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North Lombard bike lane project online open house now available

Posted by on February 3rd, 2020 at 5:11 pm

Most people (including my son and I) opt for the sidewalk on this stretch of Lombard because there’s no bike lane.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s time to share feedback on a project that aims to make North Lombard safer through the Kenton neighborhood.

As we’ve reported, the Oregon Department of Transportation has already heard plenty of feedback on their Lombard Multimodal Safety Project from businesses and freight interests.

Now it’s time for you to take a closer look at what’s proposed, and tell ODOT what you think about it.


ODOT proposal for a shared-lane between Peninsular and Greeley. (Click to enlarge)

Currently ODOT is proposing a six-foot wide bike lane and a one-foot buffer with no physical protection whatsoever. Adjacent to the bike-only travel lane will be three, 12-foot travel lanes (one in each direction and a center turn lane).

In a one-block stretch between North Peninsular (Green Zebra Grocery) and Greeley, ODOT plans to drop the bike-only lane and create a shared-lane environment (above). ODOT explains the rationale for the shared-lane on their website: “This shared space helps avoid conflicts through a high-traffic section of the corridor, while helping travelers of multiple modes get through as safely and efficiently as possible.” Keep in mind Lombard is a freight route with 30 35 mph speed limit.

If you use Lombard and care about this redesign, please click through the online open house and leave a comment at the end.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    cmh89 February 3, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    I honestly don’t get it. Why even waste taxpayer money if you are going to build garabage-tier bike “infrastructure”. A shared lane on a road that frequently has heavy freight and drunk/distracted drives moving towards/away from I5.

    Is this type of project “progressive” enough to keep legislative leadership content? Who is this designed to please? Lombard has the potential, along with interstate, to be the city’s gold standard high density green strip. BRT to the yellow line and high density apartments would be amazing. Instead ODOT wants us to have a dirty, unsafe highway because the freight industry doesn’t want to take I5

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    David Hampsten February 4, 2020 at 1:11 am

    The way I see it, with a 50 foot curb-to-curb right-of-way and a 30 mph sped limit with a far higher actual speed and periodic drunk drivers, you basically have 3 main options for reasonable bicycle user safety:

    – Ban bicycles altogether and only allow for freight (effectively the present situation); or

    – Wide protected bike lanes on each side of the street (7′ lane + 2′ barrier), by either eliminating the center turn lane and make the through lanes wider, or narrow all three lanes to 10 feet; or

    – Ban all left turns by motor vehicles (make them go around the block) and put in a two-way protected bike lane in the median (7’x2=14′ + 2′ concrete barriers on each side.)

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    RudiV February 4, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I walk this area all the time I kind of think this project is a “fake” bike lane. If you ever try to cross at the light at N Villard/Peninsular by the Green Zebra there you’ll understand how insane the current configuration of Lombard is. I keep a tight leash on my dog around there so she doesn’t stick her nose out and get hit. You have freight blasting past you at full speed 6″ from the curb.

    The state cares about calming traffic on a high crash stretch in a populated residential and business area and “bike lane” is just a means to an end in doing that. They’re building a buffer zone but calling it a bike lane.

    I’ll use it here and there but its never going to be one of my go to routes.

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      raktajino February 4, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Agreed. Houghton is wide and surprisingly speedy for a greenway but I take it all the time and avoid even the parts of Lombard with bike lanes.

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    kate February 4, 2020 at 8:45 am

    comments sent. honestly, i still doubt i’ll bike much on this stretch – n wabash is a great way to get north, across lombard, and away from traffic to better bike routes; heading west, i’ll still likely bike willamette. i am VERY excited about the pedestrian improvements, however, as i frequently walk to errands on lombard.

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    Matthew in PDX February 4, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I have lived very close to N Lombard and Portsmouth for just over five years. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have cycled along N Lombard, I actively avoid doing so because it is so dangerous. My go to routes are along N Willamette and N Houghton. In fact, if I need to go somewhere along N Lombard, I’ll ride parallel to it on a calmer side street in preference to riding along N Lombard, even if it takes me out of my way. I can’t imagine anything that they do to N Lombard, short of closing it to motorized vehicles, would persuade me to cycle along N Lombard.

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      Middle of the Road Guy February 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      I have the same sentiment. I live about a block off Lombard and I will take Rosa Parks/Portland Blvd. to Willamette every time.

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    evan February 4, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I live at Atlantic/ Rosa Parks and agree with the comments above, I wish we were getting something better. However I’m excited about the project nonetheless. And as someone who has walked from Mexico to Canada I would like to point out that a journey of thousands of miles starts with a single step. Also – isn’t ODOT required to put in some bike infrastructure because of the bike bill? In response to the first comment: Is the bike bill a waste of taxpayer money?
    I’ve noticed a lot of chatter on the NextDoor app about the project, and the same old “sky is falling” comments from motordom. These comments seem to be inspiring those that are opposed to any improvements ( I see a lot of “leave it the way it is!”) to show up to open houses and to provide their comments on line as well. ( participation in a democracy is good ) Please consider chiming in to your local conversation if you would like to see some safety improvements for cycling/ walking in Lombard even if they are not perfect or up to our standards. We need to show up on this one, we’ve waited to long.

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    drs February 5, 2020 at 8:42 am

    We need physically separated infrastructure. Why no curbs or bollards? Pedestrian islands get vertical flexible barriers but bicycle infrastructure does not? Why is that? If there aren’t physical barriers to separate motor vehicle lanes from the bike lanes, people are going to park their cars and trucks in the bike lane (delivery vehicles will do it regardless). Why only a 5 foot bike lane? 6 or 7 feet would provide a comfortable space with adequate shy distance. 5 feet is the bare minimum. Why do vehicle travel lanes on any street that is not a freeway need to be 12 feet wide? Freight vehicles already utilize Lombard in its current configuration, with travel lanes that are 10.5 feet wide.

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    Ben G February 6, 2020 at 10:41 am

    I’m glad bike lanes will be there. I’ve tried to frequent a few businesses along Lombard in the Kenton area and ended up riding the sidewalk the last block or two. Which I almost never ride the sidewalk. The bike lane design is not perfect but it’s a start to completing trips.

    Much more excited at the lane reduction and addition of a turn lane. The left lane is constantly stop and go due to people taking turns into neighborhoods. I’d say this and speeding is the big reasons for it being a high crash corridor, so hopefully the redesign will help.

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