Tour de Lab September 1st

City releases final plans for Tillamook Neighborhood Greenway project

Posted by on February 25th, 2019 at 3:37 pm

Design for Tillamook and 21st has changed to make the bike route more direct.

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.

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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 jonathan@bikeportland.org

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49 Comments
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    maxD February 25, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    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.

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      PDXCyclist February 26, 2019 at 7:39 am

      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.

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    Shimran George February 25, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    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.

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      John Lascurettes February 25, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Crossbikes without enforcement you say? What’s to enforce? They have absolutely zero legal-protection for cyclists. The strictest enforcement of the law would say that it gives cyclists zero right of way. That said, you can have legal protection while riding your bike in the crosswalk (provided you follow some simple rules in the laws of operating a bicycle as a pedestrian).

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        John Lascurettes February 25, 2019 at 5:24 pm

        Even PBOT’s own documentation says it has no legal meaning:

        Do cars have to stop?
        People driving are not legally required to stop for people bicycling through the cross-bike.

        And then immediately below that:

        Can I still use the white crosswalk when bicycling?
        Yes, you can dismount your bike and walk it, or you can ride at pedestrian speed. Under Oregon State law a person driving is required to stop for people walking or bicycling slowly through a crosswalk when the person driving is given adequate time to stop.

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          Shimran George February 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm

          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.

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            John Lascurettes February 26, 2019 at 12:53 am

            “So what’s the point?”
            From their more detailed description (pdf):

            Intent
            1. To increase motorist awareness of and expectation that people will be riding bicycles through an intersection.
            2. To encourage increased motorist yielding to people bicycling or walking across an intersection.

            It’s that #2 that’s a problem. They’re encouraging behavior that is incorrect. And when a cyclist gets injured because opposing traffic doesn’t stop, they’re going to be screwed out of any legal protection.

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          El Biciclero February 26, 2019 at 1:36 pm

          “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”.

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            John Lascurettes February 27, 2019 at 9:30 am

            Agree. That was PBOT’s wording from their public info flyer. The law is worded the way you state.

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    John Lascurettes February 25, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Glad to see that they’re going to turn so many of those stop signs. That’s been my major beef with Tillamook as a bike route all this time. Also, glad to see the straight path for cyclists continuing across NE 21st.

    I don’t know if any design would discourage north-south auto traffic on NE 21st. It is the major route from Fremont across I-84 and all the way down to Hawthorne. Plus, it’s a pretty major bus route, so it’s not like they’re going to be able to sharpen those turn radii there (which means people will still speed through that chicane). The islands are a major improvement though.

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      John Lascurettes February 25, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Oh, and good on them for adding an auto diverter between Williams and MLK, but they really need to consider one between MLK and 7th as well.

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      John Lascurettes February 25, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      I’m mistaken, there’s no bus route on 21st. That is on 24th.

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    Corey Burger February 25, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    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

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    Chris February 25, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    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.

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    dwk February 25, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    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.

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    Esther February 25, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    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

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      Esther February 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      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.

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        joan February 25, 2019 at 8:01 pm

        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.

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      John Lascurettes February 26, 2019 at 12:57 am

      They could force traffic from MLK to turn right and continue on 7th and not turn left or jog to Tillamook as cut through routes.

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    Glenn the 2nd February 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    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.

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    Terry D-M February 25, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    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.”

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      paikiala February 26, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Diversion? on a greenway with under 1,000 cars per day already? What’s the new standard?

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    Gregg February 25, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    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?

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    matchupancakes February 25, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    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?

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      paikiala February 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      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.

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    Adam February 25, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    So no diversion at MLK, where a ton of vehicles use Tillamook.

    Weak.

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      paikiala February 27, 2019 at 8:54 am

      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.

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    Kevin February 25, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    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.

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      paikiala February 27, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Paint doesn’t change behavior.

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    Kyle February 25, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    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.

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    Eric Leifsdad February 26, 2019 at 7:06 am

    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.

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    Deborah Schultz February 26, 2019 at 7:20 am

    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.

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    Bobcycle February 26, 2019 at 8:46 am

    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

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      Bobcycle February 26, 2019 at 8:56 am

      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

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        John Lascurettes February 26, 2019 at 10:06 am

        “I hope it includes stop signs for north-south traffic.” It doesn’t as presented on their site.

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          paikiala February 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm

          All minor cross streets will have stop signs.

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          Josh February 26, 2019 at 11:55 pm

          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.

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      paikiala February 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Tillamook phase one only goes to 28th.

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        Chris I February 26, 2019 at 8:40 pm

        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.

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          paikiala February 27, 2019 at 9:00 am

          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.

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    JP February 26, 2019 at 11:41 am

    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).

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      paikiala February 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      Hancock/Tillamook that far out is phase 3-ish

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        Bobcycle February 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm

        You seem to have inside info? Is there public info on additional phases for Tillamook that you are aware of?

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    Matt February 26, 2019 at 11:56 am

    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.

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      idlebytes February 26, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      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.

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      Buzz February 26, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      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.

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      paikiala February 27, 2019 at 9:02 am

      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.

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    Josh February 26, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    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.

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    Bobcycle February 27, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    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”.

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