We’ve been working for a couple weeks to better understand how ODOT’s Barbur Crossroads Safety Project will (or won’t) mesh with PBOT’s SW Capitol Highway Project to provide safe passage across the Barbur Crossroads, a notorious jumble of freeway ramps, local roads and highways in southwest Portland.
After ODOT told us new bike lanes were not part of their project, I came across a line in Mayor Wheeler’s proposed 2021-22 budget for a “Capitol Hwy: Huber-Taylors Ferry” project. According to PBOT’s 2012-22 requested budget (below) this money will be used as local match in partnership with ODOT and, “may be used for sidewalk construction right-of-way acquisition, or other leverage opportunities as appropriate.”
Asked about the funding, PBOT Communications Director John Brady told us via email they’ve been working with ODOT,
“On a design that accommodate [sic] bicycles in a shared facility with pedestrians on the proposed 7-8 foot-wide sidewalk on the east side, and the existing 8-foot sidewalk on the west side, between Barbur and Taylors Ferry. It would use striping and pavement markings to delineate ped and bike space.”
Teasing apart budget arcana and jurisdictional responsibility is beyond the scope of this article, but the important news is that PBOT has plans to get bicycle riders from the Taylors Ferry end of their $27.5 million SW Capitol Highway – Multnomah Village to West Portland project to Barbur Blvd. It’s not clear what happens between Barbur and Huber.
The aforementioned Huber-Taylors Ferry project in the Mayor’s budget asks for nearly $30,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, and it appears that $172,480 was budgeted for the current fiscal year, although Brady stated that “we don’t have final cost figures as the designs have yet to be finalized.”
This month PBOT will hold two online open houses for their larger SW Capitol Highway Project just north of the Barbur Crossroads. The first open house will be a live zoom meeting on June 10th and the second will be online and self-guided. This project is a joint PBOT, Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Water Bureau effort, with $6.6 million coming from Fixing Our Streets, which makes it the largest project ever funded by that program. $14 million of the allocated $27.5 million is for the construction contract with the remaining funds “attributed to planning, design engineering, right-of-way acquisition, project management, and construction management and inspection.”
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In case it wasn’t clear, that “ARTS” stands for ODOT’s “All Roads Lead To Safety” funding bucket which they’re using to further screw up this intersection with the only objective being to increase the freeway ramp throughput.
BTW electric bicycles aren’t allowed on sidewalks even though traffic engineers seem not to be aware of this law. Doesn’t matter to them as long as they manage to keep gas tax revenues up.
OK Eric, I think you get the prize for having even a drier sense of humor than I do. For the record, ARTS stands for “All Roads Transportation Safety.”
Both the new Walgreen’s and Safeway (grocery store) on Barbur built in the last decade were both built without bicycle lanes on the north side of their properties.
Thank you, Rick, for the really big one-sentence comment! You get to the heart of the problem. We’ll see if my boss saves me from myself, but here it goes: I often feel like the wonderful folks in the PBOT Planning department are basically running around with a bucket in back of the horse named Development, at least in the SW.
As anyone who lives in SW can see, the “you’ll get the bike/ped facilites when new development comes in” mantra flew out the window several years ago. PBOT’s Development Review department has stopped requiring sidewalks and other transportation safety upgrades as part of new or expanded development in the SW. Instead, I’ve watched the shifting sidewalk requirement move down from cement sidewalks to 6 foot dirt shoulders at the side of the road, to as little as 2.5 ft of dirt and gravel squeezed in between a fog line and a guardrail. Active transportation facilities have been sacrificed at the altar of growth.
If BikePortland had a Sunday Magazine, there is a big article to be written about the link between expensive storm water systems, the Nollan/Dolan and progeny court rulings on “takings,” and the City of Portland’s push for growth in areas without the transportation (including bus) infrastructure to accommodate it.
If there’s anything I like more than biking next to a guardrail, it’s walking there.
If Portland had a bike user/pedestrian advocacy organization they could sue PBOT, or whatever bureau signed off on that.
Maybe ODOT could dip into one of their buckets and pay for transit boarding at all adjacent stops. It’s not a complete answer but it would be a start. They found money for all those anti-camping rocks, how hard could it be?
“to as little as 2.5 ft of dirt and gravel squeezed in between a fog line and a guardrail. ”
On SW Broadway Dr there’s a stretch with less room than that. Yet many SW arterials w/ no sidewalk or shoulder are Tier 4 or lower in priority. Essentially means ‘never.’
No need for a ‘Sunday Magazine’ analogue at BP – just write that article!
Yep. The city that works (sorta)! There’s a reason all the city plans only say “should.” So the city can sidestep adopted policy when it wants to. Several of us testified at the hearings officer and city council (including our supposedly pro-bike Mayor Adams) in 2011-2012 regarding the inadequate street improvements proposed for Safeway on Capitol Hill and how plan policies called for full bike facilities along the Safeway frontage. We got shot down, and now live with the result.
Besides the potential conflicts between riders of bikes-as-vehicles sharing space with people walking, no doubt bike riders will also share lowest priority for use of the crossing by means of beg buttons and wait times lasting a full signal cycle.
In a car you know that there is a reasonable chance the light will be green when you arrive. Walking? Not so much.
The photo is looking south, not north.
No, see the sign for Taylors Ferry? Barbur is in back of me.