Comment of the Week: Compromise would be OK with me on 82nd Ave

Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.


The comment thread into our report on the first 82nd Avenue project district workshop, is another example of top-notch, informed discussion about active transportation trade-offs. This is what people read the BikePortland comment section for.

Reader “DW” wrote a long, thoughtful comment which argued for not getting ahead of your audience. It was one of the best calls for moderation that I’ve ever read in our comments section. He makes the point that how, and in what order, we arrive at our transportation solutions matters, that tactics are important.

Here’s what DW wrote:

I have spent a lot of time thinking about 82nd ave. I share the view that it’s okay if they prioritize better sidewalks and dedicated bus lanes over building bike lanes.

Here’s my two cents;

PBOT/Trimet have burned a lot of political capital doing very unpopular projects in the last few years. As an example, people are absolutely losing their minds over the Division upgrades. For what it’s worth, I personally think they are great. My bus commute sped up 25%, I use the bike lanes a ton, and I even feel safer driving my car on it. That’s not popular opinion though. The unfortunate reality is that not many people are currently using those bike lanes. While I see more and more people on them as time goes on, I suspect it will be a few years before there’s an appreciable volume of bike traffic on Division.

People see that the street is more complicated (humans hate change), connect that with empty bike lanes and feel personally attacked because they’re “just trying to drive to x.” The harm that cars cause to our city is a huge gap in perspective for even a lot of very progressive people. In the same way that politicians, like Rene Gonzales, espousing anti-homeless/law and order rhetoric did well in the last election, I fear that it’s only a matter of time before Portland elects a “rip out the bike lanes” mayor.

I see a huge practical benefit in making big transit and safety improvements while still taking into account how the street is currently used – which is overwhelmingly by cars.

Speaking of how the street is used – take a cruise down 82nd on the 72 some day. Or just look at Google Maps. Most properties are explicitly car-oriented development. Many businesses are fronted by large parking lots and drive-thrus. It’s lousy with car dealerships and auto shops too. These are already cause a lot of conflicts for people walking. “Protected” bike lanes would have to have frequent and large gaps to accommodate access to the properties along the street.

If I was redoing 82nd in my Cities:Skylines game I’d just delete the car-oriented stuff and replace it with mixed-use buildings that front to the sidewalk. I’m sure that will happen in real life, but it will take decades if not a generation. The city can’t just cut off access to all those business – even if the commenters on Jonathan Maus dot com think they should be able to.

Upgrading sidewalks and transit service will have a tangible and immediate benefit to the people who are already using the street outside of a car. Upgrading parallel greenways with diverters and crossings is a great solution to provide bike access and another sorely-needed North/South bike connection.

Sometimes we have to compromise projects we should build in order to get projects we can build.


Thank you DW. Read DW’s comment and the entire discussion under the original post.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero is on the board of SWTrails PDX, and was the chair of her neighborhood association's transportation committee. A proud graduate of the PBOT/PSU transportation class, she got interested in local transportation issues because of service cuts to her bus, the 51. Lisa has lived in Portland for 23 years and can be reached at lisacaballero853@gmail.com.

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SD
SD
1 year ago

“A stroad by any other name…”
We can celebrate hard work and incrementalist window dressings all we want, but it is only a participation trophy if the changes don’t achieve a sustainable transportation system, traffic speeds compatible with human life and climate adaptation to the extent that, if it was implemented nationwide, it would put a significant dent in CO2 emissions.

“Sometimes we have to compromise.”
Take a look around, Portland. Every piece of active transportation infrastructure in Portland is a compromise that does not fully deliver. If you look in PBOT’s waste bin of bike dreams, the compromises are even more striking. Most of the deathblows to projects happen in the eleventh hour before projects are built. Starting with compromise in the design phase will be the first of many acquiescences to protecting single occupancy vehicle dominance.

At the end of the day, we have to judge projects on concrete benchmarks not just on vibes. Division, not just outer Division, is still filled with speeding monster trucks, and driving it still the preferred mode of travel due to a lack of an accessible bike network. The haters are going to hate anything that they can point a finger at. Compromise to appease the haters only justifies their hate by delivering sticker-shock projects that do not result in meaningful change. Putting a bird on the current dysfunction is just putting a target on the back of active transportation. Success only comes when the project is so transformative that people can’t remember the ridiculous conditions of the past.

Being a champion for the status quo will always sound reasonable because it mimics the prevailing voice of power, however, the current status quo is inhospitable stroads, pedestrian deaths and climate arson. Participation trophies are great for people aspiring for excellence, but giving them to the people in charge undermines our true and desperately needed ability to achieve important goals.

Zach Katz
Zach Katz
1 year ago

This entire argument is based on the premise that people are “losing their minds” over the Division redo, when in reality it’s probably just a small, vocal minority. There’s no way to measure this without polling the whole neighborhood/city but that’s always the case with these kinds of projects. Most people either feel positively, neutral, or skeptical (but can be convinced with persuasive/empathetic conversation) about streetscape projects. Not “losing their minds.”

It’s also asserting that perfect (a bike lane unencumbered by driveways) should be the enemy of good.

Anyway, if Portland is serious about increasing cycling mode share, direct cycling routes are of the utmost importance: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/importance-of-direct-cycle-routes.html

(All “counterarguments” to why we shouldn’t just copy the Dutch approach are addressed here: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/all-those-myths-and-excuses-in-one-post.html)

As I commented in the original post, 82nd has more than enough room for protected bike lanes, bus lanes, AND trees, if you just remove the center turn lane.

comment image

(Sidewalks not pictured, but only because they’re not included in PBOT’s right-of-way measurement. Existing sidewalks would still remain, and could even be expanded into the property line)

Anyone not advocating for a design with bike infrastructure is not serious about making Portland a cycling city. But to be fair, in most cases it comes from a place of ignorance (not being aware of best practices when designing transportation networks that encourage cycling), rather than being anti-bike.

dw
dw
1 year ago
Reply to  Zach Katz

This entire argument is based on the premise that people are “losing their minds” over the Division redo, when in reality it’s probably just a small, vocal minority. There’s no way to measure this without polling the whole neighborhood/city but that’s always the case with these kinds of projects. Most people either feel positively, neutral, or skeptical (but can be convinced with persuasive/empathetic conversation) about streetscape projects. Not “losing their minds.”

You have a good point here – it’s impossible to really know what people think without doing an extensive survey, which would be costly and time-consuming, and may still not return a complete picture. I live and work near Division, so my barometer here is what my neighbors, coworkers, and clients are sharing about the project.

It’s also asserting that perfect (a bike lane unencumbered by driveways) should be the enemy of good.

I get that bike lanes will have driveways – but 82nd has so many conflict points that I am arguing that a protected bike lane would not be “protected” from the conflicts that actually exist. The city would blow a bunch of money to build an unsafe piece of infrastructure.

Anyway, if Portland is serious about increasing cycling mode share, direct cycling routes are of the utmost importance:

Greenways can be pretty direct if they are designed right.

Anyone not advocating for a design with bike infrastructure is not serious about making Portland a cycling city. But to be fair, in most cases it comes from a place of ignorance (not being aware of best practices when designing transportation networks that encourage cycling), rather than being anti-bike.

Yeah dude, I watch Not Just Bikes too. Nice roundabout way of calling me ignorant there. While we’re doing ad hominem attacks, aren’t you the guy that pissed off to Amsterdam after the city didn’t put bike lanes on Hawthorne? Why do you even care what happens on 82nd? How often did you/do you use 82nd? No matter how many times you post a streetmix picture or mansplain why bike lanes are good to people, the political climate is not right for a road diet on 82nd right now.

Zach Katz
Zach Katz
1 year ago
Reply to  dw

Greenways can be pretty direct if they are designed right.

To increase cycling mode share, “pretty direct” simply won’t cut it. Cycling routes need to be the most direct or else it will not attract users. A View From The Cycle Path is the most readable resource to learn about why this is true: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2015/05/the-grid-most-important-enabler-of-mass.html (Greenways are what he refers to as a “Fake grid”)

Yeah dude, I watch Not Just Bikes too. Nice roundabout way of calling me ignorant there. While we’re doing ad hominem attacks, aren’t you the guy that pissed off to Amsterdam after the city didn’t put bike lanes on Hawthorne? Why do you even care what happens on 82nd? How often did you/do you use 82nd? No matter how many times you post a streetmix picture or mansplain why bike lanes are good to people, the political climate is not right for a road diet on 82nd right now.

Sorry, I didn’t mean that as a personal attack; it’s just that a lot of activists, politicians, and even planners are uninformed about this stuff, and that frustrates me. For example, I met someone who works for the bike division of NYCDOT the other day (and was previously a safe streets activist!) who had never heard of a protected intersection. Like, come on.

Yes, I moved to Amsterdam after living in Portland. I care about 82nd Ave because I care about making the world a better place by making cities safer and more enjoyable, and Portland is still a very special place in my heart. I think East Portland has a lot of potential to be more walkable and bikeable, and I’d hate to see an amazing opportunity squandered.

I also hope that maybe, just maybe, one person at PBOT, or maybe even Mingus Mapps, will be reading these comments and might be interested to learn just a little bit more about Dutch planning practices, because their success holds SO many lessons for us.

Let's Active
Let's Active
1 year ago
Reply to  Zach Katz

dw, good points. I appreciate your perspective acknowledging all the competing uses of the 82nd Ave corridor. I’ve worked out there for a long time and it’s going to take some compromise to get good improvements done. I’m guessing Zach’s know-it-all approach is going to end in failure for him.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago
Reply to  dw

I get that bike lanes will have driveways – but 82nd has so many conflict points that I am arguing that a protected bike lane would not be “protected” from the conflicts that actually exist.

82nd is the closest arterial to me and I can confirm that the driveways and side streets create a ton of conflict. It’s definitely worse than Division or even 122nd. During rush hour people aren’t looking for you at all so when walking or riding on the sidewalk it’s all on you to make sure people aren’t going to drive into you.

I think you’re right that it will take years before enough of the properties have been rebuilt to make it reasonable to bike on it. A protected bike lane now would be worse than the one on Halsey which is pretty much unridable at night.

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago
Reply to  Zach Katz

The urban utopia cross section graphic fails to represent the reality of the corridor. Unless the plans include demolishing the existing buildings and replacing them with street frontage mixed use buildings, the graphic should move the buildings 200 feet from the curb line and infill that space with parked cars.

EP
EP
1 year ago
Reply to  Granpa

Problem solved: We just need to build new apartment buildings that go over the parking lots. That way we can still have used auto lots, and housing!

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago
Reply to  EP

Excellent idea. When the gold bugs hatch we can get the Keebler elves to show up on their working unicorns to harvest the gold and build the apartments. Problem solved.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago

First, DW makes some good points. I’m all for wider sidewalks on 82nd. Personally I think PBOT should focus on building out a completely connected bike network in the close-in neighborhoods BEFORE building out the east side.

However, since motorists currently have 5 lanes on 82 and cyclists have zero, I am not sure what we are supposed to compromise on, we have literally zero they have everything.

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Great point JC. Yes, compromising is key in building projects. And this sort of opinion DW proposes is very popular among safe streets advocates and politicians alike, because we want to get something, anything, done. Incremental progress is progress right? Except, is it? Since 2014 the census shows a decline in bike mode share. Traffic deaths have trended upward since around then and we are betting on near record road deaths again this year. So, whatever PBOT and the city is doing, it’s not been effective in both mode share and deaths/injuries.

Projects like these get publicity. Most people drive and don’t care about safety until someone they know gets killed/hurt, so to appease these people (and keep their jobs) PBOT makes something that has elements of safety, but does not really have any lasting effect.

I hear DW say things like,

“The unfortunate reality is that not many people are currently using those bike lanes.”

Why? Why are these sections of infrastructure not well used? The answer is it’s not connected to a separated network. JC you’re spot on when you say we need a separated network close in. PBOT can do that with temporary barriers in a week if they cared. I also think East Portland needs a separated network which includes 122nd (Little bias since that’s where I’m from), as well as 82nd and points in between.

But the problem is: PBOT has no plan for a separated network, they have no plan to measure the effectiveness of their projects on ridership, and they have no plan to implement interim projects to tweak currently planned capital projects (and increase buy-in with locals). In essence we are screwed. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to get a safe and separated design on 82nd. But I am saying we have virtually nobody in the city council or PBOT who will fight for it.

We can leverage this request for funding. Personally, I don’t want PBOT to have more money until the above plans exist. At present PBOT throws a handful of darts at the map which has a negligible effect. When Mapps asks for more money I say show me the plan.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

Why are these sections of infrastructure not well used? The answer is it’s not connected to a separated network

That’s one possible answer, but it begs the question why more people were using that same non-separated network infrastructure 5 years ago, and yet more 10 years ago. We had one of the highest ridership rates in the country without such a network, and the ridership decline started long before the covid-era deterioration of driving we’ve all observed, and throughout that decline, our network was consistently improving.

There is no evidence that a lack of a separated network is the fundamental problem, and no evidence that building one would turn things around. Furthermore, as you point out, PBOT is not going to build such a network. We have neither the resources nor the political will to do so. It has never been a goal. Not under Novick, not under Eudaly, not under Hardesty, and not under Mapps. I’ve never heard a single person on City Council, past or present, even mention this pipe dream.

But we keep talking about it, keeping the candle burning.

I know you want a fully separated bike network throughout the inner city. I do too. It would be awesome. Does that mean we’re screwed? I don’t think so. I think Portland is a pretty good place to ride, and I think it is getting better. We aren’t getting a separated network, but we can make lots of other improvements. Let’s focus on the possible, and who knows… in another decade, when the pendulum has swung again, maybe ridership will start to approach something we can call platinum again.

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Find me an example of a city that consistently focuses their efforts on building a separated network, and has had a decrease in ridership.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

a decrease in ridership

I’ve never seen a goal post move so fast!

There are plenty of cities that have added hundreds of miles of so-called “protected” infrastructure and still have cycling mode share in the low single digits. Perhaps high cycling mode share has more to do with overall transportation policy and political-cultural shifts than the tiresome, puerile, and deeply un-serious belief that infrastructure will cause mode shift in and of itself.

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Great! What are those cities?

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

London has added hundreds of miles of “protected” cycleways over the past two decades and mode share has crept up from ~1.5% to 2% in greater london and is a meager 3% in central london.

comment image

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

Excellent example. London has more than doubled its bike mode share in the last decade!

London Assembly Site
“In addition, recent research shows that bikes now make up around 16 per cent of traffic in Central London, rising to around a quarter during peak hours.”

CSM
“London more than doubled its protected bike lanes when the virus bore in, bringing the total to 260 km (160 miles) in a year. This is after tripling their length in the decade before.”

Forbes
However, cyclist numbers are at 102% of pre-pandemic levels. The number of motorists has fallen by 64% since 1999, while the number of cyclists has increased by 386%.”

More examples please.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

“16% percent of traffic” is a garbage measurement that is in no way equivalent to mode share.

An actual measure of mode share (as commonly understood) from TfL:

comment image

https://content.tfl.gov.uk/travel-in-london-report-15.pdf

Yeah…doubled it’s mode share to ~2%.
Climate crisis solved!

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

We agree! That’s a great example of growth in mode share. Thanks for the report and the graph, although it’s a bit old. Very helpful. Just under the graph you shared:

“Trips on private transport modes were much closer to pre-pandemic levels than trips on public transport. In 2021, car driver trips were 7.4 per cent lower than in 2019, whereas bus and London Underground trips were 37.5 per cent and 52.4 per cent lower respectively. In contrast, cycle trips remained higher than before the pandemic, on average 23.3 per cent higher than in 2019.”

Here’s a more recent report from March 2023 by the Planning and Transportation Committee if you’re interested in reading more. Table 1 shows a good breakdown of pre and post pandemic changes in all modes. With the exception of cycles [increase of 35%], all other modes are below pre-pandemic levels.

Let’s move on. I’ve been looking for years and I know it’s out there. Please help me find a city that has made a concerted effort in building a separated bike network and has a decline in mode share.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

Still moving the goal post, I see. I think it’s also darkly comical that you are celebrating 2% mode share many decades after London began building out its Dutch-inspired protected cyclepath network. And to be blunt, the level of investment in cycling in London is unimaginable here in hyper-libertarian faux-progressive Portland.

Building a world-class protected bike network does not guarantee world-class levels of bike mode share.

One of the reasons I’m disinterested in local cycling advocacy is that it is, IMO, utterly devoid of the radical politics necessary for transformation of our transportation system into one that is sustainable and human-oriented. Even organizations like BikeLoudPDX are laser-focused on rearranging deck chairs while the world burns and our neighbors are slaughtered on our blood-soaked streets.

Zach
Zach
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

There’s more nuance to What Works than “just” a protected bike lane network.

The Dutch found that the only thing that really works is building a “maximum grid:” http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2015/05/the-grid-most-important-enabler-of-mass.html

But London, as you can see from their cycle map, only has what’s referred to as a “minimum grid:” https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/cycle?intcmp=40402&intcmp=58492&intcmp=60683

I’m not weighing in on whether Portland has the wherewithal to build a truly “maximum grid,” but there is a proven method (the world’s only proven method, in fact!) to increasing mode share. It took the NL 30+ years, but they did it! It can be done!

Skeptics will be quick to jump in with a reason why it can only worked in the Netherlands. Fortunately, those have all been thoroughly debunked:
http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/02/all-those-myths-and-excuses-in-one-post.html

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Zach

Skeptics will be quick to jump in with a reason why it can only worked in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam had a 40% cycling mode share well before the world class cyclepath network was built. Don’t build it and they have already come.

comment image

The modest increase in cycling in the Netherlands and Denmark from 1990 to the tens has more to do with a policy of making it impossible/difficult to drive than completion of a cyclepath network (many Dutch cycling routes are still crappy “paint” bike lanes or “hidden” bike streets). Infrastructure has certainly contributed to the modest increase in Dutch cycling mode share (e.g. 40% to 50% in AMS) but it’s not the one solution to all the problems associated with the dominance bloody car/suv.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

Find me an example of a city… 

How sure are you that the rise and fall of cycling in different cities is connected? Portland’s rate of cycling was very high when no one else had much at all. Now our rate is falling while it is going up in (some) other places. I’m sure you can find correlations that fit your hypothesis. Whether they should be deemed more significant than our very own negative correlation is unclear and unsupported.

But, regardless, we seem to agree that Portland is not going to build such a network, so we don’t need to agree on the theoretical question about what such a network would do; Instead we can look for implementable ways to make the lives of Portland’s riders better.

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Oh I am hopeful Portland will continue to build its network. Broadway/Weidler, for example, had a Better Block, was going to happen, but got postponed. It’s just a matter of pace.

Portland has a very basic separated network downtown (and the Springwater/Willammette greenway), so as soon as someone in the city realizes it’s both cheap (eg those ugly plastic jersey barriers, planters will do the trick in the interim) and effective, it’s just a matter of when. I think BikeLoud is starting to understand this as well, but they just don’t have the money. NYC has TA, which has money and council members who regularly fight for a separated network. It’s really just the mayor who is against most bike infra. But it’s generally accepted in NYC as a given if we want to increase mode share, not something debatable like in Portland. That’s generally why NYC has had a steady increase.

I read research on what increases mode share. I travel a lot and find out what different cities are trying to do to increase mode share. I’ve been trying to find cities that are building a separated network and have failed to increase mode share. Help me find one. Get me an example so I can look at this issue more closely.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

NYC has TA, which has money and council members who regularly fight for a separated network.

1.5% census mode share, FTW!

Traffic violence crisis almost solved!

Climate crisis almost solved!

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

“The authors found a a strong correlation between improved bike infrastructure and increases in cycling.”

Why hasn’t that held true in Portland?

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago

Hey Lisa. I think I remember seeing that back in ’21 but I admit I’ve only read it just now. Interesting but admittedly difficult read. Thanks for sharing (and thanks for your work on bikeportland!). I remember running into pop-up bike lanes in Berlin in the middle of the night and being both relieved (that they were there) and confused (having not recognized the street because of them). It’s refreshing to see some of those cities have capitalized on space various DOTs acquired during the pandemic with just cones and whatever they could throw together. Let’s remember, Portland can easily do the same.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago

First of all, this study examined a small number of European cities during the pandemic. Secondly, it is well known that cycling increased in European cities during the pandemic while cycling cratered in American cities. The reasons for this are not at all clear but may result from sociocultural shifts and governmental incentives that are specific to European cities.

And take a look at their core methodology:

We capture average human mobility throughout the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic starting in March with a human mobility index based on Facebook data (8).

Garbage in and garbage out.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago

Do we actually know these projects are unpopular, or are we confusing public opinion with the most vocal anti-transit and anti-bike activists, including irate business owners (who nearly all drive)?

Douglas K.
Douglas K.
1 year ago

Upgrading parallel greenways with diverters and crossings is a great solution to provide bike access and another sorely-needed North/South bike connection.

I’m very much in favor of parallel bikeways on 79th/80th and 84th/85th, as long as that results in wider sidewalks on 82nd.

But is PBOT willing to put the $$$ into it to make them work, including building viaducts over the Banfield and acquiring easements over selected parcels of land?

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas K.

The problem with those parallel paths is that a cyclist is going to spend a huge amount of time waiting to cross Division, Powell, Holgate and the like – dramatically slowing them down compared to 82nd.

A buffered lane down 82nd will allow them to take advantage of the priority 82nd gets at those intersections.

Steve C
Steve C
1 year ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Exactly, and this also goes for the major crossings to the north: Washington, Stark, Burnside, Glisan and Halsey. The 70s/80s bikeway alternative wiggles west to cross 84 at the 74th bridge, then further west away from 82nd through the golf course.

Then we have these lazy, repurposed “safe” crossings they’re electing to re-use: https://montavilla.net/2021/04/27/crossing-beacon-destroyed-again/ They gave up with the center island mounted flashing beacon after it was destroyed for the second time by drivers crashing into it. And this basically the best we can hope for as safe ped and bikeway crossings. God forbid they throw some protective bollards in there. The island, as built, is security theater.

EP
EP
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve C

It’s ridiculous that the only upgrades to that island are paint stripes and some new buttons for cyclists to push. I’ve thought about getting some huge boulder and painting it yellow and dropping it in the road there. Glisan needs more concrete islands to slow people down, not less.

Bill
Bill
1 year ago

PBOT’s default treatment for bike lanes on roads like this should just be to widen the sidewalk so that it can fit bike lanes on the sidewalk itself.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

Numtots/urbanists hate cycletracks because they VIOLATE Dutch world class bike lane standards (CROW) and are not “protected” (whatever this means). Cycling activism these days is akin to a circular firing squad.

eawriste
eawriste
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Huh? Cycle tracks are separated. “Protected” means separated from cars. Bogata doesn’t use “Dutch standards”, but has been just as effective at separating modes and increasing mode share. Bill’s kind of right. If PBOT widen’s the sidewalks, most people on bikes are going to use them.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

Given how many driveways you have to cross and how big they are, if people habitually ride on the sidewalk, especially at any sort of speed, especially if they are travelling in the opposite direction from vehicle traffic, people are going to get killed.

Blame whomever you want, those riders are still going to be dead. And that’s pretty terrible to contemplate.

It’s an awful solution.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  eawriste

LoL!

Numtots/urbanists hate low-curbed cycle tracks (e.g. denmarks 2-3 inch curbs) almost as much as 1970s era 4 foot painted bike lanes.

This hate of effective and cheap infrastructure (e.g. buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks, protected with inexpensive flex-posts etc.) that could be used to create an actual network is a perfect example of how urbanists/numtots are more fixated on their social media belief system than on effecting positive change.

PacificSource
PacificSource
1 year ago

yes! as a fellow 82nd-er, I agree with everything DW said! kuddos to common sense.
Also, I am “losing my mind” on the division upgrades that on 82nd and division very few car drivers abides by the “no turn on red” signs, someone is going to get killed. I saw it almost happen twice in one light cycle just a few weeks ago while I was waiting for the bus

David Hampsten
1 year ago

My understanding of the 82nd Ave project is to make crossing the street by pedestrians safe along the whole corridor after several pedestrian deaths and injuries. As long as any part of it has two or more wide lanes in each direction, be they car or bus lanes, the stroad will not be safe to cross by any able-bodied pedestrian, let alone by children and the elderly.

And so I disagree – after so many deaths and terrible injuries, eventually you have to bite the bullet and eliminate traffic lanes and force the “speedway” stroad onto a road diet, impose a diabetic lifestyle change for 82nd, without compromise, as they are already doing on another nearby ODOT orphan highway, outer Powell. Cut the carbs, salt, slack, and get more exercise. If you are paying for moving the curbs (and thus the sewers, water lines, utilities, and so on) anyway, why not widen the sidewalks to 20 feet like they are downtown and make walking not only safe but fun too? Force car traffic to use the nearby parallel 98th Avenue (otherwise known locally as I-205), which was designed for heavy congested traffic. Instead of being the dividing line between neighborhoods, remake 82nd as a main street, a fun and pleasant connection that joins neighborhoods, with far less pollution and far greater land and property tax value.

Zach Katz
Zach Katz
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I actually really dig this idea!

twopointeight percent
twopointeight percent
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

The “business” stakeholders represented by APANO/Jade District want to preserve SUV access so power mapping tells me that your dream of pedestrianization is a pipe dream.

David Hampsten
1 year ago

To be honest, I’ve always assumed that any land owner would want to maximize their land value, be they Kroger’s (owner of Fred Meyer) or any of the APANO business owners. In Portland, 5-lane arterial stroads are pretty much associated with urban blight, poverty, low land values, and sprawl – just look at outer Division, Glisan, 122nd, and so on. Even 5+-lane Naito downtown has much lower land values next to Tom McCall Waterfront Park than the easy-to-cross one-way streets just a few blocks inland. By “upgrading” 82nd to a 3-lane pedestrianized main street, quite likely the area will go through a massive rebuilding, with highly dense apartments, transit, and storefront-commercial. Area businesses will still have access to 5-lane arterial stroads such as inner Powell, Division, Washington/Stark, and so on, so continuing to have 82nd as 5-lane is redundant and unnecessary.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

David, I upvoted your proposal (it’s interesting and seems to check a lot of boxes), and also the post calling it a pipe dream (because, well, it is).

I think it’s actually a great idea, and I would totally support if if the community signed on (even though it would totally gentrify the area and push many current residents out, which is why they never will).

In your reply you describe other 5+ lane streets for people to drive on, and listed only E-W routes. The thing that makes 82nd so attractive is that it is a high-capacity commercial corridor that runs N-S. It’s not that people “need a place to drive”, it’s that they need routes that go where they want to go. Which is exactly what 82nd (apparently) does.

I think there is no chance of your proposal getting out of the gate, but I hope enough people advocate for it and prove me wrong.

David Hampsten
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

As I pointed out, there already is a nearby parallel street that runs north-south, but with even more lanes – I-205 – which is less than a mile away, which in the car world is very similar to those highway engineers who talk about a bikeway that is a block or two away as being “nearby”. It has intersections (interchanges) every mile or so.

But yeah, I get the pipe-dream analogy. I’ve found you can’t really advocate very well or consistently if you aren’t already chronically naive – otherwise you’d go nuts with all your failures – and I have had my share of failures that never took off, but I’ve also got over $400 million is successes I’ve helped get funded in Portland with other community partners, so I’m not complaining.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

There is a reason people are on 82nd and not I-205. But regardless, the existence of 205 is what makes your proposal so interesting.

EP
EP
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

It is amazing how many people use 82nd as a 205-alternative. I try to take 205 over 82nd when driving longer N-S distances, but when I get lazy and just drive 82nd, I’m usually in the same group of cars for most of the distance.

Make it less convenient to drive on 82nd, and a lot of drivers will go over to 205.

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago

“Rene Gonzales, espousing anti-homeless/law and order rhetoric did well in the last election…”

Oh please. Hyperbole and falsehoods like this is why bike activists aren’t doing very well recently in Portland, the city of declining livability. And you’re holding up this comment as one that is going to bring people together. Don’t think so.

Dwk
Dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Randi J

MAGA people can always have the choice to not read and comment on every article. Rene Gonzales would not dispute this characterization, why do you?

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago
Reply to  Dwk

Who’s MAGA? Certainly not Gonzalez nor me. Let’s stop the attempts at personal insults and stick to discussing a topic.

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago

DW has it right. 82nd may have sufficient ROW width to fit bike lanes, but infrastructure will not change the minds of those committed to maintaining the status quo. Organized opposition can be expected from corridor business who are extremely car-centric. They will lobby to protect their many Bike-hazard driveways. And passionate car loving true believers (looking at you Philben) will crawl out of the woodwork to participate in their existential battle with zealous commitment.
Improve 82nd for pedestrians and shade trees and clean up the I-205 bike lane. It is typical for bike Portland readers to want bike lanes everywhere but 82nd St is not a battle that bike advocates will win

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Granpa

Or, someone with political will forces through the road diet, pedestrian/cyclist friendly changes while we have *money* to do stuff instead of relying on a mythical fantasy of a 2nd redesign sometime down the line.

And, 5 years later when all those businesses are doing better because the street attracts more people to it they’ll pretend they never opposed it.

People are like cats that way “What, I didn’t just do something stupid and foolish – never happened”.

Which is more likely:

People walking down a wide sidewalk past Pho Van pausing and saying “Hey, how about Vietnamese today?”

People driving past at 40-50mph in the middle of a stroad trying desperately to get to someplace else saying “Hey, Pho Van! Let’s have Vietnamese today!”

The history of these types of projects suggests the former.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Trike Guy

Or, someone with political will forces through the road diet, pedestrian/cyclist friendly changes…

That’s not our political system works. We get the politicians we deserve (as long as they are also approved by our corporate overlords).

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Occasionally I disappear briefly into a fantasy world.

One in which a cop is magically there when the jerk on 117th decided to just cruise on through the crosswalk with me halfway across.

Where, wonders never cease, said cop actually cares enough to pull him over and ticket him.

One where my trike has anti-armor rockets and, not only can I blow said jerk away but the cops say “eh, he deserved it. No worries, not even a citation for you.”

Then my alarm goes off and I rejoin the real world full of a particularly vile species of locust that destroys the world around it while also deliberately destroying the happiness of others of their kind because they’re oh so slightly different.

Thano’s mistake was that he simply didn’t think big enough.