Jonathan’s post, Hallelujah! PBOT will address bikeway maintenance at upcoming meeting, came with a warning that it “contains a lot of my opinions.” A glance through the comments section shows the warning was unnecessary, readers wholeheartedly agree with his opinions about the sorry state of many Portland bikeways.
The post was prompted by an agenda item in Tuesday night’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting suggesting a new effort by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and leaders from their Maintenance Operations section to improve bike lane clean up protocols.
If you had 37 seconds in an elevator to pitch the bike lane problem to the new Maintenance leaders, Keith’s comment, with its even tone and succinctness, would be a good model.
Here’s what Keith wrote:
Your term “modal disrespect” perfectly describes the problem. The silos within the larger PBOT silo exacerbate the problem. For example, the city has invested in wands/bollards along SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy bike lanes, but then hasn’t swept the “protected” portions for at least a year. It’s to the point where weeds are growing in a mix of gravel, sand, composted leaves, and glass. SW Terwilliger has predictable seasonal problems with overgrown vegetation, but instead of proactively addressing this (as the city does with restriping streets), users have to complain to get anything done.
I was fortunate to visit Amsterdam this spring, and maintenance there is totally different. The Dutch (as well as Danes) [are compulsive] regarding bike lane and sidewalk maintenance. Not a leaf, weed, or glass shard in sight. It really sends a clear message about what transportation modes the government really supports. PBOT not only needs to proclaim support – it must demonstrate it.
Thank you Keith. You can read Keith’s comment, and the full comment thread under the original post.
Lisa Caballero has lived in SW Portland for 20 years. She is on the Transportation Committee of her neighborhood association, the Southwest Hills Residential League (SWHRL) and can be reached at email@example.com.