Revealing a Certain Modal Bias

This announcement from the City has drawn some ire in active transportation circles:

Green street construction will close bicycle lanes and sidewalks on NE 122nd Avenue between NE Fremont and NE Shaver. Construction starts tomorrow (Tuesday, August 23) and will last about ten weeks. The work will also close on-street parking spaces in the construction zone.

At least one observer has suggested that any reasonable alternative bike/ped route takes you at least a mile out of your way.

Surely we can do better?

7 Comments

7 Responses to Revealing a Certain Modal Bias

  1. zefwagner
    August 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm Link

    It’s weird that there are no bike/ped paths through either the Middle School to the west or the park to the east. It probably wouldn’t have cost a whole lot to run a temporary path through the park.

  2. Chris I
    August 25, 2011 at 7:18 am Link

    Wait, why is this an issue? They are adding bioswales. The nature of the construction project requires closing the areas immediately next to the project: the sidewalk, and the bike lane. Cyclists can legally take the lane during construction. I would think that pedestrians would be able to walk in the grass at Beech Park.

    I think the bigger question should be, why are we doing all of this work on a street that already has bike lanes and sidewalks? Wouldn’t it make more sense to prioritize these projects so they can build bioswales as they add bike lanes and sidewalks to a street? In this area for example, they could work on NE Sandy east of 122nd, San Rafael, or 132nd south of I-84.

  3. Chris Smith
    August 25, 2011 at 7:22 am Link

    The fact that you can legally take the lane does necessarily make it safe. The City needs to get into the habit of maintaining safe and comfortable access for all modes during construction projects.

  4. Jason Barbour
    August 25, 2011 at 10:13 am Link

    What I take issue with is how the upgraded sidewalk corners are installed: all four at an intersection at the same time. Makes it nearly impossible to safely cross the street.

    And another failure in timing, as school will start soon and there’s tons of residential on the south side of the area, so this sends the message ‘the city wants you to drive your kids to school, even if you’re within walking distance.’

  5. Jason McHuff
    August 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm Link

    A little bit different project, but they did delay work on West Burnside

  6. Paul Cone
    August 26, 2011 at 7:09 am Link

    Note that it’s BES work, not PBOT work. PBOT builds sidewalks and bike lanes. BES builds swales.

  7. Nicole
    August 26, 2011 at 10:32 am Link

    As a cyclist you can take a lane during construction instead of using a detour. It may require that you stop and wait for a gap in traffic to do it safely. This is certainly not a permanent condition…short of waiving a magic wand to make it happen, there are going to be some minor inconveniences for all modes.

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