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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Salem gets on bicycle bandwagon

The state transportation department now has an "active transportation liaison" for the Portland area. She's got a degree in urban "planning," of course, and so she knows the secret handshake. And she's a major, major bicyclist herself. There is bike polo -- we did not know that.

Now she'll be busy making the area even safer for other people who emulate Earl the Pearl. Specifically, the agenda is:

- Develop a Region 1 Pedestrian/Bicycle Project Needs Inventory
- Inventory active transportation improvements to ODOT facilities identified in local and regional plans
- Coordinate with community organizations to identify concerns, needs, and priorities
- Conduct quantitative analysis of ped/bike “hot spots” (e.g. high crash locations)
- Build partnerships to identify and pursue funding for active transportation projects
- Provide technical assistance to advance transit, pedestrian, and bicycle elements of existing ODOT projects (e.g. TV Highway, N/NE Quadrant Plan)
- Promote staff development opportunities regarding transit, pedestrian, and bicycle issues, such as Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals webinars.

Meanwhile, the city is about to ask the state for $39 million in transportation grants, mostly for bikey goodness. That ordinance will likely be passed today.

We're amazed on how much allegedly scarce public money can be spent on so few people, but hey, it's Portlandia. They are the chosen ones. Go by streetcar.

Comments (24)

Ah yes, and in the city that prides itself on "equity," we've got yet another young, white, (and apparently) childless person making decisions on how the rest of us who have to haul kids around and make ends meet get to live. Yay!

Note: I'm not making a judgement on her not having kids--that's her choice, and I don't care. But having kids really, truly, substantially affects transportation decisions you make, and it rankles me how many of the bike mafia types seem oblivious to this fact.


Same as link above.
Take a look, this is not only about her story, but scroll down the column to the right. There you will see a list of the huge organized bike groups, etc. and they do lobby.
It looks like an escalation of a continuous "takeover" of our city and streets.
How many more miles of streets will be designated to very low speeds?
How many longer lines of cars will be stalled as bikes whiz by on bike lanes because car lanes have been eliminated?
Millions more people coming as we are told, equals continuous gridlock.
What is the end result of the goal here?
Everyone on bikes? It seems those apartment bunkers then would need a parking lot at least for bikes then and/or for those rented smart cars. Are those who live there supposed to keep the bikes in their tiny living units?

Interesting... a dazzling shopping-list of funding requests for "safety" and "demonstration" projects.

Why would ODOT, i.e, the entire state of Oregon, fund fantasy projects for Portland city streets?

I believe there is an enormous amount of lobbying done to achieve certain ends here.
If we knew the extent of it, I think we would be amazed. It would be interesting to find an agenda/date on this in the legislative session in Salem and go to see what goes on.
There may also be federal grants to states for these purposes, who knows?

Kind of sad how the field of transportation "planning" has devolved into a place for activists of all stripes to legitimize the process of imposing their preferences on others and enshrining them as policy.

There may also be federal grants to states for these purposes, who knows?

There absolutely is. Google "Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project". It's a porky federal program, and I'm fairly certain Earl was involved in its inception about seven years ago. Kind of nice to find out where your federal gas taxes are going, isn't it?

Part of the proposal included this Q&A:

c) How did public involvement shape the outcome of this Council item?
The City's Bicycle, Pedestrian and Freight Advisory Committees support this council item.

Nothing about regular people who live in the city and use the streets - with (gasp!) cars.

I read Jessica's bio and saw that she worked for Kittelson and Associates - the consulting firm favored by the development community to rearrange the streets to fit streetcars and bike lanes. I also learned a new planning term, Home Zone. It's one of the Europeans are more advanced than us wet dreams about making residential streets into "slow streets" or "living streets" that accommodate children, pedestrians and bikes more than autos. The impetus for this development in Europe is the narrow streets built for pedestrian and horse enabled transportation. So planners want us to send our kids out into the streets to play? It used to be a no-no along with running with scissors.

I was glad when Lynn Peterson left her position as Clackamas County Chair when the governor asked her to be the transportation guru for the state. We don't need her back in the Metro area, but couldn't she move to some other state?

When I was a youngun, we did play in the streets. Why - because no one cut through the residential streets because the commuting streets were a parking zone due to being one lane, with street cars and bicycles and unicorns, oh my!

At 9:00 this morning, Sandy inbound was a parking lot. All I was trying to do was get to the Starbucks. Don't know if there was an accident, the rain, construction, or just the general "no, we can't time the lights so traffic flows" BS from PBOT.

Eight year olds can cross most of the residential streets in Beaumont. Once Remmers is done extracting value out of our neighborhood it will be so choked with cars you will not be able to let your children into a crosswalk unattended.

It's not "can't time", it's more like "refuse to time".

Agenda number five: “Build partnerships to identify and pursue funding for active transportation projects”. The problem here is bicycle activists and advocates who want to maintain their free ride status quo at the expense of other taxpayers keep making excuses, and use cherry picked and manipulated data to derail the most likely funding partners for bicycle infrastructure which are the bicyclists themselves. With the Portland Plan, the concept is to look at everything though an equity lens; but that has yet to be applied to special interest funding mechanisms. The question arises, is ODOT’s new active transportation liaison for the Portland-Metro area going to be solely a mouth piece providing lip service for a bicycle/pedestrian agenda, or is she going to seek balance which includes making room for more cars, and providing equity by pushing for bicycle license, registration and user fees to pay for the specialized infrastructure rants of the hardcore bicycle community?

She's looking for empty parking lots for bike polo! Watch out - next she'll be closing the Interstates for bike polo!

Seriously, though, bike polo sounds not only dumb but also dangerous.

It ain't just my hometown of Salem that's getting the treatment:

Here's the draft for the Lincoln City Biking and Walking Plan as of September 2012. Same cast of planning consultant characters, (CH2M HILL, Alta Planning + Design), making off like bandits with city funds. Lincoln City has no identifiable funds to carry out this project anytime soon. Lincoln City is struggling just to keep their basic services, like water, up and running.

I spend alot of time in Lincoln City and agree it could use better bike-ped access, but narrowing 101 to one lane in each direction? The plan calls for putting Highway 101 on a "road diet." As anyone who has tried to drive Hwy 101 through Lincoln City in the summer or on many a weekend, back ups can be extreme (like Otis, and as far as Valley Junction/Spirit Mountain). There is no other way around unless one goes on I-5 to Corvallis and back up. If people can't get there in their cars in the first place, who's gonna bike and hike on the highway once there?


From the report:

"As part of this planning process, consultants conducted a high-level review of road diets and a potential application along US 101 in Lincoln City (Oceanlake Planning Area, Taft). PAC members and residents supported the idea, and ODOT agreed to in-depth examination..."

"US 101 in Lincoln City is an identified Freight Route. It is subject to the Reduction in Freight Capacity policy, which requires review and approval by the Freight Advisory Committee for any change that would reduce the capacity “hole in the air” for freight trucks using the highway."

"This project is partially funded by a grant from the Transportation and Growth Management (TGM) Program, a joint program of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). This TGM grant is financed, in part, by federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), local government, and the State of Oregon funds."

Bike and Walking Plan for Lincoln City? That's hilarious. As the report implies, Lincoln City is HWY 101. Here's my input: walk on the beach and don't ride your bike on the side of the highway.

Still think they should have a bike tax - With the proceeds dedicated exclusively to bike stuff.

Where did this term "road diet" come from?
Sounds like from the same sort who came up with "smart growth" and "Eco-District."

This is 101 Highway!
What happens when an ambulance or a fire truck needs to get somewhere in critical time?

Is there nowhere left to escape from these planners?

Still think they should have a bike tax - With the proceeds dedicated exclusively to bike stuff.

We can't even require cyclists here to use a helmet, since the bike lobby has successfully convinced our local "leaders" that this will discourage cycling, and you think anyone around here has the stones to impose a TAX on cyclists? HA! It's a wonder they don't get a tax credit by virtue of their awesomeness.

"As part of this planning process, consultants conducted a high-level review of road diets and a potential application along US 101 in Lincoln City (Oceanlake Planning Area, Taft). PAC members and residents supported the idea, and ODOT agreed to in-depth examination..."

Again, in reading these terms, what do they really mean?

high-level review?
(Does this make the review by consultants seem more acceptable?)

potential application?
(Does this make it seem like it may not happen, no worry, even though much may have already been decided?)

PAC members and residents supported the idea? (Does this mean as I have experienced, certain people on a panel to bring in results in favor of a plan?)

I prefer riding on state highways. Thanks to decades old ODOT specifications they have nice wide shoulders.

There. No need for an "active transportation liason". Just require the City of Portland to build their streets to ODOT spec rather than substandard "road diet" spec and there'd be plenty of room for everyone.

What happened to ODOT? There used to be some pretty practical engineers,there who knew how to move people around. It seems like they threw out decades of technical manuals, kicked out anyone who knew what was in them, and then filled the department with the same airheads that are in urban planning departments. Controlling, arrogant utopians. No mere elected official has the kind of power to rid us of the bureaucrats who are determined to enlighten us. I SOOO miss the days when grown ups were running things. Can't we get back to that please? Does every place have to be ruined first?

We've gone from grown ups to groan ups!

What happened to ODOT? There used to be some pretty practical engineers,there who knew how to move people around

I once had a very enlightening discussion with a high level ODOT planner (not in the highway division).

His response was pretty much "ODOT has to do what the Legislature and the Governor wants."

Today we have a state Capitol that is run by the blueoregon.com folks who think high speed rail is going to magically get people whereever they need to go; that everyone lives (or wants to live) on a Streetcar line, and everyone wants to ride a bike no matter where they are going, why they are going, or what the weather is. ODOT is forced, politically, to cater to this.

When ODOT is not micro-managed by the Capitol, ODOT is a pretty remarkable agency. Of course it has a finite budget, but it generally does a decent job in what it needs to do. Lately, however, politics have taken over, and managers are forced to placate the Governor and Legislature...

If I understand that correctly, when Governor Pétain instructs ODOT to collaborate, they have no choice.

Vote out all who install pedalphiles in transportation jobs!

Google is smarter then they are! As they congest roads designed as arteries, real-time Android phone GPS reporting tells Google what roads are moving slowly, then the GPS applications route drivers through residential and non-arterial roads as faster routes. Lesson: Don't slow or constrict roads designed to carry heavy traffic!

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