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Category: 50s Bikeway Project

Spotted on the 50s bikeway: Billboards, Portland-style

Spotted on the 50s bikeway: Billboards, Portland-style

DSC_0094

Ads follow eyeballs.
(Photos: M.Andersen)

I drove a car on Sunday. (No shame here — I needed to get to Jantzen Beach and back before Game of Thrones.)

One of the things I noticed was the fact that when you’re on a freeway, advertising becomes a significantly larger part of your life.

In some ways, of course, spending one’s transportation time away from commercial messages is nice. But in other ways, advertising does actually give you useful information, such as the news that it’s berry season at a local fast-food chain or the fact that a certain car wash offers a monthly subscription for unlimited washes.

Being advertised to can be annoying, but it’s also a sign that you’re part of a community worth catering to.

We rely on financial support from readers like you.


Maybe that’s why I was so pleased, later on Sunday evening, to notice the little posters taped above the electronic “push to cross” buttons at 53rd Avenue and Burnside, on the 50s Bikeway.

They’re just ads for a show at the Holocene, and of course our culture already has a long and glorious history of attaching music posters to municipal infrastructure. But the precision of these little notices was unmistakable. This was an ad for you to look at and consider while leaning against the post, waiting for your bike-crossing light to turn green.

Which is, as of last year, something hundreds of Portlanders do each day at 52nd and Division.

Advertisements aren’t always a blessing. But ads follow eyeballs. And when your city starts to fill up with more ads that are five inches by eight and designed to be read while standing still, instead of 48 feet by 14 and designed to be read at 60 mph, that’s as good a sign as any that something about your city is working right.

Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to the wrong intersection.


The post Spotted on the 50s bikeway: Billboards, Portland-style appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Foster Road businesses celebrate 50s Bikeway completion

Foster Road businesses celebrate 50s Bikeway completion

doster

Here’s something that counters a popular narrative in this town that businesses don’t support cycling: the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) is hosting a mixer tonight to celebrate the completion of the City of Portland’s 50s Bikeway project.

As we reported yesterday, after delays and a long public process, the 50s Bikeway project is finally on the ground. With a mix of new bikeway infrastructure, crossing treatments, and signage, the $1.5 million, 4.3 mile project is making travel on the 50s corridor much more pleasant.

The other day (I can’t remember where exactly), I was handed the flyer above. It reads: “Discover a new route to Foster! Come celebrate the 50s Bikeway completion and network with other Foster Area businesses.”

The event is tonight (10/16) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Midpoint Food & Drink (3524 SE 52nd Ave). It’s open to both members and non-members.

It’s great to see this type of enthusiasm from business owners for a bike project! If any readers attend, we’d love to hear how it goes.

The post Foster Road businesses celebrate 50s Bikeway completion appeared first on BikePortland.org.

First Look: 50s Bikeway adds diverters, crossings at Burnside and Division

First Look: 50s Bikeway adds diverters, crossings at Burnside and Division

50scrossingma

The new green-striped bike lane in front of the new bike box at 52nd and Division creates a more visible crossing.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

After more than a year of delay and months of construction, the 50s Bikeway is looking great, and two of the most important components are in place: comfortable crossings and traffic semi-diverters at two major streets. On Tuesday, I swung past to get some photos.

Here’s one of the most expensive but important components of the project: a new HAWK signal at Burnside and 53rd that lets people walking or biking push a button to stop traffic on Burnside, which carries 15,000 cars a day at this corner:

burnside signal

You can also see, in the photo above, the way that signs (two of them in each direction!) bumpouts and pavement markings have been used to allow traffic to turn off 53rd in both directions, but to make it clear that cars shouldn’t turn onto 53rd from Burnside. Here’s a closer look at the narrowed crossing:

burnside bumpouts

I wondered what the nearby Tabor Tavern, which sits on this corner and is one of the few sit-down restaurants in this area, thought of this change. So I went inside to talk to Elizabeth Powell, who was tending the bar. I asked whether blocking through traffic here had made it harder for customers to reach the business.

“Actually, it makes it a lot better,” Powell said. “We have a lot of regulars that live nearby and walk here. I bike here. It’s a lot safer.”

A mile or so south, the neighborhood greenway jogs over to 52nd and then crosses Division Street. This was the site of a major disagreement during the 50s Bikeway process; people who took part in a Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association vote came out 53 to 52 against a plan to block northbound motorized traffic here other than one motor vehicle: TriMet’s #71 bus.

However, the city’s plan to reduce cut-through traffic onto 52nd, which had the support of a large majority of people who showed up to the project open house as well as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and other advocates for better biking and walking, won out. Here’s the result:

division bus lane

division 52nd sideways

It’s a little hard to capture in photographs, but the space that creates the bus/bike-only lane on 52nd is noticeably narrower than the space where auto and bike traffic are allowed. Here’s an overhead-view diagram of the redesigned intersection, from the project’s engineering documents (in this image, north is to the right):

schematic of 52nd crossing

I’m sure a few people are willing to ignore the signs and simply turn in, but this wasn’t something I observed while I was there. I also watched someone in a truck wait patiently behind the green bike box that serves southbound traffic and restricts right turns on red.

Though we’ve reported on some initial parking issues south of Division, where the project added bike lanes, it’s clear that this north-south route (which also includes various smaller crossing improvements as well as sharrows, speed bumps and wayfinding signs) is a major boon to riding through the neighborhoods it connects, running at just the route where you can avoid climbing into the foothills of Mount Tabor. It’s great to hear that it’s improved access to the Tabor Tavern, too.

The post First Look: 50s Bikeway adds diverters, crossings at Burnside and Division appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City will add ‘no parking’ signs along 52nd Ave bike lanes

City will add ‘no parking’ signs along 52nd Ave bike lanes

ambiguous bike lane

It’s easy to see how this new bike lane
could be mistaken for parking space.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The new northbound bike lane on 52nd Avenue between Woodward and Division replaced a parking lane, but since July we’ve heard from many readers that the stripe of paint hasn’t stopped people from leaving their cars and garbage cans there.

City traffic engineer Eva Huntsinger said in an interview Thursday that “no parking” signs will go into the commercial node north of Woodward after a discussion about the subject by city staff late last week.

Hopefully these signs will make things safer for people like reader David Ross, who got in touch in July to share his thoughts.

“As it is both car and bike lane are far too narrow,” he wrote in an email. “Parked cars straddle the bike lane line forcing bikers to veer in and out of a narrow lane of traffic made even narrower by the mentioned parked cars hanging out into traffic. To safely pass a parked car a cyclist needs to ‘take the lane.’ On 52nd? During rush hour? I was looking forward to the new lanes but the northbound side is the worst bike lane I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. It was safer for cyclists before the new lanes. The northbound side is a disaster waiting to happen and an overall bummer for northbound cyclist.”

I was on 52nd yesterday a bit further north, between Division and Powell, and didn’t see any parking trouble in that residential area at the time. But it was easy to see why people might get confused about what the wide bike lane is for:

ambiguous bike lane northbound

By contrast, here’s how much difference a fresh bike stencil makes on the lane itself:

stencil bike lane

We’ll continue to track this issue after the signs go in and see if they’re successfully changing people’s behavior. Meanwhile, here’s one resident who’s dealt with traffic patterns on 52nd by adding a sign of her own:

drive like your kids

Various readers have written in that they like other new features of the almost complete 50s bikeway, including the southbound lanes and nice touches like these green turning boxes where the Woodward neighborhood greenway intersects:

green turning box 52nd

As we shared in today’s Weekend Event Guide, North Tabor neighborhood advocate Terry Dublinski-Milton will lead a tour of part of the 50s bikeway on Saturday. That might be a good time to check it out and compare notes on how to keep the city informed about how it’s being used.

[Publisher’s note: People parking their cars in what are supposed to be bike-only traffic lanes is a chronic problem for PBOT. For more on the issue, re-read our 2011 post, Cars parking in bike lanes: How can we fix this problem? – Jonathan]

The post City will add ‘no parking’ signs along 52nd Ave bike lanes appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Riders gush about new bike lanes on 52nd

Riders gush about new bike lanes on 52nd


Over 17 years (17!) after it was first identified as a priority project in the 1996 Bike Master Plan, construction of the 50s Bikeway Project is finally becoming a reality.

Put another way, at long last, new bike lanes are being striped as we type this.

Read More Read More

Construction underway for ’50s Bikeway project’

Construction underway for ’50s Bikeway project’

(PBOT graphic)

Today the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced that a project first identified as a priority in their 1996 Bicycle Master Plan has finally broken ground. Yes, at long last, the 50s Bikeway is officially under construction.

PBOT accepted the $1.5 million federal grant for the project in January of 2010 and has spent the last four years completing the public process, design, and development of the project. In 2013 PBOT was forced to delay the project an entire year due to construction costs that came in higher than expected.

Here’s more about the project from PBOT’s announcement:

Construction is underway on the 50s Bikeway Project, a 4.3 mile safety corridor along 52nd and 53rd avenues that improves connections to eight neighborhoods, including 12 schools and seven parks, on Portland’s east side.

When complete this summer, the route will fill in a major missing link within the City’s bicycle network and better connect eight neighborhoods from Woodstock, through Mt. Tabor to Rose City Park.

As part of the project, six major street crossings along the route will be upgraded to improve safety for people walking and bicycling. Crossing improvement techniques will vary by location but will include a combination of curb extensions and medians in addition to a pedestrian flashing beacon at SE Woodstock Boulevard and a hybrid beacon at E Burnside Street.

To further improve neighborhood livability and address residents’ concerns at two key intersections, cut-through traffic will be diverted at SE 52nd Avenue and Division Street and NE 53rd Avenue and Burnside Street.

The northern portion of the route will take the shape of a neighborhood greenway on 52nd and 53rd avenues, with signage and bicycle symbols called sharrows painted on residential streets from NE Sacramento Street to SE Division Street.

On the southern portion, from SE Division Street to SE Woodstock Boulevard, the City will install six-foot-wide painted bicycle lanes on either side of 52nd Avenue. To provide the necessary space, parking will be removed from the east side of the street.

Construction is expected to take about 4 months.

Learn more about this project by browsing our coverage archives and checking out PBOT’s website.

The post Construction underway for ’50s Bikeway project’ appeared first on BikePortland.org.

50s Bikeway: still alive, just moving slowly

50s Bikeway: still alive, just moving slowly

A Sunday ride-9

One holdup after another, but still moving.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Maybe it’s a mark of the eastward spread of low-car life that someone seems to ask us every few days when the 50s Bikeway is going to finally start construction.

The latest word from the city: early May. Hopefully.

“The contract prep has taken longer than expected,” project manager Rich Newlands wrote in an email last week. “But we do now have the pre-con[struction] scheduled for 4/29. In theory, the notice to proceed will be issued that day and within a week the contractor will start. But, still contingent on the contractor being timely in submitting all the final pre-construction submittals.”

The 4.3-mile, $1.5 million route down Portland’s middle east side, which was delayed last August due to higher than expected bids, was previously supposed to start construction in late March and wrap up by late July.

When finished, the route will stretch from the Alameda Ridge south to Woodstock Street along 53rd and 52nd avenues (PDF), connecting the Rose City Park, North Tabor, Mt. Tabor, South Tabor, Richmond, Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock neighborhoods, which include 20,000 residents and 12 schools. North of Division, it’ll be a neighborhood greenway marked with sharrows and directional signs; south of Division, a pair of 6-foot painted bike lanes on either side of the street.

Also, let’s all take a deep breath for Newlands, who’s simultaneously managing the red-hot 20s Bikeway debate and the active North Rodney neighborhood greenway planning. He could probably use the oxygen.

After a delay, 50s Bikeway will roll out by summer

After a delay, 50s Bikeway will roll out by summer

A Sunday ride-9

Better rides are ahead for Portland’s low 50s.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

After sitting on ice for a year while the city waited out high construction costs, Portland’s north-south 50s Bikeway is alive and moving forward.

The 4.3-mile, $1.5 million route down Portland’s middle east side, which was delayed last August, is likely to start construction in late March and wrap up by late July, the project manager said Wednesday.

When finished, it’ll stretch from the Alameda Ridge south to Woodstock Street along 53rd and 52nd avenues (PDF), connecting the Rose City Park, North Tabor, Mt. Tabor, South Tabor, Richmond, Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock neighborhoods, which include 20,000 residents and 12 schools. North of Division, it’ll be a neighborhood greenway marked with sharrows and directional signs; south of Division, a pair of 6-foot painted bike lanes on either side of the street.

Diverters will block northbound and southbound auto traffic onto 53rd at Burnside. Further south at 52nd and Division, signs will forbid northbound auto traffic, but because TriMet’s #71 bus needs to continue northward there, there won’t be a physical obstacle to block cars.

South of Division, one auto parking lane will be removed from the east side of 52nd to make room for the painted bike lanes. On the west side of 52nd, the bike lane will run alongside parked cars.

A planned neighborhood greenway that weaves an alternative route into the neighborhoods east of Southeast 52nd hasn’t yet been funded and won’t be built this year.

Much of the project’s cost will go to improve crossings of major streets, including a new HAWK beacon at Burnside and 53rd, a median element at Stark, curb extensions at Belmont and Lincoln and a rapid-flash beacon (PDF) at Woodward.

The city’s transportation bureau had sidelined the federally funded project after the first round of construction bids came in more than 20 percent higher than expected. As we shared back in August, city workers estimated that this was because “the construction market has recently reached saturation” for the year. In an interview Wednesday, Project Manager Rich Newlands said the second round of bidding seemed to have confirmed the city’s hunch: this time two of the eight bids, he said, had come in below the original projection.

Some people who live near the project have expressed concern about auto traffic diverting onto nearby streets such as Southeast 51st, 53rd and 54th. As a condition of approval for the project, the city council ordered a 12-month test of where and how much traffic was diverting from Southeast 52nd.

Though these improvements aren’t perfect, they’re good news for neighborhoods that are becoming major destinations in their own right, with no frequent north-south public transit but more and more need for north-south travel. It’ll be nice to see this route interact with the nearby bike lanes on Southeast Division and the ones planned for Southeast Foster, sending relatively comfortable bike connections through the southern side of Portland’s all-important east-side street grid.

After a delay, 50s Bikeway will roll out by summer

After a delay, 50s Bikeway will roll out by summer

A Sunday ride-9

Better rides are ahead for Portland’s low 50s.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

After sitting on ice for a year while the city waited out high construction costs, Portland’s north-south 50s Bikeway is alive and moving forward.

The 4.3-mile, $1.5 million route down Portland’s middle east side, which was delayed last August, is likely to start construction in late March and wrap up by late July, the project manager said Wednesday.

When finished, it’ll stretch from the Alameda Ridge south to Woodstock Street along 53rd and 52nd avenues (PDF), connecting the Rose City Park, North Tabor, Mt. Tabor, South Tabor, Richmond, Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock neighborhoods, which include 20,000 residents and 12 schools. North of Division, it’ll be a neighborhood greenway marked with sharrows and directional signs; south of Division, a pair of 6-foot painted bike lanes on either side of the street.

Diverters will block northbound and southbound auto traffic onto 53rd at Burnside. Further south at 52nd and Division, signs will forbid northbound auto traffic, but because TriMet’s #71 bus needs to continue northward there, there won’t be a physical obstacle to block cars.

South of Division, one auto parking lane will be removed from the east side of 52nd to make room for the painted bike lanes. On the west side of 52nd, the bike lane will run alongside parked cars.

A planned neighborhood greenway that weaves an alternative route into the neighborhoods east of Southeast 52nd hasn’t yet been funded and won’t be built this year.

Much of the project’s cost will go to improve crossings of major streets, including a new HAWK beacon at Burnside and 53rd, a median element at Stark, curb extensions at Belmont and Lincoln and a rapid-flash beacon (PDF) at Woodward.

The city’s transportation bureau had sidelined the federally funded project after the first round of construction bids came in more than 20 percent higher than expected. As we shared back in August, city workers estimated that this was because “the construction market has recently reached saturation” for the year. In an interview Wednesday, Project Manager Rich Newlands said the second round of bidding seemed to have confirmed the city’s hunch: this time two of the eight bids, he said, had come in below the original projection.

Some people who live near the project have expressed concern about auto traffic diverting onto nearby streets such as Southeast 51st, 53rd and 54th. As a condition of approval for the project, the city council ordered a 12-month test of where and how much traffic was diverting from Southeast 52nd.

Though these improvements aren’t perfect, they’re good news for neighborhoods that are becoming major destinations in their own right, with no frequent north-south public transit but more and more need for north-south travel. It’ll be nice to see this route interact with the nearby bike lanes on Southeast Division and the ones planned for Southeast Foster, sending relatively comfortable bike connections through the southern side of Portland’s all-important east-side street grid.

50s Bikeway project delayed

50s Bikeway project delayed

A Sunday ride-9

They’ll have to wait a bit longer
for a quality bike route.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has announced a delay in the construction of the long-awaited 50s Bikeway Project. The $1.5 million, federally-funded project that will create an important north-south bikeway along 52nd and 53rd Avenues between southeast and northeast Portland, was originally slated to begin construction this summer. However, according to PBOT Project Manager Rich Newlands, the City received bids to complete the work that were “significantly above the project’s construction contract estimate.” This unforeseen situation means construction won’t begin until February 2014.

The new “anticipated” date of construction comes a full three and-a-half years after the project got off the ground in September 2010 and 29 months after City Council unanimously approved the project back in 2011.

“I regret this disappointing news and appreciate your patience.”
— Rich Newlands, PBOT project manager

Newlands emailed the project’s citizen advisory committee with the bad news yesterday, saying that the high bids were due to a tight construction market:

“The project went out to bid in June, with the bid opening on July 9. Unfortunately the two bids received were significantly above the project’s construction contract estimate. The low number of bidders and the high bids received strongly indicates that the construction market has recently reached saturation. Instead of further reducing the scope of the project, we have decided to re-bid the project in November. This means construction is now anticipated to begin in Febrauary of 2014, with completion more dependent on when the weather conditions allow for the striping work in later Spring…

… I regret this disappointing news and appreciate your patience.”

A source at PBOT confirms that high construction bids are to blame for the delay. “We didn’t like the bid we got,” our source said, while assuring us that there are not technical issues with the project.

Once completed the 50s Bikeway will fill a 4.3 mile gap in the bike network with a mix of bike lanes, bike boulevards and crossing treatments at eight major arterials along the route. The project is within a half-mile of 20,000 Portland residents and 12 schools. Learn more in our archives or on the City’s official project page.