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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Oregonian mea culpa on MUPs: May we have somemore please?

    May we have some more?
    Monday, August 06, 2007
    The Oregonian
    http://www.oregonlive.com/editorials...980.xml&coll=7

    When Portland unveiled, with great fanfare, the Eastbank Esplanade in 2001, we took the opportunity to comment upon its cost: $419 per inch. Our prose ranged from the snide to the snarky, tones, if we may say so ourselves, in which we are rather well-versed.

    Now, as the city gears up to spend yet another small fortune on yet another of these touchy-feely trails -- this time along Sullivan's Gulch -- we'd like to revisit the issue and restate our position.

    We were wrong.

    With a nod to Oliver Twist, we'd even like to add this: "Please, sir, may we have some more?"

    The waterfront esplanade has been a runaway success. That's runaway as in joggers by the gazillion. And dads with strollers, and moms with fishing poles, and kids with labradoodles, and lovers with stars -- and the downtown skyline -- in their eyes.

    Then there are those, thousands each day, who use the path exactly how planners described it: as a "transportation corridor," which explains why we were able to use federal dollars for so much of it.

    Why, with what it contributes to everything from our air quality to our daily smile quotient, many have come to think of the esplanade as Portland's quality-of-life spine. Now it's time to connect some ribs.

    The Sullivan's Gulch Trail -- a polite term for a bike/ped path along the Banfield -- would run from the Steel Bridge to Northeast 122nd Avenue. Along the way, it would link 10 Portland neighborhoods, mesh with such major civic investments as the Hollywood Town Center and the Gateway Regional Center, and revitalize lots of land far too long forlorn.

    You don't think proximity to a bike path enhances property values? Just wait until you see homes on the Albina Fuel site at Northeast 33rd and Broadway being advertised as "on the trail."

    Already, the Springwater Corridor links downtown to Gresham, and beyond. Planning is under way for a path from Waterfront Park to Lake Oswego, and another from South Waterfront to Beaverton. We'll soon extend the Eastbank Esplanade along the Willamette Greenway to North Portland, then on to Vancouver, recognizing our pressing need to better plan, and operate, as a bistate metropolitan region.

    That $419-per-inch investment -- more than $30 million -- that we made on the Eastbank Esplanade was the catalyst for much of the redevelopment of Portland's inner east side. The next series of trails promises similar jolts of economic energy to neighborhoods too long left feeling disconnected from the city's core. Amsterdam spends about $36 per citizen a year on its bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure. Portland spends about $2 a person, per year. We have, in other words, only just begun.

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    NICE!

    having ridden the Springwater Trail and the Esplanade, from Gresham to the Steel Bridge, it is quite the useful transportational cooridor and beautiful once it gets to the river. (Thanks, Donna, for the waterfront tour!)

    Glad to see Portland has its priorities in the right place (quality of life improvements to public space, improvement of alternate transportation infrastructure) perhaps more american communities will turn to portland as an example of what is possible in their own neck of the woods.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  3. #3
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    There are some plans in the works for some more, practical MUPs. I'm generally pretty conservative about MUPs, and insistent on good quality considering what they cost. The ones they're proposing around here would be a huge benefit to transportation in the area. They want to take the MUP along the river north, plus create a new east-west one that would parallel I-84. They would both have the decided advantage of being flat mileage.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  4. #4
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Wow makes me want to visit portland.

    Ohio has some similar things with the likes of the various rail trails and of course the tow path trail that now has 2 or 3 breaks totaling a little more than 3 miles before it runs from mid Cleveland to Zoar and beyond. Then theres the sippo valley trail 9.9 miles all paved the bike and hike trail all paved if i recall and many others many connect to the towpath trail or will.

    I know for a fact these mups can be used as a means of getting from point a to b safely on a bike and a good bit faster than in a car on the surface roads. Last ride south and back on the towpath found me down a bit south of mass rec center . On the way back i seen the canoe livery guy 3 times as i passed him and he later got to his destination to drop of canoes heh. My average speed 12.2 mph and a little more distance than he drove. Simply put i had no stops while he had a couple dozen per drop off spot.

    So yeh a good mup can be a huge economy booster for a given city or state.

    And for those path haters don't knock em till you try em.

  5. #5
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    There are some plans in the works for some more, practical MUPs. I'm generally pretty conservative about MUPs, and insistent on good quality considering what they cost. The ones they're proposing around here would be a huge benefit to transportation in the area. They want to take the MUP along the river north, plus create a new east-west one that would parallel I-84. They would both have the decided advantage of being flat mileage.
    I've repeatedly said the MUP's can work along rivers. They're perfect because traffic is already routed over the river, so it's less difficult to run a path under the road, too. Putting them next to freeways has the same advantages. If you're going to segregate, segregate!

    There is one big disadvantage of freeway paths. One of the things that makes my MUP route pleasant is the lack of exhaust fumes. Putting the path next to a freeway pretty much eliminates that advantage.

    Columbus has a great river and freeway MUP system, except on really nice afternoons when it attracts too many idiots to be practical for transportation.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I am told Austria has a nice MUP along the Danube. (If I ever visit, I have just the bike for it. )
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  7. #7
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
    There is one big disadvantage of freeway paths. One of the things that makes my MUP route pleasant is the lack of exhaust fumes. Putting the path next to a freeway pretty much eliminates that advantage.
    Fortunately, Sullivan's Gulch is big, and it's not going to be right next to the freeway. There's also a lot of plant life in the Gulch, so I think the pollution will be mitigated somewhat.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  8. #8
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post

    Columbus has a great river and freeway MUP system, except on really nice afternoons when it attracts too many idiots to be practical for transportation.

    Lol

    Thats true but when used as a way to commute to and from work well you avoid that mid day rush (for most).

    Still though even during the rush you should be able to get to and from one place and another faster long as you don't mind the trail hogs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Fortunately, Sullivan's Gulch is big, and it's not going to be right next to the freeway. There's also a lot of plant life in the Gulch, so I think the pollution will be mitigated somewhat.
    Sullivan's gulch is an erosional feature caused by the Missoula floods, and is actually quite wide; I think the trail route will be somewhat up the north slope and away from the freeway and MAX tracks.

  10. #10
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Now all we need is high speed lanes.

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