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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 30, 2008 3:19 AM. The previous post in this blog was Heeeeeeere's Austin. The next post in this blog is Not a good sign. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When the bikes show up on Flanders

An alert reader sends along a brief clip of a KPAM Radio interview from late last week with former Portland Mayor Vera Katz. It is here (mp3). The topic was the planned move of the Sauvie Island Bridge to become a bike bridge over I-405 at NW Flanders Street.

Memo to Sam the Tram and Fireman Randy: When Vera, of all people, says that you're neglecting essentials for an unnecessary toy, man, you know your priorities are badly screwed up.

Putting the fiscal folly of the whole thing to one side for a moment, let's talk about another aspect of this boondoggle that deserves some attention: the steps that are going to have to be taken to prevent the bridge from creating danger and tie-ups around the heavily used interstate freeway.

Just for fun, take a ride on I-405, either northbound or southbound -- in a car, that is -- and get off at the Everett Street exit. Check out the feel of the traffic as you drive by Flanders. You may find that the Flanders corner is not the safest intersection in town -- indeed, it's sometimes hair-raising -- even without bikes.

Let's start with southbound. (If these Google street views don't show up in your internet browser, try your other browser. For me, they're working well in Firefox, but not so in IE.) The lane of traffic coming off the freeway is merging with two lanes of other traffic heading southward on NW 16th:


View Larger Map

The freeway traffic is confined by that barrier to the left lane until it gets past the light at Glisan (shown above). But just a block later, it is legal to make a right turn onto Flanders, and the cars coming off the freeway wanting to make that move don't have much time or room to get over to the right. Zoom and rotate around on the following shot and you'll see what I mean. That's Flanders over there next to Chown:


View Larger Map

It's a dangerous maneuver a lot of the time, particularly if the light at Glisan was green and merging cars are moving at a good clip. Add a bunch of cyclists coming across 16th from both sides, and you've got some serious road rash, or worse, waiting to happen.

The only way to alleviate the danger will be to put in a traffic light at 16th and Flanders, and prohibit freeway-exiting traffic from making a right. More delays and roundabout routes for motorists, to be sure. The first opportunity for a right turn into Northwest will be Davis (which T's at 19th). And wait 'til they start building the Mike Powell Retirement Plan Burnside-Couch traffic "couplet." Everett could become a freeway offramp that you hope you never have to take.

Northbound, I-405 dumps exiting traffic off into another ugly merge, at NW 14th:


View Larger Map

There's a traffic signal at Everett --


View Larger Map

-- and if it's red for traffic on 14th, everything is fairly mellow by the time the cars reach Flanders. But if it's green, or especially if it's yellow, vehicles rumble across Flanders at a pretty fast clip:


View Larger Map

The light up ahead at Glisan is particularly obnoxious, and some drivers have been known to hustle through that stretch to try to catch it on the green:


View Larger Map

Drivers are currently used to encountering little or no cross traffic at Flanders, and it will be a long time before cyclists moving in both directions on Flanders could possibly be safe at that intersection.

Again, the only way to alleviate the danger will be to put in a traffic light, and even that might not be enough to ensure cyclist safety. Turns onto Flanders might also need to be prohibited. In short, in this direction, too, motorists coming off I-405 are going to find their entry into groovy Northwest even more of a pain in the tuchis than it is now.

Has there been a serious traffic engineering study of what it is going to take to have bikes and cars coexist safely at these intersections? If so, it would be nice to see it. Knowing the City Council, however, they've decided first and will probably do the study later. At that point, you don't have to bother reading it -- you know it's going to say that everything's peachy. Nobody crosses Sam the Tram.

Comments (52)

The solution is obvious - Ban cars in the Pearl District.

This way Sam can give his sustainability/bike/streetcar crowd what they want. Plus those of us with real lives who have to drive won't be subjected to overpriced and boring (I am actually liking SE Hawthorne and NE Alberta better than the Pearl) restaurants, boutiques and art galleries with no substance.

Yeah, it's the darn people in the Pearl District's fault that this bridge is a bad idea. Oh and their restaurants suck too!

I get off at the Everett exit almost every day and I agree it would be pretty hard for bikes/peds to cross at Flanders without a new light or pedestrian overpass, etc. 14th has a pretty stream of traffic especially during rush hour, and it's already hard enough to slip in a right turn from Flanders, much less get across.

"When a man builds a monument and dedicates it to the people, don't believe him; it is first and always an act of vanity."

-Mark Twain

Thanks, Mr. Bog. You've exposed this project for the Venus Bike Trap that it's likely to become. Where will they put all those "ghost bikes" when the bodies start stacking up?

If I ever find myself biking through the Pearl I'm going to stick with the route under the 405 on Johnson.

Terrific job of laying out the blatant negatives and lacks of the whole idea. COP traffic geniuses and their council bosses should be truly embarrassed that us simple, un-schooled lay-folk (BogMan) took the time to photograph and then describe the "snafu-in-waiting" to happen, but only after several millions of dollars have once again, been misspent by the jackasses Portland continues to elect and run the the place. The folly of the whole thing is so obvious and pathetic. And yet, no similar observations from the ever-vigilant MSM. Heads in the sand all around the town.

Imagine where I think that platinum bike trophy should be stored? Bend over, Sam...accept your award.

At cityhall perception is everything even if facts get in the way. I can't see how making a dragonian move of the Sauvie Island bridge is "greener" than the alternative of building the lower cost cement bridge. I'm not sure but parts of the Sauvie Island bridge were probably going to be recycled as scrap metal anyways, or at least could be. Even if not true, the alternative has an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million. If this cost savings were used to subsidize hybrid or fuel efficient vehicles, the alternative could end up saving some 2,000 barrels of oil per year for the life of the vehicles. ($3,000 subsidy to offset the existing hybrid premium price resulting in 500 more hybrids sporting say fuel efficiencies 15 miles per gallon higher driven say 8,000 miles per year.) Has anybody actually studied the carbon emissions resulting from lugging the old bridge up to the site versus just pouring a new bridge. Then too, is putting a bridge over I-405 at Flanders really all that green. As radical as it sounds I've heard rumors of scientific studies suggesting walking actually results in more carbon emissions than driving an average automobile. Plus maybe people die earlier than otherwise because their heart valves are less exercised, reducing the population of carbon emitting, human beings.

But hey this is Portland where perception is everything, and reality is to be paid for later by the poor schmucks who actually own property but don't have the connections to draw on the city's coffers.

Based on Jack's photographic study and detailed assessment, NO BRIDGE....whatever the cost, should be built there. The long-established traffic patterns make it prohibitive.

I guess the lack of planning about this whole bridge thing mystifies me...

1. Span decommissioned. Shouldn't they have known this several years ago and started planning then and put a line item in the budget for this year instead of some last minute *ohmigod this is sooo important*

2. Traffic engineering. Nice post Jack. Does the bike community or the transportation planning people have any traffic studies of how a bridge in this area would work? Are their parameters (set by BTA/bike folks) that would make them say...whoa - that don't look so good to me...

Has there been a serious traffic engineering study of what it is going to take to have bikes and cars coexist safely at these intersections?

Are you freakin' kidding?

Why?

"Venus Bike Trap" - priceless!

just FYI, PDOT engineers are well-aware of the traffic implications with this project and are already looking into the situation.

also, in order to make the steps necessary to increase bike mode share in this city, we might sometimes be faced with situations where motor vehicle efficiency is compromised (god forbid).

am I for projects that have unworkable traffic engineering situations? heck no. Has this bridge project been proven to be an unworkable situation? not yet.

Bojack, with all due respect, you highlight a great point, but you are not a traffic engineer and you are not the first person to bring this up.

this situation requires professional traffic engineering analysis -- and it is currently underway.

one last thought...

When you live in a society where major shifts in the dominant paradigm (cars) are taking place, there will always be skepticism, cynicism and cries that the sky is falling whenever the minority (bikes) begins to assert itself.

Let's give PDOT engineers a chance to answer about this one.

and remember that our city must give all traffic on our roads the same access, comfort, safety and efficiency (that includes bikes and peds).

1. Span decommissioned. Shouldn't they have known this several years ago and started planning then and put a line item in the budget for this year instead of some last minute *ohmigod this is sooo important*

Its important because its an election year. He wants more progressive votes. And I would guess most bike riders are progressives.


2. Traffic engineering. Nice post Jack. Does the bike community or the transportation planning people have any traffic studies of how a bridge in this area would work? Are their parameters (set by BTA/bike folks) that would make them say...whoa - that don't look so good to me...

You're assuming Sam and his cronies even care. Like I said above, its an election ploy, and dont forget about Sam's idea of keeping Portland's "sustainable" image with the rest of the world.


this situation requires professional traffic engineering analysis -- and it is currently underway.

Let's give PDOT engineers a chance to answer about this one.

Jonathan...shouldn't this planning work be done before a sole-source contract is awarded?

"Jonathan...shouldn't this planning work be done before a sole-source contract is awarded?"

JC - that is a good question. my point is that we don't when PDOT began looking at this situation.

I do know that PDOT has been working on this project for years (not a few months like some local media has incorrectly stated).

Now that Bojack has forced the issue with this blog post, I will look into this right away and figure out what's going on.

my hunch (and yes, i do have a generally high regard for PDOT engineers) is that they have certainly considered this already but just have not made it public yet (it's pretty typical for PDOT to not share wonky traffic engineering stuff with the public).

given that, I would be surprised if the situation Bojack highlights presents a scenario that cannot be solved.

(however, I would not be surprised that whatever engineering solution is put in place, once the bridge is installed it might inconvenience people in cars -- but nothing worse than the existing inconvenience and safety issues the current situation presents to people on bikes.)

this situation requires professional traffic engineering analysis

why is that? and honestly, do you believe even if the analysis says "no problem here, move along" that that makes any difference to the political ego decision?

When you live in a society where major shifts in the dominant paradigm (cars) are taking place

Jonathan, iride a bike but that paradigm you're speaking of is a false one. it is, in fact, not happening. quite the opposite.

Let's give PDOT engineers a chance to answer about this one.

why do you frame this as an engineering problem, rather than one of values?

and if you think it's an engineering problem, and it *is* a problem, what about Potter's point that engineering analysis has already been done for other far more dangerous, fare higher priority issues, e.g. traffic intersections and Cully sidewalks?

i'm saddened by the pop culture cliche that bicycling has become in Portland. people were riding bikes long before it was a "culture" or a "lifestyle", or people were welding bikes together and wearing clown noses naked.

dropping millions on a bridge instead of choosing to spend for those sidewalks and frighteningly dangerous pedestrian crosswalks is absurd, narcissistic, election-year monument building.

Maus...the paradigm ain't shifting....what is moving is a building resentment for the silly "bike this/bike that" crap you and your ilk continue to foist on the community, further snarling traffic and increasing congestion of the solid paradigm, still very much in place.

Hang up your megaphone and drive.

existing inconvenience and safety issues the current situation presents to people on bikes

The current situation at Flanders presents no safety issues to cyclists.

The proposed bridge would create a new intersection of concern.

The engineers are just engineers - they provide the *best* option given the project/site parameters.

That is to say, what if the proposed PDOT engineering solution does not align with a minimum acceptable standard for safety of cyclists/pedestrians as well as cars? Surely there is such a standard?

Leaders(elected and otherwise) and decisionmakers are the ones who examine the tradeoffs (in this case of safety/efficiency)- and explain/defend them to the public. Or has the tradeoff been made without public knowledge?

Thank you for showing the traffic nightmares already associated with this area. But I am afraid any arguments against this latest "sexy transportation" boondogle will fall on deaf ears with the bike advocates and progressives in city hall. They are bound and determined to turn PDX into Amsterdam.
As quoted in Portland Mercury this week re this stupid bridge: "This the one of those rare instances where we're expanding capacity for bicycling and pedestrians because we're creating a car-free environment down here", adds the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Karl Rohide.
It's the 'car-fee' part that gets me. Bike advocates give lip service to including cars but it's just hot air.
What next, canal waterways?
Re: the funny comment above about making Pearl car-free zone....I know of one person living the high-life in his loft who owns three cars! And no way would he lower himself to walk/take transit to his office on 6th and Taylor. His precious shoes might get soiled. He just wants everyone else to quit driving to reduce traffic for him. Ha.

great analysis. I spend a lot of time in that area both walking and driving, you are spot on.

NW Portlander congestion has been increasing for some time. I have lived in the neighborhood since the mid 80's. The streetcar and the elimination of the lovejoy bridge had the biggest impact. The east side used to be SO easy to get to. Now messing with this already congested area will make things a lot worse.

Jonathan

Your posts don't make me more confident that this is the right time for this project.

"Has it been proven to be unworkable--not yet" Isn't this a question that should have been answered LONG AGO? We've known the bridge is being decommissioned for more than a year.

"they have considered this but not made it public" WHY NOT? We are committing nearly four million dollars in URA funds for a project and we haven't done the most basic traffic analysis?

You say we might have to compromise auto efficiency (god forbid)--no problem, but a block after a freeway exit? Backups at a light there will create jams down the exit ramp and onto the freeway. It's one thing to slow down or redirect autos, but surely you don't think we should endanger one group of citizens, do you?

Paradigms may be shifting--but i lived in Portland the last time we had a major paradigm shift, back when we built the Bus Mall.

Remember? That was going to revolutionize pedestrian usage in the City.

Maybe you notice we're now spending hundreds of millions to rip the thing up.

I don't have the kind of certainty that you have about paradigms and shifts, and I don't trust political leaders who think that they do.

Good public policy is all about choices and decisions based on sound analysis, and keeping all alternatives on the table.

For the record, it is *NOT* legal for cars coming off SB I-405 to turn right on Flanders, since they would have to cross 2 lanes of traffic and then turn right in a single block. Taking multiple lanes at once is a violation of the vehicle code, and each lane change or turn must be preceded by a 100' warning with one's turn signals. Under a strict interpretation of the law, that means that traffic coming off the freeway would enter the turn lane *at* Flanders, and have no time to turn.

Unfortunately, motorists in the US have not figured out that it is safer and easier on one's own stress level to go up and turn on Davis, or do 3 lefts onto Everett/14th/Glisan to go in that same direction.

The personal convenience of some does not trump the safety of others.

In any case, a signal at Flanders won't increase congestion significantly in the long term - traffic will divert to other streets in compensation until congestion is once again uniform. In the urban core, congestion is almost solely a function of population and population density. Increasing the number of lanes or smoothing traffic flow will spur an increase in number of trips and trip-miles until congestion is back at the level it "should" be at. The congestion argument is a red herring.

The personal convenience of some does not trump the safety of others.

Well, now.

Yes it does if the "others" choose to put their own safety at risk to prove that point. Any driver will attest that that happens every day.

It seems everything's negotiable except the demands of the bike lobby.

If the "safety" of the very few is compromised by the convenience of the very many, then "the few" need to factually establish that their safety is really threatened by the behaviors of "the many" before we spend millions on them simply because they're the group du jour. If bicyclists (as I believe) simply put their convenience ahead of motorists' convenience then there's no reason to accomodate them given the relative numbers and disproportionate costs.


First off, I'm not really on board with the extra construction cost of re-using the Sauvie bridge instead of a new one....

As Matt Picio points out, it is not legal to make a right onto Flanders from I-405 SB. I remember there being an explicit sign to that effect there. There is also a sign explaining the proper, 3-left way to get to Flanders at the exit.

As far as cycles crossing 14th/16th at Flanders goes, it should be an improvement over what the choice is now: crossing at Glisan or Everett, with lots of cars changing lanes in the intersection to get onto 405. I've personally been nailed by a car at on of those intersections.

It seems that cyclists and peds crossing Flanders should have ample breaks in traffic flow, because of lights stopping traffic at Everett and Glisan, to get across. If the long-term goal is to get East/West bike traffic onto a Flanders bikeway, extending from 3rd to 23rd, a la SE Ankeny, I'm all for it. It's much more pleasant, faster, and safer for cars AND bikes than the bike lane approach on those kinds of streets.

Maus, you stated that PDOT has been "working on this project for years". Wouldn't you think that the results could/should come before Sam and his PDOT endorses, passes, commits other funds from other bureaus to this project? Isn't "transportation" the most important component of this project and those answers should be here, NOW?

I have concerns about Sam's PDOT. This bureau also said that SoWhat would have 40% transit ridership. They helped plan for 15,000 additional people in SoWhat. Their identified transportation projects just for SoWhat adds up to over $390 MILLION dollars and only they can only identify $65M in fed, state, local dollars. Sam even recently admitted to the shortfall but he didn't know the amount.

Now you except us to believe in all of Sam's arguments for the Sauvie Bridge move, before even he has all the information. Sounds like the Sam's tram again.

I sure hope ODOT comments on the bridge move. For several years they have had major concerns about the I-5 exit ramp into SoWhat, contending a major failure.

This also applies to the Flander St. exit off 405. Flanders backup onto 405 is a reality. Jack makes very valid points. And if PDOT knows of this, why haven't they been transparent and public about this?

ODOT needs to start becoming the road department for all the state including Portland, and let PDOT stay home and manage its streets and filling pot holes. Interstate commerce via the interstate system is vital to the regions economy as well as Portland's.

don't have time to answer everyone's questions specifically right now.

Please keep in mind that I am not PDOT nor do I profess to speak for them.

that being said, I think it's pretty funny that some of you are wondering why PDOT doesn't make every little piece of analysis they do public.

that doesn't happen anywhere.

come on folks, is traffic engineering really why you do not like this project?...or is this simply about clinging onto something (anything) to oppose this projec (instead of admitting that you cannot bear to stand by and watch Portland devote resources and a such a high-profile project to something that benefits only human power).

is this simply about clinging onto something (anything) to oppose this projec

not for me. i'm opposed for all sorts of reasons other than "traffic engineering".

(instead of admitting that you cannot bear to stand by and watch Portland devote resources and a such a high-profile project to something that benefits only human power)

i think you've hit on something with "high profile". and that is the main reason it's being done.

can you admit that you can't bear to stand by and watch Portland not devote resources to a high profile bike project?

and, can you imagine that people who bicycle (like me) can still oppose it for reasons other than wonky engineering details?

can you admit that you can't bear to stand by and watch Portland not devote resources to a high profile bike project?

Oh come on, 6% of Portland residents use their bike as their primary commute vehicle, with a further 10% that use it as their secondary vehicle. Yet only .7% of PDOT's budget is used for cycling improvements. It's ingenuous to claim that somebody would only support this project because it's high profile. Ingenuous and just plain silly.

instead of admitting that you cannot bear to stand by and watch Portland devote resources and a such a high-profile project to something that benefits only human power

I oppose it because of the following, in no particular order:

1. It's completely unnecessary, when there are already 3 crossings within 4 blocks, and as stated above, only ~200 people would actually use the thing.

2. It's a completely unnecessary eyesore. Why the hell would anyone want to see that damn thing right in the middle of NW Portland?

3. It's a completely unnecessary expensive eyesore. $5.5M buys a shedload of sidewalks and filled potholes. If you can't spend that money outside NW, then do something in NW that's needed like repaving NW 23rd. My god, what a horrible street.

That good enough for you? Being a bridge for just pedestrians and cyclists doesn't even make my top 3.

why you do not like this project?

My summary of the site comments:

1. Sam Adam's track record (SOWA, tram) on bringing projects that come anywhere NEAR the $ estimate.

2. Apparent lack of planning by PDOT (in Commissioner Adam's portfolio):
a. Sauvie decommissioning has been coming for a long time. Why no plan? Why no budget line item in the annual budget?
b. Traffic study - if the public has questions at this point in time it should be easy ford PDOT to answer them. Namely, impacts to 405 traffic (backups = idling cars = more pollution) as well as cyclist/pedestrian safety.
c. Flanders bridge proposal - been around a long time too. shouldn't the traffic engineering report already be done?

3. No cost assurance on this project. See #1. City of Portland debt...

4. Johnson Street is a good alternative (.25 miles north of flanders)

5. Other funding priorities (sidewalks, etc).

6. Election year grandstanding.

7. Cycling community not advocating a sound public planning process. Supporting backroom decision making in this town - the same kind of politics that (nationally) keeps car king, gas prices high, promotes sprawl, gentrification, ghettoization, starts wars, etc etc. (that's my personal peeve)

There is a new bike box on Everett, that should help with the "safety" issue enough.

Oh come on, 6% of Portland residents use their bike as their primary commute vehicle, with a further 10% that use it as their secondary vehicle.

wi don't believe the data, for several reasons. check it yourself, and see how this estimate was calculated.

or consider this: given that less than 13% of Portlanders use public transit, doesn't it seem odd that the figure for bicycling would be much higher?


Yet only .7% of PDOT's budget is used for cycling improvements.

so? i'd love to see more bike lanes, but the problem isn't one of "improvements", in my opinion.


It's ingenuous to claim that somebody would only support this project because it's high profile. Ingenuous and just plain silly.

and how can I be both ingenious *and* silly? c'mon, now.

This excellent analysis, I'm sorry to say, only demonstrates that any bridge over 405 at Flanders is a really bad idea. It doesn't do anything to underscore the fact that putting the recycled Sauvie Island span there is a really, really bad idea.

Maus, like I said, isn't traffic engineering the most important part of this proposal? Isn't that what bike riding, trolleys, light rail, walking, and vehicles is all about. Isn't this Sauvie Island bridge about moving traffic from one side of 405 to the other? Or is it something else for you? A $5.5M (doubled-tripled) statement?

Bryan, you are wrong that only .7% of the transportation budget is used for bikes. You forgot to mention the $82 MILLION of the 2007 Oregon gas tax (STIP dollars) dollars that were directed for bike projects just within CoP. Our gas taxes are only to be used for roads but Sam siphons it off to bikes and other non-vehicular uses to the tune of over $139 MILLION in 2007 alone.

Sam won't talk about this because he likes to say "thats a different earmark, fund, stipend....", "You can't intermingle funds", "It's more complicated than you know","I'll get back to you".

I'm a dues-paying member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and a former BTA board member--and I can't quite see the logic of a bridge over 405 at Flanders. For exactly the same reason as Jack's analysis. Once off the bridge, you run into a busy street--not just 16th, but also 14th.

I've rode on Glisan and Everett for years and, yes, it's always a bit dicey at a freeway on or off ramp. But the freeway ramps on Everett and Glisan seem no more dangerous than the one at 37th and Sandy Blvd., or on Lombard near Interstate.

There probably are cheaper and just as effective engineering solutions for these spots. For example, it should cost a lot less than $5 million to tunnel the bike lanes underneath the sketchy intersections.

siphons it off to bikes and other non-vehicular uses..."

Bikes aren't vehicles? Try reading ORS 801.150.

Often times there are great points made on the blog, but the fact that so many are laced with hatred of the NW and the Pearl that their legitimacy is lost.

But continuing to berate those who live in the Pearl and in NW you sound like a bunch of bitter complainers. Bojack brought up a good question about traffic control with this project. But so many of you have reduced it to insult hurling that the point of this post is lost and you all sound like a bunch of bitter jerks who are afraid of change.

You fools,,.Obvioulsy a bigger bridge is needed. One that crosses I-405, 14th and 16th.
That could no doubt be acheived with not much added expense. Perhaps all which could come from Urban Renewal TIF dollars. Maybe 3 or 4 million more will be needed raising the price to 8 or 9 million. Sounds reasonable.
If this bridge is going to happen it should be done right. I'm all in favor of spending the amount needed to succeed.
The benefits would greatly outweigh the cost.

I have a vision.

Why don't we barge the $5.5M Sauvie Island Bridge up the Willamette a mile more, place it over I-5 at the proposed SW Gibbs bike/ped bridge in SoWhat, where it would be more contextual to SoWhat's past industrial history.

Then take the $13M dollars earmarked for this SW Gibb St. bridge, and build the $3.5M NW Flanders bridge.

Then with the saved $9.5M in the cost differences you would have more than the $7M Sam claims we need per year to maintain our streets. With the remaining $2.5M we would have more than enough to pay for the sidewalks in Cully, and some in SW Portland neighborhoods.

Now that is fiscal planning with vision.

I have a vision.

Why don't we barge the $5.5M Sauvie Island Bridge up the Willamette a mile more, place it over I-5 at the proposed SW Gibbs bike/ped bridge in SoWhat, where it would be more contextual to SoWhat's past industrial history.

Then take the $13M dollars earmarked for this SW Gibb St. bridge, and build the $3.5M NW Flanders bridge.

Then with the saved $9.5M in the cost differences you would have more than the $7M Sam claims we need per year to maintain our streets. With the remaining $2.5M we would have more than enough to pay for the sidewalks in Cully, and some in SW Portland neighborhoods.

Now that is fiscal planning with vision.

This makes entirely too much sense, and therefore will be scoffed at, and subject to intense derision.

you sound like a bunch of bitter complainers.

you all sound like a bunch of bitter jerks who are afraid of change.


what do *you* sound like?

I was thinking the bridge was too short to cross the Willamette at Gibbs, but it would be just about right to connect to the northern tip of Ross Island and then you could build another, cheaper bridge on the other side, assuming that Bob Pamplin would let this happen.

Gil, read my post again. I was suggesting the Sauvie Bridge cross I-5 at SW Gibbs. It is too short to cross even to the tip of Ross Island from Zidell's property at Gibbs in SoWhat. I know, my boat is moored right next to the present Sauvie Bridge location, I measured it.

There's even a problem to span 405 at Flanders. That is why the schematic perspectives of the Flander location shows massive pylons at each end of the bridge inside the present 405 retaining walls to make the span work.

The $1.5M that Sam and his PDOT crew estimate for these pylons will be more than double in price when it is sent out to bid. Look at the costs of the pylon costs for the replacement bridge at Sauvie. The pylon breakdown is much more than $1.5M.

If Saltzman enforces his concerns about any cost overruns above the $5.5M for the Sauvie move, and Potter attacks, then it may not happen, rightfully. But we know how Sam can hid expenditures, or declare we are to far into the project to abandon as he did for the tram. Hold on.

bigger bridge is needed

The Sellwood Bridge should serve this purpose nicely; after it falls in, it can be moved in smaller chunks.

You know it's funny how much I feel I have in common with some of the commenters on this blog who drive their supposedly evil cars. I'm an everyday transportational cyclist, but I'm not real keen on this project. I'd rather see the money go towards many of things you guys want: fixing the goddam roads! Seriously, I (and many other cyclists) suffer first when these anti-car "pro-bicycle" measures divert money from needed road repair to expensive facilities with dubious utility like this. I think there can be a healthy balance (maybe pull money from parks and recreation funding instead of transportation?), but I use primarily the same roads you guys use. And when they start falling apart, what becomes an uncomfortable, bumpy ride for you becomes a dangerous obstacle course for me.

Keep in mind that not all cyclists are of the same stripe. I'm indifferent to private car use. I choose not to rely on a car, that's my choice; I'm sure everyone out their driving has a legitimate reason for doing it and hey, it's a free country. Over time as gas prices go up, I'm sure the fuel for cars will change as well. But contrary to the anti-car "pro-bicycle" people out there, I need and want a lot of the same things you guys want: wide, smooth and clean ROADS, not bicycle paths and bridges. Don't even get me started on street car tracks.

Ryan, I totally agree with you. I am a frequent biker, but not for my occupation because it doesn't work for me. I wish more bikers of all types would speak up more like you have. Good roads benefits us all, but the lines seem to have been drawn and most politicians can't see the common sense of the other side.

Jonathan

Yes, seriously, I have opposed this project for a number of reasons. The transportation engineering only reinforces my belief that this project was not well thought through, and is an election year ploy by Sam Adams and PDOT.

The finances have been described as if they are a magic pot of money that can't be used for anything else. Now it's finally coming out that the money can be used for any number of projects in the Pearl. Yet, we still are not told how projects are prioritized and why this project is number one.

The project was considered under emergency provisions even though we've known for a year that the bridge was coming down. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that this was brought up this way so the conversation that I referred to above would NOT occur.

We were first told that the project will go out to competitive bid. Now we all know that in fact 70% of the project (3.9 million) remains no bid, and cost estimates on the last portion are uncertain.

Electricity just went up 10%. Water is going up 8.9% and sewer is going up 5%. Basic staples are up 50% or more and gasoline has gone up 50%. If all the levies on the ballot in November pass, homeowners will see their property taxes increase by more than 25%.

And this is the time to spend 5.5 million on what even its advocates admit is an "iconic", signal-sending project that is not really necessary but sure would be a nice luxury?

I remember there being an explicit sign to that effect there.

Nope.

There is also a sign explaining the proper, 3-left way to get to Flanders at the exit.

It explains how to get to Glisan, not Flanders. And it's not an attractive option.

John, the Sauvie Island bridge removal has been known for over 5 years after extensive studies. I've been affected by the removal and building of the new bridge since I have moorage right next to the bridge and have experienced the process. Sam knew for years, but he seizes every opportunity for publicity. It wasn't an "emergency". He made it one.

Lee,

Probably over the last couple of years I've noticed bike advocacy get more and more anti-car, in either a subtle or overt manner. I think many in the cycling community act as if cyclists will be the majority of roadway users someday. Trends in transportation, urban design and economics just aren't pointing to that direction. I'd love to see our numbers continue to increase, but I worry sometimes about our relationships with the general (non-cycling) public, which will very likely always be the majority. Minorities need to work towards protecting their rights and advancing their social status, not antagonizing everyone else.

Hopefully this won't add more fuel to the fire, the cycling community (well the portion that posts on the bikeportland.org blog) is already crucifiying me for being opposed to the new bike boxes. Not only do I think they are unsafe, but there apparently has been an engineering lapse in PDOT with their implementation. They also turn these intersections into a clusterf***. That's bike politics around here, either you're pro-bike/anti-car or anti-bike/pro-car. The middle ground (which I think would accomplish far more for motorists and cyclists) seems to be non-existent.

-Ryan

Ryan, I am waiting for the fallout against bikers when the proposed bike boxes are in place at the SW Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry intersection. The grades is all directions are not conducive to biking. Very slow starts from a standing position on a bike will surely frustrate the extensive backup of vehicle traffic that is common at this intersection. The light cycle to proceed is many times over 4-5 sequences. There will be accidents and frustrated motorists for sure.

There is little common sense being employed by Sams's PDOT.

Lee,

I would imagine that the prohibition on turning right on red will severely impede traffic at that intersection regardless if cyclists are present. Is there a lot of right-turning traffic? I need to go look at that intersection during rush hour. I agree with you, I'm starting to get more and more concerned about some sort of backlash against cyclists with some of these proposals. When it's obvious that they will impede traffic or divert funding from needed road improvement projects, the car-driving majority will only resent cyclists more.

-Ryan

The answers to all these questions are really pretty simple.

Signal at 14th/F, signal at 16th/F. Since 14th and 16th are one-way streets with coordinated signals, the F signals fit right into the progression, so traffic on 14th and 16th are minimally affected. I'm not sure why you think signals require no turns - this is not necessary.

Not sure why all the hubbub. We know you don't like projects for cylists already.


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In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 319
At this date last year: 172
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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