Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Milwaukie TSP Bike / Ped Meeting #1

The Milwaukie TSP (Transportation System Plan) Update Bicycle and Pedestrian Workshop meeting was held from 10am to 12pm, Saturday, March 24th at Milwaukie City Hall in the City Council chamber. Here is an overview of that meeting:

Katie Mangle, planning director for the City of Milwaukie, started off with an overview of the process. The bike/Ped workshop for the TSP update consists of two (possibly 3 if required) meetings. The first meeting (March 24th) is to identify current problem areas in the city, errors in the provided maps of bicycle facilities and pedestrian sidewalks, and areas for improvement. The second meeting (probably in late April, TBA) will list proposed solutions developed by City staff and DKS Associates, the transportation firm hired by the city to help them through the process.

Katie also presented the Draft TSP Goals:

  1. Balanced transportation system that provides travel choices
  2. Reduce length of trips; manage congestion
  3. Safety
  4. Enhance Milwaukie's livability
  5. Promote economic vitality
  6. Develop context-sensitive design standards
  7. Sustainability (environmental, economic, social)
  8. Coordinate with other jurisdictions & be consistent with the city's Comprehensive Plan
  9. Efficiently use available funds/monies to implement recommended projects

There were approximately 20 members of the public in attendance, who were nearly equally split between pedestrian and bike concerns. The group split into 2 working groups - I attended the bicycle portion. After 90 minutes of discussion, the two groups reassembled to summarize the information.

I delivered a list of map errors to Alan Snook, the transportation planner from DKS Associates who is working with the city. Overall, the map of existing bike facilities (bike lanes, shared lanes) was reasonably accurate, with some disagreement over the designation of north Linwood as "shared lane" and the omission of the relatively unknown multi-use path along the river behind the sewage treatment plant.

Brett Kelver, Assistant Planner for the city, facilitated. Brett is handling the bike side of things, and Ryan Marquardt (also Assistant Planner for the city) is focusing more on the pedestrian side.

Members of the public around the table took turns describing the bike issues currently in the city. The following items were discussed:

  • No signage for the trail behind the sewage plant- Bike lanes on lower Linwood poor quality pavement, full of debris
  • Curbs separating Linwood bike lanes prevent sweepers from cleaning the lanes
  • Crossings of Johnson Creek Blvd. are problematic and hazardous
  • Lake Road: one side is not bike-friendly
  • No good east-west connections in southern Milwaukie
  • Railroad Avenue totally unsuited for bikes, hazardous
  • The 1997 plan only addressed a few problems, most still exist
  • Lake at RR / Harmony / Linwood intersection: paint on bike lanes worn off
  • Upper Linwood does not have continuous paved shoulders
  • Storm drain at Linwood & King right in bike path on turn
  • Homeowner placing "For Sale" sign in the bike lane
  • Drivers not respecting bike lanes, parking in them, etc (esp. King / JCB / River Rd / Linwood)
  • No enforcement of bike lanes - PD needs to ticket more
  • SE 17th has lots of gravel & debris, bike lanes not continuous
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: loop detectors not sensitive enough, bike lane outboard of right-turn lane
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: sharp corner, cars drive into bike lane rather than taking it wide
  • SE 17th & McLoughlin: crosswalk button more than 10 feet from bike lane behind safety fence
  • SE 17th at 224: northbound cars off 224 do not stop
  • Springwater Trail - bumpy, debris, pothole in Tideman Park, bad surface quality
  • RR crossing at 21st & Adams dangerous, road surface bumpy
  • Stop sign lying on ground at Springwater and Precision Castparts Corp. parking lot driveway
  • Need better signage on Springwater Trail
  • Pedestrian ramp from 3 Bridges to McLoughlin poorly designed, sharp corners make bicycling dangerous
  • Need to coordinate with Portland for the areas that straddle the city / county line
  • JCB: If bike lane line worn off, cars veer into bike lane and crowd bikes out
  • Sellwood bridge (outside study area, but impacting the study area) needs bike issues addressed
  • Upper Lake Rd (east) has lots of debris
  • Need to repaint (restripe) bike lanes on Linwood, Harmony, King
  • Bike hit by car on JCB west of 42nd Avenue
  • Need more education and enforcement re: bike lanes
  • Low-speed, low-use roads better solution than bike lanes - people don't feel comfortable on King / Lake
  • Bike lanes are rarely clean and usually full of gravel and debris
  • River Rd descent problematic for bikes, especially those trying to turn left (west) into Island neighborhood
  • Need safe routes to schools, and between schools and parks
  • Concern over future Trolley Trail, and connections between it, Riverfront Park, and McLoughlin

There was also discussion about the good things in Milwaukie, mostly centered around the 3 Bridges project.

When the group reassembled, the bicycle and pedestrian points were summarized. There was little overlap between the two groups, and no stated major conflicts between them.

Kaite Mangle then outlined the process that was expected to happen over the next couple months. The planners will take the comments from this meeting, create a list of proposed solutions / projects for the city to incorporate into the TSP, and get public comment on them at the second meeting. After that meeting, there will be an open house in late spring / early summer for additional public comment, and then the main advisory committee for the project will take those recommendations and create a plan to submit to the Milwaukie City Council for final approval.

Haulin to work

Well, I got in a bit quicker than normal today. I usually average about 11-12 mph on the way in to work. Today, however, it was 13.6 mph! Still not my record (16.5), but it's not likely I'll repeat that, since I don't have as much downhill as at the old place, and I usually ride into the wind at least part of the way. The 16.5 day was with a fierce tailwind the whole way. Oh, and on bald, thinner tires that were overinflated. Downhill. Both ways. Yeah, you know the drill.

Mileage: 12.8 miles
Top Speed: 28.8 mph
Average Speed: 13.6 mph
Time: 00:56:41
Weather: Mostly Dry, 43 degrees F

Mileage: 829.58 miles (9.65 miles per day)
Average Speed: 10.7 mph
Total Time in Saddle: 78:35:30
Best Average Speed: 13.6 mph
Best Top Speed: 35.3 mph

Mileage Last Year on this Date: 824.97 miles

This weekend is Gamestorm, so it's not likely I'll get in any major rides, but you never know. I'm not running any games on Sunday, so that's always an option. I've done a 55-mile ride, so it's time to knock it up a notch - maybe 75-80 miles. We'll see.

This morning's ride felt good, and it was good to stress everything out just a bit. It's been a while since I really pushed myself the whole ride. Now it's time to think about pushing myself a little more often, maybe do some interval training. Also, it's time to think about a couple of the supported rides. The Monster Cookie Metric Century is coming up, as is RACC - Ride Around Clark County. Either of those would be nice to do, get riding with other cyclists.

I'd love to do more supported rides, but it gets expensive - anywhere from $15-$80 per ride. I mean, they're fully supported and all, hence the cost, but if you do more than a couple, it adds up quick. I'm already spending much too much this year as it is, with Cycle Oregon coming up. It's just so awesome that I'm going to do CO this year. The route is fantastic, it's the 20th year, so there will be all manner of special at this particular ride. It's going to be great. Yowza!

Monday, March 26, 2007

It HAS Begun (in the Mortal Combat voice)

Training has officially begun - I rode 55 miles yesterday, all within Portland / Milwaukie. About 1/3 of the way through the ride, I ran into the riders from Exchange Cycle Tours, and joined them on their ride to Kelly Point Park. What a great day for a ride!

The Usual:
Distance: 55 miles
Top Speed: ??? (the GPS says 87.7 mph, but I know that's not right)
Total Time in Motion: 05:01:22

Route: 97th & Lawnfield to I-205 bike path to Causey. Followed to Monroe, to Stanley, to King. King to 49th, then meander through the sub to 42nd and back to 55th to the Springwater Trail, then west into Sellwood. Follow the Springwater on the Willamette to the Hawthorne Bridge, then to SW 4th to Big Pink. Head back out around the tower to Broadway, and over the Broadway bridge to Interstate. Up Interstate to Marine Drive and Kelly Point Park. Then back out Marine Drive all the way to the I-205 bike path. Then south to home.

For the Year:
804.55 miles (9.47 miles per day, on average)
10.7 mph overall average speed
76:21:31 total time in the saddle
85 days into the year

At the rate I've been cycling, I'll cover 3,455 miles this year. Which means I need to step it up a notch, because I'm intending to ride at least 5,000 miles this year. This time last year, I was at 825 miles for the year. According to my schedule, I'm supposed to be at 1,169 miles right now. I'm down 344 miles, which is somewhat less than optimal. OTOH, a few weeks ago I was 500 miles down, so I'm pretty confident I will meet or exceed my scheduled mileage in another month.

Now if I can just start getting out to the gym, I'll have it made.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Still Spinnin'

Rode all over Milwaukie on Saturday - update on that to follow this evening. Good ride in this morning - it was wet, but not raining much, so my shoes didn't get half as dirty as they could have. Kind of windy, though. 12.34 miles on the way in - it's interesting how the GPS reads different every day depending on how long it takes to acquire the satellites and whether or not it loses signal along the way. Generally it reads between 12.3 and 12.4 miles each way if I take my most direct route.

679.38 miles this year, with a total time of 65 hours and 5 minutes in the saddle. I'm currently averaging 8.6 miles per day, which is almost as much as last year (8.91). At the rate I'm riding so far, even if I don't do any major rides this year I'll still ride more than 3,000 miles. I'm planning to do StP and CO, so that means I should be riding at least 4,000 miles this year, not counting my training rides.

Bikeportland.org posted an update on Dawn Slawta, the woman who collided with a car on February 7th of this year. She was in a coma, but apparently is now conscious and on the road to recovery. I hope she recovers quickly and fully. She's very lucky she wasn't killed - reportedly both Dawn and the motorist (Mark Grover) were inebriated (the Portland Mercury says they were both over the legal limit) and Dawn was not wearing a helmet or using lights (this collision was at night). To his credit, the motorist stayed at the scene and cooperated with the police. It's a sad statement about society that I feel the need to congratulate people who comply with the law, but I respect the fact that he did the right and responsible thing.

I've can't understand why anyone (over 12) would want to ride without a helmet, and especially in this day and age, why anyone would voluntarily ride without lights. This is just a general comment - I don't know the particulars of Dawn's situation, and it's easy to generalize if you aren't/weren't there. I've ridden without lights before, because when your battery dies at 2am and Tri-Met is no longer running, you have to get home somehow. Walking through, say.... North Portland at 2am (or Lents) is not an option for many people, especially for most women. I mean, I'm a 6', 250 lb. guy, I'm reasonably safe. Not so much for the 5'2" woman, and I know a number of them who bike.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ride Report - March 13, 2007

This morning:
12.39 miles
12.1 mph average, 31.7 mph maximum
1:01:14 riding time
43 degrees F, dry pavement, dark/twilight

2007 Total-to-date:
554.14 miles (7.70 miles/day average)
10.6 mph overall average
53:15:50 total riding time

Felt good to be on the bike today. Had a burger and a couple of beers with Steph last night, talked about all kinds of stuff, and about StP and Cycle Oregon. Feels good to ride in general - maybe because I'm getting used to the new equipment, maybe just because the weather is getting marginally nicer again. Either way, feels good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Ridin' Steady

Been a while since I posted, time for an update....

I haven't been riding as much as I'd like to these last few weeks, but I am back on the bike, and I've ridden 4 of the 5 days this week. I'm trying to make up my massive sleep deficit, and trying to reduce my caffeine intake. Well, I'm not succeeding that well on either count, but having a couple cups of coffee did make it easier to ride home the other day. The important things are that I'm still under 250 lbs and I'm riding again.

I'm now at 504 miles for the year, which is better than last year. I haven't ridden anything over 40 miles yet, but that'll probably change this weekend. The big change is that I now have clipless pedals and "proper" biking shoes. I didn't think I'd ever become "clipped in", but I find that I'd like any advantage I can get for my upcoming suicide ride (Cycle Oregon).

You know, I don't think I talked about that earlier in the blog - I'm doing Cycle Oregon this year, a 7-day fully supported ride, 481 miles long with 28,000' of elevation gain. Yes, I'm apparently insane. They say you should have goals, and yes, I apparently took that seriously. So, I decided to spend $800 of my hard-earned tax refund (ok, we decided - the spousal unit approved it) to try to kill myself riding up some of the most beautiful land God put on this green Earth. I'm really looking forward to it, and I know it'll be the ride of a lifetime and something I'll never forget. At 2,000 riders, it'll be somewhat smaller than Seattle to Portland, which has 9,000 riders, but still a pretty populous ride.

So, the stats:

This morning:
12.42 miles
12.3 mph average, 30.1 mph maximum
1:00:38 riding time
45 degrees F, wet pavement, overcast skies, no precipitation

2007 Total-to-date:
504.42 miles (7.42 miles/day average)
10.5 mph overall average
48:54:46 total riding time

Mechanical/Equipment changes:
New clipless pedals
New cycling shoes
New rain jacket
New saddle
New brake pads (rear)
New 1.5" reinforced road tires
Replaced broken spoke
Replaced frayed rear shift cable
Bike completely broken down, cleaned, and lubed

I will likely need a new wheelset, chain and cassette before Cycle Oregon. My bike is a 2004 Gary Fisher Wahoo, and currently has about 4,000 miles on it. I previously replaced the bottom bracket, chain rings and crankset, and I've gone through 2 sets of brake pads and a chain since purchasing it.

2004: ~100 miles
2005: ~400 miles
2006: 3022.03 miles
2007: 504.42 miles so far

This morning felt really good to bike. I did something I haven't done before - I rode with headphones. I kept them low enough that I could hear everything around me, and that seems to work ok. I even heard the Prius come up behind me on SE Umatilla, and those things don't make much noise. I didn't hear one of the cyclists come up behind me on the Springwater, but he didn't "on your left" me and I wouldn't have heard him normally anyway. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable enough with having headphones on to continue doing so, but it was nice riding today with my music. I probably freaked out the other cyclist, though, since when he passed me I was singing about eating people's brains (Jonathan Coulton's song Re: Your Brains, which is about a pack of zombies. Hillarious, click the link and take a listen).

Anyway, that's it for now...