The City of Portland plans to get started on $150,000 worth of changes to NE Tillamook Street this spring. If all goes according to plan, this major east-west bike route will be much less inviting for car users and much more inviting for bicycle users between Flint and 28th.
Since we last posted about this project in July of last year, PBOT has gathered feedback and worked out final kinks of the design. The final plans still 23 new speed bumps: 20 on Tillamook and three aimed at slowing drivers down near the crossings of Flint and 7th.
Other notable elements of this project will include (latest plans below):
– Marked crossings at the off-set intersection with NE 7th Avenue. PBOT also plans to install speed bumps north and south of Tillamook.
– Green colored bike boxes in both directions at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Also shown in the new plans are multiple chevron markings (partial sharrow, without the bike) to aid in crossing by bike. We’ve also noticed PBOT will reduce the amount of on-street parking removal on the southwest side of the intersection from 80-feet (as shown in July) to 50-feet.
– PBOT plans to test diversion between MLK and Williams. Depending on how traffic data comes back (PBOT has to wait until a major sewer project wraps up in order to accurately assess volumes), the plan is to create a one-way only westbound at Rodney with 50-feet of parking removal near the intersection.
– Intersection with 21st Avenue now shows a beefier median to calm traffic instead of speed bumps. The new design allows for a much more direct cycling route than what was shown in July.
– As per their newly adopted policy, PBOT will also “daylight” every intersection on the greenway by making parking illegal within 20-feet of corners.
And as we’ve come to expect with all neighborhood greenways, PBOT will rotate stop signs to favor cycling on Tillamook, add sharrow markings on each block, and lower speed limits to 20 mph.
The first phase of construction will start this spring and include crosswalks and signage at 7th, the signed crossing at 24th, marked crosswalks at Flint and Vancouver, on-street parking removal at intersections, and the bike boxes at MLK. The remainder of the work will follow and the plan is to have the project completed before the end of this year.
For more information, check out the project website.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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This seems like a fairly mixed plan, mostly improvements but a couple of headscratchers. Daylighting the intersections, marking the route, and rotating stop signs will be great for cycling conditions. Not dealing with the the intersection at MLK or reducing the amount of traffic seems pretty weak (at least they claim that they will follow up on the traffic counts). The intersection on MLK is such a big dogleg, I think it should be no left for turn from Tillamook.
This would be a great place (MLK intersection) to pilot the Dongho Chang approach to ped/bike signal safety. For those who haven’t heard yet, Dongho decided to flip the approach and install lights at high priority locations and count ped/bike use * after * installation. Usually the process is the reverse. Note: I may have portrayed the details incorrectly inadvertently and the errors are my own and not Mr. Chang’s.
I only see one additional diverter as part of the plan, why not increase the number of diverters on so-called “greenways”? I understand people’s needs to access their houses and driveways, but we really need to emphasize greenways with diverters to keep speeds low and make cars feel like “guests” when using the street.
I am really disappointed in PBOT’s conservatism in the use of diverters for bike streets. I enjoy the Ankeny bikeway because cars are diverted fairly frequently, and in my opinions it is my favorite party of my ride to the gym from my house. The 20s bikelane, which my house is directly situated on, is the most stressful. Between the condition of the road, and lack of diverters between Lincoln all the way to Stark, it is a popular cut-through, and oftentimes I feel I must yield to oncoming traffic on a street meant to prioritize bikes.
Also crossbieks without education and enforcement are functionally useless. Can we at least get signs or something (like pedestrian crossings) to enforce bike priority at these junctions? I can’t blame cars for not stopping if they don’t know they are supposed to yield to me.
Thanks John for the info! I thought they’d carry some meaning.
So what’s the point of these crossbieks (apart from areas where the streets don’t necessarily line up)? Is Big Paint lobbying the City of Portland to put this down?
I really welcome the commitment to bikes (and experimentation) by PBOT but let’s stop passing off C-grade work and pretending it’s world class.
“Under Oregon State law a person driving is required to stop for people walking or bicycling slowly through a crosswalk…”
This is nice of them to say, but it’s still wrong. There is no requirement that one bicycle “slowly” in order to have ROW. The law says that a bicyclist must approach a crosswalk at a speed “no greater than an ordinary walk” when a motor vehicle is approaching. I know it sounds nit-picky, but this is how people get harassed for breaking phony laws, like an adult not wearing a “helment”.
Haven’t looked at the plan, but PBOT really need to get better graphic designers in house. Compare with a Vancouver project: https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/segment-one-arbutus-link-trafalgar-to-burrard.aspx, specifically their PDFs of maps https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/10th-avenue-segment-1-february-2019-open-house-information-displays.pdf
Glad to hear about the new daylighting policy at corners. Long overdue. My biggest concern on this route is drivers cutting the corner when turning left from Vancouver onto Tillamook. I see it all the time and wish the City would install some sort of small traffic island there to prevent it.
They need to get rid of the island at 7th and put in a stop sign for the southbound cars on 7th.
I am surprised no one has been killed here and it is just a matter of time.
I wish they would consider a bike box east bound at Vancouver (in front of the Billy Webb Elks Lodge). I often get stuck behind multiple cars here heading home in the evening from daycare (at Flint and Broadway) and I bet that would help kids biking home from Tubman as well.
Excited about diversion but agree about between MLK and 7th, but I don’t think there’s a cross street to divert traffic on to…
Overall very exciting. It’s a pretty dismal ride to and from daycare as it is, with the frequent starts amd stops, competition with cars who want to try to pass between Flint and 7th, heavy traffic between MLK and Williams with lots of conflict, etc pretty high stress as it stands
My only question is whether Tubman parents were consulted and how many of them are using Tillamook to avoid Russell – esp given the high volumes and safety issues on Russell.
Yes! Last August when Tubman parents started discussing safety concerns, I shared the PBOT info about Tillamook upgrades, and they were still accepting comments. And PBOT spoke about this at their meeting at Tubman last month. The Tillamook upgrades will be especially helpful for kids biking and walking from lower Irvington.
Ordinarily I would appreciate this, but I arrived here by scrolling in reverse chronological order past North Fessenden and 82nd claimed more victims last night. So now I’m paranoid & cynical asking which city officials live in Irvington.
Even with the additional one diverter this only brings the diversion to every 3/4 miles or so. Sure visibility will be better and the cars (not pick ups) will slow a bit, but with the turned stop signs the incentive for cut through will still be there. Minimally, there should be westbound diversion at 15th, eastbound at 7th and both directions at the 21st jog. This is a complete grid east of 7th so aggressive diversion is perfectly viable, thus it is really about the political will to tell Irvington residents that “Due to bikeway safety modernization requirements traffic patterns will change, we thank you for your patience while you adapt to the new street grid.”
Diversion? on a greenway with under 1,000 cars per day already? What’s the new standard?
Big improvements at 21st.
I’d love to see more improvements at much needed 7th.
That’s nice there there will be one speed bump north and south of Tillamook. That is far from enough. Can’t we get speed humps on 7th a few blocks each direction? Broadway to Beech?
If only all of the asphalt going into installing those speed bumps could be poured into sculptures as diverters and not need to be installed in the first place.. Why not install multiple speed tables on the approaches to Tillamook along 7th and 15th Aves?
15th is a Major Emergency Response route, and already has traffic calming.
the budget does not permit more work on 7th, and the other north-south greenway will prioritize where money is spent for north-south biking.
So no diversion at MLK, where a ton of vehicles use Tillamook.
860 cars east of MLK is way more than a ton, but considered ideal for a greenway. Diversion west of MLK is in the plan presented here. Where would you place diversion, remembering the businesses closest to MLK depend on that access and very close to MLK are greenways you don’t want to divert vehicles onto.
Maybe a dumb question, but as much as speed bumps are effective for slowing car traffic, don’t speed bumps also create riding challenges for bike commuters? I would rather see these greenways covered in green paint (think Stark St downtown, now Harvey Milk St) to serve as a visual cue that this is a bike blvd and not a car-dominated street.
Paint doesn’t change behavior.
I for one am very happy to see these upgrades. I take Tillamook between 7th and Rodney both directions every day. Making the left from 7th onto TIllamook is always a bit stressful, although the odd little traffic circle does help slow the cars. The speed bumps and parking set backs should really help as well.
For me, the worst part about this ride is heading west from MLK to Rodney during afternoon rush hour. I don’t mind crossing MLK so much but that section of Tillamook is narrow and the east bound cars who just made it off of Vancouver or Williams aren’t all that forgiving to the cyclists. The diverter will be huge and I hope it sticks.
Now the city just needs to make some minor upgrades on 7th between Tillamook and Weidler. There are so many relatively pointless Eastside parking spaces on 7th and there are no bike lanes in this stretch. I assume bigger plans are in the works due to the new bridge being installed over I84 at 7th, but a little parking removal and paint could go a long way in the interim. Would help people in the Lloyd center comfortably make their way into North Portland with out having to bike on Broadway or through the Rose Quarter.
What are the diagonal chevrons across MLK supposed to do? Following this line puts bike traffic in conflict with cars and probably on the wrong side of the law / left of center.
A red light camera on MLK at Tillamook would help too. Nearly every day I cross here at least one person runs a red. I don’t trust anyone to stop in the first 10 seconds of the Tilamook green for fear of getting hit by someone who doesn’t want to stop here.
I’ve been riding Tillamook for approximately 20 years and have always been disappointed with the number of stop signs. So finally having the city address this is encouraging if not long overdue. However, this excess of stop signs on Tillamook continues past 28th all the way to 45th at which point with no safe way to cross Sandy you are required to detour over to Hancock. A not completely accurate stop sign list (I lost track) 10,13,15,16,21,23,26,28,30,32, a light at 33,37,39,41,42,44
I’ll add that 21st crossing has always been problematic as cars traveling north-south are hidden by the curve of the road and as a cyclist starting from a dead stop it is difficult to gage an appropriate opening between cars to safely cross. I see the plan calls for a fix I hope it includes stop signs for north-south traffic
All minor cross streets will have stop signs.
Yeah, it really seems like they should have stop signs for north/south traffic on 21st. And closing off pathways where pedestrians are likely to want to cross is almost never the right call in any location that’s even remotely urban.
For wide, goofy intersections like these it seems like they should find a treatment that encourages all road users to proceed with caution through the “no-man’s land.” Some kind of hash marks or something? Anything to just slow people down and get them to pay attention. At the least, stop tapering the curves — force people to come to a stop, then proceed slowly with a tight 90 degree turn.
Tillamook phase one only goes to 28th.
For phase 2, you HAVE to do something about the stretch east of Grant HS. The bike lane is insanely dangerous due to the narrow width, proximity to car door zones, and very deep storm drains, right in the middle of the bike lane. I usually don’t take the lane, but I always do in this section, and the presence of the bike lane encourages motorists to harass cyclists that choose to do so. Eliminate one of the bike lanes, double the width of the other, and add sharrows.
I prefer to shift the greenway to Hancock east of 28th. Tillamook east of 33rd is an emergency response route, gets a lot of High School Traffic and is a popular route to the business district. Hancock is quieter, and could accommodate some one way segments with contra-flow lanes. The tricky part is what to do when you get to the business district. Crossing Sandy is the next big hurdle in this greenway.
While there are some good improvements here, it’s frustrating to see close in facilities that are largely safe and well used getting love while farther out infrastructure has more serious problems. I ride Tillamook between 7th and 92nd daily, and the stretch between 62 and 37 is pretty awful, with poor pavement and stop signs virtually every second block (or more).
Hancock/Tillamook that far out is phase 3-ish
You seem to have inside info? Is there public info on additional phases for Tillamook that you are aware of?
So now pedestrians who want to cross Tillamook at 21st can’t keep walking in a straight line, effectively adding an extra block out of their way. Awesome.
Doesn’t seem like a very safe place to cross where those no pedestrian signs are placed. Cars aren’t required to stop and don’t have full view of the road until they’re around the corner. Also it doesn’t effectively add a block assuming you want to remain on the other side of the street you have to walk an extra distance that is the width of the road twice so about 40 feet.
Over-designed as usual, with no thought given to other considerations like you’ve raised. What most of this route really needs is just a good repaving, without all the rest (and get rid of the double-thickness thermoplastic sharrows markings). But the circle at 7th is stupid at best and dangerous at worst and really should go away; very few west-bound cyclists use it ‘properly’, and I don’t think they are wrong for ignoring it.
It’s about eliminating conflicts that could result in crashes at higher speeds. closing crossings in favor of others is common where streets are offset. Going at 33rd, Hawthorne near 43rd, etc.
Small correction — the “project website” link at the end of the article appears to be incorrect. The Tillamook project is at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/76829.
So rereading the previous BP coverage of July 2018 on this project, I see that the 21st crossing was a popular discussion point as it is here. Why not stop signs for north south traffic??? Why not “square” the corners to slow north south traffic??? Priority seems to favor keeping north south traffic moving as fast as possible in spite of limited vision while crossing a “major east west bike route”.