Support a NE 9th Ave Greenway in Portland, Oregon
This petition made change with 62 supporters!
We support the original plan to create a greenway along NE 9th Avenue. We oppose changing the alignment to NE 7th Avenue, and believe that this change would be ill-advised and dangerous.
City council is about to consider a change to the existing plan for a 9th Avenue Greenway. Currently planned for the first or second decade of the 2035 comprehensive plan (TSP #20122), this greenway will be split into two projects - in the first decade the proposed 9th Ave greenway (now split off as tsp #40166) would be moved to 7th Ave from Weidler to Sumner, and the 9th Ave bikeway from Lloyd to Tillamook (remaining TSP #20122), would be pushed back to the second decade. Planning staff indicate the entire rationale for this change on p. 105 of the amendments document:
"Public comments indicated strong support for the 7th/9th Bikeway project to the north of the Lloyd District, but the segment of 9th Ave through the Lloyd District itself was heavily opposed by key stakeholders. Staff recommendation is to split the project into two segments, project 20122 (see page 1) and project 40116. Public comments from Eliot, Irvington, Boise, King, and BTA also supported a 7th Ave alignment from Lloyd District to Sumner.”
We support the original plan to create a greenway along NE 9th Avenue. We oppose creating a greenway along NE 7th Avenue, and believe that this new alignmment is ill-advised and potentially dangerous.
The city defines these boulevards or greenways as:
"Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets with low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds where bicycles and pedestrians are given priority.”
and further explains the character of these streets:
“ Vehicles should travel 20 mph or less; There should be a daily average of approximately 1,000 cars per day with the upper limit set at 2,000 cars; There should be ample opportunities for people bicycling and walking to cross busy streets, at least 50 crossing opportunities per hour, with 100 crossing opportunities per hour the preferred level of service."
Although greenways have been proposed at both locations, 7th Avenue is inappropriate for this type of use. NE 7th Avenue is a two-lane + parking street designed as a neighborhood artery or collector - that in 2013 accommodated up to 5500 cars daily, 417 cars/hr, with ~ 60% of cars exceeding the posted limit (25 mph).
This volume of traffic is simply not compatible with the safety, much less priority, of bicyclists and pedestrians. In an attempt to reduce traffic flow and speeds to anywhere near acceptable levels, multiple diversions preventing through-traffic on 7th Ave are needed. Additionally, there are median rounds at five locations along this segment of 7th Ave that already endanger bicyclists, by forcing them into the path of autos and trucks at these choke points - the proposed change does not take into account the high cost of removing these dangerous features.
The proposed 7th Ave alignment would divert ~4000 of those cars onto adjacent, one-lane residential streets, both small east/west neighborhood streets and the adjacent N/S 8th Ave. The current proposal does not offer any way for those streets to protect their residents from this overflow traffic. Already, whenever there is construction on 7th avenue, the rest of the neighborhood sees an enormous documented increase in traffic and speeding cars along their narrow streets.
In contrast to 7th Ave, traffic on NE 9th Ave is light enough that there are no traffic counts available at all. Speeds appear to be much lower. The existing alignment along 9th Ave will be much, much safer; will not result in damage to adjacent streets; will probably be less expensive (diverters and removal of median rounds are not needed); and will be more easily reconciled with the existing Lloyd segment plan (TSP #20122).
We agree that the residents of NE 7th Avenue need more traffic-calming measures to lessen and slow overflow traffic from MLK (the adjacent N-S Boulevard) on their street. The solution, however, is not to turn 7th into a greenway; this would be unsafe, and would create far more problems than it would solve. Instead, we support the original proposal: to make it a priority to convert NE 9th Avenue into a greenway in the first decade of the 2035 plan.
We urge city council not to accept this amendment, and to retain as a priority the planned NE 9th Ave Greenway.
In addition to signing this petition, you can submit testimony to city council electronically until 5 p.m. on April 27. Comments can be sent via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, submitted online via the Map App, mailed to the Council Clerk (1221 SW Fourth Ave., Room 130, Portland OR 97204), or delivered to the Council Clerk during the hearing on April 27. Emails should include your name and street address.
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