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neighborhood greenways

A north-south lifeline: The 130s Greenway is coming soon

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

From barflies to neighborhood officials, most east Portlanders seem to agree on the highest-priority biking improvement for east Portland: a few really good neighborhood greenways.

Consensus has benefits. The 130s Greenway is scheduled to be built next fall, and the 100s and 150s greenways are in the works.

130s bikeway annotated
The East Portland Access to Transit project, including the 130s Greenway and sidewalk improvements along Division Street.
(Image courtesy City of Portland. Annotated by BikePortland.)

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Auto traffic diversion still “on the table” for NE Rodney project

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
NE Rodney near Fremont.

Whenever we report on a new neighborhood greenway project, the discussion always turns to diversion. That is, how will the project promote or prevent a higher volume of driving on a street specifically set aside by the Bureau of Transportation to have “low traffic volume and speed where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority.”

Last week we shared PBOT’s first swing at plans to turn NE Rodney into just that sort of street. And sure enough, many readers asked about diversion.

Reza wrote;

“Can we get some diversion please? Rodney near Russell gets a lot of car traffic from motorists going to Wonder or other nearby establishments continually circling the block for on-street parking.”

Craig Harlow wrote;

“PBOT, please start installing diverters along ALL of the n’hood greenways.”

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As city replaces ‘sharrow’ markings, it weighs paint against plastic

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Sharrows on N. Concord-1
New sharrows on N. Concord in 2010.
(Photos by J.Maus/BikePortland)

Four years ago next month, a $1 million slice of the federal economic stimulus package started leaving its mark on Portland: 2,100 durable thermoplastic sharrow decals, intended to greatly increase the visibility of the city’s new neighborhood greenway network.

Now, as the city’s fog seal street maintenance efforts have been covering up sharrows, the city faces its first big decision about this bit of bike infrastructure: how to maintain them?

The good news is that the city is “committed to maintaining sharrows in good working order,” spokeswoman Diane Dulken said this week. “They could be thermoplastic, they could be paint, or they could be modified paint with extra beads for reflectivity.”

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Special report: How Portland stopped building neighborhood greenways

Friday, February 28th, 2014
A family ride from NoPo to Sellwood-18
Portland’s construction of low-traffic, low-stress neighborhood streets for biking, walking and recreation has slowed to a crawl. What happened?
(Photos by J.Maus and M.Andersen/BikePortland)

If Portland has contributed any innovations of its own to the craft of designing great streets, it’s this two-word idea: neighborhood greenways.

A remix of ideas from Utrecht and Vancouver BC, these low-cost retrofits of low-traffic side streets — adding speed humps, sharrow markings, traffic diverters and signalized crossings of big arterials — have taken the national bike world by storm since Portland’s Greg Raisman and Mark Lear developed the concept in 2008 or so. In 2010, a citywide network of greenways became the first priority to emerge from Portland’s landmark 25-year bike plan.

The concept went viral.

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After a delay, 50s Bikeway will roll out by summer

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
A Sunday ride-9
Better rides are ahead for Portland’s low 50s.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

After sitting on ice for a year while the city waited out high construction costs, Portland’s north-south 50s Bikeway is alive and moving forward.

The 4.3-mile, $1.5 million route down Portland’s middle east side, which was delayed last August, is likely to start construction in late March and wrap up by late July, the project manager said Wednesday.

When finished, it’ll stretch from the Alameda Ridge south to Woodstock Street along 53rd and 52nd avenues (PDF), connecting the Rose City Park, North Tabor, Mt. Tabor, South Tabor, Richmond, Creston-Kenilworth and Woodstock neighborhoods, which include 20,000 residents and 12 schools. North of Division, it’ll be a neighborhood greenway marked with sharrows and directional signs; south of Division, a pair of 6-foot painted bike lanes on either side of the street.

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Ted’s cure for hopelessness: How to slow traffic when police won’t help

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
untitled-1-4
Ted Buehler and his tools of
the citizen activist trade.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

An unsafe street that isn’t being improved can be one of the most frustrating experiences in city life. One of Portland’s most thoughtful safety activists has some smart ideas on what to do next.

This exchange in our comments section came from a story this summer about a hit-and-run that injured a nine-year-old girl at North Bryant and Borthwick, on a neighborhood greenway that’s supposed to be free of fast-moving auto traffic but which was, according to a reader who once lived there, built to invite fast speeds. Several readers expressed frustration with the difficulty of getting police to do speed enforcement in a spot like this; one, Kevin Wagoner, said he’s tried calling the city’s official 503-823-SAFE line in a similar situation to no avail.

Here’s Ted Buehler’s response, lightly edited:

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Washington County seeks input on ‘Neighborhood bikeway’ routes

Monday, September 9th, 2013
Washington County’s map in progress.

Bicycle boulevards, neighborhood greenways — whatever you call them, the low-traffic streets marked by sharrows and low-stress crossings are one of the best things about Portland’s bike network.

Now, Washington County is preparing a map of what it’s calling “neighborhood bikeways,” and looking for the public’s help. A new interactive map invites people to submit their preferred bike routes across the metro area’s west side to help inform planners about the best possible paths.

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Full median diverter coming to N Rosa Parks Way on Michigan Ave greenway

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
A full median diverter would allow people on bikes to pass through, but would prohibit left turns by drivers from northbound on Michigan onto Rosa Parks and the I-5 freeway one block to the west.

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As promised, PBOT will beef up diversion on Michigan Ave neighborhood greenway

Friday, June 21st, 2013
Michigan neighborhood greenway-2
PBOT project manager Ross Swanson (red shirt)
and Piedmont residents Justin Thompson (middle)
and Noah Brimhall discuss ideas to make Michigan Ave
work better.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nearly two years ago, the Bureau of Transportation made a promise to residents of the Piedmont neighborhood: If a partial median at N. Rosa Parks Way and Michigan Avenue (map) doesn’t reduce cut-through traffic on the Michigan neighborhood greenway, they’ll beef it up. Yesterday, project manager Ross Swanson said he’d do just that.

Michigan is a unique case for PBOT. It’s the only major neighborhood greenway route in the city directly adjacent to an interstate highway. During the evening rush hour, “regional drivers” (which is, I think, PBOT’s politically correct way of saying Washington drivers) race up Michigan in an effort to bypass the daily gridlock on northbound I-5. The traffic and inconsiderate driving irks people who live on Michigan and the presence of so many cars flies in the face of the core mission of neighborhood greenways — to create conditions for low-stress bicycling.

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Check out PBOT’s new carfree section of NE Klickitat Street

Thursday, June 20th, 2013
This is the new and improved NE Klickitat Street between 23rd and 24th. It’s the latest from PBOT as part of their ongoing development of the neighborhood greenway network.
(Photo: Craig Harlow)

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