Jonathan wrote an article a few months ago on changes to the TSDC calculation methodology here. The city is now holding virtual open houses to get feedback on the proposed projects. Personally I think we should prioritize sidewalks and infrastructure in parts of the city that don’t have any, but you may have a different opinion. Let it be known by filling out this online comment form.
Carrie Post Archive
Due to the efforts of the Transportation Committee of the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (aka the Sellwood neighborhood board), there are now Bike/Ped crossing advisory signs on SE 13th (headed northbound before it curves to the East and turns into Bybee) as well as new bollards placed in between the car lane and the bike lane on SE 14th north of Bybee. SE 14th at this location is a one way street (southbound), but for a low volume street has seen a lot of wrong-way drivers turning onto it and using the bike lane. This street is very high volume for pedestrians and cyclists, as it is the feeder street to Llewellyn Elementary School further North.
The Transportation Committee had been advocating for a crosswalk/signal at this intersection, but PBOT does not have the funds and motivation for a project there at this time (aside: the committee is looking into fundraising options to fund the project ourselves). That said I am personally really quite pleased that the two improvements were made within only a few months of the request and subsequent PBOT analysis.
Sorry no picture — I noticed the improvements on my morning run and it was dark and I didn’t have a picture taking device on me.
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Vision Zero, the enforcement angle, and the difference in the way we treat traffic scofflaws.
I agree with the data that show that speeding and other ‘minor’ infractions are the leading causes of injuries and deaths to road users. And I am not happy that enforcement of existing laws (rules) regarding speed limits, general traffic control devices (stop signs and turn prohibitions and crosswalks at every intersection) and existing infrastructure to keep all users safe is not a high priority.
A decade ago I was traveling from Honolulu, HI to Washington, DC at least once a quarter. My work was technical in nature and frequently involved convincing other engineers and members of the Defense Department that our projects were superior to the hundreds of others they were being pitched. It was exciting, somewhat glamorous, and incredibly stressful. As part of this travel I possessed my “professional wardrobe”, anchored by my kick-ass power boots. In the past 5 years, as part of my transition to a new city, a new work environment, and a new lifestyle, I have slowly shed parts of that wardrobe. But the power boots have remained, and it’s time to dust them off.
I am headed back to DC as an attendee at the National Bike Summit. While there, I will be representing the Portland Society, speaking for the child and family rider as a member of the Islabikes, Inc. team, and filling my own interests at the intersection of policy and implementation. The Summit provides an opportunity to learn of and contribute to innovative advocacy ideas and trends from around the country and to participate in an organized Lobby Day to bring the message about the benefits of bicycling to our elected officials on Capitol Hill.
What is my message? Kids (and families) ride around their neighborhoods: to school, to meet their friends, to the park, to the corner store to buy candy (or, just maybe, milk). By riding around, they humanize the act of cycling as they get to know their neighbors, young and old. But they need to be able to ride on the street without risk of injury or death. I plan to be the voice of “why” — why kids ride their bikes and why they need to be out there more frequently. In my neighborhood, over fifty percent of the kids get to school via cycling, rolling, or walking, but perceived or real concerns about infrastructure and neighborhood safety significantly increases the number of kids being driven to school, isolating them from becoming true members of the community that they spend so much time in.
I also want to discuss with others the amazing things that groups of women can accomplish for their communities, riding bikes. According to PBOT’s 2013-2014 bike count survey, 32% of the counted riders were female, while nationally women account for only 24% of bicycle trip riders (National Bicycle League). How can our local experiences help raise participation levels nationally, and how can successes in other locales be translated to raise Portland’s bikeshare to reflect the population demographics?
Getting things done involves meeting people halfway in ideology and in dress. And that means I’m putting on the power boots, finding that business wear stashed in my closet, and heading off to DC to make my community, and yours, a better place to live.
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The Tilikum Crossing is not a normal route for me, though I do ride through the 11th/12th/Gideon area daily. However yesterday I rode from inner SE across the Tilikum and then back again to attend a meeting at PSU. One the West side of the bridge, I nearly hit two pedestrians, once on the way there and once on the way back.
The first person was walking in the sidewalk next to the Moody cycle track and then turned to cross the cycle track (and eventually Moody). This person was intently staring at their smartphone and had earphones in both ears and did not look up as he started walking into the cycle track. Despite my repeated verbal warnings that I was approaching, he did not look up until I was swerving around him (and then he did promptly apologize and realize what he had done).
Almost three years ago I moved to Portland from Honolulu, HI. For a place with great riding weather year round, the best bike infrastructure on the island was the equivalent of the bike lanes on SE 26th Ave. The amazing thing to me about Portland is what happens when you treat non-vehicular methods as equal modes of transportation. Suddenly there is space to ride and infrastructure that doesn’t treat you as a 2nd class user of the roadway. And there are so many more people, of all ages, not driving (or being driven around) in cars. Community is back because we’re actually interacting with people, not machines.
But where are the planners and visionaries who put that infrastructure in place now? Those who thought of green bike lanes and removing parking and signals just for cyclists and walkers and having direct routes to major commercial areas, not roundabout “don’t get in the car” ways of getting to-and-fro. As I ride and run and walk around the city now all I notice are the new barriers being put in my way, not the green carpet.