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Tell Metro where bus stations should go on Powell, 82nd and Division

Tell Metro where bus stations should go on Powell, 82nd and Division

full route

It’s not yet official which route the line will take between Powell and Division, but project staff are pushing hard for that because of all the destinations on 82nd.
(Map: Metro)

This is a small preview to a big story we’ve been working on about Metro’s next big Southeast Portland project: the Powell-Division bus rapid transit corridor.

“Bus rapid transit” is the neat, fast-spreading idea of making a bus line feel and function like a train line. Part of that is that instead of a stop every two or three blocks, the big new buses will have stations (don’t call them “stops”!) every six to 12 blocks.

That means it’s especially important to get the station locations right. An online survey open through the end of this week asks where the stations should land.


The questions about station locations are open only to people who ride transit through the general area of the project — not just those who ride the 4 and the 9, the two main buses along this route. Anyone, however, is welcome to share their opinions about bus rapid transit in general or this project in particular.

If you do use transit in this area. the survey asks if the station locations mapped above would serve your needs, and whether there should be more stations or fewer.

Metro, TriMet and ODOT held an open house on Monday for a particularly interesting stretch of this project: the possible route along 82nd Avenue. We’re still gathering some of the details necessary to explain the tradeoffs here, but stay tuned for a big update on a project that’s about to enter rapid development over the next two years.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org


The post Tell Metro where bus stations should go on Powell, 82nd and Division appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City gives in to state demand to remove bike lanes from SE 26th Avenue

City gives in to state demand to remove bike lanes from SE 26th Avenue

26th powell crowd in bike box

10 a.m. southbound bike traffic at 26th and Powell.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Two of southeast Portland’s most-ridden bike lanes are slated to be removed at the insistence of the state of Oregon.

The bike lanes on each side of Southeast 26th Avenue near Powell draw something like 600 to 800 people per day (even in winter) and run in front of Cleveland High School. They will be paved over sometime in the coming months and not replaced, the Oregon Department of Transportation said last week.

The decision comes five months after the city’s top biking expert said he thought it would reduce safety on the street.

The City of Portland’s decision to accept the change comes five months after its top biking expert publicly cited four studies showing, he said, that even a narrow bike lane like the one on 26th improves road safety compared to no bike lane.

ODOT spokeswoman Kimberly Dinwiddie said Tuesday that removing the bike lane would improve safety by reducing the number of people biking through that intersection. Many, she predicted, will switch to using 28th Avenue when a new traffic signal and neighborhood greenway are installed there in the coming months. (28th avenue runs along the back of Cleveland High School, which is home to its largest bike parking area.)

Dinwiddie could not identify any evidence, beyond the state’s judgment, that this combination of changes would improve overall safety. She said she was trying to find the information but wasn’t sure when she might.

The change is necessary, Dinwiddie said, because “the intersection of SE Powell at SE 26th is already over capacity for the sheer number of users across all modes: bicyclists, pedestrians, vehicles and buses.”

Dinwiddie said Tuesday that she was unable to say what the “capacity” of the intersection is.

She said the state will “revisit” its decision if large numbers of people keep biking on 26th after the lane is removed and the nearby signal added.

26th Avenue has bike lanes, and is marked for having them in the city’s 2030 bike plan, because it is the flattest and most direct connection between several Southeast Portland commercial nodes. TriMet’s No. 10 bus also runs on 26th once every 30 minutes or so.

Decision follows major collisions, safety demonstrations
Powell protest ride-53.jpg

A May 11 protest of Powell Boulevard. The street is also U.S. 26, a state-run highway.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The state seems to be reacting in part to two high-profile collisions last year at SE 26th and Powell.

In one, a man in a truck turned left from 26th to Powell on a yellow light just as a man biked south through the intersection, also on a yellow light. The left-cross collision severed Alistair Corkett’s leg.

In the second incident, three weeks later, a man driving a Jeep ran a red light on Powell just as a man biked north across it. The collision broke Peter Anderson’s leg.


The incidents became a focus for continuing anger about Powell Boulevard from people who live nearby, who say that typical speeds on Powell exceed the 35 mph limit and that the state has refused measures, like narrower lanes, that would reduce those speeds. During the 10 years to 2013, the state-run road saw 381 traffic injuries and three fatalities on the 12 blocks of Powell surrounding Cleveland High School.

Aside from the point where they cross Powell, the 26th Avenue bike lanes don’t seem to show a particular bike safety problem.

Aside from the point where they cross Powell, the 26th Avenue bike lanes don’t seem to show a particular bike safety problem, though they are uncomfortably narrow and run in the door zone at some points. Out of 17 bike-related injuries between Holgate and Division in that period, eight were at the Powell intersection.

About 100 people joined a May 11 protest by legally walking and biking back and forth across Powell in a crosswalk near 26th Avenue during the evening rush hour. Two days later, two dozen people joined a die-in outside ODOT headquarters.

Hours after the second collision, on May 29, ODOT said it would add a new left-turn arrow phase to the signal at 26th Avenue, a change that lengthened the traffic signal cycle. This also lengthened the red light facing Powell.

Meanwhile, the state was reviewing an unrelated request from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The city had asked for permission to add a new signal at 28th Avenue for the new neighborhood greenway that had been planned as part of the 20s Bikeway — designed to be a less direct but lower-stress alternative to 26th Avenue’s bike lanes.

The state agreed to allow a new biking/walking traffic signal, but on one unusual condition: that the city remove the bike lanes from 26th.

State says it will “revisit” decision if substantial bike traffic remains on 26th
students biking in crosswalk 26th powell

Some people who bike on 26th already don’t bother with the bike lanes.

In an undated memo by the City of Portland, city staff projected that removing the northbound bike lane from 26th in order to widen the southbound bike lane there (which was another scenario discussed) would divert 90 percent of northbound bike traffic over to 28th.

That memo apparently inspired the state’s proposal to remove bike lanes from 26th Avenue completely. BikePortland received it in August after a public record request.

In an email last week, ODOT spokeswoman Dinwiddie wrote that if the bike lanes are removed from 26th Avenue but bike traffic falls less dramatically than the city expects, then ODOT “would be willing to revisit the agreement to remove bike lanes from SE 26th Avenue.”

“Encouraging bicyclists to use the new crossing at SE 28th Avenue or opt to use the travel lane on SE 26th Avenue will raise the visibility of the cyclist in the roadway as well as increase the likelihood they will be seen.”
— ODOT Spokeswoman Kimberly Dinwiddie

“We recognize some cyclists will continue to use the intersection, which is perfectly legal,” Dinwiddie wrote. “Removing the bike lanes on SE 26th Avenue and encouraging bicyclists to use the new crossing at SE 28th Avenue or opt to use the travel lane on SE 26th Avenue will raise the visibility of the cyclist in the roadway as well as increase the likelihood they will be seen by bike and vehicles using other approaches at the intersection. … SE 28th Avenue crossing at Powell has fewer conflict points for bikes and pedestrians than a traditional signal and provides a safe and comfortable location for bike to cross. The City will be installing bicycle wayfinding signs on 26th to encourage bicyclists to cross at the safer location two blocks away rather than using the intersection at 26th and Powell where we have seen a number of serious bicycle crashes in the past year.”

Rich Newlands, the city’s project manager for the 20s Bikeway, confirmed on Dec. 23 that the state had approved the signal at 28th but said he couldn’t comment on the decisions surrounding 26th Avenue. Newlands referred questions about 26th Avenue to city spokesman John Brady, who couldn’t find time in the next two weeks to answer any questions about the city’s decision.

(Brady did send a text message Wednesday saying “we appreciate that there seems to be room to revisit the issue after the much needed signal at 28th is installed.”)

As a result, it’s currently unclear when the city expects to remove the bike lanes, or why it agreed to do so despite its policy to prioritize bike traffic over auto traffic, its designation of 26th Avenue as a future bikeway and the four studies that it had said showed that removing the bike lane would make the street more dangerous.

In August, the state said it feels those studies do not support such a conclusion, but declined to say why.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org


The post City gives in to state demand to remove bike lanes from SE 26th Avenue appeared first on BikePortland.org.

In their own words, here’s what Portlanders are saying about Clinton traffic diverters

In their own words, here’s what Portlanders are saying about Clinton traffic diverters

Guerrilla diverters on SE Clinton-9

Portland is at a crossroads..
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In their open-ended comments about traffic diverters and speed bumps proposed for Southeast Clinton Street, one Portlander after another has chimed in to support the concept of making Portland’s most important bikeways more comfortable to bike on.

“Please fix things before my girlfriend moves to Detroit,” one frustrated Clinton Street user wrote.

As we reported last month, people who’ve participated in the city’s very public open house and its online survey have been overwhelmingly in favor of the diverters. But as fans and critics of the city’s plan both organize politically, the city has received memorable comments on both sides of the issue. Here’s a selection of what they said, lifted from results of the open house and online survey that we requested under the state’s open records law.

“It will be hard at first”

I know it will be hard at first, but as someone who lives right on Clinton St I see near misses, egregious speeding, and a huge lack of collaboration with bicycles. And bicyclists aren’t going away, so designating a street for them is a public health measure.

“There are neighborhoods in deep SE that don’t even have sidewalks”

I live one block south of Clinton on Woodward Ave. These proposed changes are incredibly frustrating. Already traffic and speeding has increased dramatically on the two streets just south of Clinton (Woodward and Brooklyn) since the “improvements” to Division made traffic there slow and jammed and care commuters regularly cut through to and from Chavez. This will only make the issue much, much worse for the rest of this family filled residential neighborhood.

There are neighborhoods in deep SE that don’t even have sidewalks! How could this proposal even see the light of day given the vast disparity in resource allocation that already exists in SE Portland is beyond me. The changes will NOT make the area safer for everyone and that concern has not come close to being addressed.

“The biggest obstacle to safe biking on Clinton is the excess of parked cars”

Recent changes to the Division Clinton neighborhood have come at the expense of long time residents. With each new change, residents raise their concerns, only to be ignored. Then when the undesirable outcome materializes, the city proposes yet another change that further damages our quality of life. It was evident, when traffic and development projects came to Division, that these would result in more congestion along Clinton. Yet those policies were pushed through. The biggest obstacle to safe biking on Clinton is the excess of parked cars. Will the new parking policies still under discussion help to address this? It seems like Clinton Street should be the number one priority for parking permits and removal of nonresident cars (including those coming from all the new multifamily development). This would be a better restriction than imposing more impediments on local long-time residents ability to move around our neighborhood–it has become difficult enough, already!

“We’re trying to create a city that is actually people-friendly”

There are WAY too many cars per hour on SE Clinton right now; it is supposed to be an official neighborhood greenway, and it isn’t even CLOSE to meeting the minimum requirements for this designation.

These diverters will prevent car and truck drivers from cheating by going down Clinton when they should be sticking to SE Division or other streets.

We’re trying to create a city that is actually PEOPLE-friendly, rather than one that is a slave to cars and their ridiculously car-addicted owners. Once people see FAR fewer cars on SE Clinton, they will *finally* be motivated to get out of their cars, enjoy getting outside and getting some exercise, and revel in this wonderful emission-free way to travel.

Let’s make SE Clinton the model neighborhood greenway that it was *supposed* to be!! Other major cities all across North America and Europe are now WAY ahead of Portland in implementing people-friendly infrastructure and official plans. It’s about time that we caught up to the rest of the world by taking this tiny but critically important step.

Thank you so much! I drive a car much (if not most) of the time, but I am VERY excited to see these changes on SE Clinton!!

“Way too much car traffic for the neighborhood”

I’m a recent business owner at SE 26th and Clinton and am strongly in support of this. I would have supported it when we owned our business as well.

I ride this route daily and walk it multiple times a day. It has way too much car traffic for the neighborhood.

As a bike commuter I tend to ride from SE 28th west to the railroad via SE Tibbets in the morning and east on Clinton in the morning from the railroad to SE 26th. The amount of cut-through traffic in the morning from Powell is ridiculous. There’s no good way I can think of to fix that other than to reduce the number of cars. But I’m not sure how that happens. I fear that this change could likely make that worse, but I think that the long term benefit of the diverters and attention will have an overall positive impact for the non-car users.

“Auto cut throughs … are increasingly visible throughout Southeast”

The auto cut throughs we’re seeing on Clinton are increasingly visible throughout Southeast Portland. I live between Burnside and Stark and frequently see drivers cutting through our street to move faster than they would on nearby arterials (47th and 60th). I’m in favor of diverters on Clinton, but I think we need a larger solution to the arterial congestion that’s leading to these issues. Otherwise PBOT will just be playing a game of diverter whack-a-mole!

“I’ll tear the blockades down”

Fuck you all. I’ll tear the blockades down.

Guess it’s time to use bicycle nazi tactics against the bicycle nazis of PBOT.

“Stop the bicycle madness”

I am a plumber. I need alerternate routes to get around bottlenecks. You’ve already messed up NE 50th at Burnside and Stark. NW Everett is a joke. Two lanes to one. Trimet buses stop traffic for blocks while a bike lane sits idle. North Williams is always a fun trip with no parking. Can’t wait for all the low bid fixtures to start failing in those cracker box apartments.

Seriously, you say there is not enough money for street maintenance? Stop the bicycle madness. Spend the limited funds on paving and forget about bikes. Until you make cyclist pay for licenses, pass safety tests, and wear a color other than black. There will be no support from hard working tradesmen, delivery drivers, working commuters aka taxpayers, for these projects

“I have been avoiding it”

I feel the auto traffic has made it unsafe for bike riding and I have been avoiding it because the level of traffic makes it an uncomfortable place to ride your bike.

“I’ve taken my kids in a bike trailer a couple of times”

Clinton makes the most sense when I head downtown from my Foster Powell home on my bike. I’ve taken my kids in a bike trailer a couple of times, and I’d love to feel even safer doing that and teaching them to ride safely themselves there one day. Thank you for making this a priority!

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“Changes here aren’t greatly needed”

I live in the area and ride Clinton often. I enjoy riding this street and other Portland greenways and rarely have problems on them. I would much prefer to see funding spent on building sidewalks/bike lanes elsewhere than Clinton. I feel that a small number of loud men have been advocating for changes here that aren’t greatly needed.

“This is long overdue”

This is long overdue and I am glad to hear it’s moving forward.

I am VERBALLY harassed at least once weekly by aggressive cars on my way between my home (Brentwood Darlington East) and my workplace (The Pearl District).

My actual PHYSICAL safety is endangered on a near-DAILY basis by cars on SE Clinton trying to overtake me while approaching stop signs, coming at me head-on while trying to go around cyclists in the other direction, blowing north/south stop signs, and other bad driving behavior.

As someone that ALSO drives, I understand that traffic can be nightmarish and frustrating. But that doesn’t meant you get to pretend your car is a bicycle and take the bike route in. It’s got to change.

“Neighborhood greenways all over the city need to be improved”

I live on Lincoln and love diverters even though I have to go a couple blocks out of my way whenever I drive my car. Neighborhood greenways all over the city need to be improved this way.

“You’re catering to a very loud minority”

By placing diverters on Clinton, you’re catering to a very loud minority who ignore the truth of the matter– that Clinton is a very safe street to bike on, even by Portland standards.

Invest where it is truly needed. Out on 82nd.

“Very excited to see the proposed changes in action”

Yes, please, to all of this! I bike on Clinton daily, (while pregnant even!) and while I generally find it to be a hospitable, non-intimidating route for the most part, I do notice that there seem to be a lot of cars using the street as a cut-through-street. It would be nice to see bike traffic prioritized, particularly since the Tillicum bridge makes Clinton an even more appealing cycling route. Very excited to see the proposed changes in action!

“The cars will not just disappear”

Most commuters are drivers, by a very large margin. Where is it you expect cars to go? With Division having become a nightmare, people still want to get where they’re going in a timely fashion. The cars will not just disappear. This will push them farther into our neighborhood streets.

“You can’t keep making it harder to drive a car”

You can’t keep making it harder to drive a car.

“Countless acts of careless driving”

For the last three years, my son attended preschool on SE Clinton multiple days per week. It’s ~2.5 miles from our home in Westmoreland and I would ride my son there by bike, w/ him in a trailer, then continue by bike to my job in NW Portland. For the last 1.75 years, we rode there together–he on his own bike and me on mine. In that time, we observed countless acts of careless driving, excessive speed and rude/dangerous behavior. As many have attested the increase in traffic is not a perception–it’s reality. I STRONGLY support the city’s efforts to curtail excessive commuter traffic on SE Clinton and to help create and sustain the bike-oriented nature of the street and ALL Greenways in Portland.

Thank you for time and effort!

“Irresponsible walkers and cyclists”

If this had been proposed in tandem with the changes that were made on Division, I think this would be a different conversation. There needs to be a realistic environment place for those of us who need to drive. It takes 15 minutes to drive 5 blocks on division sometimes bc of all of the irresponsible walkers and cyclists. They don’t follow the laws for them. Pedestrians ambling across the street -not at the crosswalk- even when there is traffic coming and expecting every car to stop for them no matter what. Cyclists weaving between the road and the sidewalk not looking before the run a stop sign or go through a cross walk. And now you want to divert me from my neighborhood as well? You want me to walk 2-4 blocks to get to my house or my work? I am 100% opposed to this change.

“I do not feel safe even walking on Clinton”

I just wanted to say that the issue isn’t isolated for cyclists on clinton. I do not feel safe even walking on Clinton sometimes because of the speed at which cars approach intersections coming off of Division. They often don’t stop at the sign initially, but speed up past the sign to turn onto clinton as fast as possible. Pedestrians are at risk every time a vehicle chooses to not stop at the sign and look for sidewalk users before inching up to turn. (It is 100 times worse on Division itself, but that’s a whole different story).

“You should have diverters for cars every 2 blocks”

I think you should have diverters for cars every 2 blocks. Also you need to consider the impact this will be having on SE Lincoln. Also you should consider diverters between 39th and 52nd, due to new developments.

“Why do the changes stop at 52nd?”

Why do the changes stop at 52nd? Many people biking (and Franklin HS students) travel the Woodward segment of the greenway between 52nd and 65th, and 65th is a well-loved conduit for bicyclists coming north to then travel west on Woodward/Clinton, by virtue of the signal at Powell. Similar changes should be considered for Woodward between 52nd-65th and 65th between Woodward-Powell.

“None of these are particularly drastic”

I actually think none of these are particularly drastic, but hopefully in total they lower traffic volumes to the point where Clinton feels more like a local street again.

“Does not go far enough!”

This is great! Does not go far enough! We need diversion at 21/26 (work it out w/ Trimet). We need diversion @ 50th. We need “no left” signs at 21/26. We need 30s diversion in Phase I. We need better education that greenways are for human beings.

“All the traffic on Clinton now will just get diverted onto Woodward”

All this nonsense is to appease a small group of overly loud bicyclists. All the traffic on Clinton now will just get diverted onto Woodward St. Woodward is too narrow. This is going to cause huge problems for those of us who live on Woodward. I deeply resent my taxes being used this way. Stop this nonsense.

“People drive SO FAST”

I live on SE Clinton & 43rd. People drive SO FAST down & up that stretch of Clinton. It’s not ok – we have little kids around & bike folks too, & drivers ___ (because there’s NO indications otherwise) that it’s a good place to zoom zoom their Ford Broncos, or whatever. Please help us fix this! Roundabout, bumps, signs!

“I want diversion at 12th, 17th, 26th, 29th, 35th & 50th”

I want diversion at 12th, 17th, 26th, 29th, 35th, & 50th. Repaint the no-pass stripes. Bikes may use full lane signs every block. Left turn prohibitions at 21st & 26th. Pedestrian plaza at 26th. Implement the 34th reconfiguration.

“Clinton is already safe”

Clinton is already safe and by making cars drive “two to four blocks out of directions” is a great way to cause more pollution.

Get real.

“Diverters are essential to achieve goals”

Diverters are essential to achieve goals of reducing auto volumes, and – most importantly – increasing safety for vulnerable road users. Thank you – strongly support those improvements … toward vision zero.

Among all the comments the city has received from its live open house and online survey, 83 percent said they supported the city’s proposed changes to Clinton, with 73 percent in strong support. The other 17 percent of comments opposed the changes, with 11 percent in strong opposition. (Here’s the city’s summary of responses.)

And there are, of course, countless Portlanders who haven’t yet heard a thing about the plan.

If the city is hoping for consensus about the need to lower out-of-neighborhood traffic on Clinton, the comments above guarantee that it’ll be disappointed. But the same set of comments also show that almost everyone who cares strongly about this issue, at least so far, generally favors the city’s plan. We’ll see if that lasts.


The post In their own words, here’s what Portlanders are saying about Clinton traffic diverters appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Outreach begins for likely upgrades to SE 82nd Avenue

Outreach begins for likely upgrades to SE 82nd Avenue

82ndlead

Plenty of room for changes.
(Photo: Google Streetview)

The street that once ran along part of Portland’s eastern border is now one of its most important corridors, and it’s lined up for some changes — which may even include a new bikeway.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition will host a community forum about the urban highway’s future. It’s convened by the Asian-Pacific American Network of Oregon, the force behind an effort to keep strengthening the identity of the Jade District near 82nd and Division; by state Sen. Michael Dembrow, one of the forces behind an effort to bring 82nd Avenue from state to local control; and by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which is updating its zoning maps in ways that could push the street away from its current highway-on-the-edge-of-town atmosphere.

Amid all that, there’s a potential source of serious cash pointed toward Southeast 82nd between Powell and Division: the Powell-Division Transit and Development project, which is likely to use state and/or federal funding to add a rapid bus line running east on Powell Boulevard out of downtown, north on 82nd, and then east to Gresham on Division Street.

That’s where the possibility of a bikeway comes in. Under state law, “footpaths and bicycle trails, including curb cuts or ramps as part of the project, shall be provided wherever a highway, road or street is being constructed, reconstructed or relocated.” (Whether the project triggers the “Bike Bill” could become a sticking point down the road.)

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The possibilities for the Powell-Division project aren’t yet clear, but I’ve been told that it’s currently seen as unlikely that buses could get an entire dedicated lane. Queue-jump lanes at traffic signals, nicer stations and other features would certainly make for easier politics.

The Powell-Division project, which is currently led by Metro, is already doing more than maybe any previous transit plan in the area to consider biking not just as a complication to be dealt with but as an important aspect of the system being created.

In May, Metro circulated a 25-page overview of the bicycle elements of the plan. That plan discussed likely bike lanes for outer Division but skirted the topic of what to do about the bike lanes that would seem to be required on that stretch of 82nd if the street gets the sort of meaningful investment that would be needed to create an attractive bus rapid transit line.

Here’s a description of the Oct. 10 event from the 82nd Avenue Improvement coalition:

The event will include opportunities to meet city planners and give public testimony on the City of Portland’s Mixed-Use Zoning and Employment Zones projects, as well as public outreach and discussion relating to other issues and projects affecting the area, including transportation and transit, housing, and small business. Mayor Charlie Hales will also attend and speak to the attendees.

The 82nd Avenue Community Forum takes place October 10, 2015 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space at 8114 SE Division Street in Portland. Doors open at 9:30 am.

Now’s the time to get this project on your radar. Please get involved and share your feedback if possible.


The post Outreach begins for likely upgrades to SE 82nd Avenue appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Richmond neighborhood association narrowly rejects recall of density advocate

Richmond neighborhood association narrowly rejects recall of density advocate

doug klotz

Doug Klotz is a longtime Richmond Neighborhood
Association board member. He also co-founded
the advocacy group Oregon Walks.
(Photo: Oregon Walks)

One of Portland’s longest-serving neighborhood association board members survived a recall vote Monday night by the thinnest margin possible.

Doug Klotz, a member of the Richmond Neighborhood Association since “around 1993” and a longtime advocate for Portland to become more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented, won the right to stay in office by a single ballot out of 252 cast.

The neighborhood association’s bylaws require a 2/3 majority to agree with the recall proposal. According to a count Monday night and a recount Tuesday by the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition, opponents of Klotz found 167 votes out of the 168 they would have needed.

The Richmond neighborhood includes the area south of Hawthorne and north of Powell, east of 28th/29th and west of 50th/52nd. It includes the stretch of Division Street that has rapidly changed over the last few years from a relatively low-density auto-oriented corridor into a street lined with low-rise apartments and popular (and in some cases expensive) shops and restaurants.

The Richmond Neighborhood Association is an influential group in the future of the Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway.

Though the neighborhood association has been overwhelmingly focused on issues related to that shift, it’s also an influential group in the future of the Clinton Street Neighborhood Greenway. At a public open house tomorrow night, the city plans to propose one or more traffic diverters that would reduce auto traffic on that street in order to make it friendlier to biking and walking.

The vote over Klotz’s recall was prompted by a different election earlier this year. As we reported in June, Klotz mounted an effort this spring to recruit like-minded people to serve with him on the board. As part of that effort, Klotz posted to two bike-related listservs, BikeLoudPDX and Active Right of Way, suggesting that Richmond neighborhood residents on those lists should consider running for board office or simply turn out to vote for the candidates Klotz supported.

Klotz’s effort worked, more or less. An unusually large number of people (39) showed up at Richmond’s June election and voted in three new board members. That vote ousted three incumbent board members, including the neighborhood association’s former chair, Allen Field.

Field and Klotz have often disagreed about issues related to infill and development.

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After being voted out of office, the three ousted members — Field, Bonnie Bray, and Karin Maczko — accused Klotz of misconduct because one of his emails had described the incumbent Richmond board as “less than bike friendly.” With a 6-6 vote on Aug. 24, Richmond’s new neighborhood board decided not to create a grievance committee to further review the situation.

Meanwhile, Klotz’s critics took their campaign to the neighborhood itself, gathering the 12 signatures required for a recall vote, which is allowed “with or without cause.”

ice cream hands

Division Street’s urban overhaul is a major
source of contention in the Richmond area.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

In an email to neighborhood residents circulated last week, Field urged neighbors to base their vote on Klotz’s tactics in the earlier election and on his support for paid auto parking and infill. (Klotz supporters subsequently disputed the specifics of Field’s claims.)

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of Klotz (or at least of his opinions) attended Monday’s neighborhood association meeting. Southeast Uplift neighborhood planning program manager Bob Kellett, who helped oversee the vote, said Tuesday that every person voting needed to be present.

“Their bylaws don’t allow for proxy voting,” Kellett said. “The meeting was from 7 to 9, so we accepted ballots until the end.”

Kellett said they modeled the vote process on previous Richmond elections: voters were asked to give their address and to agree that they were a resident or property owner within the neighborhood.

After the initial vote count came up with 167 votes for recall and 85 against — one vote short of the total needed for a recall — election organizers decided a recount would be needed. But they didn’t want to keep everyone there until late in the evening.

“We counted them at the meeting and then wanted to make sure that the results were accurate, so the executive director [of SEUL, Anne Dufay] took them home last night, and we counted them again in the office this morning to verify that we got them right,” Kellett said.

I asked Kellett if his experience with other neighborhood associations could offer any guidance as Richmond deals with such a contentious series of events.

“Periodically neighborhood association boards just have situations that arise, and they kind of have to be worked out,” Kellett answered. “Obviously there are feelings on all sides of the issue. … I think if we can harness the energy that’s been involved with this to try and make improvements and move forward, then that’s the best path for the neighborhoods and for the board.”


The post Richmond neighborhood association narrowly rejects recall of density advocate appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house

City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house

clinton speed

Portland’s second-most-ridden neighborhood greenway is being lined up for possible improvements.

Southeast Clinton Street currently sees auto traffic volumes near 26th Avenue that are triple the city’s target for a neighborhood greenway and long stretches where auto speeds are 6 to 8 mph above the 20 mph limit.

Three months ago, after joining Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick to call a summit about bike safety, Mayor Charlie Hales said the city “will experiment with diverters — which allow bicycles through but block cars — at different locations.”

It was the city’s single most substantive response to a series of major biking collisions this spring, and followed years of pressure from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and a year of noisy organizing by BikeLoudPDX.

In a mailer that arrived at nearby addresses Tuesday, the city announced an open house to start discussing the possibilities. It’s Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Abernethy School, 2421 SE Orange Ave.

clinton street

We reported in July that the city had chosen Clinton as the site of the first such experimental diverter or diverters. Hales’ concept of on-the-ground experiments was inspired in part by the successful recent demos by Better Block PDX of better walking and biking spaces on 3rd Avenue and Naito downtown.

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Last week, a major report from the city about the state of its neighborhood greenways named Clinton Street as one of five bike routes that need of some combination of diverters, speed humps or other traffic-controlling and calming measures. (Another was Lincoln-Harrison-Ladd, the city’s most-ridden neighborhood greenway.)

At stake is whether the crucial bikeway through Southeast Portland can be made comfortable enough to appeal to bike users of all ages and abilities. Also at issue: whether making it more complicated to navigate Clinton in a car might threaten the businesses that make Clinton such a useful part of its neighborhood.

Years ago, when the city took a political beating over installing a diverter at Clinton and Chavez, some city staffers swore off diversion projects.

But a lot has changed in the years since. Division Street’s population boom has increased the number of people who live close to Clinton’s businesses. Thanks in part to that diverter at Chavez, the number of people biking on Clinton during rush hour has doubled since 2006. Today, bikes account for a bit more than half the traffic on Clinton during the evening peak hour.

clinton traffic

Source: Latest city bike counts (June 2014) and auto counts (June 2015).

Most of all, the Clinton bikeway may have never had such an indefagitable and organized group of fans. In the last year, they’ve organized a month-long festival to celebrate the Clinton bikeway’s 30th birthday; won a series of seats on the Richmond Neighborhood Association Board; and conducted their own volunteer traffic analysis in case the city missed a chance to count the traffic itself. (The city didn’t actually miss the chance, so our understanding of Clinton’s traffic patterns is now even richer.)

Speaking of that volunteer traffic analysis, here’s the detailed set of recommendations for Clinton diverters prepared pro bono by one of the activists, traffic engineering pro Brian Davis of Lancaster Engineering. If you’re interested in attending this month’s open house, it might make for some good homework.


The post City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house

City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house

clinton speed

Portland’s second-most-ridden neighborhood greenway is being lined up for possible improvements.

Southeast Clinton Street currently sees auto traffic volumes near 26th Avenue that are triple the city’s target for a neighborhood greenway and long stretches where auto speeds are 6 to 8 mph above the 20 mph limit.

Three months ago, after joining Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick to call a summit about bike safety, Mayor Charlie Hales said the city “will experiment with diverters — which allow bicycles through but block cars — at different locations.”

It was the city’s single most substantive response to a series of major biking collisions this spring, and followed years of pressure from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and a year of noisy organizing by BikeLoudPDX.

In a mailer that arrived at nearby addresses Tuesday, the city announced an open house to start discussing the possibilities. It’s Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Abernethy School, 2421 SE Orange Ave.

clinton street

We reported in July that the city had chosen Clinton as the site of the first such experimental diverter or diverters. Hales’ concept of on-the-ground experiments was inspired in part by the successful recent demos by Better Block PDX of better walking and biking spaces on 3rd Avenue and Naito downtown.

– Advertisement –


Last week, a major report from the city about the state of its neighborhood greenways named Clinton Street as one of five bike routes that need of some combination of diverters, speed humps or other traffic-controlling and calming measures. (Another was Lincoln-Harrison-Ladd, the city’s most-ridden neighborhood greenway.)

At stake is whether the crucial bikeway through Southeast Portland can be made comfortable enough to appeal to bike users of all ages and abilities. Also at issue: whether making it more complicated to navigate Clinton in a car might threaten the businesses that make Clinton such a useful part of its neighborhood.

Years ago, when the city took a political beating over installing a diverter at Clinton and Chavez, some city staffers swore off diversion projects.

But a lot has changed in the years since. Division Street’s population boom has increased the number of people who live close to Clinton’s businesses. Thanks in part to that diverter at Chavez, the number of people biking on Clinton during rush hour has doubled since 2006. Today, bikes account for a bit more than half the traffic on Clinton during the evening peak hour.

clinton traffic

Source: Latest city bike counts (June 2014) and auto counts (June 2015).

Most of all, the Clinton bikeway may have never had such an indefagitable and organized group of fans. In the last year, they’ve organized a month-long festival to celebrate the Clinton bikeway’s 30th birthday; won a series of seats on the Richmond Neighborhood Association Board; and conducted their own volunteer traffic analysis in case the city missed a chance to count the traffic itself. (The city didn’t actually miss the chance, so our understanding of Clinton’s traffic patterns is now even richer.)

Speaking of that volunteer traffic analysis, here’s the detailed set of recommendations for Clinton diverters prepared pro bono by one of the activists, traffic engineering pro Brian Davis of Lancaster Engineering. If you’re interested in attending this month’s open house, it might make for some good homework.


The post City will share options for Clinton Street upgrades at Sept. 16 open house appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Fixing Southeast: Three achievable proposals from a fast-rising advocate

Fixing Southeast: Three achievable proposals from a fast-rising advocate

clinton speed

SE Clinton Street.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Southeast Portland has always been the heart of Portland’s biking culture. But as the last few weeks have made horrifically clear, it’s still full of problems.

In an article published Friday on the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition’s website, a new member of that organization’s board laid out three concrete and seemingly achievable suggestions for making the area a bit better — as well as a perceptive theory about the recent problems on Southeast Clinton Street.

Terry Dublinski-Milton, who several years ago created his own neighborhood-greenway-focused bike plan for the city and has since become active in the city’s formal neighborhood association system and the advocacy group BikeLoudPDX, had this to say about three different needs of the big swath of Portland south of Interstate 84 and west of Interstate 205.

Clinton-Woodward Bikeway

Clinton Street is one of Portland’s oldest and most well-established bikeways. Unfortunately this once-lauded and always popular bicycle route is troubled by safety and equity issues. Parts of Clinton handle over THREE times the number of vehicles daily than they should according to national standards for auto counts on bike boulevards. Previously this wasn’t as much of a problem because there were big gaps where bikes could move to the side.

Now that Division St is a trendy destination, visitors are increasingly parking on Clinton and drivers are using Clinton as a convenient (few stop signs) cut-through during peak commute times. This has created dangerous conditions for bicycles as drivers try to pass without adequate space to do so safely. To reduce conflict and modernize this critical bikeway, I believe the City should install diverters that would direct cars back to the arterials.

To the west there is the Tilikum Crossing, a world class active transportation bridge, yet to the east the Clinton-Woodward bikeway ends in gravel with no residential connection to the Green Line Division MAX station or I 205 path. Completing Clinton-Woodward, MAX to MAX, would create a central residential safety corridor for all of SE Uplift which would physically show we really do care about equity, while we connect SE Uplift including the forgotten “Middle East” of Portland between 60th and I 205 together. This would be good for all of us.

terry

Terry Dublinski-Milton.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Dublinski-Milton’s point about Clinton becoming a worse place to bike in part because its parking spaces have become scarcer isn’t backed up by hard data (not that I know of, at least). But it squares the city’s argument that traffic volumes on the street haven’t changed much with Clinton users’ contention that the street has recently gotten much less bike-friendly.

His use of the phrase “Middle East” to describe the mostly gridded but more auto-oriented area between 60th Avenue and Interstate 205 is also useful. Whether or not that language takes off, this part of Portland is likely to see big changes in the next decade and is going to need a name.

Interested in fixes to Clinton? The City of Portland hasn’t counted of traffic volumes on Clinton since the Division streetscape project finished, but the neighborhood group Safer Clinton is conducting its own rush-hour counts tomorrow in order to gather data before the end of the Portland Public Schools year. If you can help out between 7 and 9 a.m. or 4 and 6 p.m., email your preferred shift to schlosshauer@gmail.com and show up at the time planned.

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20s Bikeway

The 20s Bikeway – a 9.1-mile route that goes from Lombard Avenue in the north to the Springwater Corridor in the south – is funded for this fall. Here we have a rare opportunity to build in a fix to Clinton: engineer diversion near 28th on Clinton as part of this bikeway. This small improvement on the 20s bikeway, which connects Hosford Middle and Cleveland High Schools, would solve two problems at once: creating a safe, low traffic, north-south bicycling corridor while concurrently creating safer conditions on this stretch of Clinton through traffic reduction. This is just one possible improvement, but working together SE Uplift, neighbors, businesses, and neighborhood associations can help make sure the 20s Bikeway is a genuine world-class bike facility.

Almost two years after planning began, the poor bedraggled 20s Bikeway Project is looking like a federally funded photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy. But Dublinski-Milton’s suggestion for leveraging its money and process to fund a crucial bit of diversion on Clinton is interesting.

60s & 80s Bikeways

There currently is a large gap in our north-south bikeway network that spans the SE Uplift coalition area between the 50s and I-205. Over the past months, I have worked with neighborhood associations and individuals to network the “Middle East” of Portland into a series of priority bikeways including the 60s from the 60th MAX station to the Springwater via Mount Tabor Park and 80th from Madison High School south into Brentwood-Darlington. These have been endorsed by a number of neighborhood associations and are on the planning maps, but we need to call on City Hall to get them built. Each of these bikeways cross Clinton-Woodward and will integrate nicely into the 2016 SE Foster Roadway safety modernization, thus supporting this growing commercial corridor.

The 60s and 80s bikeways are essentially neighborhood-driven variations on the jagged neighborhood greenways sketched into Portland’s 2010 bike plan on either side of Mount Tabor. As Portland waits (and waits…) for some sort of bike access on 82nd Avenue, the 80s bikeway in particular could be a decent interim alternative. Here are Dublinski-Milton’s homebrewed Google maps of the routes:

Interested in learning more about it? Dublinski-Milton, joined by city transportation staffer Zef Wagner and others, is leading a Pedalpalooza ride (Facebook, Shift) south along the 80s bikeway from Madison High School south to the Cartlandia food cart pod.

With Portland’s biking problems feeling as pressing as they ever have, these ideas are worth talking about. It’s nice to see a neighborhood coalition giving them a platform.

Disclosure: I serve with Dublinski-Milton and others on the board of the North Tabor Neighborhood Association, largely because I was impressed by what he was getting done for our neighborhood. We don’t always agree, of course.


The post Fixing Southeast: Three achievable proposals from a fast-rising advocate appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Eastmoreland residents organize against wider bike lanes that would remove parking

Eastmoreland residents organize against wider bike lanes that would remove parking

yellow house from below

Some people bike on Woodstock Boulevard’s sidewalk to avoid the door-zone bike lane that would be upgraded as part of the 20s Bikeway Project.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association is trying to stop Portland from widening the four-foot door-zone bike lanes along four blocks of Woodstock Boulevard.

The four blocks would be a key link in the planned 20s Bikeway, the first continuous all-ages bike route to stretch all the way from Portland’s northern to southern border. But Kurt Krause, chair of the neighborhood association’s bike committee, said the benefits of a continuously comfortable route aren’t worth the costs of removing curbside parking in front of seven large houses that overlook the Reed College campus across the street.

All seven houses have private driveways and garages on their lots.

big house

yellow house driveway

basketball hoop

“The biggest problem, I guess, is just for deliveries, for repairmen, for things like that,” Krause said.

Tradeoffs for roadway space

door zone lane

SE Woodstock Boulevard, looking east toward 32nd Avenue.

The city’s current plans call for creating a five-foot curbside bike lane on each side of Woodstock with a two-foot striped buffer.

But there’d be no room for that on the current street without removing the one lane of parking.

“When they have their Thanksgiving dinner, they will not be able to have their family get to their house very easily — that was the example given by one family.”
— Robert McCullough, president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association

A visit to the site last week showed that there were indeed a handful of cars, not obviously associated with the homes’ residents, parked along the south side of Woodstock Boulevard. (There is already no curbside parking along the north side, next to Reed’s campus.)

Two nearby residents described themselves as pro-bike in general but said they’d prefer to keep the street parking.

“If I clear out my garage, I’ve got two, three, four, six, eight cars here,” conceded Tyler Stevenson, who was washing a car in the driveway of one of the houses, where he lives as a tenant. Still, Stevenson said, “having the parking for the public is important.”

car wash

Tyler Stevenson said he’s “pro-bike” but would rather give up the grassy strip in front of the house he rents than the on-street parking lane.

Stevenson said that cable or gas company drivers are sometimes forbidden from parking in private driveways. He added that campus events often lead to people using the curbside parking on Woodstock, which leads many guests of people in the homes to park on Moreland Lane, the narrow street behind the homes.

Cindy Simpson, whose home faces Moreland Lane, confirmed this.

Simpson’s driveway was one of the few on the block that was full when I stopped by on a Monday afternoon. It holds four cars:

4 cars

Simpson said that’s because her daughter’s family shares the house with her and her husband. She said they never park cars in their garage.

simpson

Cindy Simpson said street parking is
already scarce.

“We have storage, you know,” she said.

“I’m all for bikes — I like sharing the road with them,” she added. “I think the bike lane is huge already. And I think it’s a waste of money when they could be paving the roads.”

(In our conversation, I told Simpson that I thought the bike lane was actually the minimum width, but I was wrong; it’s actually narrower. The current national minimum standard is four feet for a curbside bike lane and five feet for a door-zone lane. Both of Woodstock’s bike lanes are four feet wide.

According to a 2014 study, 94 percent of people bike in the door zone of a four-foot door-zone bike lane. With a five-foot door-zone bike lane, this falls to 91 percent.)

“I’m able to live with it however they do it,” Simpson said in conclusion.

Bike Gallery warehouse sale!


City shouldn’t remove parking without studies to justify it, neighborhood official says

map

Robert McCullough, president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, called his own opposition to improved bike lanes “mainly a public involvement question.”

He said it was based on objections from nearby residents about the lost street parking.

“When they have their Thanksgiving dinner, they will not be able to have their family get to their house very easily — that was the example given by one family,” McCullough said.

In the face of conflicts like this, McCullough said, the city should be consulting “best practices” before any such changes.

“There’s a whole set of traffic rules and regulations and studies,” he said. “We don’t do much of that in Portland.”

McCullough said he isn’t familiar enough with transportation policy to offer examples of what would or wouldn’t constitute a “best practice” on parking conversion.

McCullough also serves as president of the Southeast Uplift coalition of neighborhood associations, an organization that he’s helped rally to action against unregulated Airbnb rentals and the city’s calculations for a new “street fee.”

McCullough has also been one of the more vocal critics of many aspects of the 20s Bikeway since its planning process began. Under his leadership, the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association has persuaded the city to reroute the bikeway away from Southeast 28th Avenue south of Woodstock, where parking removal would have been required, to its current route onto Woodstock and 32nd instead. EPN also persuaded the city not to add speed bumps to 32nd Avenue south of Woodstock. That street is expected to become part of a new neighborhood greenway connection to the Springwater Corridor at the south end of the 20s bikeway.

“The reality is that this is exactly what we envisioned for neighborhood associations to do in 1975 when we set it up,” McCullough said. “The right answer always is to involve everyone.”

Street could be worse, two local bike users say

small biker

SE Woodstock Boulevard, looking west toward 28th Avenue.

Krause, McCullough’s counterpart on the neighborhood bike committee, said people who say the city can’t increase the use of bicycles without upgrading door-zone bike lanes like Woodstocks “certainly have a point.”

“I’m a bike rider myself, and I know those substandard lanes do cause problems and it’s difficult,” Krause said. “But you can make it on the 4-foot lane. It’s not impossible. I’d like to see them not do it. But then it seems as though we’ve sent letters and spoken out at meetings and had face-to-face with [Project Manager] Rich [Newlands] and other things, and nothing seems to really move them from their stance.”

Though Krause said he “would like to see wider bike lanes,” “I just don’t see it as having enough payoff to ban parking on the one side.”

Colin Stacey, a nearby resident pedaling home from work in Woodstock’s bike lane last week, said he’s all for biking improvements, up to and including removing the parking.

“I tolerate some pretty bad conditions,” he said, smiling ruefully. “I just came from Northwest through the Pearl. It’s terrible.”


The post Eastmoreland residents organize against wider bike lanes that would remove parking appeared first on BikePortland.org.

As Clinton Street’s bikeway turns 30, locals plan a celebration

As Clinton Street’s bikeway turns 30, locals plan a celebration

Guerrilla diverters on SE Clinton-9

Major arterial.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Whether you see it as a battleground or a workable compromise or a national model, the Clinton Street bikeway is one thing for sure: beloved.

A group of Clinton Street fans are meeting at SE 30th and Division Saturday to plan a party this summer that will celebrate this iconic bike route and everything it’s brought to the mix of residential and commercial uses that have made Portland’s Hosford-Abernethy and Richmond neighborhoods what they are.

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The event is being promoted by resident Kari Schlosshauer, a neighborhood and transportation advocate who also works as regional policy manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. (Readers might remember her popular guest post here last year: “A six-point plan to make Portland a better place to grow up.”)

Though we have to note that Clinton wasn’t quite the city’s first official bikeway — according to this map, at least, that’d be Salmon/Taylor about one mile north — and that the city is inconsistent about whether Clinton counts as a “neighborhood greenway” — Clinton is certainly one of the most historically important bikeways in the country.

The planning meeting (listed here on Facebook) is 2 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 21, at the Bollywood Theater cafe, 3010 SE Division St.

“We want your participation to make the party one that everyone can get involved with,” Schlosshauer writes. “Join the party planning fun!”

The post As Clinton Street’s bikeway turns 30, locals plan a celebration appeared first on BikePortland.org.