Barbur Crossroads mystery solved! PBOT plans shared bike/ped space on new sidewalk

Posted by on June 1st, 2021 at 10:15 am

View looking north along SW Capitol Highway from the location of PBOT’s planned shared bike/ped facility.
(Photo: Lisa Caballero/BikePortland)

ODOT schematic of Barbur Crossroads Safety Project.

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.”

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PBOT 2021-22 proposed budget. ARTS refers to ODOT’s All Road Transportation Safety funding program.

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.”

Source: BikePortland annotation of ODOT’s planned bicycle improvements. Stars are locations of bike boxes and/or conflict markings. Green line is PBOT-funded bike facilities.

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.”

Lisa Caballero

— Lisa Caballero, lisacaballero853@gmail.com
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Eric Leifsdad
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Eric Leifsdad

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.

rick
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rick

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.

KL
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KL

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.

X
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X

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.

David Taylor
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David Taylor

The photo is looking south, not north.

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
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Lisa Caballero

No, see the sign for Taylors Ferry? Barbur is in back of me.