Opinion: Willamette’s new bike lanes are already outdated

Posted on December 8th, 2017 at 11:08 am.

Despite the fact that Portland has fallen way off the pace when it comes to building physically protected bike lanes, we continue to build “new” bikeways with nothing more than paint and hope.

That’s why I’m so ambivalent about the new striping on North Willamette Blvd.
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Fate of traffic calming on Lincoln-Harrison hangs in balance at open house tonight

Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 11:03 am.

This is what PBOT wants to install on both sides of SE Lincoln at 50th.

I’m sensing a disturbance in the Force. Various respected sources and a general feeling of uneasiness in my bones tells me that tonight’s open house for the City of Portland’s Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement project will be very consequential.

In other words, there’s auto traffic diversion on the table — specifically a duo of semi-diverters on Lincoln on both sides of 50th — and a lot of very loud and very angry people are opposed to them. Yes, there are lots of people who support the diverters at 50th, but from what I’ve heard the nos have it.

As we reported last month, the Mt Tabor Neighborhood Association voted 45-5 against the diverters at 50th. And that opposition has continued. Yesterday someone went door-to-door and passed out this flyer:
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Initial impressions of new bikeway striping on N Willamette Blvd

Posted on November 29th, 2017 at 1:54 pm.

New striping on N Willamette Blvd-52.jpg

Almost complete. The faint lines are where the remaining outside buffer stripes will go.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is nearly done with their Willamette Blvd restriping project. This is the street where neighborhood residents seized an opportunity to improve the bikeway, galvanized tons of support, and got PBOT commissioner Dan Saltzman to back them up.
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Open house tonight for SW Capitol Hwy project

Posted on November 29th, 2017 at 10:28 am.

(Drawings: PBOT)

The City’s SW Capitol Highway Project — which will build a new bikeway between Multnomah Village and Taylors Ferry Road (Barbur Blvd) is finally getting underway and there’s an open house tonight (11/29).

This is the project the community rallied to help save from a veto threat from Governor Kate Brown back in August. Brown planned to axe $2 million from the project’s estimated price tag of $10-15 million. The project is being done jointly with the Bureau of Environmental Services due to stormwater management upgrades that are also needed.

At tonight’s open house PBOT staff will give a short presentation at 6:30 pm and will be available to answer your questions.

PBOT is showing two different cross-sections that will be used in the 1.1 mile stretch of road. One is above in the lead photo and here’s the other one:

And here are the major project elements (taken from PBOT’s website):

PBOT estimates completion of this project by Fall 2019.

The southern terminus of this project is Taylors Ferry Road, but advocates and planners want it to connect all the way to existing bike lanes on Barbur Blvd. To do this, the project must navigate through a tricky series of large intersections partially controlled by the Oregon Department of Transportation and known as the “Crossroads”. PBOT is using that $2 million in state funding (from House Bill 5006) to separate out the Crossroads portion of the project, “in order to get continuous sidewalks and bike lanes to Barbur Blvd.” Construction of this portion of the project isn’t expected to begin until 2020 “at the earliest” (coordination with the proposed SW Corridor light rail project is likely one culprit for the delay).

Get all the details of tonight’s open house and learn more about the project at PBOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Bigwigs hear community concerns about notorious North Columbia-Midway intersection

Posted on November 28th, 2017 at 10:53 am.

N Columbia Blvd Town Hall -13.jpg

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (left) listens to a constituent who has lived north of Columbia for over 40 years.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

For decades, people who live in a part of St. Johns north of Columbia Boulevard and west of Portland Road have hoped and prayed for street safety improvements. Cut off from nearby schools, markets and restaurants by an urban freeway where people drive large trucks and cars way too fast, residents of this part of our city have been ignored for a long time.

Now, thanks to a $1.5 million set-aside in the recently passed House Bill 2017, changes are finally coming.

Last night at Roosevelt High School the Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (who represents this area of north Portland) hosted an event to gather input about how to improve safety at the notorious intersection of Columbia and Midway.

“Now we have some money, so let’s make the best use of it.”
— Tina Kotek, state representative

“None of us who live in north Portland need to be reminded we have a lot of accidents out here,” Speaker Kotek said during her brief remarks, “And now we have some money, so let’s make the best use of it.”

Also speaking last night was a sixth grader from nearby George Middle School. “I’m worried my friends will get hurt because of fast trucks,” she said. And a leader of the PTA at Roosevelt High who lives north of Columbia referred to it as, “A neighborhood that’s completely isolated, like a little island.”
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PBOT eyes “transformative” projects with influx of new funding

Posted on November 21st, 2017 at 1:20 pm.

Map detail of PBOT’s $79.5 million transportation project investment strategy.

For the first time in decades, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has money to spend. Real money.
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Oregon House Speaker will host meeting to plan new crossing of Columbia Blvd in St. Johns

Posted on November 17th, 2017 at 10:32 am.

KPTV coverage from August 2016.

It’s been about 15 months since high school freshman Bradley Fortner was nearly killed while trying to walk across North Columbia Blvd on his way to his first day of school. He was hit by a pickup truck driver and spent a week in the ICU with swelling in his brain.

Fortner lives in a part of north Portland that is effectively walled off from George Middle School and Roosevelt High because of how dangerously people drive on Columbia Blvd. Prior to the collision, his family and neighbors said the road was so wide and so full of trucks and speeding drivers that they knew a tragedy like that was “inevitable”.

There’s a pedestrian overpass at this location, but it’s so unkempt and out of the way that most people opt not to use it.
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Mt. Tabor neighborhood votes 45-5 against diverters at 50th and Lincoln

Posted on November 16th, 2017 at 4:26 pm.

Pretty clear where the Tabor Rising neighborhood group stands on the issue.

Remember that opposition to the City’s plans for traffic diversion as part of the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway project we we warned you about earlier this month? It hasn’t gone away. In fact, it appears to be getting stronger.

At the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s open house for the project just one day after our post was published, we heard that people against the diverters “swamped” people who support them. “By a lot,” our source said.

Then, at their monthly meeting last night, the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA) voted 45-5 against one specific part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s proposal: a semi-diverter on both sides of Lincoln at SE 50th. According to a BikePortland reader who was at the meeting, the vote was a motion to oppose the proposed diverter at 50th and Lincoln as currently designed and to request more information and a meeting with PBOT to ask questions and share concerns.
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Hoping to improve safety, PBOT will move Vancouver bikeway to left side

Posted on November 15th, 2017 at 2:21 pm.

Detail of PBOT’s plans for transitioning bicycle users from right to left on Vancouver at Killingsworth.

After presenting a slew of options for improving safety and traffic flow on North Vancouver at Cook back in June, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has settled on an option they like.
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With offer of access through new Rothko Pavillion, museum asks for bike committee’s support

Posted on November 15th, 2017 at 11:28 am.

This drawing of the proposed Rothko Pavillion as seen from Park Blocks is not new. The “Connections” branding is.

Nearly eight months after their initial request to change a public easement to make room for the new Rothko Pavillion was strongly rebuffed, the Portland Art Museum is trying again.
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