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Monday, February 25, 2013

More bike toys due on Sandy and Burnside

Mayor Char-Lie may have lanced the boil at the top of the Portland transportation bureau, but there's still quite a bit of nastiness at deeper levels of the bureaucracy. Get this: Now Burnside and Sandy are being declared "high crash corridors," and the public's being invited to some meetings to talk about what's to be done about it:

Come learn about transportation safety on this high crash corridor and share your feedback about: Existing conditions; Pedestrian, bicycle & transit deficiencies; and Problem areas

Notice the emphasis: "Pedestrian, bicycle & transit deficiencies." Safety and mobility for motorists? Screw that. Then you go to the city's information page about these "corridors," and what do you find?

Our Health

“The annual cost of obesity is $147 billion and growing. That translates into $1,250 per household, mostly in taxes and insurance premiums.” Health Affairs 2010.

66% of Portlanders limit walking and bicycling due to their fears about traffic.

Our Neighborhoods

Portlanders have historically rated "traffic safety" as a top neighborhood livability concern.

Walking and bicycling levels are linked to a neighborhood’s sense of safety.

Portland’s least safe streets for crashes are also the highest for criminal activity.

It's all code for bicycle this-and-that -- more scarce resources to be spent mollycoddling the 1 in 20 people (or fewer) who rides around on a two-wheeler in the dark and rain. Virtually all of them white and under 35, and by far the majority of them male. We see the Portland weird, all right, but where's the sacred "equity"?

Comments (25)

But since everyone is a pedestrian at one time or another, pedestrian facilities should have top priority over autos and bikes.

Maybe if is time to just ask the city, what street AM I supposed to drive on? If not freaking Sandy then where?

Mayor Hales, just put a moratorium on planning projects until you can purge some of the ideology

Yeah, another take on There and Back Again only this segment is titled Return of the Rickshaw.

pedestrian facilities should have top priority over autos and bikes.

Ah, but the city links bikes and pedestrians together, which usually means a better deal for the bikey people. Take "Sunday Parkways," billed as an event for cyclists and walkers. It actually blows for walkers -- not only too many bikes, but way too many inexperienced cyclists. You're better off walking a block or two over.

I'm 61 and I ride in the dark and the rain (yes, I am a white male). It's mostly pretty safe, except, come to think of it, getting across Burnside at SE 16th. Anything done there would help walkers and cyclists.

On Sandy the total number of crashes from 2002 through 2011 was 1850 of which 38 involved pedestrians and 27 involved bicyclists. The rest of the breakdown is as follows:

Top 3 location types: 1202 (65%) at intersections, 549 (30%) on straight roadway sections, 90 (5%) driveway related.

Top 5 collision types: 744 (40%) rear end, 570 (31%) turning, 235 (13%) angle, 143 (7.7%) sideswipe/passing, 58 (3.1%) pedestrian.

Injuries and fatalities: 5 fatalities, 28 incapacitating injuries, 223 non-capacitating injuries, 497 pain only, 1093 property damage only.

The average daily traffic volume on Sandy ranges from 15, 000 cars per day near Parkrose to 29,000 cars per day through Hollywood, but there is a lot of missing information too: What sections of Sandy have been more crash prone? Did busses stopping in travel lanes to take on or disembark passengers contribute to the number of the crashes? Did the traffic lanes weaving around pedestrian islands contribute to crashes? Where there more or less crashes after the existing modifications that included curb extensions and center pedestrian islands? The split between bicyclists being at fault and drivers being at fault in motorist-bicycle crashes is usually close to an equal percentage – does that hold true on Sandy? Do poorly designed intersections and/or congestion such as in Hollywood contribute to a percentage of the crashes? Without more detail, the crash data so far is more aimed at an impulsive response than actually useful.

Typo correction to first line: 58 (not 38) involved pedestrians. Here too, what are the circumstances related to fault?

New motto: "Portland: The City That's Nuts."

"Maybe if is time to just ask the city, what street AM I supposed to drive on? If not freaking Sandy then where?"

No street, of course. The Portland bureaucracy devoutly believes that if you put enough impediments in the way of driving, that everyone will shift to bicycling and walking (as opposed to moving to the suburbs).

It's more class discrimination, of course - Foster and Sandy are heavily used by working-class folks in outer east Portland to get to central Portland for work and other purposes. If you live in inner Portland, having your auto commute go from 10 to 15 minutes because the city has mucked up your commute is not a big deal - and just walking or cycling it is an option.

On the other hand, deliberately crippling the ability of Sandy and Foster to handle car traffic really impacts someone in east Portland who has to drive into work, and who doesn't live next to a Max line, or for whom transit doesn't work for some other reason (say, because either their starting or ending point isn't well-served by Trimet).

Not that the city of Portland bureaucracy cares.

Doug, traffic lights at 14th and 12th

Be careful what you wish for! The Montavilla neighborhood just learned how Glisan between 61st & 81st is going to be made safer--taking it down to 1 lane in each direction, with pedestrian islands.

Granted, pedestrians need to be able to cross the street without risking their lives, but I for one will be avoiding that stretch of Glisan from now on. That's bad for the many small businesses trying to revitalize that part of the city.

I've been hoping the City would look into adding crosswalks (with lights) on Glisan east of 102nd. Now I'm not so sure I want their "help."

Non-snarky question: hasn't the city been building bike boulevards to give bikes a thoroughfare with only local cars and keep bikes off of Powell, Foster, Sandy, Burnside, 39th etc?

Did I miss the whole point?

Are you talking about Halsey, or Glisan? Glisan is already essentially one lane in each direction becaues of parked cars except during the AM rush westbound.

"Without more detail, the crash data so far is more aimed at an impulsive response than actually useful."

They are not interested in details. They are looking for statistics that appear to help their cause.

These are ivory tower urban planner educators and their brainwashed students trying to reverse the entire car based infrastructure. That is not hyperbole. They used to focus on carrots (better buses, etc.) but now they have shifted their focuses to stick (aka, "traffic calming").

The quality of the BPS studies is appalling. They regularly mis-characterize the studies they cite, when not cherry-picking data. But Joe Zehnder and the bike commuters are morally superior to us

We need to put the comprehensive plan to a vote!

The info page about the neighborhood meetings linked to this:  http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/431192

I read it and I don't think this planning is about adsing bikes ONTO the road so much as INTERSECT with it. It sounds like they are trying to find trouble spots and ways to make it safer to cross Sandy, Burnside etc. P

edestrian VISIBILITY and pubic awareness of the laws about crosswalks (including enforcement when they are ignored) are important. Witness the recent fatal mow-down of a pedestrian on Glisan.

I'm all for it, we live in Hollywood and having cars barreling through your neighborhood on Sandy or NE 42nd is as though the people (with kids and pets)  waiting to cross don't exist. There are a lot of neighbors on both sides of these busy streets and there is plenty of evidence that drivers are oblivious to things that they are driving by.

There is an I-205 interchange at Glisan. Just wait until discriminatory congestion priced tolls are implemented on the CRC and you will see bumper to bumper traffic on Glisan all crammed into one lane. Due to its proximity near Providence Hospital (which is supposed to have a transportation management plan in place), the intersection at 60th and Glisian already fails much of the time.


The link you list is very carefully worded. It has phrases like EXAMPLES of things we do "include the following." If they were saying "this is what we are going to do here" then I might agree with you. But that isn't what they are saying. Don't be surprised when they make proposals later that include things in their list from the link but also things like making Sandy one lane in each direction. I believe Sandy is a state road so this might be hard to do there but that is their MO in other parts of the city.

Just wait until discriminatory congestion priced tolls are implemented on the CRC and you will see bumper to bumper traffic. . . .

Thanks for bringing this up. I believe the public has to be vocal about this CRC as this Thursday the Senate will be making financial decisions.
In my opinion, the finances are shaky on this, and we the people will be left with paying to the point of being pick pocketed by tolls at every place they can possibly think of. The cost of registration of vehicles, etc. all will increase. The air quality of our area will even be worse with more congestion.

What CRC could bring to this whole region regarding tolling is a minefield.

There are now tolling studies coming out of ODOT and it's Oregon Transportation Improvement Group. Besides tolling CRC and the 205 Sam Jackson Bridge, they are proposing tolling all of 205 clear to the south with its intersection with I-5-the Sunrise Corridor. The congestion the tolling could cause is beyond belief and will affect the entire region. Crippling.

Of course all these governmental agencies will claim it was all vetted out by the public with reasonable review. Preposterous.

Sandy Boulevard was turned over to the City East to 82nd, 92nd or maybe a bit farther a few years ago. Beyond Parkrose it is still controlled by the state. However, there still maybe some restrictions as to what the City can do in that I believe Sandy is also a National Defense Corridor or something to that affect.

Lee:What CRC could bring to this whole region regarding tolling is a minefield.

Just the other day my fingers were flying fast on the keyboard and instead of minefield, up came mindfield! Either way, this doesn't bode well for us.

The minds of these people who plan without the money to back them up is a mindfield alright and then becomes a minefield. In this case almost literally, I can envision people trying to avoid these tolls like avoiding minefields.

Dave Lister--I haven't seen any drawings, but I would imagine that they'll eliminate the outer lanes of parking, add/emphasize bike lanes, and put the pedestrian islands right down the middle of the street, perhaps with left turn lanes.

David Gilmore

16th is the recommended north-south bike route as it keeps you off of busy streets like 12th, plus has a signal at Sandy. 14th doesn't work as well.

16th is an out-of-the-way route from Division clear north to Glisan. Only the Burnside crossing needs work.

Could do 12th, but south of Ankeny I'd be riding in the middle of the lane as it's too narrow to ride alongside. Motorists get annoyed at that.

It is highly likely that PBOT wants to do away with the peak period only right hand lanes on Glisan so they can add curb extensions. The ruse is, those curb extensions won’t include tolls for pedestrians so the money will come from the gas tax under the masquerade of road improvements.

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