A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Remembering Stathos and Albany bike ideas

Written March 30th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Several times since 2012, I’ve paid tribute in this space to the late Don Stathos, father of the Oregon Bike Bill. And it’s that time again:

In Albany, getting around town on a bike is pretty easy, largely because of the kind of improvements Stathos envisioned, such as lots of bike lanes. But on the big arterials (Santiam and Pacific Boulevard, mainly), using the bike lanes takes a certain amount of confidence that drivers behind you are paying attention and staying in their lanes.

Still, with a change here and there, “active transportation” (which is what they call bicycling now in parts of the bureaucracy) could become even easier and therefore more widespread. Maybe.

Here’s one idea for a simple improvement: Run the city street sweeper down those main boulevards now and then, or more often. Sometimes it looks like the debris in the bike lanes has been piling up for  weeks.

Another: If you’re going to run errands on your bike, you’ll need racks outside popular businesses where you can lock your ride for a few minutes. Some businesses have them. I wish more did.

Yet another: How about placing delineators (those little bendable white posts, spaced a few yards apart) to separate the bike lanes from traffic lanes on South Pacific Boulevard, where the speed of motor traffic routinely hits 50 mph or above.

Maybe Albany’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission will consider these and other steps, and then “advise” the council to take them. Money should be no problem, with all the federal infrastructure cash sloshing around. Just now, more funding was announced coming from the state.

The bike/ped commission may be folded into a reorganized city Transportation Commission soon. At least that’s a proposal before the council. If it happens, the panel will need some actual tasks to keep it busy, and working on these ideas would be a start. (hh)

7 responses to “Remembering Stathos and Albany bike ideas”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “But on the big arterials (Santiam and Pacific Boulevard, mainly)…How about placing delineators (those little bendable white posts, spaced a few yards apart) to separate the bike lanes from traffic lanes on South Pacific Boulevard…”

    The City cannot perform street sweeping operations (as well as adding delineators) on Pacific and Santiam since both are part of the State highway system. The maintenance responsibility falls to ODOT.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      ODOT would complain if the street sweeper swept the highways?

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        Doesn’t inasmuch as the City doesn’t have the personnel and equipment to add that task to its list IMO…

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          Doesn’t s/b Doesn’t matter…

        • Bill Kapaun says:

          To hell with safety issues such as leaves & nuts from the trees the city has decided to plant, in addittion to the gravel build up. Why doesn’t Ron Irish get on ODOT to maintain the STATE roads in a SAFE manner? Why don’t you get on Ron Irish?

  2. Al Nyman says:

    Your comment is right on about the trash in the bike lanes. I used to live west of Bryant park and walk into town and I stayed in the roadway because the bike lanes were full of trash and uncomfortable to walk on.

  3. Craig says:

    I like all of your ideas! The debris in this bike lanes require me to swerve into the road. Delineators would certainly help on busy streets and inter sections, it’s amazing wow many pickup trucks block the corner when turning right, I am sure at least 50% do it on purpose. A delineator at the corner would give a bicyclist some room to turn right.

    Finally, I think some of the local bike clubs would be happy to work with businesses to put up bike racks.


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