130 years of Portland’s transportation history in one chart

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 3rd, 2015 at 11:27 am

portland mode share chart

(Image: DEIS for I-80N – a.k.a. Mt Hood Freeway – via City of Portland)

When you step back far enough, the history of transportation starts to look less like a river — constant progress toward a final, permanent destination — and more like waves crashing against a beach.

That’s the point of this chart. It pops up in the world of Portland planning from time to time, most recently in a slideshow by city planner Mauricio Leclerc about the history of parking in Portland. If you’ve never seen it before, it can be a mind-bender.

[Read more…]

Does your airport have a 50-page bike plan?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 26th, 2014 at 11:23 am

wide map of plans

A map of existing (solid lines) and planned (dotted lines) bike access to Portland’s airport. Green lines are multi-use paths; blue are on-street lanes.
(Click to enlarge)

Portland International Airport’s new bike-pedestrian plan is probably thicker than the average city’s.

Fifteen years after a rising bike-commute rate among airport workers led PDX to begin a strategic focus on its biking and walking connections, links to the airport keep getting better. Now, the airport is preparing to double outdoor bike parking, and, in the longer term, help the City of Portland pay for a multi-use path looping the entire airport plus three bike lanes that’ll greatly improve airport access from the city.

[Read more…]

ODOT ‘listening session’ aids quest to modernize bike/walk plan

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 25th, 2014 at 11:07 am

ODOT Bike-Ped Plan update listening session-1

ODOT heard from experts about how they should tackle biking and walking policy.(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) hosted a “listening session” at their Portland regional headquarters yesterday. It was the fifth of five such meetings they’re using to gather insights and learn key issues they should address in a major update to their Bicycle and Pedestrian Mode Plan. [Read more…]

An annotated map to the future of bicycling in downtown Portland

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 8th, 2013 at 9:36 am

Map 5d from the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability’s West Quadrant Plan “Transportation Modal Concepts” series. (Modified with numbers by BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Here’s your chance to improve cycling on the central eastside

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 18th, 2013 at 9:27 am

Thanks Portland Streetcar-2

The presence of streetcar tracks on the
MLK/Grand couplet has degraded the bicycle
network on the central eastside. That’s one of many
reasons we need smarter planning in this area.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the most important neighborhoods in Portland, the central eastside industrial area, is changing fast and the City of Portland is looking for help to nudge the changes in the right direction.

As tech startups remodel warehouses and the new streetcar and MAX lines bring more housing, offices and retail into the area between the Willamette River, SE 12th Avenue, Interstate 84 and SE Powell, the city is updating its plan for the area and looking for stakeholders to join the Southeast Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Members must “be able to commit 4-6 hours every month, which includes preparing for and attending monthly meetings (typically held in the evening), and attend workshops, charrettes and community involvement events,” according to the city’s application website. Applications are due Oct. 3.
[Read more…]

City of Portland looks to go beyond auto-centric ‘level of service’ standards

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 30th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

The existing LOS standards and measures, which focus only on motor vehicle levels of service, do not reflect the City of Portland’s current practice which emphasizes and promotes a multimodal approach to transportation planning and providing transportation services.
— From the City of Portland RFP

If you or any of your friends are transportation wonks, then you already know how powerful “level of service” (LOS) standards are. For the uninitiated, LOS is a measurement tool used by traffic engineers and planners to grade how a road or intersection “performs” in terms of traffic flow. If vehicles roll through without delay, the road performs well and gets an “A” LOS grade, if vehicles screech to a standstill and traffic backs up, the section of roadway gets an “F”. (I’m sure someone in the comments can give a more accurate/nuanced definition.)

The issue comes up in nearly every transportation project that includes bicycle access — because as cities make room for better bicycling, they are bound by these LOS standards to make sure a new design doesn’t lower the LOS of a particular street. Recall the considerable heartburn PBOT engineers faced on the N Williams Avenue project as they pondered whether or not they would endorse a one standard lane cross-section for the entire project. PBOT traffic engineer Rob Burchfield wanted to honor the communities desires for a cross-section that would tame auto traffic; but he said the City had to “make sure we have adequate capacity for the volume of traffic we expect,” and that, “there are some pass/fail criteria,” — LOS standards — they had to work with. That’s just one example.
[Read more…]

IBM and Portland team up on data to build a ‘smarter’ city

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 9th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Bridge Pedal 2010-12

Can data make us a smarter city.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland announced a collaboration with IBM today to “better understand the dynamic behavior of cities.”

The initiative is part of IBM’s Smarter Cities project that looks to use computer modeling and data analysis to inform city planning and policies. Or, as IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano puts it, “Thanks to supercomputers, we can turn mountains of data into insight.”
[Read more…]

Guest article: The 12-year struggle to tame the Morrison Bridge

Avatar by on January 11th, 2010 at 8:30 am

If Phil Goff had his way, his “Greenway Esplanade” concept would have transformed the Morrison Bridge into a biking and walking oasis. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
(Concept drawing by Phil Goff)

[Read more…]