Some cyclists riding south on the SPRINGWATER TRAIL near SELLWOOD RIVERFRONT PARK are not obeying the stop sign at SE Spokane St. Citizens have been complaining and now the Portland Police Bureau will begin a series of enforcement actions. This is a difficult intersection with cars coming from 3 directions and cyclists either going straight to remain on the trail or turning east to access the Spokane St. Neighborhood Greenway and the Sellwood neighborhood. An officer will be issuing citations or warnings. Most of those stopped will be given the option to attend a Share The Road Safety Class instead of a fine and ticket. So be sure to stop.
The HISTORIC COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY is closed to all public traffic between Larch Mountain Road and Latourel Falls until sometime in February, 2013, because the viaduct work is more complicated than expected and taking longer than expected to complete. From April on there will be intermittent road closures and delays from Bridal Veil to Latourel Falls.
Gresham has applied for funding through ODOT’s Active Transportation Program to complete preliminary engineering and design of the final two phases of the GRESHAM-FAIRVIEW TRAIL from Halsey St. to Marine Drive. Completion would result in a paved multi-use trail from the Springwater Corridor to Marine Drive, completing a major north-south route for the bike network.
A “SCENIC BIKEWAY” is being proposed that is relatively close to Portland and would begin just south of Hillsboro. The TUALATIN VALLEY BIKEWAY would be a 50 mile route that passes through Hillsboro, Forest Grove, the Banks-Vernonia Trail and Stub Stewart State Park. And the start would be just 3 miles from the Hillsboro Transit Center.
On BARBUR BLVD. IN SW PORTLAND the Newbury and Vermont Bridges have been a detriment to a pleasant cycling environment ever since ODOT put in bike lanes on Barbur. Cars and trucks whiz by at up to 55 miles per hour and cyclists must ride in the travel lane to get over these long bridges as the sidewalks are very narrow and dangerous. Now ODOT is repairing the bridges but the two plans presented don’t help cyclists much. One plan is to widen the uphill or southbound bridge sidewalks to 5 feet and lower the access grade, which would allow southbound riders to cross the bridges out of the traffic lane. However, to do this ODOT would take 6 inches out of the outside northbound travel lane. Most cyclists will still not ride on the sidewalks. The other option is to improve the sidewalks but do nothing to the width of the travel lanes. A suggestion to consider removing one lane of traffic across the bridges to use for bike lanes (a road diet) will not be considered at this time even though it has been done further north on Barbur near the Dunaway Fitness Center (old YMCA). “We don’t like to reduce capacity on these routes” said ODOT spokesperson Jilayne Jordan. I hope it doesn’t take a cyclist getting killed or injured before better choices will be made.
There are 53 bike projects with a total cost of $55 million vying for $8.5 million in grants from ODOT’s ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION SECTION. ODOT set up an online survey that ended January 31.