Sunday, February 28, 2010

for example

so L. and i took a tape measure and we went out and measured off the actual width of the bike lane and the parking lane and the travel lane on northeast tillamook at 41st, outside the hollywood library.

click to enlarge

photo credit L.

the bike lane is very obviously in the door zone, but let's look at the actual numbers.

the parking lane is 83 inches, which we will call seven feet. the bike lane is 55 inches to the outside edge of each stripe, which i think counts as about four and a half feet. the travel lane is ten feet even.

as detailed in a previous post, the city has taken the position that the public hearing requirement of ORS 814.420(2) is met, and a striped bike lane is therefore subject to the mandatory sidepath requirement, if (paraphrasing here) the facility was listed in the 1996 bike master plan, as updated in 1998, and conforms to the design and engineering guidelines set out in appendix A to that plan.

tillamook from flint to 92nd is in fact one of the facilities listed in the BMP, at page 38. mostly a bike boulevard, but striped from 38th to 42nd, coming into the hollywood business district. so let's compare the paint on the ground on northeast tillamook at 41st with the plan guidelines.

one might ask why the thing is striped to begin with. according to the criteria listed at table 3.2 in appendix A of the BMP, it would appear that this stretch of tillamook is a "local service street," for which no treatment at all is indicated. the traffic count about three years ago was less than 3k, which would indicate local service, but it does kinda feel like a "neighborhood collector," for which, if a striped lane is "not possible due to width constraints and parking needs," the wide travel lane should be sufficient.

in any event, for whatever reason, the decision was to stripe it. again, the guidelines say (again paraphrasing)
  • preferred bike lane width five feet, but we will accept four for distances of less than a mile between "existing bikeways" or where there are traffic calming devices or parking turnover is [very] low.
  • preferred width of adjacent parking lane eight feet, but we will accept seven.
  • preferred width of adjacent travel lane eleven feet, but we will accept ten.
  • but in no event should a four-foot bike lane be put next to either a seven-foot parking lane or a ten-foot travel lane.

not sure how they measure parking turnover, but in this block it seems to me it is pretty high. you can see in the first photo that there is a fifteen minute limit. people going into and coming out of the library, etc. no overt traffic calming, unless you count that island plunked down right in the intersection at 39th that prevents northbound traffic going through (and forces the right turn from westbound tillamook, creating a hazard for any cyclist pushed far enough to the right to have gotten trapped in the right turn only lane) -- but of course this device, forcing northbound traffic to turn either east or west on tillamook, would tend to increase, however slightly, rather than reduce traffic volume on tillamook itself . . .

but disregarding all that, here we have both the seven foot parking lane and the ten foot travel lane, and while the bike lane is not literally four feet, it certainly is not five. unambiguously not in compliance with the design and engineering guidelines.

so maybe it is not a mandatory sidepath under ORS 814.420(2).

1 comment:

  1. So often I find along this stretch that I have to take the traffic lane whether I want to or not, because people are temporarily blocking the bike lane trying to park their motor vehicles. (That's true on both sides of Tillamook.) And that island at the intersection with NE 39th has never trapped me in the right-turn lane, but the drain is very poorly placed. I take the traffic lane before I get there, just to avoid the drain.

    All in all, we could do without the painted bike lane on this stretch of NE Tillamook.

    Don't know if you've noticed, but they seem to be putting down a new stripped bike lane just to the west of the new Whole Foods. A week or two ago, I saw what seemed to be temporary lines painted along this street, and delivery trucks for Whole Foods were parked right on top of it. Yep, I think we have another winner.