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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Q & A

Q & A

What are the proposed advantages to a 50 acre residential developer ? (rec'd 7/23/12; reply posted 7/27/12)

Foundational program rules related to large subdivision development impacts and associated requirements for transportation facility improvements in the public right of way remain unchanged with this initiative which is focused on infill development, not large subdivisions.  Rules granting exceptions to standard improvements currently exist and are also proposed to remain unchanged.  Under discussion is a process change to how exceptions are considered.

Exception criteria summarized:

•Majority of Pedestrian Corridor is built at a configuration less than the current standard and the proposed matches existing improvements (Admin Rule TRN 1.09)

•Infill of single-family for three or fewer contiguous lots where the majority of lots have been developed and there is no pattern of existing sidewalks in the area (Pedestrian Design Guide A 2.3)

•Right-of-Way has topographic, existing development, or natural resource constraints (Pedestrian Design Guide A 2.2)

•Existing road has no curb and it is not practicable to construct standard improvements or interim path (Pedestrian Design Guide A 2.3)

•BES stormwater or sewer requirements (PCC Title 17.32) - the requirement is not practicable or infeasible

If a development has a valid reason for an exception there is an opportunity for the standard street improvements to be evaluated.   

Currently a developer asks the city to consider an exception through a public works appeal.  The change under consideration is the city adds into their assessment the question of viability or develops specific programmatic rules (under analysis with the current Public Works Appeal program).   Resulting public right of way improvements related to a large subdivision in either current or considered process remain based on the above criteria.   

That said, there should always be room for consideration of better ways to serve transportation needs and the encouragement of creativity; that flexibility we strive to preserve.

Shared streets must operate at less than 20mph and are proposed to be posed at 20 mph.  Can the shared street be designed to a slower operating speed of 5 mph and posted at 5mph, not 20mph? (rec'd 7/25/12)

Shared streets will be posted with 15mph speed limit signs in accordance with ORS; narrow streets have a statutory speed limit of 15mph. 


How can a shared street be ensured to operate with low speeds and low traffic volume? (rec'd 7/25/12; partial reply--

A full host of traffic calming solutions are part of a shared street design as necessitated by the street context.

Strategies include:   

•Speed Bumps

.Segmented Block (with Tree/Bollard/Path or diverters allowing only roll/stroll and bicycles for example)

•Gateway/Narrow Entrance (as large or small curb extensions, hard surfaced or incorporating stormwater, etc.)
•Materials & Alignment Strategies (Serpentine alignment, visually reducing materials changes (banding), speed bumps, etc.)
Some rights of way may best operate as an improved pathway but no operating road surface for vehicles (note as an example the Sabin Orchard).
The streets sections in the Powerpoint do not adequately show these strategies, nor is serpentine alignment well represented.  Photos are coming (t.b.a.) better illustrating examples.
Are all neighborhood streets eligible for a performance based street design? (rec'd 7/27/12; reply posted 7/27/12)
This initiative is focused on Local Street Classifications for all modes abutting Single Family Residential areas; subsets are excluded.  In Pedestrian Districts or on Transit, Emergency Access or higher pedestrian classed streets for example (there may be more to this list), there is likely a compelling reason to apply the Standard "High Performance Street."
The initiative's mapping of "places" and "destinations" will also guide design features within the three realms.  An example to illustrate:  A local street in a route between a school and a park, with low speeds and low volume that meets all four of the shared street criteria, would not be designed as a shared street due to a higher performance need to accommodate safety and comfort in the walkway realm.  The context would then lead the street design to one with a walkway requirement with materials and specific section (curb-tight, separated, or curb-separated) then selected.