Portland Parks Seeks Feedback on Trails Strategy

Portland Parks and Recreation has a released a draft strategy (PDF, 420K) for development of the Portland segments of the regional trails network. Check it out and let them know what you think.

Or attend the formal presentation:

Thursday, June 1, 2006 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Portland Building – Second Floor Room C
1120 SW Fifth Portland

6 responses to “Portland Parks Seeks Feedback on Trails Strategy”

  1. Looks great, but I don’t get what a bike boulevard is. I did a little googling and sometimes it’s a real boulevard, but in Portland they seem to just be normal neighborhood streets with some special markings. Is that what they mean? From the PDF the only real bike boulevard is Terwilliger Blvd, but I’m not familiar with it. Are there special lanes for bikes? Are they separated from traffic? Does anybody know what a bike boulevard is or what that street marking thing’s about?

    Technically a boulevard is a wide street with trees or something else in the center, often times with lanes separated by function. For example Chicago has a boulevard system with parking and a local access lane at the curb, then a wide planter strip, then several “express” lanes in the middle. I could see this working great with bike lanes. But by far the best example I’ve seen is the Ringstrasse in Vienna, where they have several traffic lanes (with streetcars of course), then a wide planter strip, and a very generous bike bath (bi-directional), another planter strip, and pedestrian pathway (also very generous).

    I’m impressed with how many miles of bike trails Portland has (140?). It really seems amazing. Does anybody know how that compares to other cities?

  2. Isaac, a bike boulevard is basically any route that has improvements for bikes that fall short of a segregated lane.

    These improvements might include markings, turning stop signs, providing curb extensions to make crossing busy streets easier, etc. They are sometimes subtle.

  3. You’ll be hearing a lot more about bike boulevards in the coming years.

    We looked around for the right term, and bike boulevards was as close as we could get to a description of a low-traffic bicycle-focused street. These streets should be comfortable, aesthetically appealling, fast ways to get around town for bicycles.

    Read more at Wikipedia.

    Plan to help us design these and locate these around Portland, starting in late June.

  4. I think that SE Clinton Street, from about 20th to about 52nd, is a good example of an existing bike boulevard, especially the treatment at 39th that only allows cars to exit, but not enter, Clinton.

    The on-pavement markings (little circles with bikes inside them and arrows indicating the direction that the route continues from their position, as well as everybody’s favorite, the “sharrows”) are a great addition to the bike boulevard concept!!

    Also, the treatment given the intersection of SE 39th & Clinton should be expanded to many more intersections of bike boulevards and major streets across the metroscape, if we’re really serious about implementing the bike boulevard concept. Residents quickly get used to it and come to like it, whereas it does its job and deters everybody else from driving their cars on the bike boulevards unless they have to.

  5. Let me follow up my last comment with another note, however, saying that I would not like to see Portland go as far as Berkeley has in closing streets to cars. Berkeley does themselves a dis-service by closing so many of their neighborhood streets to through automobile traffic… sure, bicycles get a nice treatment, but the side effect is that traffic gets so absurdly backed up on the main arterials that it’s like turning the whole rational grid into a suburb where no streets go through except the arterials.

    I like Portland’s grid-plan, and don’t think that it would be wise to go around closing off huge wallups of the grid to through auto traffic.

    However, a few more treatments like at SE 39th & Clinton, strategically placed, would go a long ways towards making particular bike boulevards become a little more reserved for just bikes, without doing so at the expense of everybody’s travel patterns on the grid.

  6. The problem with “Bike Boulevards” in Portland is the timidity with which they are done…you have to look hard to see the signs, markers, etc. Tillamook is a good example of this in NE. I was on the CAC for this project, and we did improve some arterial crossing points, but wanted the route to be really strongly signed/marked. But this has never been done.

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