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bikes/transportation | community building

Fix Hawthorne to improve bike and pedestrian safety and quality of life

Hawthorne is a great neighborhood. Hawthorne is a terrible street.
I understand why the sidewalk gets used for bikes, the street is terrifying. That's no excuse for bad manners. Bikes on the sidewalk should be walked or riden no faster than a walk and with plenty of bell ringing.

Get involved with the future plans.  http://www.trans.ci.portland.or.us/Projects/Hawthorne/default.htm Don't be too skeptical of getting involved with city planning. It works, sometimes its hard, but you can make a difference, as in the reservoirs are still on Mt Tabor.

Hawthorne, the street, needs some major overhauling.

1 - It's too narrow for 4 lanes of cars. Reduce to 2 car lanes, and 2 GOOD bike lanes.

2 - Sidewalks too narrow. Use some of the freed up space to widen sidewalks.

3 - Sidewalks too ugly. Plant more trees. Place some benches.

4 - Too damn smelly and noisy from traffic. Whatever happened to electric steetcars?

5 - Parallel parking is dangerous and annoying. Use some of the freed up space to create BACK-IN angle parking. It is easier than parallel and MUCH safer when re-entering traffic.

homepage: homepage: http://www.trans.ci.portland.or.us/Projects/Hawthorne/default.htm

six... 10.Mar.2004 13:58

bike punk

6. bicyclists TAKE THE LANE. it is our right as a vehicle to have use of the full lane. i know it can be scary, but it's safer for us and frees up the sidewalks for peds. it's our right by law and you shouldn't be bullied out of it. chop-on!

Widening the street....... 10.Mar.2004 19:57


I think the best way to *widen* the street would be to get rid of on-street parking on one side of the street. That would make enough room for bike lanes on both sides of the street and still keep the 4 lanes of car traffic.

another take 11.Mar.2004 08:15


I lived, bicycled and drove in the Hawthorne district for 15 years. I still work in Hosford-Abernathy. After many incidents with automobiles over the years, I came to the conclusion that cars and bicycles do not mix well. I would never bicycle on Hawthorne proper. A block or two south, a block or two north, then up/down a numbered street to destination.
My subjective analysis is that most of the cyclists who ride on Hawthorne proper do not wear helmets, and are oblivious to the danger they create for themselves and other vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
I'd love to cars banned from Hawthorne, and replaced with streetcars, jitneys, bicycles, and pedestrians, but I doubt the local powers-that-be would ever show such good sense. There is already a safe method to enjoy Hawthorne by bicycle, and I suggest using it. I did for many years, and lived to tell about it.
My personal brand of realpolitik considers making Hawthorne proper safe for bikes to be tilting at windmills. I think fighting the corporo-yuppization of seven corners is a more realistic place to fight with a chance of winning something that will be of lasting benefit to the people's republic of southeast portland. Just my opinion.

Plan it out... 11.Mar.2004 11:47


Hawthorne is even a scary street to drive on. The side streets don't line up, and people cross at wierd places, and car doors open, and cars stop in the side lanes to try to back into parrallel parking. It's a nightmare. I always drive inthe center lanes, and I'm always tense.

So let's see... we've got four lanes of traffic and two lanes of parked cars to work with.

We convert that to two lanes of car traffic, one row of diagonal parking, and two bike lanes. I think you'd end up with about an equal amount of parking, and a lot more buffer between the side walk and the car traffic, and a place for bikers to be. Yup, I support it.

parrallel parking sidewalk
carlane diagonal parking
carlane bike lane
carlane car lane
carlane car lane
parrallel parking bike lane
sidewalk sidewalk

hawthorn would be worse with bike lanes 11.Mar.2004 21:22

deed spemon

ever try riding on Broadway? 'specially downtown?
well its a death trap
busy streests with parking and bike lanes don't mix
cyclists are safe on hawthorn if we TAKE THE LANE!

Two Years Too Late 11.Mar.2004 21:50


The Hawthorne Boulevard Plan is a done deal, construction will begin this fall. If you don't like the way Hawthorne Blvd. works for pedestrians and bicyclists, you should have been attending advisory committee meetings two years ago when the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association was ramming 'business as usual' down the throats of pedestrian and bicycle advocates. I'm with the rest of the cyclists posting here: Bicyclists Take the Lane. It's legal, and it's the only safe way to ride on Hawthorne. I do it regularly on my commute and also on the weekends for recreation, just to show the motorists 'whassup'. If you attend the City's current open houses on the Boulevard Plan, the best thing to do is speak up loud and clear for more and better bike parking on the Boulevard.

To Glassguy 11.Mar.2004 21:56


Your advice for cyclists is garbage. Hawthorne Blvd is a designated bike route in the City's Bicycle Master Plan. Cyclists are allowed to take the lane (ORS 814.430(c)), and that is the safest way for bicyclists to ride on Hawthorne. The City has abrogated its responsibility to make Hawthorne safer for cylists, in favor of a 'motorists first' policy and plan. It is up to cyclists and pedestrians to reclaim Hawthorne Blvd as public space for people, not for cars!

Correction 11.Mar.2004 22:11


That would be ORS 814.430(2)(c)...

Hawthorne is a mini freeway...screw all you cylists and pedestrians 12.Mar.2004 11:26


Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association...That name alone should be something to raise warning flags in terms of their members motives about the functionality of Hawthorne for cyclists and pedestrians. Anybody with an ounce of compassionate brain can see that that Hawthorne is way too fast...How to slow it down?...simple....more stop signs or red lights...I told one of the businessmen in the district this a couple years ago..what did he say? "I've never had a problem with the traffic!"

garbage mouth? 12.Mar.2004 20:19


No sane person would argue that the city takes responsibility for the safety of cyclists on Hawthorne. Those brilliant bike lane between two lanes of traffic approaching the Hawthorne bridge are typical of the city's lack of consideration for cyclists. As the powers-that-be take no interest in ensuring the safety of cyclists, I find it incumbent of cyclists to take care of themselves.
Designated for cyclists or not, Hawthorne is not a safe street to bicycle on. Expend your energy on fights you might win, and keep your ass alive by riding on Lincoln/Salmon/Madison/Clinton.
Bicycling in tailpipe exhaust is not the healthiest exercise, either. If you don't live longer because no cars run over you, you'll probably live longer by not breathing all those combustion by-products.
I've seen lots of cyclists, riding up Hawthorne, no helmets, no lights, no sense of personal responsibility, and I don't consider them a credit to those of us who genuinely want to set a good example of getting around without fossil fuel.
On the other hand, if you'd like to prove Darwin right by riding on Hawthorne and removing yourself from the gene pool, it's your life. Enjoy it while you can.

biker that will share 12.Mar.2004 21:38


What is wrong with the streets that have bike lanes?? Sure, take the lane if you need to, but can we use the bike lanes please? I don't bike down Hawthorne because it is scary!!!! People will run your shit over in a heart beat...you have to be aggressive when you are on Hawthorne, but if we don't try to fight with the motorists--instead co-exist then I bet that that dude in a car will be less likely to run you down if he knows that when it is possible you will move over and let him pass.

Use the bike lane when you can, and be thoughtful on the road, afterall that is what we want from the motorists.....thoughtfulness.

Think About It... 14.Mar.2004 00:22


Glassguy said: Those brilliant bike lane between two lanes of traffic approaching the Hawthorne bridge are typical of the city's lack of consideration for cyclists.

You have to pass through that intersection to get onto the bridge. The bike lanes you're describing are actually much safer than having the cars turning right from Madison onto Grand across your path in a curbside bike lane, and are a vast improvement over no bike lanes here at all.

Glassguy said: Designated for cyclists or not, Hawthorne is not a safe street to bicycle on.

As a bicyclist, I expect to be able to ride safely on Hawthorne, the same as the motorists. It may make YOU feel uncomfortable to bicycle on Hawthorne, but don't lay your trip on other cyclists. Riding on Hawthorne is plenty safe as long as you TAKE THE LANE, as you are legally allowed to do. Rear-end collisions are actually pretty rare compared to other types of car-bike crashes. Use a mirror if you feel uncomfortable, and stay away from the parked cars. Until bicyclists assert themselves and reclaim their right to ride on all public streets, bicyclists will continue to be treated like second class road users.

Glassguy said: I've seen lots of cyclists riding up Hawthorne, no helmets, no lights, no sense of personal responsibility...

Who said anything about riding unsafely? Use a helmet if you feel the need; certainly you should use lights after dark, signal your turns, obey the traffic signals and in general ride responsibly. No one is suggesting otherwise.


you guys are stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid 14.Mar.2004 02:19

i ride 150 miles a week

what in the hell are you doing riding on Hawthorne? what's wrong with Lincoln and/or Salmon ?

Whatever thrill you get out of disrupting motor traffic is not worth BREATHING EXHAUST and worrying about getting HIT BY A CAR.

Portland has a TON of great bike routes (shown by the very nice Metro "bike there!" map). USE THEM!!!!

Bike lanes are deathtraps 15.Mar.2004 12:53

I do not ride in them

Bike lanes are assinine. They are too dangerous and I avoid them at all costs.

Why are we aguing about this???? 15.Mar.2004 22:28


I've read through all of these threads, and I have to ask, why are we arguing with each other over whether or not it's appropriate to bicycle on Hawthorne??? If it's not your personal choice, and you would rather ride on a quiet neighborhood street w/o the traffic, fine. Conversely, those of us who want to ride on Hawthorne to challenge the cars-first mentality, or otherwise just want to ride on Hawthorne because it's more direct and convenient, also have a valid point. In the end, there are as many routes as there are cyclists, they're all PUBLIC STREETS, and they're all legal to bicycle on. The point should be to reclaim the public streets for poeple, and not just for cars. I say, we should all support our fellow cyclists, regardless of their personal choices of routes - the goal is to get more people out of their cars and onto bicycles; and the more cyclists there are on the streets, the safer all cyclists will be.

Ride on!!

Peace, Out!!