Comments

1
"Also, since the city is aiming to make bikes 25 percent of traffic by 2030, bike lanes should be standard on new construction of major streets... especially ones redeveloped with the goal of making a more walkable neighborhood with slower car traffic."

Yeah you aren't going to get a hesitant population out on the streets unless you show serious effort in protecting the timid/new rider. This seems like a massive fuckup. Bikes before bioswales, also!
2
The project has resulted in a light and painting lanes on NE 14th. 14th runs from Sandy to Davis for one block then dead ends right after Davis. There has been a lot of traffic on Davis, with Voodoo and people avoiding the construction. But this street has forklifts running between the bottling plant buildings and a posted speed of 10. 40 is not unheard of. People speed through this shortcut and I'm concerned about the impact that directing traffic onto 14th-- for all of one block?-- will have on those of use who live in the area.
3
towchick,
I've seen that too: a lot of people pulling desperate maneuvers while trying to turn left onto Sandy off of 14th next to Voodoo. I'm wondering if that will die down as the construction stops and people get used to the changes.
4
Even I agree that they should have added bike lanes. Maybe it isn't wide enough? Couch is much narrower than Burnside.

My thought is that the westbound drive that once took about one to two minutes down Burnside now takes five to seven minutes down Couch. But that's "progress" for you. In Portland when something suddenly works worse, it's somehow supposed to indicate that it is getting better. Still haven't figured that one out.
5
To save Blabby the trouble:

wah wah wah unAmerican wah wah wah everyone loves cars wah wah wah go sit on a bike stem
6
He beat me by a minute!
7
I drive Burnside from NW to East to NE Sandy to the Merc almost every damn day. Couple thoughts:
1. It'll be nice to drive east on Burnside and not have to wait for people turning left across west bound traffic.
2. I really dig the Couch Westbound thing. It's fun. Also, it'll be nice to see what happens to the businesses along there and what'll pop up.
3. Hooray for being able to cross East Burnside on foot with less danger!
4. Boooo for having no easy way to get onto Sandy Eastbound.
5. Once, when I was the drunkest I've ever been in my life, I nearly lost my life when I came upon that monstrous intersection. I was so panicked and confused I bolted through the traffic (during rush hour), collapsed into the shrubbery surrounding the church parking lot, and passed out in the mud--loosing my glasses in the process. I learned an important life lesson. I'm grateful to the old clusterfuck for that, but I'm glad it's gone.
8
@Sarah -

"WHERE'S MY BIKE LANE ON COUCH?!" -- There isn't much room (unless you eliminate street parking on one side, which wouldn't have flown with local businesses). It won't really be needed. Couch is downhill, and with the new, timed traffic lights at every intersection, traffic will flow in an orderly manner. It should be easy for a relatively-experienced cyclist to match speeds with auto traffic.

@Patrick -

"Boooo for having no easy way to get onto Sandy Eastbound."

They're not done yet. It will be pretty easy. There will be TWO lanes dedicated for turning from Burnside eastbound, north on 14th for 200ft, and then eastbound again on Sandy.
9
As a frequent commuter on NE Sandy & (now) Couch headed to the Burnside Bridge: I'm not going to agitate for a bike lane on couch. Instead there should be big fat SHARROWS on Couch. On a narrow street like that it is VERY easy for bikes to maintain the same speed as cars, ESPECIALLY given the downhill slope. If they put in a bike lane, it would be a major door zone, unless they got rid of the parking, which given teh amount of residential there I don't think they can do.
10
Re: SHARROWS, agreed.
11
yeah i tried biking down couch on friday, and i really needed to take the lane until 6th. it was easy to keep up but got pretty dicey dodging around tons of buses at rush hour. sharrows would be great, especially on BOTH lanes.. since you're not going much of anywhere in the right lane with said tons of buses.
12
@Andy Mesa - You rock.

@Blabby - I have a hard time believing it's going to take you that much longer to drive down Couch than Burnside. I've done it several times since the change, and it seems nice. I mean, they're the same darn length...

@Theta444 - I had to google 'sharrows.' Good idea. Do we have them anywhere in Portland, yet? If I hadn't looked them up, I would have thought it meant 'no cars, bikes only.' I'm picturing soccer moms in minivans refusing to use those lanes...
13
Andy Mesa can sit his unAmerican ass on a bike stem until he starts to love cars.

Blogtowners, this was all done so that developers can make a ton of money. It's strange that out of all local media, the token "in-your-face" alternative newsweekly is always the LEAST suspicious of the city's motivations....

"City planning, yay!"
14
I also want BIG FAT SHARROWS going both directions all down SE 39th.
15
SE 39th? Never heard of it.
16
And why not ride down SE 38th or SE 40th, where there are no cars at all?
17
@Reymont, I'll tell you why.

Because the better options are SE 37th or SE 41st. That's why.
18
Blabby, tell us more about how it's gonna benefit developers. The intersection was a clusterfuck. This improves it. That's pretty much all the convincing I needed.

I don't care that the lights might add a minute or two to someone's commute-- if it reduces accidents and makes the neighborhood more walkable, then it's more than worth the wait.

Also, lights aren't all that much of a hassle if they're timed correctly.
19
Chunty, it was precipitated by well-connected property owners wanting to increase the value and utility of their properties. It actually started on the west side of the river by Michael Powell and some others. But the east side was easier politically, so they've done that first.

Huge chunks of the eastside area in question are owned by Joe Weston, one of the wealthiest real estate dudes in town. The new block created where Sandy is now blocked off will be his.

This is what people around here don't get. Sam Adams gives f**k about you. These types of projects aren't about cyclists and 20-something planning geeks. These projects don't even originate with the transportation planners.

They come from the people who actually pull the town strings (who also couldn't give a f**k about you). Then Sam Adams wraps them up with planning buzzwords and you guys sit up and clap like trained seals.
20
Blabby - I thought you were supposed to be pro-business? If this helps a local developer, that's a good thing, right?

Anyway, I don't care why they've done it, or what their motives are, so long as the results are good. The right outcome for the wrong motive is still the right outcome. And compared with what was there before (a dangerous road, a clusterfuck intersection, a traffic snarl, the impossibility of turning left off that stretch of Burnside or even left off the bridge up Grand), this is definitely the right outcome.
21
so far Couch has been fine. it's great to cross Sandy so easily now; used to be, west of 20th & it was more than dicey. Voodoo Too is a piece of cake (donut) to reach now. can't wait to see the whole finished project.
22
I had an appointment down in that area this afternoon so I drove and gave things a try. At 3pm, westbound, I hit the timing of the lights just right and didn't get a single red from Sandy/Couch to the Burnside Bridge. Traffic was flowing at a uniform speed never dipping below 20mph. There was a bus stopped in the right lane near Grand, but as this was contra-peak traffic there was sufficient room for cars to change lanes. However, the real test is morning peak and I'll leave that to others for now. We won't be able to test Burnside at least until the new cutover to Sandy at 14th is opened (still a lot of work going on there), and not really know 100% until all the new signals are in and operating at the correct timing.

Stu hits on something else which is wonderful and I don't think a lot of people will realize until the project is completely finished. Left turns. (Left turns!) You will be able to turn left from Burnside eastbound onto Grand northbound for the first time in, what, 30 years? No more doing the funny round-the-block maneuver to access Grand.

*If* (it's still a big *if* at this point) the couplet is also implemented on the west side, left turns on Burnside and the reopening of cross streets which are currently blocked will do wonders for local circulation.

Now, I've always been a supporter of the couplet idea (and I'm not a developer), but given the controversy I'm glad it's being done in phases. Once the east side is done and has been operating for a year or two, if there's still widespread, strong opposition to a westside couplet, well, I'll be disappointed, but at least there will have been a fair basis for comparison.

I will confidently predict, however, in a year's time that there will be nothing more than a teabagger-sized minority clamoring to put the eastside Burnside/Sandy/11th/12th mess back the way it was.
23
"Blabber" has some good points, but naturally the self entitled generation is going to think this is all about you and your little "alternative" transportation, not to mention the vociferous minority of militant "greensters" who think everyone should be just like them. My thoughts?
-Traffic will actually get worse. If you haven't noticed, Portland is not very well planned in terms of commuting and actual traffic flow, and has tripled in population and traffic flow in the last 15 years or less. Thanks again for moving here, monkeys.
-We do need more bike lanes (this means you clowns are actually going to ride IN them, right? ) and safer pedestrian traffic, but please do not turn this into NW 23rd, where hipster ass clowns feel the need to meander across the street anywhere and anytime they want regardless of traffic.
-Omg the mayor is gay........I really don't give a monkey's ass one way or another, all I know is that he has done a horrendous job and this debacle is yet another example. As "Blabber" pointed out this is not about you and your bicycle, as much as the self entitled among you want to think so. You have fallen victim to Mayor Adams vast arsenal or bullshit and glad handing once again.
-I myself ride a bike, love too and am a Timbers fan going back to the eighties as a kid (even had a tryout with them back in the nineties). But I do not think the way things are shaping up are a positive development, in these two areas. I would be the first person who hopes to be proven wrong, but I am skeptical as agenda seems to be quite the theme at the moment. As for you Patrick Coleman, city planning is at fault for your alcohol problem or the fact you can't handle the booze you ingest in ass hat hipster bars in NW? Stay in your lane and stick to crafting lame epicurean reviews, monkey.
24
Actuallly, Voodoo doesn't intersect with 14th. 14th is a block down. Those desperate drivers turning left onto Sandy are turning off of Davis. I do it all the time.

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