May 23, 2007
Platinum Bicycle Master Plan Process Goes Public
The first round of public meetings for the update to the Bicycle Master Plan (the one that's going to take us to Platinum) has been announced (you'll also find them on our calendar):
What Daily Portland Activity...
Reduces air, noise, and water pollution?
Improves health and fitness?
Makes Portland a better place to live?
You guessed it, bicycling!
As part of the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan Update, Commissioner Sam Adams and the City of Portland are holding three town halls in June to discuss:
- Current cycling conditions in the city, especially in less bicycle-friendly areas
- Safety concerns
- How the City is working to increase bicycle use
Whether you currently cycle, or are interested in trying, please come talk to us. All forums will have an Open House at 5:00 pm with a facilitated discussion from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Refreshments will be served. For more information, click here.
East - Tuesday, June 5
East Portland Community Center
740 SE 106th - Portland, OR 97216
Downtown/Southwest/Northwest - Tuesday, June 12
Portland Building, Room C
1120 SW 5th Ave - Portland, OR 97204
North/Northeast - Thursday, June 14
Jefferson High School, Cafeteria
5210 N Kerby Ave - Portland, OR 97217
May 23, 2007 10:40 AM
Bicycle infrastructure is already overbuilt in most places; and under built in the places that might actually need it.
For example, Division Street has a bike lane from 82nd to 174th yet the lane is seldom to never used. The few bicycles that are found on Division are either using the sidewalk [which I advocate], using the lane improperly or backwards, or using the shoulder of the road. The special lane have no use out here.
Then we have a street like Hawthorne, full of the eco friendly greenies that love to bicycle-- but where is the lane? The city would much rather have free public parking and curb extensions then a couple of bike lanes to keep the vehicle traffic moving.
Instead of trying to "encourage" a mode of transport, the city should be working on "accommodating" current and future demand.
May 23, 2007 11:25 AM
Jonathan Maus Says:
"Bicycle infrastructure is already overbuilt in most places; and under built in the places that might actually need it."
This is what the bicycle master plan will address. show up and offer feedback if you have specific areas in mind.
"Division Street has a bike lane from 82nd to 174th yet the lane is seldom to never used. The few bicycles that are found on Division are either using the sidewalk [which I advocate], using the lane improperly or backwards, or using the shoulder of the road. The special lane have no use out here."
I agree with you. many big, fast roads should not have bike lanes. unfortunately the Bicycle Bill mandates a bike facility but it lacks the oversight of bike planners to make decisions on how/if the facility is needed.
I think we should amend the Bicycle Bill to make the 1% of roadway reconstruction funds (it currently allocates) go into a fund. This money could then be doled out when/where it makes sense and by people that understand bike facilities, not by highway builders.
As for Hawthorne... PDOT would rather discourage cyclists from using major arterials like Hawthorne. that's why there's such a strong push for bike boulevards. these are low traffic streets, adjacent to major arterials. Another big factor on Hawthorne might be the misperception of the business association that they need on-street car parking to have a successful business.
May 23, 2007 12:01 PM
Bob R. Says:
I agree that Bike Boulevards are the way to go in most cases, but using east Division as an example, there is a good reason that bike lanes are on this major arterial.
East of I-205, the street grid system is incomplete or broken up, and there are no good, close-by parallel streets to Division which run the entire length. Perhaps this could be solved by placing a few strategic connecting paths, but this might require private property and would possibly face neighborhood opposition.
In the case of close-in streets like Hawthorne, with corresponding parallel low-traffic streets, even a casual bike rider can hop off of their bike and walk it on the sidewalk the last block or two to get to a business.
However, along east Division, the cross arterials are also spaced far apart -- the presence of a bike lane allows cyclists to complete their journey, even if they haven't used the entire arterial to make the trip.
Although I understand that it is completely legal to operate a bike on the sidewalk outside of the downtown core, it creates unique problems with dodging pedestrians and obstacles, curbs without ramps, and what to do at intersections: In the street, bicycles can cross with the green light just like other traffic. On the sidewalk, they either have to wait or find a driveway cut nearby where it is safe to enter the street for a little while.
Until and unless a parallel side-street and path system exists, bike lanes on arterials will be necessary.
- Bob R.
May 23, 2007 1:17 PM
Ross Williams Says:
In the case of close-in streets like Hawthorne, with corresponding parallel low-traffic streets, even a casual bike rider can hop off of their bike and walk it on the sidewalk the last block or two to get to a business
I disagree. First it is not very easy to walk a bike on Hawthorne's sidewalks in the core business area. In fact it is a chore for both the bicyclists and the pedestrians trying to share the sidewalk with them. Second, unless you know the cross-street of where you are going, you have to guess which street will get you close to where you want to go. Third, there are no corresponding low traffic through streets close to Hawthorne. That's why the bike route is on Salmon, three blocks north. So to use it to move six blocks on Hawthorne you have to go six blocks out of your way riding half way to Belmont and back.
If you actually use your bicycle to go anywhere on Hawthorne past 12th you end up either taking your life in your hands or riding way out of direction.
The special lane have no use out here.
Again, I think this is the take of people who don't actually use a bike in that area. Of course people avoid Division to the extent they can, its not pleasant even with the bike lane. But there are a number of places where you can't really avoid it and the bike lane is needed.
Division is a good example of why the bike bill is needed. Without it there would be a handful of paths for recreation and no facilities at all on major transportation corridors. That is the situation in most places around the country. The fact is there needs to be a way for people to bike safely on every street. The only question is how best to provide that in a particular corridor.
May 23, 2007 2:07 PM
Just like in the Powell BLVD streetscape enhancement project, bike lanes out past 82nd should probably be combined with the sidewalk to make an extra-wide curbed 'non-car' zone that is more spacious and segregated from the fast car traffic.
Kind of like the multi-use sidewalks on the Hawthorne bridge.
May 24, 2007 11:02 PM
Greg Tompkins Says:
I just started riding my bike in Portland. I am surprised how there are all these bike lanes that just dead end. What are you supposed to do when there's a bike lane and then on the next block there isn't one? Are there areas where they go for longer than several blocks? Yesterday I went on a ride down NE 7th to 99E. There were lanes some of the way, none at all on Highway 99E. Cars were honking at me so I just went on the sidewalk instead. Do they have some sort of bicycle etiquette classes and teach you where the lanes are? I don't even know if it's LEGAL to ride on the sidewalks. It seems dangerous but less dangerous than riding on a street with no bike lane. Thanks but I am truly ignorant when it comes to biking in the big bad city :) It's a lot different than where I grew up.
May 25, 2007 7:29 AM
Chris Smith Says:
Greg, you should get one of Metro's "Bike There" maps. I'm sure they're available in the Lloyd TMA Transportation Store near you.
BTA (bta4bikes.org) also runs bike commuting classes.
The crossing of Sullivan's Gulch near MLK/Grand is actually one of the worst gaps in the whole system. I ride on the sidewalk there too!
Riding on the sidewalk is legal except in the downtown area from Naito to 13th and Jefferson (I think) to Hoyt.
May 25, 2007 11:10 AM
^ tell that to the bike cops! I rarely see them actually riding in the street.
May 25, 2007 2:03 PM
Greg Tompkins Says:
HAHA! I actually had one of the bike cops try to cite me one day for "jaywalking" (The Crosswalk was red but there were clearly no cars coming at all). This was going from Starbucks to Nordstrom. I aksed them what about the bikes running red lights and them for being on the sidewalks? He didn't have any answer so I just continued walking and ignored him. He didn't pursue me :)
May 25, 2007 4:59 PM
One problem that many people face when they begin riding in the city is that they try to plan their route as if they were driving a car. The trick to riding in the city is to understand that some streets (like 99E) may work well for autos, but aren't the best routes for bikes. Chris' suggestion to get a "Bike There" map is excellent, as it clearly shows which streets are designated as safe bike routes. So instead of 99E, there are bike lanes on 12th, Sandy and 7th which will take you south.
Riding in Portland is FUN and relatively safe, once you get the hang of it. :)
May 30, 2007 1:32 PM
Lenny Anderson Says:
I believe that bike lanes are actually for cars...i.e. they offer a space for bike riders, so we do not have to take our legal lane space. I can be in a bike lane beside a car or in the auto lane in front of it.
It is an illusion that sidewalks are safer...actually the greatest risk comes from not being seen, so out it traffic (at least where motor vehicle speeds are not excessive) is safer than the sidewalk.
On Swan Island, however, I do ride on the sidewalk, except for some stretches during mid-day. Just too many big trucks.
I counted 25 bicycles at Freightliner HQ yesterday.
Bike lane gaps are the rule in Portland...we have lanes where we don't need them, but where we do, we are on our own. Also, the challenge of Bikeways (I have yet to see a Bike Boulevard in Portland) is crossing arterials, not to mention all those "fail to stop at stop sign" opportunities along the way. I am not sure I have ever put my foot down at a stop sign, except at busy arterials.
Finally, the "bike dots" that mark major Bikeways are so small and timid, that you have to really keep your head down to find them.
But despite all this, biking is the way to go in Portland.
May 31, 2007 7:43 AM
Greg Tompkins Says:
I agree it is fun but there are areas that are really scary. Maybe it's just my lack of experience and I need to get plugged into some group to learn more.