October 11, 2006
BTA Advocates Bike Boulevard Project
Over at the BTA Blog, they're reporting that this is still up for grabs in the next round of decision making and have suggestions for the next steps for advocacy.
Original Post 9/29/06:
We heard from you and hundreds of other cyclists that you strongly prefer cycling on low-traffic bicycle boulevards.
Here’s your first chance to help get a new Bike Boulevard funded!
The project is called the “70’s Bike Boulevard.”
The City of Portland has requested $3.8 million from Metro to fund a new 7.8-mile north-south route in Northeast and Southeast Portland along the streets in the 70’s (71st to 76th, depending on the area). This project would run almost the whole length of the city, connecting the Springwater Corridor to NE Killingsworth.
A group of regional leaders is meeting THIS MORNING to make some decisions on regional projects, including this project.
While one boulevard project in the East 50’s is likely to get funding, the 70’s Bike Boulevard project is slated to be cut – so we need YOUR help to get it back on the list for funding.
Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams and the City of Portland should be making sure this project gets funded – call his office and urge him to step up for bike boulevards!
Call and email Commissioner Sam Adams TODAY and urge him to support the 70’s Bicycle Boulevard.
Phone: (503) 823-1121
More about bicycle boulevards:
September 29, 2006 8:04 PM
Terry Parker Says:
Something just doesn’t add up here. Per Commissioner Sam’s office as posted on his blog June 13, 2006, PDOT’s budget for bicycle-related capital improvements for the next five year period (2007-2011) is about $3.5 million, or about $700,000 a a year. When the City of Portland receives transportation dollars from Metro, the money is administered through the PDOT’s budget. $3.8 million for the proposed Northeast-Southeast 70’s street bicycle boulevard is more that what Sam’s office nave said they plan to spend on bicycle infrastructure over the whole five year period. When the proposed Northeast-Southeast 50’s street bicycle boulevard and the proposed NW Flanders Street bicycle boulevard are added in, the proposed bicycle boulevard capital costs exceed $10 million, more than tripling what Sam’s Office says they plan to spend on bicycle infrastructure over that same five year period. Then add in any costs associated with a proposed Sulivan’s Gulch Bicycle Trail and the capital and planning costs for bicycle infrastructure mushroom even more. It is extremely obvious the public is being flimflammed by the BTA, Sam’s Office and bicycle advocates who are playing a shell game with the true costs of providing bicycle infrastructure in Portland, infrastructure that is totally free of charge to the bicyclist users.
Furthermore, a little paint to mark streets with both directional and traffic control signage installed simply does not cost $3 million plus per bicycle boulevard project. The costs for these bicycle boulevards are totally outrageous, over priced and out of line, especially when there is an increasing backlog of Portland streets needing maintenance and repair. This type of out of control spending is extravagance in search of a problem since there is no proven need for the projects, The proposed lavish spending for bicycle boulevards is yet another excellent example and outstanding reason to enact a bicycle user tax that directly taxes the bicycle mode of transport to pay for the costs of posh bicycle infrastructure.
October 2, 2006 11:00 AM
Scott Bricker Says:
The BTA would be happy to sit down and discuss cost effectiveness of transportation expenditures with city leaders and PDOT.
The funding on bicycling expenditures per year was developed by PDOT, not the BTA.
As for the Bicycle Boulevards, PDOT is estimating about $500,000 per mile for a new bicycle boulevard. I think it's possible to create excellent bicycle boulevards for much less, but that would require political will to truly constrain through auto traffic on those routes. As for the $500k cost, construction cost expensive, a new traffic light is $250,000 - $300,000, for example. Again, I think with much less expensive measures we can produce great boulevards.
So I ask you to help us build political will for slow auto traffic in neighborhoods. Help us build support for auto restrictions in neighborhoods and I can offer you a CHEAP way to build boulevards, increase bicycling and decrease urban congestion.
October 11, 2006 10:37 PM
Another problem with "public sector" administration of such things as roads. They cost INSANE amounts of money.
I see 3.8 million as purely insane myself. Especially as you said, there is a growing backlog of street needs (i.e. repairs, etc). I still don't see in Oregon the correlation between user fees (i.e. gas taxes, tag, etc) and road expenditures. But then again, when has the user fee been used purely for roads and roads been built with purely user fees.
I say if the BTA wants some boulevards, get permission from the city and build the damn things yourself. Get a "Boulevard" business setup and run it as a non-profit ala the Streetcar. At least their would be a little more honesty and integrity to the whole funding problem then immediate and direct sucking from the teet of the city PDOT Budget.
October 12, 2006 10:31 AM
Evan Manvel, BTA Says:
FYI, the city and region have contributed a lot of money to streetcar -- it's not a stand-alone project.
$3.8 million for 7.8 miles is a lot? Compared to what? Compared to $28 million for one highway interchange? Compared to $2 billion for a new bridge over the Columbia?
A lot of the cost is to resurface roads, which benefits everyone.
October 13, 2006 10:16 PM
Terry Parker Says:
“the city and region have contributed a lot of money to streetcar”
Motorists too have directly contributed through parking fees paid downtown, but not bicyclists, they still ride free at the expense of others.