Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 23rd, 2011 at 11:48 am
The City of Portland has installed new bike lanes on the East Burnside overpass of I-205. The bike lanes had previously dropped on either side of the overpass (at NE 94th and 97th).
The new lanes take advantage of a wide shoulder and PBOT has even a striped a buffered section in the center of the overpass. These new bike lanes have added importance because this is where the I-205 multi-use path jogs from one side of the interstate to the other.
"It's another little victory for biking to and from outer northeast Portland."
— Reader Kit W.
Shetha Nolke lives in Ladds Addition and rides to Gresham for work over the Burnside Bridge. After riding in the new bike lane, she shared this impression:
"Westbound [on Burnside over I-205] is particularly tricky because you're crossing MAX tracks while being squeezed towards car traffic. I used to take the sidewalk here until I became a more confident rider. The sidewalk across the bridge is wide and not heavily travelled so I'm guessing folks (especially those following the I-205 path) will still use it... Pretty cool I think."
The current practice for riding on the I-205 path is to have both directions of bike traffic mix with walking traffic on the 10-foot wide sidewalk on the south side of the overpass. Since bikes are vehicles that belong on the roadway, it'd be preferable to direct bicycle traffic onto these new lanes. However, the connection from the westbound bike lane onto southbound I-205 path isn't possible unless you hop a tall curb or make a u-turn at NE 94th. Perhaps PBOT will add some signage and cut a curb ramp into the south sidewalk to make this connection even better.
[UPDATE: If you want PBOT to make a curb ramp on the south sidewalk where the I-205 path comes out, please email jeff[dot]smith@portlandoregon[dot]gov.]
Reader Kit W. noticed the new bike lane on his evening ride home. "It brought a smile to my face," he said. Kit feels the new bike lanes will make this stretch of road easier to navigate. "This place has always been a mystery as to where bikes should be (on the sidewalk or on the road... It's another little victory for biking to and from outer northeast Portland."
This project was paid for out of PBOT's "Missing Link" fund, a $50,000 pot set aside within General Transportation Revenue for small projects.