million dollars this year so $15/ bike really isn’t that big of a deal. The used, private sales is a large market which doesn’t have to deal with the tax.

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        • SD February 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm

          $15 isn’t a big deal. One bike lane isn’t a big deal. You could wipe away all of the active transport infra in Portland with relativistic appraisals like this. Is this the PBOT vision of progress? Maintain equilibrium at current mode share until retirement? Greenways without diverters? Meandering 5mph bike paths that don’t mix with cars? An interrupted stressful transportation network that takes 5 trips and a map to find and navigate comfortably?

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          • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 5:07 pm

            You brought up the bike tax and I didn’t see you recognize the extra 9.2 million the gas tax brought in. Tough crowd tonight.

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        • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 6:18 pm

          “Cyclists benefit from the gas tax at about 46%, for cycling improvements”

          Got a citation?

          I’m not sure I am following. What are 46% of $9.2 million ostensibly buying us – and who says?

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          • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm

            I’m sure you voted for the gas tax…. but any who,

            I lied, it’s 44%. Here’s the source.

            http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/05/portland_gas_tax_road_repairs.html

            The Portland Bureau of Transportation said the city collected $19.9 million from the 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax in 2017.
            http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2018/02/portland_gas_tax_collects_more.html

            Let’s run the actual numbers. 19.9 Mill x .44 = 8,756,000 towards bike/ped projects. : )

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            • 9watts February 20, 2018 at 10:11 pm

              Doug,
              thanks for the link and the articles.
              “bike/ped projects.”

              The article you linked to calls them “pedestrians and bicyclist safety improvements” which is a good reminder that these (and, frankly, most all so-called bike expenditures) are derivative; have no meaning in the absence of the ubiquitous auto-menace. As such I can’t get too excited about spending money on this, though the fact that we took in more than expected strongly suggests that we set the tax too low. One point of the gas tax, surely, is to penalize driving.

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            • soren February 22, 2018 at 9:22 am

              you not only lied but are still incorrect. much of that “44%” pot of safety funding goes to improvements near schools and intersection/signaling safety improvements that have nothing to do with bike lanes.

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              • Dan A February 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm

                Vermont St doesn’t need bike lanes. You could just convert it to a really comfortable car-free MUP, or make it 15mph street covered with wicked speed bumps, and it would be a lot cheaper to do either of those. The only reason it’s getting bike lanes is because people want to still be able to drive fast on it.

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  • Glenn F February 20, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    should make 26th from both directions, right turn only…

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  • GlowBoy February 20, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    The phrase “pick your poison” could not be more applicable here. Until we have a great bike route across Powell in this area, we need both options.

    The 26th bike lane is terrible. But it is better than no bike lane.

    The problem with the 20s bikeway as a substitute is that it is also terrible. And it, too, is better than no bikeway.

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  • Bike n Drive February 20, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    perhaps additional revenue could be raised by ticketing bicyclists that violate traffic laws. Use that money to develop safe bike lanes.

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    • Doug Hecker February 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      Oh boy. Im just here for the comments.

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    • mark February 21, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Perhaps additional revenue could be raised by ticketing motorists that violate traffic laws.

      Except that we don’t have the money to hire enough officers, and when the issue of enforcing traffic laws is brought up to support Vision Zero, it’s immediately taken out of consideration because the police have a hard time not shooting brown people.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 21, 2018 at 10:15 am

        The traffic division does pretty well on the bias metrics I’ve seen. I’m convinced that the problem is pretext stops, not routine enforcement.

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      • GlowBoy February 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

        Given that Oregon is by far the lowest-enforcement state I’ve lived in, yeah maybe a little traffic enforcement would be good.

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    • Chris I February 21, 2018 at 11:35 am

      After all, it is the greatest public health crisis facing the nation.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

        Maybe we should ticket heart disease.

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  • shirtsoff February 20, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    People from Creston-Kenilworth deserve safe access to Powell Park. They should not have to walk out of their way up to Powell Blvd to wait at a signalized crossing and use the pedestrian “beg button” to get there safely. The only possible silver lining here is if PBOT adds zebra crossings at the intersection with SE Lafayette Street and SE Rhone Street. Make ODOT pay for it if they are going to mandate a lane reconfiguration/erasure as it stands today.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 20, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      We should demand that PBOT install crosswalks and curb extensions here and at every bus stop along SE 26th.

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      • Johnny February 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

        Definitely a good idea. I regularly cross 26th at Tibbetts, and people can stand in the bike lane to get cars to stop and let them get over to the bus stop. Stepping into the road with the bike lanes gone will be pretty risky.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty February 20, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    If the intersection at 26th & Powell is so dangerous, why are ODOT & PBOT building the same thing at SE 21st & Powell?

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  • maxD February 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    PBOT is also closing a bike lane on N Greelely between Going and Interstate. They will replace it with protected MUP that is, unfortunately, too narrow (10′), terminates on a path used as a driveway, and widens the lanes on Greeley to promote even higher speeds (!). I know it looks like ODOT is forcing the bike lane removal on 26th, but PBOT seems complicit. If they wanted to create safer streets that work for everyone, they would be narrowing the lanes and reducing teh speed limit on Greeley, Widening the MUP, and keeping the southbound bike lane so people riding bike have the option of taking a direct, fast route.

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