The City of Portland will lead a bike ride to celebrate the grand opening of the recently completed Naito Parkway Reconstruction Project.
The grand opening event will happen on June 14th at 10:30 am and will include City Commissioner of Transportation Sam Adams, various project partners including ODOT Region 1 manager Jason Tell, and Anne Naito-Campbell, whose family the street was named after.
After a short presentation at Ankeny Plaza (between Naito and the Skidmore Fountain), the dignitaries will go for a ride on the recently installed bike lanes.
These new bike lanes were installed in both directions last month, but for some reason a glaring gap in the lanes remains just south and north of the Steel Bridge.
Riding north on Naito
just past NW Everett.
I wonder what the assembled dignitaries plan to do when they come to NW Everett and realize that the bike lane comes to an abrupt end. The smiles will subside when they’re faced with cross-traffic heading onto the Steel Bridge and they’re sharing the lane (on a very narrow shoulder) with high-speed motor vehicle traffic.
A recent comment explained the gap like this:
“…the north end (of the new lanes) is kind of funky. There is a ramp at the end, but it leads to the sidewalk that goes up and over the bridge instead of to the Esplanade and the lower walkway – there is a path to the Esplanade, but it involves a set of steps. To get to the Esplanade with riding on the grass or down the steps, you have two options – exit Naito at the light by Everett Street or continue on Naito past the car entrance ramp to the Steel Bridge (which requires crossing that entrance ramp and taking the lane) – there is a ramp up onto the sidewalk just past there by which you can gain access to the Esplanade.”
While I’m thrilled to see these new bike lanes, and it’s great to have an option off the crowded, multi-use waterfront path, PDOT and/or ODOT should put their heads together and find a way to connect this new bike lane with existing ones just north of the Steel Bridge.
This connection is imperative if the City wants to encourage cycling and it’s the type of thing that can add teeth to their claims of wanting to build a “world-class” bike-friendly city.
Once they close this gap, we’ll really have something to celebrate.
For more images, check out my Naito bike lanes photo gallery.