21 November 2008

Tell Metro Where to Put It

Where to put $21 million worth of transportation funds, that is. Metro is currently seeking input as to which projects to greenlight with Regional Flexible Funding dollars. From the Bicycle Transportation Alliance blog:

The process by which Metro allocates federal dollars for bicycle, pedestrian, transit and freight projects began last month. Metro has narrowed down the list of possible projects to $58 million worth - but there's only $21 million to spend!

But more specifically tell them how to spend, or rather why they should, the $2.1 million required for the Twenties Bikeway proposal. The deadline for comment is December 1. From the Metro website:

The Twenties Bikeway is a proposed bicycle facility running north-to-south parallel to the Interstate 5 and Highway 99E Regional Mobility Corridors. The Twenties Bikeway is a 9.2-mile corridor, of which 2.3 miles currently exist as bicycle lanes. Of the remaining 6.9 miles, 5.5 miles are to be developed with bicycle boulevard treatments and 1.4 miles are to be striped with bicycle lanes. Route is on NE 27th from Lombard to Ainsworth, NE 29th from Ainsworth to Knott, NE 28th from Knott to SE Madison, SE 27th from Madison to Stephens, SE 26th from Stephens to existing lanes south of Woodward. Project also adds improvements on SE 27th, Crystal Springs Boulevard and SE 44th from Bybee to Harney Drive.
This will fill a direly needed link in the network of dedicated bike passages in the heart of eastside, residential Portland. Remarkably, "Bike City U.S.A." has no dedicated north-south corridor for bike traffic from the Eastside Esplanade all the way to the I-205 bike path (which has been frequently closed in sections over the last year for construction of the new MAX line).

Don't believe it. Check it out for yourselves:

This map is produced by the Portland Office of Transportation. Similar to Metro's famous Bike There! maps, the purple and blue lines are multi-use pathways and bike lane striped roads respectively.

I'm often flummoxed as I look at these maps and try to figure out how to head out to neighborhood street festivals and the like with the family in tow during summer. My wife likes to feel safe in local traffic on a bicycle, especially with our young children in the bike trailer and tag-along bike extension. I'd even like to go to the grocery store on the bikes with the whole family so we could totally abandon the car on the weekends, but traffic on 28th over I-84 can be kind of treacherous. The Banfield is really the concrete river of Bridgetown that channels traffic north-south to certain corridors in the same way that the Williamette does East-West.

So please, if you live in the area and feel likewise, or if you support the example the city sets for the rest of the country, take this opportunity to address a shortfall of Portland's otherwise deserved bike friendly reputation.

Click here to comment in favor of the Twenties Bikeway.

1 comment:

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