Portland guide to streamline protected bicycle lane design

In the United States, bicycling mode share hovers in the single-digits, while many European countries enjoy double-digit cycling mode share. The difference may be due to the attention European planners and engineers pay to cycling infrastructure. In Portland, OR, a recently-previewed bicycle lane design guide will become the go-to resource for Portland’s planners and traffic engineers when designing protected bike lanes.

Portland plans new development fee structure based on people instead of cars

For 20 years, Portland, OR, has assessed Transportation System Development Charges (TSDC) on developments based on the presumed new trips that each project would generate. In December, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution allowing the Portland Bureau of Transportation to use a new methodology for assessing the fees based on person trips instead of car trips.

California moves to reform traffic mitigation process

The California legislature last week passed a bill that will remove highway level-of-service and parking from traffic mitigation analyses. The bill applies to projects in many urban and suburban areas. An earlier version of the legislation, SB 731, would have eliminated LOS standards statewide and replaced them with what essentially would have been an impact-fee based on VMT or some other systemic metric. Advocates say the weaker version in SB 743 still covers wide swaths of the state’s most populous areas, and that while it does not require statewide reform, it allows the Office of Planning and Research to accomplish such a change through rule making.

Bike boxes and lanes may increase “right hook” crashes in some circumstances

A preliminary analysis of bike crashes at intersections in Portland with painted bike lanes, bike boxes, and bicycle-related signage has indicated that when placed on a downhill section of road, they may actually increase the number of bicycle/motor-vehicle crashes, especially during “stale” green lights.