‘Too many cars’ on Tillamook greenway spur talk of re-route

Posted by on March 9th, 2021 at 9:13 am

Google Streetview of NE 33rd and US Grand Place. This is supposed to be a low-stress street where people can ride bikes with small children.

A key section of one of Portland’s oldest neighborhood greenways needs some help.

PBOT slide from February 9th BAC meeting.

Northeast Tillamook was established as a “bike boulevard” (a precursor to neighborhood greenways) to parallel NE Broadway in 1999. The idea was to create a low-stress, east-west, family-friendly cycling link between north and northeast Portland. PBOT updated the western section between North Flint and NE 28th in 2019, but the section east of that hasn’t gotten any significant attention for two decades.

From the busy crossing of US Grant Place and NE 33rd, to 43rd and Sandy — the route is beset with so many challenges that PBOT thinks it might be time to redirect bike users one block south to NE Hancock.

At the February meeting of the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), neighborhood greenway program leader Scott Cohen laid out the situation and asked committee members for feedback.

(PBOT slides)

The problems begin at the crossing of Grant Place and 33rd where PBOT says there are simply “too many cars”. PBOT’s target for greenways is 1,000 cars per day. The section of Tillamook between 33rd and 37th has about 3,500. The street also has parking on both sides and is adjacent to a popular park (Grant Park) and large public high school (Grant High). Typically PBOT would consider traffic diversion in a situation like this, but since there are major destinations on Grant Place and the nearby street network is disconnected, it would be “complicated”.

Grant Place is also the only street between Stanton and Broadway (8 blocks or about 0.6 miles) where left turns off 33rd are allowed. This not only increases driving volumes on Grant Place, it means if PBOT installs diverters or prohibits left turns, more drivers are likely to use NE Knott to get into the Hollywood District. Since Knott is classified as a Local Service Traffic Street and already has about 4-5,000 cars per day (according to Cohen), intentionally putting more cars on it is considered a non-starter. “In an ideal world NE Knott not would be a [neighborhood] collector street (a higher classification that would allow PBOT to direct more cars to it),” Cohen said at the meeting, “But don’t tell that to people who live on NE Knott.”

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(PBOT slides)

Once riders survive the crossing at NE 33rd and car-centric blocks next to the park and high school, they’re faced with another challenge: very narrow door-zone bike lanes on Tillamook between 37th and 43rd. Despite their substandard width, these bike lanes are popular because they provide direct access to a public library, Whole Foods, and several other destinations.

Substandard bike lanes on Tillamook east of Grant High School. This street was repaved in 2016, but PBOT maintained the narrow bike lanes.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Other challenges Cohen shared at the meeting include the crossing of NE 43rd and Sandy and the fact that Tillamook through the Hollywood District is a secondary emergency response route.

One of the options on the table to tame this “really tricky route” (according to Cohen) is to just give up on Grant Place for now and direct riders one block south to NE Hancock. This would act as a “bridge” until PBOT could take a “more holistic look at the neighborhood… including the challenges on Grant Place,” Cohen said.

A major advantage of using Hancock as the greenway is that it has much less traffic. It also connects directly to a K-8 school. Nearby streets also have a stronger grid, so PBOT could use traffic calming and diversion if necessary. PBOT also likes the potential of Hancock because it might allow for an easier cycling connection across Sandy via Kelly Plaza (see illustration).

Cohen promised that if PBOT decided to reroute the greenway to Hancock, it wouldn’t preclude them from making changes on Grant Place in the future.

Cracked pavement on NE Hancock.

But some BAC members were skeptical of using Hancock. The pavement condition is very bad and it would likely need to be repaved (which would be expensive and not likely to happen for years). Taking the bike route away from Grant Place would also mean losing a safe connection to key destinations like Grant Park, Grant High, the library and so on.

BAC member Catie Gould told Cohen that, “Even if we do provide a parallel, lower-stress route on Hancock, I want to make sure that people can still access those destinations [on Tillamook] safely.”

BAC member Iain MacKenzie said he’s made a wrong turn while using the Grant Place section of the greenway and accidentally ended up on Hancock. “To say that the pavement surface isn’t that good is a real understatement,” he shared with Cohen. “It’s just horrible to ride on.” Instead of giving up on Grant Place, MacKenzie suggested removing parking and providing bike lanes between 33rd and 37th. Cohen replied that since the street is too narrow to include a bike lane and on-street car parking, that would require removing 100% of the parking spaces (and it’s just assumed this would be a non-starter).

Another committee member, Clint Culpepper, said he prefers Hancock while biking with this kids because Grant Place is too dangerous. Culpepper added that he feels PBOT missed an opportunity to preserve Tillamook as a bike-friendly street years ago, before it became overrun with drivers. “I feel like this is an example of a neighborhood greenway that was successful but we didn’t take advantage of it when it was successful to put in proper traffic diversion, and now we’re left with a situation where so many people are using it and there are no great solutions,” he said.

Cohen disagreed. He said car use on Tillamook has actually gone down since the greenway was established in the 1990s. “I don’t think this is a place where we didn’t capture those low volumes and then traffic grew,” Cohen replied. “This is just a product of our standards changing. We want neighborhood greenways to to behave a lot differently than we used to and so this is a place where we’re having trouble with older facilities meeting our new, better standards — standards which I totally support, but which make things like this hard.”


If you use this route and want to share ideas or input with Cohen and his team at PBOT, drop him a line at scott.cohen[at]portlandoregon.gov.

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

I’ve lived and biked on Tillamook near 33rd for 30 years. While thinking of the redirect to Hancock I hope they are considering the reopening of Beverly Cleary and the CVS soon to open. That section is a zoo when school is in session- I won’t ever cycle or drive on Hancock to cross 33rd. Cars pull in and out of the lot or illegally park dropping off kids, kids cross without looking and cars zip on and off 33rd without regard to any kind of traffic. No parking signs along the schoolyard are ignored and when occasionally those cars are ticketed, there is a neighborhood uproar.
I always choose Grant or Knott for cycling. Kids will always be walking or biking to the Grant park and high school- they need to figure out a way to make that intersection at 33rd and Grant safer.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

This is a great example of PBoT’s priorities: car capacity and parking. Instead of looking at a street and prioritizing pedestrian and cycling safety (eg considering a one-way for cars, or building a cycle track or MUP along one side of the street, or simply removing parking), all solutions that interfere with car capacity and parking are instantly ignored. I cannot think of an agency whose long term goals conflict with their de facto daily actions so starkly. Remember, this is an administrative, policy decision from Chris Warner.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

You’ve summed up Portland as a whole very well. “The city with good intentions.”

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Iain is correct. Hancock is worse than the unpaved roads right outside of my place.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

So abandon US Grant Place as a bike route because it has “too many cars”? Shouldn’t we keep Greenways to important sites like high schools (Grant HS) and popular destinations (Grant Park)? Doesn’t sound like a wise idea to me to allow US Grant Place to “go to the wolves”.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

There have been several recent car vs child collisions at US Grant Place and NE 33rd. PBOT did install a leading pedestrian interval (LPI) at US Grant and NE 33rd as well as a “turn calming” strips on US Grant Place to try to reduce kids being hit by turning cars coming off of NE 33rd.
Recently the speed limit was lowered to 25 mph on that section of NE 33rd. PBOT refused to put in speed bumps and of course there has been zero enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit. Vehicles frequently travel 35-40 mph on this section of NE 33rd. Additionally, the signal box on the corner of NE 33rd and US Grant place (SE corner of intersection) blocks driver’s view of the crosswalk but PBOT said there is no money to fix that problem despite multiple car versus pedestrian collisions at that location. Due to two nearby schools (Beverly Cleary and Grant HS) and Grant Park there are lots of pedestrians in this area. If anything we need to put in more traffic calming measures and not abandon the Greenway.

Tim
Guest
Tim

33rd is used by emergency responders and the city doesn’t put speed bumps anywhere police/fire need to blast down the road. I live 1/2 block off 33rd and a block from the intersection in question. It’s police and fire vehicles all night long.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

What is the city policy on that? It seems there are quite a few streets used frequently by police/fire which do have speed bumps. Some do have the cutout slots for the wheels of emergency vehicles.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

They can use the newer style speed humps with cutouts. You can see these up on Stark as it goes over Mt. Tabor. They can do it, if they want.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It will most likely require the sacrifice of a small child and the subsequent presser of a politician (who will take credit) to get those put in. But hey, there’s more kids right? Cars on the other hand, a very scarce resource…

Ricky
Guest
Ricky

What about rerouting car traffic away from 33rd? Most of the cars destination during most hours of the day is not Grant HS or the park but use it to go further north or across the 33rd avenue overpass etc.

maxD
Guest
maxD

33rd is truly horrible to cross on a bike- people drive so crazy fast! I like to use Alameda to connect the Going Greenway to Tillamook at 72nd then to rocky butte, Gateway Green or Mt Tabor. Crossing Alameda at 33rd is truly horrible. Back when school was in session, I would see kids trying to cross here and I feared for their lives

Tim
Guest
Tim

What other street would you move them to? We don’t have many N/S streets in NE that take the place of 33rd. I live right off 33rd and it’s annoying living next to a constant traffic jam, but you can’t just move those cars onto a smaller residential street elsewhere.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Safer crossings (such as button triggered crosswalk lights) along 33rd would be helpful.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Both 33rd and Hancock and 33rd and Grant have that. Hancock is a significantly safer crossing though since there’s very little reason for anyone to be turning on Hancock.

David LaPorte
Subscriber
David LaPorte

Grant between 33rd and 37th is terribly busy. I almost always use Hancock between 32nd and 37th even though the surface sucks. Why can’t PBOT repave roads when they designate greenways? It’s why the 20s greenway (between Ankeny and Clinton) is worthless and everyone rides on 34th instead.

Douglas Kelso
Guest
Douglas Kelso

I ride the Tillamook-Hancock greenway all the time, from 74th to downtown. That Tillamook/Grant Place segment from 33rd to 37th is probably the worst part of the ride outside of the approach to the Broadway Bridge. I frequently need to pull aside to get out of the way of cars.

Should we assume that removing parking from one side of Grant Place and striping bike lanes isn’t an option for some reason?

I think I’d prefer an all-Hancock route from 9th to 62nd.

maxD
Guest
maxD

Ruining Kelly Plaza should be a non-starter! Fix Tillamook by removing parking!

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Personally I’d be fine with having a bike route through Kelly Plaza. It used to be a street (NE Hancock) and it’s become a bit of a sketchy hangout now. I think some more bike traffic though it might help that. Removing parking from Tillamook will just cause spillover parking in the nearby residential neighborhoods. Fine for those who simply ride through but not so great for local residents.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

This is why on-street parking should never be free. So let’s translate without euphemism: We should not redesign the street to prevent people (mostly kids) from inevitable injury and death because a small minority wish to have their bodies moved freely in large metal boxes for 5% of the time, and store their private property for convenience at any possible place for 95% of the time.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Does anyone actually use that plaza, aside from urban campers? I commonly use Hancock, and I’ve never had to dodge pedestrians.

maxD
Guest
maxD

When that business was operating, the plaza was pretty popular. If we run a bike path through it, it will be difficult to ever re-establish that as a plaza. Having a quiet, public place to meet someone or be outside without having to buy something is a super important part of urban life. There is a lot of high density residential going in along Sandy, I think we should preserve ALL the openspaces, parks and plaza we have and not shrink them, diminish them, or ruin them by making them serve transportation functions, too. I am guessing that if you analyzed the area in Hollywood, most of it would be privately owned, second would be ROW used for transportation, and public space/parks would be a distant third. Lets use the ample space we have already allotted for transportation and protect our public openspaces. Just because it is not getting a lot of use does mean it is not valuable!

Tim
Guest
Tim

I question their picture of how the bike path would work through the plaza. The trees there are basically low bushes. They would have to remove those 2 trees for bikes to be able to make it through.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

It used to be a street. I don’t think it would be all that hard to put a bike path though there.

Douglas Kelso
Guest
Douglas Kelso

Looking at 43rd and Hancock, I don’t see how to connect an all-Hancock bikeway across Sandy (short of demolishing the bank) without wiping out the left-turn lanes on Sandy to get a new bike lane on the north side.

I guess the City could do that. But then it seems like properly signaled crossings could be a bit challenging.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

There are so many issues with this besides the poor condition of Hancock.

For instance I’m sure they’ll put in a crossing at 33rd but how well will that work? I’m guessing it won’t be a light so we’ll get some paint and flashers and get to dodge drivers that aren’t looking for cyclists or pedestrians. People fly down 33rd regularly.

There’s also the fact the destinations are almost all on Grant. It’s all housing until you get to 40th so people will still bike on Grant but with likely less infrastructure.

There’s almost no way they’ll be removing parking the parents at Grant would loose their minds if they couldn’t camp out there. Even if they did people would still park there it’s already a mess and without some large parking structure it’s not likely to get any better.

The Kelly Plaza connection is a joke too. I cross there regularly and it’s packed with drivers. There’s a light which is great but then you get to ride 100 feet and wait at another light at Sandy. At best they’ll put in a cyclist only diagonal crossing but I’m sure there will still be tons of conflict since many drivers seem to miss the huge lit up no turn on red signs.

Grant has never been great to bike on but Hancock would be worse.

Momo
Guest
Momo

There’s already a signalized crossing at Hancock & 33rd, it was put in a long time ago to serve the elementary school.

Tim
Guest
Tim

33rd and Hancock already has a pedestrian light. I live a block away and use this when riding instead of Grant. Since very few cars turn from 33rd to Hancock you avoid a lot of the risk of 33rd/Grant. This part of this design is a serious win.

nic.cota
Subscriber

For 43rd between Tillamook and Sandy: I never really understood the decision to paint extremely narrow bike lanes in the door zone but no center stripe… With that kind of roadway width and length between stops, wouldn’t a shared roadway work? It always seemed misaligned to throw bikes into the door zone for a roadway so narrow it couldn’t even handle two-way vehicular traffic without queueing…

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

When I lived in Sullivan’s Gulch 2003-06, I preferred to use Hancock or Schuyler to get to Hollywood, then Hancock beyond that. The bike facilities on Tillamook and Grant were never planned very well by PBOT, more of a version 1.1 of a bikeway rather than version 2.3 on Clinton or Lincoln/Harrison, or 3.6 on Vancouver/Williams. The section on Grant was always terribly crowded with cars especially during rush hours (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm) and very hazardous, even way back then, but as bad as its crossing at 33rd was back then, it was still better than Hancock’s crossing at 33rd.

The bad pavement on Hancock was (and probably still is) good at keeping cars from using it. If PBOT could put in a bike-activated red-amber-green signals at 15th, 24th, and 33rd, similar to the one at Lincoln@Cheves/39th, and random periodic diverters every 3-4 blocks, I think it would be an improvement over Tillamook/Grant.

I think that such a change would be more palatable to the bike community if PBOT also agreed to add protected bike lanes on Broadway between MLK and Sandy so folks can also reach their destinations safely.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

It’s a shame that the narrow bike lanes on NE Tillamook through the Hollywood commercial district weren’t addressed when the street was repaved in 2016.

Tim
Guest
Tim

They actually did quite a bit to that section of the road at the time. The travel lane for cars got smaller and just a few months ago they put in a few more curb extensions that have slowed the traffic down further.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

The bike lanes or parking should be removed, but the current design makes very little sense.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

This is only acceptable if Hancock is repaved. I already use it, even with the difficult connection through the plaza. During lower traffic periods or for “go fast” rides, Tillamook is fine, but I won’t ride there with the kids during busier hours. The narrow bike lanes by the library are really dangerous, and something definitely needs to be done. Remove the center stripe and widen the bike lanes?

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

I rode Tillamook often in the near before-times, and it has several unsafe areas and features for people using bicycles.

Apparently, PBOT has a commitment to keeping car-centric streets like Hawthorne free of bicycling infrastructure. If PBOT wants to facilitate its goal of reducing car driving, why doesn’t it have a similar commitment to keeping the neighborhood greenways safe for active transportation?

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Yes, I agree. Crossing 33rd from Grant Park to Brazee is also very dicey. They need more of the button activated crossing lights on 33rd. Currently it’s a very dangerous crossing all up and down 33rd. The speed limit has now been lowered down to 25 mph but it is frequently not followed and not enforced.

(Meant for this to go to a reply to Maxd’s comment)

maxD
33rd is truly horrible to cross on a bike- people drive so crazy fast! I like to use Alameda to connect the Going Greenway to Tillamook at 72nd then to rocky butte, Gateway Green or Mt Tabor. Crossing Alameda at 33rd is truly horrible. Back when school was in session, I would see kids trying to cross here and I feared for their lives

EEE
Guest
EEE

Maybe there could be larger No Stopping/Parking zones along Grant between 33-37 to address some of the the loading zone risk? That’s the cause of the only near miss I’ve had along that stretch. Of course the signs are routinely ignored (e.g., https://goo.gl/maps/HCgCA34AMiTWhsmz7) so some type of enforcement would be needed.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

I was on the Tillamook “Greenway” CAC in the 90’s. We opted for US Grant Place to get the light at 33rd and then the light at 43rd & Sandy. Sorta works, but the stretch in this discussion is iffy for the not so brave. I rode Hancock recently and damn near lost a tooth!
Can’t we tackle this stretch with some new ideas that take the Dutch approach …cars OK, but they must go a bike speeds! 15 MPH, serious bumps with bike gaps, pavement treatments, something that says “This is a bike street! but you may drive here…carefully.”

We spent so many evenings back 20 plus years ago dreaming up signage ideas for Tillamook that said just that, but it all came to naught. No signage, then the infamous “bike dots,” finally sharrows that suggest that you may ride a bike on the street, not the opposite.
The strongest “sign” announcing Tillamook as a “Bike Street” is all the folks on bikes! Years ago we all knew each other by name, at least in winter; now, not so much.

Chopwatch
Guest
Chopwatch

There has to be a better approach than the general anti car attitude common here.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Agree. I think we need to have cars and bike coexist. It’s not as if the Netherlands banned the automobile, but they have altered vehicle use since the 1950’s. It became a civil rights issue there in the 60’s-70’s with large protests against the carnage caused by motor vehicles. Particular attention was paid to injuries to children.
Good video on this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

Can you elaborate on “anti car attitude”?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It’s so strange that people who have been repeatedly threatened and/or injured by illegal driving for years would end up with such an “anti-car” attitude. I just don’t get it.

AB
Guest
AB

Also literally every street in the city has well-designed, high quality infrastructure for cars. There are no compromises or excuses. Safety issues are kept at bay by design, or are quickly addressed when mistakes are made. When I get in my car, I have zero concern that I will be able to use public roads to get to my destination safely. In fact, it will be a breeze.
Imagine if you were a car driver in an alternate universe, and 80% of roads were full of giant potholes, random spikes, and you were forced to cross 100mph highways with no traffic lights to get to the grocery store. Meanwhile pedestrians and bicycles move along on smooth, elevated skyways with luxurious elevators at every intersection and moving pavement to speed them up.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

This is a fantastic point AB. For those people who think greenways will suffice en lieu of a direct, separated, safe network primarily on commercial streets, please consider how you travel in cars. Would you consider slowly, circuitously driving through every residential neighborhood and backtracking when a street doesn’t go through?

Rod B.
Guest
Rod B.

I ride the Tillamook/U.S. Grant route on an almost daily basis and don’t have major problems with it. I love how it gets you directly to major destinations like Grant Park, the high school, the library and Whole Foods. Hancock misses these and has terrible pavement. Don’t switch the route. Improve Tillamook/Grant with more traffic calming. The Grant sports field hosts multiple sporting events with visiting teams from across the city/region, so although I never drive there, others do – so removing on-street parking from U.S. Grant for several blocks adjacent to the park would be very problematic.

klthmpsn
Guest
klthmpsn

It’s so disappointing to read that PBOT might “give up” on the NE 33rd and US Grant intersection. Nearby neighbors and parents at nearby Beverly Cleary School have been asking PBOT to improve pedestrian and bike safety at that exact spot for years, after several children have been hit by cars. We were always told by PBOT that safety issues would be addressed as part of long term greenway improvements. Don’t give up on us, please! Grant High School, Grant Park, Beverly Cleary School, and Hollywood Library are all heavily frequented by both pedestrians and cyclists. We will always have cars in that area, but we desperately need PBOT to prioritize protect pedestrian and cyclist safety. And for existing traffic safety laws (namely speed and distracted driving) to be enforced along NE 33rd.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

I completely agree klthmpsn. Please be sure to send your opinion to the PBOT. Email is:
scott.cohen@portlandoregon.gov

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Work started yesterday on improving Hancock.

David Raboin
Guest

I live in the Hollywood Slice, the triangle of blocks between Halsey, Sandy, and 47th. My kids go to school at Beverly Cleary and Grant. Our family uses this section of bike infrastructure several times a week, sometimes several times a day. I’m a confident rider and I ride with my kids all around the city. In my opinion, the east-west traverse of Hollywood, on this section of bike infrastructure is dangerous, annoying, and difficult to ride with kids.

43rd-Tillamook-Grant is one of the worst pieces of official bike infrastructure in the city, but it’s also one of the most important. The catchment basin for this stream of riders is enormous. Mornings and evenings, there is a constant flow of bike commuters. That’s wonderful and inspiring, but these commuters face a gauntlet of problems.

Let’s take a tour of the Hollywood traverse starting way back at 47th and Hannock. Imagine you’re headed west, towards downtown…

Your first obstacle is crossing 47th on Hancock. There is no light but there are some brightly painted green crossing strips. There are a lot of trees and parked cars, the sightlines are terrible, and 47th is busy at rush hour. You’re at the mercy of drivers because there isn’t a gap to cross the road unless you can convince both lanes to stop for you. Because it’s Portland, and most people are nice, eventually the traffic stops and you hustle across 47th.

Now, you’re headed downhill, moving fast cuz of the hill and your sprint across 47th. But, be careful, even though they have stop signs, cars coming out of both 46th and 45th can’t see around the corner because Hancock is so narrow and cars are allowed to park right up to the edge of the intersection. Even the safest driver has to blindly inch out into these intersections. It’s simply impossible to drive a car safely here because it’s impossible to see around the corners. An overconfident driver will eventually kill a biker here. It’s a matter of time.

Now you’re coming up on the one bright spot in this entire messy transit. 45th to 43rd is wide open and there’s even a block-long parking-protected bike lane as you approach Sandy.

Now you’re waiting at the red light to cross Sandy. The light is always red. It’s important that those cut-through drivers can get to and from Vancouver and Camus or out to the airport. Bikes and pedestrians can wait. This neighborhood belongs to the drivers of Sandy, not the people who live here. But I digress… Crossing Sandy at 43rd sucks. Opposite direction left-turning traffic doesn’t see bikes here for some reason, maybe it’s the odd-angle of the intersection, but I’ve nearly been crushed by Ford F-150s here several times. The same goes for the right turners. Everyone is in a hurry here. keep your head on a swivel or get smooshed. The choice is yours.

Once you’ve sprinted across Sandy, which is about a half-mile wide, you better hit the brakes again because you’ve entered the door zone. The parked and parking cars next to Whole Foods are an unpredictable threat. That person sitting in an idling parked car, will they hit when they open their door or will they pull out without signaling and crush you? Does that parallel parking car see you or will they back over you? Yes, it would be wise to slow down in this busy area but you can’t, you have to peddle as furiously as possible because you need to take the lane for the left turn that’s coming up at the end of the block. At least the Whole Foods delivery truck isn’t parked perpendicularly across 43rd like it was yesterday and the day before that. Does Whole Foods have a permit to block a city street every day for an hour, or are we just cool with it cuz the truck is owned by Jeff Bezos?

Now, you’ve reached the absolute worst part of the traverse: turning left from 43rd onto Tillamook. The only way to do this is to take the lane, and get out into the middle of 43rd, but now you’ve got three impatient cars waiting behind you at the stop sign and you can’t see down Tillamook because of parked cars. You inch up for a better look. You hear hundreds of revving horsepower behind you. There’s tremendous pressure to cross blindly but you know you must be careful cuz westbound cars on this section of Tillamook are always doing about 35-40 mph. They’ve just exited Sandy and Tillamook has the feel of a freeway off-ramp rather than a residential street for the first several blocks. Eventually, you go for it but everyone is confused, you’re in the left turn lane like a car but during the turn, you have to shift over to the bike lane on the far right side of the road. Not a big deal, right? Nope. Cars immediately fill in behind and everyone is pissed and confused.

Phew… You’ve survived the actual dangerous parts of this traverse. Now, you’re in a bike lane on a straight, slow, part of Tillamook. Sure, you’re riding in the door zone, but that’s small potatoes, you’d survive a dooring. And, look around, this is the dream of biking in Portland. There’s the library, there’s a coffee shop and look at the new apartments! This is urban density, the future. But don’t look away from the road for too long. You’re going to crash when you ride into the storm drain that’s right in the middle of the bike lane. And, there’s another storm drain and another. It’s almost as if this bike lane is actually a stormwater collection gutter and not a dedicated piece of bike infrastructure. Portland wouldn’t do that? Portland wouldn’t build multiple storm drains with dangerous three-inch dips smack in the middle of a bike lane where you’re two feet from heavy traffic and also riding in the door zone. At least there’s room for that Cadillac Escalade that’s been running parallel to you for the last four blocks. I think the driver is pissed at you because you slowed their progress through all of those four-way stops.

Now comes the best part. This is where you get to share Grant Place with all the 16-year-old freshly minted drivers of Portland. Yes, the bike lane ends at the worst place, right where you need it most, where Tillamook changes its name to Grant as you approach the school dropoff madness zone. Suddenly you’re sharing the street with all of the cars. And, there’s not enough room for everyone. You have to take the lane for the length of Grant Place. Every driver hates you at this point. When you get to the light at 33rd there is a string of four angry cars behind you. But you’ve made it, you’ve survived the traverse of Holywood. Yeah, they’ve come to snuff the Rooster, but you know he ain’t gonna die.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

Yeah, what is up with those storm drains right in the middle of the bike lane? 🙁

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Haha. This is perfect. I think I had an episode of PTSD hit about halfway through. I won’t touch the bike lanes in front of Whole Foods. I’d rather get into a fist fight with the drivers behind me.

David Raboin
Guest

PTSD is right. I often ride through the Whole Foods Dooring Zone with my elementary school age son. At night, when I’m trying to fall asleep, my imagination goes crazy with all of the possible ways my kid could get hurt there. It’s just such an unpredictable spot. I’m less worried about a door flying open than a car pulling away from the curb without seeing my kid in the bike lane. I always ride right up next to him when we’re in tight spots like this because I think a driver is more likely to see me but also I want to be close to my son so I can grab his shirt and pull him away from danger if needed.

Jerome Hafener
Guest
Jerome Hafener

NE Hancock is being ground down as we speak. I tried a section of it they had done and it is indeed much smoother! Interesting that PBOT was asking for community input on this plan but then it already seems to be in action. Not that I am complaining about a smoother cycling surface though. :).
Check it out!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Pretty interesting it takes “years” to pave one street. A street that people in the room realize impacts people who roll (and not cars).

EP
Guest
EP

On the morning of June 7, 2017 I rode to work on this route from 43rd to 33rd. It was all closed down and blocked off for the parade route. It was AMAZING! No parked cars, wide open lanes, amazing how great NE Grant can be without parking from 36th to 33rd. YES PLEASE!

So great I had to take a picture:
https://imgur.com/gallery/vSWXFBp

ChadwickF
Guest
ChadwickF

Oh wow. I just went through the section between 42nd and 33rd for the first time in a while.
I saw two near automobile collisions.
Something really needs to be done to this street. It doesn’t really seem to be working for anyone.