Are you a Portland resident concerned about how we use our public right-of-way?
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A reminder to get your comments in on the Comp Plan map website before Dec 31, 2013 when the comment period ends.
- The Map App is a way for you to explore maps of the city and help determine what Portland could look like and how it should grow over the next 20 years.
- Use the Map App to learn more about anticipated new housing or job development and where the City may want to invest in new infrastructure, like water, sewer, parks and streets.
- Your ideas can shape how Portland will grow over the next 20 years.
- Leave your comments on the maps to inform the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update.
First, check this great video from Friends of Barbur outlining the serious safety issues on Barbur Blvd:
“Scissors zones” are a dangerous part of bike-car interactions, where everyone is traveling in the same general direction, but bikes and cars need to switch places relative to each other. It’s like the point on a scissors where the two parts meet, a diamond shaped zone that is the route of both parties. &, like a scissors, if used incorrectly it will slice you up.
Bikes are vulnerable in these areas for a couple reasons:
1) there’s no safe haven
2) if car drivers don’t notice you, or are tailgating another car, then change lanes suddenly, they can rear-end you or sideswipe you. At high speed.
3) With “exit” areas, like ramps and right turn lanes, bicyclists only know if cars are coming through if the use their turn signals. So if there’s heavy traffic, bicyclists always need to put their lives in the hands of drivers, hoping that if the driver is turning without a signal, they are paying enough attention not to hit the bicyclist.
There’s a sketchy fork in the road on N Interstate just south of Tillamook St., where a 1930s “freeway style exit” forks off to the right to Larabee Ave. Unlike most right turns, where the scissors zone is small, this one is 420′ long — more than two city blocks. Its a segment of road where the bike lane runs down the middle, with car lanes on either side, and cars are at liberty to cross back and forth.
When I went through there a couple weeks ago, the bike lane “skip lines” (dashed lines indicating a car can pass through the bike lane) were completely worn away. So bikes had to either ride in the designated lane but fend for themselves, since there were no markings to warn cars, or go in the right hand bike lane and try to merge back to the left at the gauntlet. Cars were driving in the middle of the bike lane — because they didn’t know it was there.
I took a photo and emailed it to SAFE@portlandoregon.gov — the City of Portland transportation safety hotline, where they encourage us to report safety concerns.
I rode through there again yesterday, and was pleased to see that the lines had been repainted, and bikes were taking the rightful direct path through the intersection, and cars were always respecting the bike lane.
So I took another photo and sent it in with a note of thanks.
Scott writes on Portland Transport:
It’s fall, which means that Metro is seeking citizen applicants to serve on the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee. There are four openings.
According to Metro:
TPAC is an advisory committee that reviews regional plans and federally funded transportation projects across the three-county Portland area. It advises local and regional leaders on transportation spending priorities as well as policies related to transportation, such as efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and create communities with easy access to public transit. It also recommends needs and opportunities for involving the public in transportation matters.An essential responsibility of TPAC is to advise the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, JPACT, a panel of elected officials and transportation agency executives that controls federal transportation spending in the Portland area. TPAC also advises the Metro Council, which reviews and must approve all major JPACT actions.
Application materials are available here.