Now I’ve Heard Everything

As many of you know, I’m a big supporter of the idea of taking West Burnside from I-405 to NW 23rd down to 10-foot lanes (currently at 11 feet) to let the sidewalks expand to 10 feet from their current eight.

The latest argument advanced by the opponents of this idea, mentioned at a recent PDOT budget meeting, is that it would hamstring Burnside as an evacuation route in a disaster.

If this is their best argument it seems like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel…


4 responses to “Now I’ve Heard Everything”

  1. I *really* like the idea of the Burnside/Couch couplet. I also like Bob R.’s idea of the meandering Burnside with 10/11ft travel lanes, and wider/narrower sidewalks.

    But, I just gotta wonder… does Burnside *have* to be 2-way, 2 lanes from NW 24th to NW 15th? What about using the Glisan/Everett couplet, and putting in pedestrian scramble intersections along those routes to eliminate their current capacity-reducing bottlenecks? This might allow Burnside to transition to either 2-way, 2 lanes, or 1-way, 1 lanes for that stretch.

    Otherwise, how will bicycles be accommodated in the Burnside/Couch corridor from NW 15th to NW 24th?

    Is it too late for this comment, in terms of the process? Any other thoughts?


  2. Besides the geographical problems (there is no easy way to connect a westbound Glisan to a westbound Burnside beyond 23rd), Burnside also exists to provide access to points south, and moving westbound traffic way over to Glisan would prevent westbound access to destinations south of Burnside. You cannot use Everett as the westbound street (by swapping the current roles of Glisan and Everett) because the direction is determined by the ramps of the Steel Bridge.)

    The current couplet plan avoids condemnation of private buildings (and associated costs). You could theoretically extend Couch further westward but you’d have to destroy much of a neighborhood to accomplish it.

    – Bob R.

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