Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on September 7th, 2011 at 2:41 pm
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The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is in the midst of a green street project on NE 122nd that will close the bike lanes between Fremont and Shaver until November. When the project was first announced (on August 22nd), here’s how BES explained its impact on traffic:
Green street construction will close bicycle lanes and sidewalks on NE 122nd Avenue between NE Fremont and NE Shaver… Construction will not affect vehicle traffic.
That announcement raised eyebrows of some citizen transportation activists. They felt BES wasn’t taking adequate measures to maintain bicycling and walking access through this important north-south corridor. “It seems quite ironic that a project designed to improve the pedestrian realm,” wrote one activist in an email to BES, “would fail to accommodate active transportation modes during construction.”
Since then, I’ve followed up with BES’s Community Outreach and Public Involvement staffer Kate Goudschaal.
Goudschaal informs me that crews will only work on one side of the street at a time and that, “there will be a bike lane open on one side of NE 122nd at all times.” She also said that the contractor will maintain access for people walking on sidewalks through the work zone “at all times” and that the sidewalk would be available for people to walk bikes through the construction areas.
After further follow-up about their work plans, Goudschaal confirmed with me that when construction work blocks the bike lanes there will be “Bikes in Roadway” signs in place and that people on bike will be encouraged to merge into adjacent travel lanes.
Construction is expected to continue through the end of October. The changes will include small rain gardens built into the sidewalk and street that collect stormwater runoff.
If you ride through this area and have feedback about the safety of bicycling through the work zone, let me know and I’ll pass it on to BES.