current auto-oriented commercial strip in February.
Long-term plans are falling into place for a federally-subsidized biking and walking upgrade to one of Southwest Portland’s most important main streets.
And oh, it might come with a rapid bus or rail system, too.
Staff at the regional agency Metro announced last week that they weren’t going to recommend a $900 million light-rail tunnel beneath OHSU, instead sending the proposed Southwest Corridor high-capacity transit line on the surface of SW Naito and Barbur as it passes through Southwest Portland toward Tualatin and Tigard.
In an unprecedented move, Metro has proposed singletrack trails in a natural area that would be built specifically for bicycling. Calling them “bike-optimized” trails, Metro unveiled the concept at an open house for the North Tualatin Mountains project at Skyline School last night.
Using money from voter-approved bond measures, Metro is now ready to develop 1,300 acres spread across four separate parcels just north of Forest Park between Skyline Road and Highway 30. From the outset, Metro hinted that singletrack trail riding would be considered as they designed the trail plans for the parcels. Last night they made it official.
The definitive regional bike map has been updated with lots of new routes and a significant price cut.
Metro’s Bike There! map, published since 1982, will release its ninth edition next month in the first update since 2010. There’s a lot to keep up with: the number of mapped bike routes in the Oregon side of the Portland metro area has shot up 71 percent since 2010.
The current bike map shows 675 miles of on-street routes and 234 miles of off-street paths. For the new one, it’ll be 1,008 miles of on-street routes and 550 of off-street.
Though it’s possible to get between central Gresham and the Springwater Corridor by bike lane, there’s never been a truly comfortable link between the two, or first-rate bike connection between Gresham’s central business district and the dense Rockwood area. That’s about to change.
Gresham is building a wide new paved path alongside the MAX tracks between the Cleveland Avenue station, at the eastern end of the Blue Line, and the Ruby Junction station where many TriMet trains stop their runs to go out of service.
In 2008, Portland’s nonprofit bike shop kicked off an initiative to be known for more than reliable used bikes and Christmastime giveaways. And it succeeded.
The Community Cycling Center‘s 2010 report Understanding Barriers to Bicycling, based on interviews with dozens of residents of the New Columbia and Hacienda low- and mixed-income housing developments, is regularly cited around the country as a key piece of research about the ways bicycling decisions vary by race and ethnicity.
Other cities will get regional funding
for the programs thanks to new Metro grants.
With the federal government’s support for early biking education shrinking, the Portland area’s regional government is making a significant investment.
Safe Routes to School programs in Tigard, Beaverton and across the region are among the winners of $2.1 million in Metro grants announced Monday. Other highlights include a new active transportation staffer for Portland Community College, a bicycle tourism initiative in the Gresham area and continued support for the City of Portland’s marketing of biking, walking and public transit.
The $2.1 million in two-year grants were chosen from among $4.6 million requested by various nonprofits and government agencies around the region.
(Photo by J Maus/ BikePortland)
This post is part of our SW Portland Week.
It would certainly be ironic if Southwest Barbur Boulevard became the first arterial in Portland to receive a Copenhagen-style protected bike lane retrofit through a high-destination commercial area.
But that’s exactly what might happen if a regional committee chooses Barbur as the best route for a major new transit line. And getting around outer Southwest Portland would certainly be transformed.
The 50-year-old vision of a continuous mixed-use path along the east bank of the Willamette River, connecting Kelley Point Park, on the tip of the St. Johns peninsula, to the Steel Bridge, has made it on all the planning maps.
Now, the little nonprofit that has brought the concept this far is preparing for the last stage: getting it on the ground.