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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Car hater echo chamber working well

What's that -- you missed the meetings on the terrifying "high crash corridors" known as Burnside Street and Sandy Boulevard in Portland? Well, don't worry. Surely there were people there who expressed your point of view, and the city "planners" took your message to heart:

Attendees at the February 27 open house expressed interest in pedestrian safety improvements on the Burnside corridor to reduce vehicle speeds (both enforcing the existing speed limit and reducing the posted speed limit) and enhance pedestrian crossings....

The March 6th open house included attendees from throughout the Sandy Blvd. corridor. Participants expressed interest in a broad range of issues, including traffic flow, enhanced pedestrian crossings, and improved conditions for people riding bikes.

Yep -- lower speed limits and more bike craziness. Just what you want. And there'll be plenty more meetings for you to attend, too. Aren't you lucky?

By the way, the Burnside "high crash corridor" extends all the way from East 67th Street to West Barnes Road. But you knew that.

Comments (21)

Have you considered attending these open houses with your contrary view? The young retirees who bike all day apparently could make it despite the risky corridors they no doubt were forced to navigate. What keeps you and your fellow motorists from attending? Certainly there are both enough pavement and ample parking to get there and safely store your large automobile in a publicly subsidized location?

Enjoy the wasteland known as Portland when you and your ilk finally take over everything. You'll have plenty of bike lanes, but no places to work. Unless you work for the government, of course.

I would love to have t-shirts made with your Portland logo. I believe it would be a fitting tribute to the end of the blog!

gee, businesses on Sandy, Burnside heavily rely on onstreet parking... let's take away a ton of that parking & replace it with bio_ditches/swales,etc... that makes a ton of sense... look what CoP did to the Burnside/Couch couplet...what a cluster...

Parking for events @ Sons of Norway on NE 11th & Couch really sucks now, thanks to the bioswale/ditches on Couch/Burnside...

Have you considered attending these open houses with your contrary view?

I have better things to do with my life than talk to the City Hall hand at these fake input meetings.

I agree there needs to be better delineation/prioritization of what modes go where on Portland's streets and understanding certain streets are just not compatible for bikes, but have you read the news lately?

There's been at least 6 pedestrian deaths from automobiles that I can recall. Granted alcohol was involved, but it puts things into perspective that some streets in Portland are just too fast.

The Fremont shopping center at 15th and Fremont is 30 mph through that neighborhood. That's just too fast to be operating an automobile at with just two lanes.

Have you considered attending these open houses with your contrary view?

And are these open houses scheduled at times and places where ALL stakeholders can participate? What about people who work 8-5 and can't easily take a day off; what about families with children?

So many city meetings are geared to accept input from ONLY the following:

1. PSU students (who can freely set their schedule AND are downtown)

2. Employees of "creative-class" employers who are downtown and are free to set their own schedule

For anyone else, they are ignored.

Fremont drops down to 20 through Beaumont. It is a nice speed limit. No reason to go faster than 20 on residential streets. Property values would increase along each segment with reduced speed limits. All roads should have a max limit of 30 despite many in town exceeding that. Throughput is maximized by reduced speed limits to about thirty. On roads where congestion is not an issue such as Interstates outside of town the speed limits could be made higher, much higher than they are currently, but for most efficiency high speed electric rail for intercity commuting.

We could then phase out cars and use the highways for bike tours.

Seth, pass that bong, would you?

Seth, does your Mao jacket come in more than one color ?
I love your elitist attitude, it is the bomb.
How do you plan to pay for any of that utopia of yours ?
Gas taxes sure won't pay to maintain those bicycle touring roads you plan to usurpe from rational society.
Throughput would be maximized by removing the lumbering Trimet buses and forcing you children on your bikes to learn how to ease over and let people pass when you slide along at 5MPH on your toy.

These "UNREGULATED" bicycles are truly a ROAD HAZARD.... there has to be regulations.. what gurantee to the others ( non cyclists) have that a pedal pusher has even read the rules/laws of the road concerning bicycles nevermind understand them....they must be licenced to prove that they have and are not a danger to themselves as well as the general public....and get them all helmets while you are at it...!

Love the logo. Looks to me like a biker crashing when their tires gets caught in the light rail tracks...
Seen this a few times live and they don't fare too well.

Personally I elect to drive bike designated streets whenever I can since there are fewer stop signs.

The Portland Tribune had a great account of the meeting between our Dear Leaders at BPS and representatives of local industry re: development along freight corridors.

Turns out the representatives of big, non-creative class companies want road space for TRUCKS. Unfortunately, their employees are not "hot" and datable like the Weiden and Kennedy employees that all development is aimed at.

Let's all play in the BTA sandbox!

It used to be about peak oil. Then about green house gases. There is always the threat of climate refugees. And the BIG ONE that's overdue. Has this generation been groomed to worry and respond to every possible disaster, real or perceived?

We can't have cars because of climate change, but no one told developing countries what the program is, so as fast as we close down streets, somewhere else they are paving over mud to make them. The plots of edible landscaping that are so popular will not keep a family alive in a real disaster - unless they are sufficiently big and the owners don't mind tending them with shotguns as well as compost. Rain barrels are a joke!

I don't begrudge people their hobbies and sports, but we are not changing the world, only killing our local economy, the region's livability and our individual freedoms. Portland should change its motto to "Remember Detroit". Fitting on so many levels. I wonder what magic the planners there have up their sleeves - put fences up and make people stay?

Erik H. you're right, these meetings need to be held at times and places that work for everyone if they expect us to take them seriously.

The Burnside meeting was from 6:30-8:30 on a Wednesday.


6:30 pm is a horrible time for the parents of kids under twelve to meet. Schoolwork, dinner, baths. It's a nice time for the childless "creative class" - one eight dollar martini, a bong hit at EcoFlats and and the Comp Plan makes sense.

But- I am a NIMBY and a breeder. What would I know.

Nice to have some company on this blog.

It's time for an Oregon initiative referendem to ban replacing auto lanes with bike lanes and to restore all auto lanes replaced in the last 10 years. Would pass easily.

I agree with the other non-Seths here. Am I really able to attend a meeting downtown when my wife and kids in SE (almost Clackamas) need me to help with dinner, homework, etc.?

Telling us we should just attend these horribly-scheduled (intentionally, I assume) meetings is absurd.

At the Sandy Boulevard meeting in the Hollywood District PBOT staffers got an ear full about reducing congestion, making traffic flow better, lanes that weave, better timing of the traffic signals, parking issues and even removing curb extensions for various reasons (even how they are a detriment to bicyclists) in addition to the always present pedestrian safety issues. . The seemingly prerequisite of reducing the speed was questioned in that PBOT was unable to provide the current average speed of traffic on the street. Questions were also raised about the lack of crash data detail to go with the numbers. Additionally there was a lively discussion related to excessive congestion at the intersection of 42nd and Sandy that included moving bus stops and the problems with the mega curb extension on the Southeast corner, and a abundance of sticky notes added to a map.

Given the PBOT’s response to the meeting, one wonders if the response was to the same meeting, if staffers were deaf in one ear and only heard what they wanted to hear, or if they simply disregarded what the public had to say if they didn’t agree with it.

If you're going to be talking about appropriate speed limits, there needs to be a proper speed study done, to determine the 85th-percentile speed.

From what I've observed driving Burnside, the speed limits that are already there (40 from Barnes to Tichner, 35 from Tichner to 24th Pl, 25 to the bridge, 35 over the bridge, 25 through the couplet, then 35 for a good ways east) generally work quite well. Most of the intersections with higher pedestrian traffic are in the 25 zones and with frequent traffic signals. I suspect that if a speed study were done, in accordance with state law, there'd be no change.

The main issues in that corridor are the seeming confusion about the Sandy/Couch/Burnside exchange's new configuration, and perhaps lane control on the western portion.

But, of course, we have a bunch of grandstanding reductionistas, with a poor understanding of actual traffic engineering.

Meanwhile over at Barbur, PBOT was nice enough to re-stripe the lanes, with absolutely ZERO warning (not even the REQUIRED "Traffic Pattern Change Ahead" signs were posted). I was in the "left" right turn lane...or so I thought. Nope, now I'm in the center, ahem, straight lane?

I'm surprised there wasn't a 25 car pile-up of cars not knowing where to go, because what used to be four lanes is now three with no clear designation of what lane goes where from I-405 to Barbur.


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