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N/NE Portland bikeway dream will soon come true (or be deferred)

Posted by on February 5th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Dar k blue = cycle tracks.
(Graphic: Metro)

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that funding decisions for their stimulus minded Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program will be made no later than February 17th.

To refresh your memory, last fall Metro submitted a TIGER grant request for $98 million in active transportation projects throughout the Portland region. One of those projects is a $38 million proposal to build a dense and complete neighborhood bikeway system in 13 square miles of North and Northeast Portland.

Imagine cycle-tracks on Vancouver and Williams, 40 miles of new bike boulevards, and much more.

The proposal, which has been on Bureau of Transportation drawing boards since the 1990s, would create nothing less of a bike nirvana in N/NE with the stated goal of demonstrating to the rest of the country what a large, focused investment on bikeways can do (or, as Metro puts it in their application, “This project will demonstrate the “art of the possible” in achieving world-class levels of non-motorized mode splits.”).
Here’s a graphic from page 9 of Metro’s TIGER grand proposal document that illustrates the improvements that will come to N/NE if they get the money:

Metro and PBOT’s big plan for N/NE.
Click to enlarge

Since the TIGER grants are meant to boost the economy through transportation infrastructure investments, Metro included economic impacts of the project in their application. Metro estimates that in the long term (20 years) the project would reap a cumulative economic benefit of over $317 million.

For a full breakdown of how Metro arrived at that amount, check out this table from their grant application.

Economic impacts of the project.
Click for larger version

If this project is selected for funding through the TIGER program, it would be mandated for completion by February 2012. Stay tuned for the funding announcements… and whether or not the dream will be realized or put on hold. For more details on this and the other three projects in the grant, see my report from back in September.

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Comments
  • Heff February 5, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I see the the plans include the npGreenway trail. Finally!

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  • Esther February 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This is so amazing! Fingers crossed!

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  • Matt Picio February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I would love to see Rodney become a bike boulevard. I know Roger will say “we had a public meeting, and there was no public support for it”.

    Have another one.

    Many of us didn’t live in N/NE when that meeting occurred, and I’d LOVE to help make a Rodney bike boulevard a reality.

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  • Matt Picio February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I would love to see Rodney become a bike boulevard. I know Roger will say “we had a public meeting, and there was no public support for it”.

    Have another one.

    Many of us didn’t live in N/NE when that meeting occurred, and I’d LOVE to help make a Rodney bike boulevard a reality.

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  • KJ February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    crossing fingers, this would be amazing!

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  • KJ February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    crossing fingers, this would be amazing!

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  • sustainabologna February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I’m curious what other folks think of cycle tracks on Williams & Vancouver. I hope it never happens. I’ve ridden the one on broadway a few times and have found that both making left-hand turns and passing cyclists is easier without a physical barrier present.

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  • sustainabologna February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I’m curious what other folks think of cycle tracks on Williams & Vancouver. I hope it never happens. I’ve ridden the one on broadway a few times and have found that both making left-hand turns and passing cyclists is easier without a physical barrier present.

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  • ben foote February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t think that we’ll actually get the funding.

    With the hefty support of Streetcar I have to think that the Feds would feel like they have already “done good by us” and that it would be prudent for them to fund projects in other regions, particularly swing states and congressional districts that are up for grabs in the fall.

    But hope does spring eternal. I will keep my fingers crossed, though the typing gets a bit odd at moments.

    Herafde lefrt’s trest it out,,,

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  • sustainabologna February 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I’m curious what other folks think of cycle tracks on Williams & Vancouver. I hope it never happens. I’ve ridden the one on broadway a few times and have found that both making left-hand turns and passing cyclists is easier without a physical barrier present.

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  • Bent Bloke February 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I’m hoping the Cazadero Trail will get selected for funding. This project would extend the Springwater Corridor MUP all the way to Estacada!

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  • Jeff TB February 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Matt, I think the map shows Rodney as a boulevard. Am I missing something?

    And why does the Williams boulevard stop at Ainsworth? Anyone know?

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  • Daniel February 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    yeeeeeee haaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

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  • flowb33 February 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    It’s a little odd to not see Concord Ave from Overlook Park to Kenton listed on the map as an already funded BB. I believe its covered in this year’s 15 new miles program. Wonder why they left it off…

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  • Steve B. February 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Whatever the outcome, I hope the city considers one of our city’s bicycle highways like Williams for their first *serious* on-street separated cycle track.

    The demand is essentially there already, this is the fruit hanging a bit further up in the tree than those bike boulevards. But, a serious cycle track project like Williams with some concrete and real barriers (not just parked cars) could really get us back on track to be the most innovative and action-oriented bike city in the country.

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  • David Bragdon February 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Recent developments regarding one of the other components of the package, Springwater-Cazadero: another portion running about two miles south of Boring was recent completed to a gravel standard (it still terminates where a bridge washed out decades ago) and we also recently purchased 17 acres along the trail in the north fork of Deep Creek canyon (southeast of Damascus and north of Barton Park on the Clackamas River). If we get the TIGER grant then we can really start stringing these pearls together.

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  • Wake Gregg February 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Any chance to get that covered? Lets go for a dry lane. Much cheaper than a new line….

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  • Matt Picio February 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Jeff TB (#13) – Rodney is in this map, which is a metro application for funding. It’s in the Bike Master Plan as a “future” Bike Boulevard. Originally, Rodney was going to be the 2nd BB after Going, but there was very little cyclist turnout at the public meeting in NE, and no real neighborhood support.

    David (#17) – I, for one am excited to see Metro pushing this project. Cycle Wild, the non-profit I helped found, leads about a hundred people a year through this corridor on camping trips by bike, and the completion of the Boring to Barton segment of the Springwater/Cazadero alignment would give us a car-free path to Hwy 224, bypassing the worst section on our trips, Amisegger Road.

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  • Malex February 6, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I’m disappointed they didn’t include improvements for current bike boulevards in their grant. The Tillamook/Hancock boulevard could certainly use some additional aids when crossing busy streets (57th, 47th, 24th, and 15th). And if the boulevard had any traffic calming measures at all, that might allow the City to turn a few stop signs…

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  • suburban February 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    You can stripe it, segregate it, sign it or paint it green, but if riders have to stop their forward movement when crossing streets, it’s NOT a cycle track. I’m with Malex19 on this revolutionary! concept.
    Any urban rider knows that “making all the lights” is paramount. I’ll call them “freeways” or maybe turnpikes.

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  • are February 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    knott is perfectly amenable to bicyclists in its present configuration. striping it with bike lanes would put cyclists in the door zone and encourage unsafe overtaking by motorists. similar comment as to ainsworth.

    also, re 14th: the “advisory” bike lane has the effect of sending motorists down the middle and pushing cyclists to the side, while in the present configuration you have what they call “courtesy queueing,” a much better arrangement.

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  • are February 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    unless the plan is to remove onstreet parking in these places.

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  • n8m February 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    We really need to focus cycle track development and money on main arterials where businesses are located and bicycle access is needed. Mississippi, Alberta, etc. By removing a lane of auto parking it is easy enough. Seems most businesses on said streets would support it. It would piss off motorists for a while, but they can walk a block or two from the back streets (or ‘boulevards’) we are relegated to.

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  • boneshaker February 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Um… yes please.

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  • [...] in the local bike scene were dreaming about a $98 million package Metro applied for that would have connected and built trails on the [...]

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