Public strongly favors greenway route on NE 7th, PBOT report finds

Posted on April 25th, 2018 at 1:10 pm.

PBOT concept drawing of potential design for a neighborhood greenway on NE 7th.

It now appears even more likely that the Portland Bureau of Transportation will develop a new neighborhood greenway route on NE 7th between I-84 and the Woodlawn neighborhood.
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Springwater, Esplanade among popular paths that face hurdles in Parks Bureau budget

Posted on April 18th, 2018 at 8:58 am.

The mighty Eastbank Esplanade is showing its age and needs a maintenance funding boost.
(Photo: J. Maus)

The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau is bracing for budget cuts that could have a significant impact to marquee paths citywide.

The City Budget Office has recommended a reduction of $2.1 million from the Parks budget. “This level of cuts,” the Bureau said in a blog post last month, “will significantly impact our programs.”

There are two line items in the budget advocates are focusing on: One of them would slash funding for path maintenance; the other would offer a much-needed boost for the beloved Eastbank Esplanade.
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Consultants to ODOT in 2014: Widen the bike lanes on SE 26th at Powell

Posted on April 17th, 2018 at 1:40 pm.

Cover of 2014 report.
download PDF

The Oregon Department of Transportation is so convinced that the bike lanes on Southeast 26th Avenue are dangerous for bicycle riders that they’ve ordered the City of Portland to remove them as soon as possible.

Inexplicably, and despite evidence showing the bike lanes (even at a paltry three-feet wide) make the street safer, ODOT has cited no evidence or best practice standards for their decision. The only rationale offered so far is a concern that the intersection of 26th and Powell is too dangerous for bike riders and a new crossing two blocks east is much safer.

Everyone agrees the new signal and median at SE 28th (part of the new 20s Bikeway) is indeed much safer. But it’s up a hill and two blocks away. And since when is a safer crossing on one street, reason for the removal of bike infrastructure from another?

“ODOT’s reasons are a mystery to us,” a Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer told me recently.

Now there’s a new (to us) piece to the puzzle: A “road safety audit” report prepared for ODOT by Kittelson & Associates, Inc. in 2014. The audit (PDF) focused specifically on Powell between 20th and 33rd Avenue — a section with a crash rate over twice as high as the statewide average for similar roads. The stated purpose of the audit was to, “identify potential issues contributing to crashes and suggest treatments for addressing those issues.”
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The beautiful new bike parking at Roosevelt High School in north Portland

Posted on April 13th, 2018 at 3:33 pm.

Purdy isn’t it?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Few things warm my heart as much as bike parking done right.
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The Little Things: Bulky storm drain filter bags that obstruct bike lanes

Posted on April 13th, 2018 at 9:48 am.

These bags might have good intentions, but they are bad for bicycling.
(Photos courtesy readers Steve and Ben)

The Little Things is a place where we share (relatively) small problems — and little miracles — about biking in Portland. Is there a little thing that makes your ride uncomfortable, annoying, inspiring, or exhilirating? Tell us about it and we’ll consider it for a future column.

“He slammed into one of these, fell to the ground, and tore open a nasty gash in his elbow that required a number of stitches at the ER.”
— Steve N.

We have a precious small amount of high-quality, smooth, clean and dedicated space for cycling. That’s why when people willfully encroach and degrade that space, we feel the need to raise an alarm about it.

Case in point are these bags we often see placed around storm drains. The drains themselves are often hazards for bicycle riders: They have grooves that can catch tires and they’re often set below-grade — meaning your bike drops down when you go over them. Most people avoid riding over storm drains, even though they often take up a foot or two of what’s already a relatively narrow space for cycling.

Add these bulky bags — which are often called bio-bags — and you’ve got real hazard.[Read more…]

Invoking “emergency” law, Commissioner Saltzman will propose a lower speed limit on SE Stark

Posted on April 6th, 2018 at 9:54 am.

Stark just west of 162nd.

Almost exactly a year after Portland City Council unanimously supported an emergency speed limit reduction on outer Southeast Division street, they are now poised to take the same extraordinary measure on outer Stark.

Shaina Hobbs, a policy director for City Commissioner Dan Saltzman confirmed with us this morning that an emergency ordinance (view it below) will be proposed at City Council on April 11th. The ordinance would lower the speed limit on Southeast Stark from 35 mph to 30 mph for a period of 120 days. “Commissioner Saltzman has pushed for this ordinance to come to Council on an accelerated timeline,” Hobbs shared via email this morning.

The ordinance stipulates that the new speed limit would apply to the section of Stark from SE 109th to 162nd and would be effective as soon as new signs are installed.
[Read more…]

Tell Multnomah County how to make their roads better for biking

Posted on April 5th, 2018 at 3:52 pm.

The County’s section of NW Cornell Road just above downtown Portland is a main vein in the bike network and it should have the shoulders and signage to reflect that.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Everyone’s buzzing about the opportunity to tell Multnomah County what to include in their 20-year Roads Capital Improvement Plan (RCIP). OK, maybe it’s just all the activists in my feeds and inbox. Either way, they know a good thing when they see it.

The County is a sleeper agency. Even though they manage only about 1/8th the road mileage of the City of Portland, the County’s roads happen to be some very important bike routes. And as an agency, they’re much more accessible than their larger cousins at the city, region, or state level. For those reasons alone, the RCIP is ripe for input and we should embrace the opportunity to influence it.
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Carfree Kingston, a rail-trail path and more: New plan puts Washington Park’s future in focus

Posted on March 30th, 2018 at 12:04 pm.

Defunct Zoo Train tracks as seen from SW Kingston. There’s strong interest in converting this into a paved path.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The updated Washington Park Master Plan that passed unanimously by Portland City Council on March 15th is the plan we need for our central city.

Its transportation elements include a vision to: keep cars on the periphery, reduce access for drivers, aggressively encourage transit use, create plaza and green spaces, and build protected paths for cycling and walking.

Washington Park is the “jewel in the crown” of our parks system (to quote Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz) and it had been operating under a master plan that was passed in 1981. Because of smart management by Explore Washington Park (a city-funded Transportation Management Association, or TMA), auto use has declined considerably in the park in the past five years. In 2014, 80 percent of park visitors arrived by car. Last year that number was down to just 63 percent.

The updated master plan will hasten that curve.
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University of Portland official says they’ll build 16-foot wide greenway trail

Posted on March 29th, 2018 at 11:40 am.

A University of Portland official says the new path will measure 16-feet wide.

View of the parcel looking southwest from Willamette Blvd.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Earlier this month we shared a rare update in the status of the North Portland Greenway Trail — a project that’s been in the works for over a decade.

The University of Portland’s Franz Campus expansion was heralded as a huge step forward that will develop 35 acres of shoreline property on the Willamette riverfront. The new campus includes several new buildings, sports fields, a dock, and surface parking lots. But what it didn’t appear to include was space set-aside for the NP Greenway path.

Asstistant Vice President for Community Relations & Special Projects at University of Portland Jim Kuffner provided us with a statement that said he only planned to offer 8-feet for the path and that, “The land to complete the trail must come from Union Pacific.”
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PBOT shares updated plans for North Rosa Parks Way protected bike lanes

Posted on March 27th, 2018 at 4:07 pm.

PBOT plans call for a transit median island in this location with the bikeway running (curbside) behind it.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The redesign of North Rosa Parks Way now includes a bike-only signal, wider bikeways (and narrower lanes for driving), a safer crossing, and a floating transit island. These changes (and a few other tweaks) have been made in the month since the Portland Bureau of Transportation first launched the project back in February.

This key neighborhood collector street will see major striping changes from North Willamette to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The biggest change is a “parking-protected bikeway” (almost) the entire length of the project — and a buffer stripe with intermittent plastic delineator wands for added protection separation. Instead of on-street parking, PBOT will use the curb lane for a bike-only lane. In the process, PBOT will significantly decrease the amount of parking overall.

Going from west (Willamette Blvd) to east (Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd), here’s how the project has changed in the past month…
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