Bicycle Boulevards

The new frontier for bike infrastructure in Portland is the bike boulevard, a street where bicycle traffic is given priority and the result is a safer street for everyone.

Below are articles I’ve published on this topic.

Transformation in action: See latest plans for Holman street “pocket park”

Posted on March 4th, 2011 at 2:28 pm.

See below for before/after shots.

This morning I shared how PBOT’s neighborhood greenways could have a dramatic impact on how it feels to move around our city’s residential streets. A perfect case in point is the NE Holman Street project.

Back in May, I took a closer look at the project, with a focus on a “pocket park” idea that was being thrown around. The concept was to take the existing, small and ordinary park at NE Holman and 13th and make it something special. Envisioned as a gathering place for the community, the revamped Holman City Park would be extended all the way across Holman, with through-access for biking and walking only.


‘Cross-bikes’: Crosswalks for bikes coming soon to Portland?

Posted on January 19th, 2011 at 3:21 pm.

PBOT is considering new bicycle crosswalks,
like this one in concept stage for
SE 53rd and Stark.

Crosswalks are standard engineering treatments designed to help people get across streets with a bit more safety; now the City of Portland is looking to do something similar for bike traffic with bicycle crosswalk markings, a.k.a. the “cross-bike”.

The concept itself has been floating around PBOT since about 2007, but the idea has yet to gain real traction. The other night, while looking over plans for an upcoming road project, I was surprised to see them as prominent features. Turns out that PBOT hasn’t forgotten about them.

PBOT bicycle coordinator Roger Geller shared a bit more about bicycle crosswalks via email today. Check out the Q & A below for more…


New crossing at MLK and Going: How does it work for you?

Posted on November 1st, 2010 at 2:00 pm.

Policymakers Ride-10
People cross N. Going Street at MLK.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A local TV news outlet is questioning the safety benefit of a crossing treatment recently completed as part of the N. Going bike boulevard project.

I got an email from Scott Burton at KGW TV (Portland’s NBC affiliate) on Friday that they were doing a story about the crossing on their 11 o’clock news. Burton said they’ve received several complaints that since the change, the crossing has become more dangerous. He also said they witnessed a few close calls (bike/car) and that a person walking across was “severely injured” after being hit by a car last week.


First look: Going Street bike boulevard gets two-way cycle track at 33rd

Posted on October 9th, 2010 at 10:21 pm.

Riding north on Going Street on the new two-way cycle track.
– Video and slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)


More creative sharrow markings spotted in North Portland

Posted on October 7th, 2010 at 10:10 am.

This “sharrow flower” (for lack of a better name) is at N. Concord and Bryant. My bike is in the photo for context.
(Photos © J. Maus)


Get involved with the 50’s Bikeway project

Posted on September 28th, 2010 at 1:44 pm.

PBOT’s Rich Newlands gave an update on
the project at a recent Bike
Advisory Committee meeting.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is rolling ahead with their 50’s Bikeway project. The $1.5 million, federally funded project aims to make a 4.5 mile north/south corridor between the Hollywood and Woodstock neighborhoods more comfortable and efficient for people on bikes.

Tomorrow night (9/29) is the second meeting of the newly formed Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the project and there are plenty of big issues to weigh in on. According to PBOT project manager Rich Newlands, who shared details of the project at a recent Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, the biggest challenge for the project is how to make room for bike traffic on SE 52nd south of Division. That stretch of road not only has high volumes of (relatively fast) motor vehicle traffic, but PBOT estimates they’d have to remove 200-250 on-street parking spaces to make room for bike lanes.


New buffered bike lanes connect SE 101st to Springwater Trail

Posted on September 27th, 2010 at 12:14 pm.

City crews stripe a new, eight-foot wide travel lane for bicycles on SE 101st near the Springwater Corridor Trail.
(Photo courtesy reader P.C.)


City will cut ribbon on ‘Neighborhood Greenways’ at Beach School

Posted on September 22nd, 2010 at 8:45 am.

Beach Elem. School encourages biking and walking-4
Concord, a “Neighborhood Greenway,”
is adjacent to Beach School.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has announced their first “Neighborhood Greenway” ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event will take place Wednesday afternoon at Beach School in the Overlook neighborhood of North Portland.

PBOT wants to showcase their growing network of residential streets that have been engineered to prioritize the safe movement of bicycles. These streets are also known as bicycle boulevards, but PBOT will brand them as ‘Neighborhood Greenways’ to show that they’re not just great for bikes, but that neighborhoods also benefit. The “greenways” aspect is a nod to how some of the streets include bioswales, new street trees, and other “green streets” features (more on the name change here and here).


In London, ’20’s plenty’ fast enough

Posted on September 1st, 2010 at 9:14 am.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Streetfilms has a new video on 20’s Plenty for us, a campaign in the U.K. working to make 20 mph the standard speed limit in residential areas. The campaign is catching on quickly, with more and more U.K. cities adopting the policy all the time. Given that PBOT might be considering a legislative fix to wrest greater control of speed limits from ODOT, and the fact that Mayor Sam Adams has already shown an interest in reducing speed limits and has made safety his number one transportation priority, this could be an idea that catches on here in Portland.


PBOT gives North Portland intersection a traffic calming makeover

Posted on August 24th, 2010 at 11:30 am.

Lots of changes at intersection of
Wabash, Willamette and Bryant.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Bureau of Transportation has completed their re-design of a North Portland intersection where two bike boulevards and a high-volume street intersect. The N. Wabash/Willamette/Bryant triangle has been significantly re-striped, two median islands have been added, there’s a new crosswalk, and other new signage. Taken all together, this intersection — which used to be relatively uncontrolled (see photo below) — is now a key hub in Portland’s burgeoning bike boulevard network. PBOT project manager Kyle Chisek says the signage, markings, and other work at this intersection cost about $9,000.

To get an idea of how major this change is, check out the before and after. Below is a satellite view of the intersection before the changes: