By Angela Webber, The Beaverton Valley Times, Jul 1, 2010, Updated Jul 2, 2010
Jaime Valdez / The Beaverton Valley Times
Bicyclists currently travel on the sidewalks along Southwest Lombard Avenue. A proposal before council would stripe bike lanes along the road, eliminating some on-street parking.
A proposal to add striping for bike lanes has crystallized as an argument between an old neighborhood wanting to hold on, and a group seeking a bike-friendly Beaverton future.
Proponents say that striping bike lanes on Lombard Avenue between First Street and Denney Road will ensure safety with minimal impact to the neighborhood. However, Lombard residents say the lanes would lower their property values and oppose the project’s removal of on-street parking.
The lane striping would be a step forward in providing continuous connectivity for bikers between Beaverton Transit Center and South Beaverton. According to Beaverton Transportation Engineer Jabra Khasho, the plan is consistent with city goals to promote balanced transportation. A number of cyclists use the road, Khasho says, and striping a designated bikeway would provide a safer environment for bike travel.
In order to stripe the 5-foot bike lanes, on-street parking on Lombard would be eliminated between Seventh Street and Nadina Court, and limited to one side of the road between Why Worry Lane and Denney Road. The engineer’s report, which counted cars parked on the street at various times of the week and day, found that “the proposed parking restrictions would have little impact on parking.”
Neighbors disagree. Lombard resident Tom Kyzmic told City Council Monday night that, as a grandfather, he was concerned that visiting family would have to cross a busy, dimly lit street if they could not park outside his house.
Lombard resident Louise Hernstedt sees the bike lane as part of a larger issue, one of Lombard residents’ control over their neighborhood.
“Any feeling of a nice family neighborhood is gone,” Hernstedt said. Lombard, which many years ago was a quiet street, is now an arterial for emergency vehicles and buses.
Transportation Commission Chairman Scott Knees, speaking for himself, testified against the plan Monday night. “The residents, the neighbors oppose (the striping of bike lanes). I really don’t like the idea of the city of Beaverton trying to ram something down the throats of the neighbors who… are going to be most greatly impacted by this decision.”
Eleven people testified against the proposal before council Monday night, and 10 testified for it.
Some Lombard residents say that bike lanes are shown to lower property values. One was concerned that a lack of close, on-street parking might make the house unattractive real estate in the future.
The Beaverton Traffic Commission voted 5-1 against the proposal in March, and it later received the endorsement of the city’s Bike Advisory Committee. The proposal will return to council as an action item for discussion and a potential decision on July 19.