Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Milwaukie TSP Bike / Ped Meeting #2

Saturday, May 5th was the 2nd bicycle / pedestrian workshop for the Milwaukie Transportation System Plan update. This workshop is part of a series of meetings hosted by the City of Milwaukie and facilitated by Jeanne Lawson Associates to allow the public unprecedented input into the planning and decision-making process regarding the future of Milwaukie's transportation network. DKS Associates, a national transportation planning firm, has been hired by the city to provide design and planning services to supplement and support the city's staff.

Brett Kelver opened the meeting with an overview of what the workshop is trying to accomplish - this was the second of two planned workshops. In the first workshop, the participants identified current conditions and identified a number of areas where improvements would be beneficial. The planners then took that information, and along with the original 1997 TSP they compiled a list of operational and capital projects to be listed in the new TSP. In this second meeting, the job of the participants was to prioritize those projects and provide feedback on anything that might be "missing".

Ryan Marquardt then reviewed the evaluation criteria for evaluating projects, which covered the following areas:
  • Connectivity - To transit, the Springwater Trail, activity centers (schools, parks, commercial areas), and neighborhoods. Also focusing on "filling in the gaps" in the existing pedways / bikeways.
  • Safety - Addresses locations with higher rates of pedestrian / bicycle accidents

  • Existing Facilities - Addresses facilities that are currently substandard or in need of repair.

  • Commuting - Improves or enhances commuting corridors.

  • Maintenance - How difficult will the project be to maintain?

  • Overall Scope - Determine whether it is a long-term or short-term solution, and how well the project connects / coincides with other jurisdictions.

Brett then went over the Operational Projects:
  1. Signage for the treatment plant trail (Kellogg Trail)
  2. Signange for the Springwater Corridor Trail
  3. Signage for Sparrow Street (Island Station neighborhood)
  4. Signage for neighborhood bike routes
  5. Re-striping projects (bike lanes)
  6. Sweeping out bike lanes
  7. Street-grate replacement (of existing badly-designed grates)
  8. Street-grate design
  9. Safe crossings for the Trolley Trail
  10. Milwaukie bike map
  11. Enforcement
  12. Education
  13. Multi-jurisdictional coordination

A lot of lively discussion ensued, mostly focused around items 3, 5, 11 and 12. The Island Station neighborhood was well-represented at the meeting, and it was determined that the issues facing cycling and River road on the hill up from and down to McLoughlin had concerns beyond simply signage, and that the project should be moved to the capital projects list. Ditto for the Trolley Trail. The participants generally agreed that the bike map that the City of Portland's Transportation Department put together was a great thing. (PDOT made a Milwaukie Bike Map thanks to a grant from Metro which covered extending the Smart Trips program to the Milwaukie portion of the Ardenwald / Johnson Creek neighborhood).

Additionally, "Encouragement" was added to the Operational Projects - programs involving community rides and other ways to encourage people to get out in the city on their bikes.

The discussion was followed by a vote. Each participant received a set of small circular labels (5 total) and was instructed to vote on the projects they thought were most important. Voting with more than 1 label per project was allowed.

After the voting was complete, it was evident that the participants overwhelmingly supported bike route signage, sweeping of bike lanes and education. Participants also supported (to a lesser extent) street-grate design, multi-jurisdiction coordination, the bike map (printing and distributing), signage for the trails and re-striping the existing lanes.

Alan Snook from DKS Associates then went over the capital projects, and introduced a map of the proposed changes to the bikeway system. Various points on the map were designated as capital projects, which were divided into Intersection Improvements, Bikeway Improvements, and Off-street Trail Improvements. Additionally, the 2 projects moved from the Operational Projects list were added, and during the course of discussion a few additional projects were also added. The final list that the participants voted on contained the following projects:

Intersection Improvements

A - Hwy 224 @ SE 17th Ave.
B - SE 17th Ave. @ SE McLoughlin Blvd. (99E)
C - SE Adams St. @ SE 21st Ave. (Railroad Crossing)
D - SE Johnson Creek Blvd. @ Springwater Trail
E - SE Johnson Creek Blvd. @ SE Linwood Ave.
F - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE King Rd.
G - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE Monroe St.
H - SE Linwood Ave. @ SE Harmony Rd.

Bikeway Improvements

I - SE 17th Ave. from SE Waverly Dr. to Harrison St.
J - SE Harrison St. from McLoughlin (99E) to SE 21st Ave.
K - SE Lake Rd. from SE Main St. to SE Guilford Dr.
L - SE Oatfield Rd. from SE Guilford Ct. to SE Lake Rd.
M - SE Harrison St. from Hwy 224 to SE 42nd Ave.
N - SE 37th Ave. from SE Harrison St. to Hwy 224.
O - SE Railroad Ave. from SE 37th Ave. to SE Linwood Ave.
P - SE 43rd Ave. from SE King Rd. to SE Filbert St.
Q - SE Linwood Ave. from SE Queen Rd. to SE Johnson Creek Blvd.
R - SE Linwood Ave. from SE Juniper St. to SE Harmony Rd.
S - SE Rusk Rd. from SE Lake Rd. to North Clackamas Park.

Off-street Trail Improvements

T - Springwater Corridor Trail from Three Bridges area to SE 82nd Ave.
U - Milwaukie Riverfront to Treatment Plant.

Added Projects

V - Sparrow & River Rd. - to connect to treatment plant trail.
W - "Big-picture" multi-jurisdictional coordination (e.g. regional bikeway system, etc.)
X - Trolley Trail design / planning / signage
Y - Bike Boulevards / Designated path location
Z - Railroad to International Way connection
AA - Intersection: International Way / Lake
AB - Intersection: Oak / 224

The participants then voted (10 stickers each this time, to reflect the greater number of projects), and a few items stood out well above the rest.

First off, the participants were overwhelmingly in favor of bike boulevards / designated bike paths. There was also a strong desire for improvements to the intersections of SE 17th with Hwy 224 and McLoughlin / SE Harrison. My issues with that second intersection require a post all to itself, which I'll try to put up in the next couple of days. Also given extra weight were projects V, W, and AB.

Other projects that the participants preferred were D, I, J, O, T and Z.

The remaining projects received 3 labels or less each, and projects C, R and S did not receive any votes.

Also discussed were the possibility of more exclusive multi-use paths, especially along the Willamette, and increasing connectivity by using alleyways / greenways between the "dead end" connectors in subdivisions. Milwaukie contains a number of hidden alleyways and accesses that are available to be utilized by bikes and pedestrians.

A couple of participants pointed to Portland's use of "dots" for directing bike traffic, and their new network of bicycle signage. Emily Gardner of the BTA (who was present as a meeting participant) expounded on this issue and others.

Due to the large number of issues raised during the meeting, and concern that all issues would be able to be addressed, it was determined that a third bike / ped workshop should be scheduled. Katie Mangle, Planning Director for the City of Milwaukie, also asked if the participants thought that the city needed a bicycle advisory committee, and a number of meeting participants thought that would be a great idea.

Further info coming when I have it.


After the meeting, I led a ride through a portion of Milwaukie to illustrate some of the issues present in the current transportation network. The ride included (among others) transportation diplomat Aaron Tarfman, Brett Kelver and Ryan Marquardt from the planning department, and Del Scharffenberg, a member of the Clackamas County Pedestrian / Bikeway Advisory Committee. We covered the major problem intersections along McLoughlin and SE 17th, the Three Bridges project, one of Milwaukie's "hidden" alleyways, and low and medium traffic residential and connector streets. I had planned a longer route, but misjudged the time required to cover all the locations I had planned.

Overall, the ride went well. It's difficult to understand the issues regarding Mcloughlin and the southern commute unless you actually ride it. Likewise, the problems with the SE 17th / McLoughlin / Harrison intersection are much more effectively communicated when you can witness them firsthand. I'm planning to do another 2-3 rides, each focusing on a different area of the city. We'll see how that goes.

No comments: