ACTION ALERT: Tell City Hall to Put Safety First

Update 2013-10-08: Thanks to the voices of hundreds of community members like you, Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick announced his intent to conduct a study and ensure that the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has the time and resources it needs to find the right solution.

You can read our response to his comments, and we have the latest on plans for the City Council meeting on October 9th. Below is the action alert originally sent on October 4th.

A Reasonable Request to Portland City Commissioners

Dear Portland City Comissioners:
Please support a safer SW Barbur.

SW Barbur is currently a dangerous, substandard street. As a community, we can make potentially life-saving safety improvements.

Portland City Commissioners have an opportunity to take a step towards a safer SW Barbur and now is the time for you to make your voice heard. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is calling on leaders in City Hall to include the following language in the resolution adopting the SW Corridor Plan:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Council directs staff to initiate a transparent and collaborative process with Metro and ODOT to study the Barbur lane diet option on SW Barbur Blvd. from Terwilliger to Hamilton. (SW Corridor Plan Projects #5006 & #1019)

Past efforts to study the impact of building safer bicycle lanes and places to walk have been decidedly inconclusive. There is nothing controversial about gathering information. Tell the City of Portland: support the study of a safer SW Barbur.

Write a sentence or two to explain why you support a transparent, collaborative study of safety on SW Barbur is important to you. Be sure to include your home address or zip code.

This resolution is tentatively scheduled to come before City Hall on October 9th. Safety on Barbur can’t wait. Now is the time to study the safety improvements of a road diet on SW Barbur.

Carl Larson, Advocate
503.226.0676 x16

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Comments (8)

  1. Alan Love Permalink  | Oct 01, 2013 03:12pm

    Greetings City Commissioners,

    As a city of Portland resident and small business owner that commutes by both bike and car along SW Barbur Blvd., I urge you to facilitate substantive near-term changes to the traffic configuration on a notorious stretch of roadway. The “Road Diet” proposed by a coalition of safety advocates would drastically improve safety for all users while likely having a minimal negative impact on commute times. At the very least, more information is needed.

    Alan Love
    SW PDX

  2. Juliana DePietro Permalink  | Oct 01, 2013 09:29pm

    Please enhance the safety of bike commuters and prevent future accidents like the horrible one that involved my friend Henry Schmidt this summer.

  3. David Permalink  | Oct 02, 2013 08:48am

    If anybody is interested in seeing what I wrote in my email:

    We all know that Barbur is a dangerous road and not inclusive of all roadway users, leaving the most vulnerable–cyclists and pedestrians–in a tough spot.

    Look: nobody likes Barbur. It’s terrible to drive on. It’s terrible to bike on. It’s terrible to try to cross on foot. It’s time to change it, and it needs to happen now because people will keep dying on it.

    Please include the following language in the resolution adopting the SW Corridor Plan:

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Council directs staff to initiate a transparent and collaborative process with Metro and ODOT to study the Barbur lane diet option on SW Barbur Blvd. from Terwilliger to Hamilton. (SW Corridor Plan Projects #5006 & #1019)

  4. Diana Rockholm Permalink  | Oct 02, 2013 09:26am

    i live in SE, and needn’t give my bike transportation a 2nd thought as to if i should bike or not in SE, NE or NW.
    The SW quardrant is a different story. i fear attempting to access friends and businesses there as there is little bike security outside downtown.
    please help!

  5. Rob Hertert Permalink  | Oct 02, 2013 09:39am

    Dear City Council and Planning Commissioners:

    I live by PCC Sylvania and often ride my bike downtown. I find Barbur Blvd so intimidating that I end up turning onto Terwillerger and riding over the hill just to avoid riding with the traffic and the scary bike lanes. Even the section of Barbur that I do ride is scary. But there aren’t a lot of options to get downtown on a bike. Taylor’s Ferry is a death trap of turns with no bike lanes, Capital is about the same and ends up on the worst part of Barbur.

    So whatever the City planners and City Council can do in terms of analyzing options would be much appreciated. I love riding in many other parts of the city, but sure wish the road that connects to my home would be a better option.

    Thank you

    Rob Hertert

  6. David Permalink  | Oct 02, 2013 10:27am

    What is a “diet option?” That’s a strange phrase.

    I don’t know that area of town – there’s a photo attached to this article that shows a strech of road with well-marked dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes. Is THIS a photo of Barbur? Or is it a photo of what people would like to see Barbur become? Because, if this is Barbur, I see little room for improvement, and I WISH that most roads I bike could be that good.

  7. Jim Plunkett Permalink  | Oct 02, 2013 01:59pm

    Mayor Hales and Commissioners,
    I have to ride my bike across the Barbur bridges two or three times a week. They are the scariest times of my travel anywhere in the whole city. There are no lights, the walkway is too narrow, the lane exposes you to fast traffic where drunks squash a couple bike riders each year. Please support the study of a safer Barbur.

    Barbur is the link for almost all SW riders to downtown. Also the route to PCC Sylvania. A safe Barbur will increase cycling in SW.

  8. Vern Krist Permalink  | Oct 07, 2013 09:03pm

    Burbur needs major help as do almost all arterials in SW Portland.

    I suggest the council waive any BES involvement/requirements in SW arterial bike and ped projects so we can afford to construct one. BES restrictions can double the cost of any SW project.

    The recent Capital Hwy cancellation is a good example of what SW Portland can’t have because the cost of building on SW soils far exceeds anything we can afford to pay.

    I feel we could achieve a greater or equal environmental benefit at a fraction of the cost by utilizing the unique geography of the neighborhoods that benefit.