Amid all the talk about how to “fix congestion” there’s one cheap and relatively simple solution staring us in the face: dedicated lanes for efficient vehicles like bikes and buses.[Read more…]
“The power of transportation isn’t just in getting people from place-to-place. When we get transportation right, we can accomplish so much more.
— Chloe Eudaly, Commissioner
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly officially became in charge of the transportation bureau less than one week ago. But that didn’t stop her from showing up at a ribbon-cutting event this morning in east Portland. In a brief speech to mark the completion of the first phase of the 122nd Avenue Plan, Eudaly made it clear this oft-neglected part of our city would be a priority for her office. She also coined the phrase, “Transportation done right,” while listing several ways great streets can make a positive impact on Portland.
Eudaly was joined this morning by PBOT Interim Director Chris Warner, TriMet Chief Operating Officer Maurice Henderson, Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, and former City Commissioner Steve Novick. [Read more…]
On streets where buses and bikes are common, the “leapfrog” phenomenon has been a thorn in the side of the City of Portland for many years. It happens when a bus operator pulls all the way to the curb to service a stop — and temporarily blocks a travel lane used by bicycle riders. This behavior causes people to either stop and breathe toxic bus exhaust, or swerve around the bus into a more dangerous shared-lane environment. The issue has become more acute in recent years as the Bureau of Transportation has built more curbside lanes protected from drivers.
When a bus operator can still swing into a lane, it no longer qualifies as protected.
Physical separation is to bicycling what reliability is to transit. If we don’t have it, the masses will never switch from driving and our transportation system will never reach its potential.
That’s why an idea for a “pop-up” bus-only lane is worthy of your attention.
Our friends at the all-volunteer Portland Bus Lane Project have pitched an idea to Better Block PDX that would reconfigure SW Madison Street between 5th and the Hawthorne Bridge. Their idea comes in response a request for proposals that Better Block launched back in July.
PBLP was hatched in May by a group of transit advocates that are frustrated with how auto-congestion during peak hours is killing bus reliability. Their solution is to create dedicated bus-only lanes which they see as an inexpensive way to prioritize mass transit and improve bus reliability while getting more people to their destinations on time.
Their proposal is currently being vetted and considered by Better Block and they’ve given me permission to share it with you.[Read more…]