June 22, 2024

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From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Active Transportation team talks e-scooters, enforcement, South Willamette

5 min read

At the Active Transportation Committee April 14th. public comment from Vicky.

[00:00:04] Vicky: Thank you. Thank you all for your work on these really important topics throughout the city. With a lot of things happening around the city, especially on bike paths, I’m wondering, is enforcement going to be a higher priority at all, sometime in the future to help, especially with a lot of more electronic devices, going really quickly.

[00:00:27] Shane Rhodes: About enforcement being a higher priority with e-devices: A soft yes, in that some hard education is going to happen before some hard enforcement and that’s— Last year, as you know, we did a Path Etiquette campaign and it was a lot of initial outreach and observations and planning some pieces around community engagement and education. This year we’re going to be doing more direct education to people who are using devices that they’re not supposed to be using or using them improperly on the paths, tell them that, ‘You cannot have this device on the path,’ or what the rules are, and how they’re breaking those rules.

[00:01:04] And so for this Phase Two, that’s going to be the approach. And then down the line, once those more direct education outreach efforts happen over the summer, then we’ll go into working with EDD and the park ambassadors about more direct enforcement.

[00:01:19] Vicky: Another question was the status of the e-scooter trial, the timing, and if the City Council has weighed in on it for voting,

[00:01:29] Shane Rhodes: And then the e-shared-scooter update.

[00:01:31] We do have the administrative rule being signed this week, and so we should be able to open applications very soon for one e-scooter operator to have a license to operate. And that operator will work in conjunction with Cascadia Mobility so that we can really connect our bike-share and e-scooter-share operations.

[00:01:54] And then there is a work session for City Council regarding the East Alton Baker Park piece of allowing e-scooters in the Whilamut Natural Area / East Alton Baker Park area. That work session is April 20th at noon and staff will be presenting what they heard from CPC and ATC and the community, and talk about the recommendations that staff will be giving around e-mobility devices in East Alton Baker Park. And so that information we’ll share to ATC members and on our social media moving ahead as well.

[00:02:30] And then Reed, do you want to add anything?

[00:02:35] Reed Dunbar: I would just say that I think enforcement on shared use paths is going to be interesting. We’re not exactly doing enforcement on roads right now. EPD is down about 26 positions. They’ve been aggressively trying to hire and coming up short on qualified candidates, and so it’s been difficult to get police everywhere we need them. Something would need to change, I think, before we’d actually be able to do real enforcement on the shared use path system that certainly I think we can. Yeah, the education campaign, I think, is a good start. And just having more people out there like Park Ambassadors who can convey what the rules are, I think, may make people feel guilty about doing their own thing.

[00:03:11] And we’re hoping that people behave all on their own. And we’ll send them reminders on what behavior means, good behavior, and then they can self-monitor.

[00:03:19] John Q: Reed Dunbar also spoke about South Willamette Street.

[00:03:23] Reed Dunbar: We’re really appreciative of the kind words and the fact that people really do appreciate the work that was done.

[00:03:29] This was a big lift for this city. And for folks who recall when this was all getting going, there was a lot of different opinions about what should be done there. And that includes people who own property nearby, people who used it occasionally, people who were never there but didn’t like the idea of things.

[00:03:46] And what Willamette represents right now is Phase One of a road diet, or Phase One of more of a complete street. It has bike lanes, it has travel lanes. It has turn lanes. It has sidewalks that are complete and a little bit wider and a little bit more setback than they were before. All the signals have an audible pedestrian signal function. …It meets all of our current standards and best practices. So it was good to have the conversation. Thanks to folks who organized around looking at South Willamette and seeing how it works, and for folks who understand that it took a long time to get to this point.

[00:04:22] But you know, I think of the city as a laboratory and so we can continue to do experiments here into the future to make sure that it works a little bit better than it does now, if it isn’t working for everyone. And there are situations where it could be a little bit better.

[00:04:36] John Q: Josh identified one place where it could be a little bit better.

[00:04:39] Josh: Yeah. There is now a new dedicated left turn signal at Willamette and 13th that allows cars, just cars trying to turn onto 13th to make that turn before the northbound cars can move.

[00:04:53] If you’re in a car, it works great. If you’re on a bike and you’re trying to make that movement, the signal does not pick you up.

[00:05:00] This whole new signal that it’s really meant to make life easier for cars really makes it much more harder for people on active transportation. And then frankly, pretty dangerous there.

[00:05:11] And it seems a little bit ironic, given there’s a whole memorial there.

[00:05:15] Reed Dunbar: I can check to see what the detection there is and make sure that it does work for bikes. That was not added for level of service or for cars, Josh. It was added for LTD buses, specifically, when the buses platoon out of Eugene station and have to turn on to 13th, there was trouble clearing out that intersection and so that’s why that was there. And they actually paid for that dedicated left signal, and it seems to be working okay from that perspective.

[00:05:38] I haven’t tried it myself on a bicycle. And I think you sent an email and I had forwarded that over to traffic ops. Thanks for bringing that up again. I lost track of it and I will follow up with traffic again.

[00:05:50] Josh: Great. Thanks Reed. Appreciate you following up. Thanks.

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