The Portland Bureau of Transportation is making updates to SE Sandy Blvd between Burnside and Alder. Sandy is being repaved, so the city is grabbing the opportunity to tweak the striping and add other features they hope will make the street safer.
Something is wrong with Portland’s traffic safety efforts. While ostensibility dedicated to a Vision Zero Action Plan with a clear goal of zero traffic deaths by 2025, the fatality statistics are going in the wrong direction.
This morning just after 7:00 am, a woman was killed while walking across NE Sandy Blvd. It happened between NE 78th and 79th Avenues. The Portland Police Bureau hasn’t released details of the crash and is currently doing an investigation.
This woman was the 20th person to die while walking in 2017 — that’s the highest toll in over 20 years. The furthest back our immediately available data goes is 1996. That year 17 people died while walking.
One of Portland’s weirder intersections has a new splash of color.
As part of its repaving project on inner Southeast Ankeny — which has, for the record, greatly improved the ride between SE 11th and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — the city has added some interesting and potentially useful new features to the six-way intersection of Ankeny, Sandy and 11th.
There’s one section of 28th Avenue’s commercial strip, at the heart of the planned 20s Bikeway, where it’s not possible for bike traffic to divert onto a side street: the one block between Sandy Boulevard and Interstate 84.
A spoof movie trailer making the local Internet rounds today has transportation wonks crying with laughter. The trailer is for a film dubbed “Sandy Blvd.” and the premise is simple: “Sandy is the worst F#$%I* street ever!” If you watch the clip below at work, just be forewarned there is a lot of profanity.
“Our design standards still point to bike lanes for this particular project… After reviewing the data, a physically separated bicycle facility did not appear to be warranted.”
— Jilayne Jordan, ODOT Community Affairs
Our story last week about an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) “safety project” on NE Sandy Blvd has gotten the agency’s attention. After being emailed by several readers who questioned the agency’s chosen design for handling bike access in the project, ODOT community affairs staff sent out a detailed, bulk email on Friday afternoon. The email explains why ODOT chose standard bike lanes on the busy freight route instead of something with more separation — like a cycle track or a buffered bike lane — as recommended by their own design guidelines.
As per the project, ODOT is widening a 1.1 mile stretch of Sandy to include a center turn lane as well as two, six-foot wide bike lanes. ODOT Region 1 Community Affairs Coordinator Jilayne Jordan says the new turn lane is intended to reduce rear-end and other collisions and serve as, “a refuge for vehicles turning left onto or off of the highway.”
The addition of bike lanes are a step forward from the gravel-strewn shoulders that exist there today. However, merely widening that shoulder and painting a stripe on it doesn’t seem like much in a $3.6 million project aimed at improving safety.
In their response, ODOT listed several reasons why they are moving forward with the bike lanes and not a more appealing bikeway.
“ODOT used the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (1995) when designing this project, which does not… mention buffered bike lanes or cycle track and design criteria.”
It’s a shame that outdated engineering guidelines continue to prevent us from designing streets in a way that matches our goals — but that’s exactly what’s happening out on a segment of Sandy Blvd in east Portland.
Last month, we shared the news that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is spending $3.6 million to rebuild a one-mile segment of Sandy between NE 122nd and 141st Avenues. The US 30 Bypass (Sandy Blvd) Safety Project comes with standard, six-foot bike lanes. That might sound good, but this type of bike lane is nothing but a continuation of a status quo that is inadequate for bicycle riders and that doesn’t match up our our city and statewide transportation planning goals. [Read more…]
rebuilt with bike lanes and a new sidewalk thanks
to a $3.8 million ODOT project.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is set to stripe new bike lanes on a one-mile section of NE Sandy Blvd from NE 122nd Avenue to NE 141st in east Portland. Construction on the $3.865 million project begins this week.
Currently, Sandy has one standard vehicle lane in each direction, with unimproved shoulders on both sides. Cars park in the shoulders, which lack sidewalks or bike lanes and are full of gravel and potholes. The project will rebuild Sandy, making significant changes that include:[Read more…]