[Updated 10/10, 10:24am]
“There was quite an outcry from the cycling community, so PDOT engineers came up with a design that would allow bike lanes.”
–From meeting minutes of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee
After meeting with the City’s Freight Advisory Committee, Bike Coordinator Roger Geller
got them to sign off on a re-striping plan that allows for bike lanes in each direction has created a proposal that has been signed-off on by PDOT but is still awaiting final approval from the Freight Committee.
Mr. Geller says, “they expressed their reservations about narrow lanes. Mostly, they’re concerned about having sufficient width to pass cyclists…Currently, what we have is a proposal. At PDOT we’re comfortable with it. We’ll likely stripe it as reported above, but it’s not yet a done deal.”
The gap in the bike lanes were the result of a lack of funding on a recent repaving project for NW Naito Parkway. The federally funded project only paid for new bike lanes to NW Davis, leaving a gap in the bike lane (in photo below and which I pointed out back in June) on both sides of the street just north and south of the Steel Bridge underpass.
the “Naito Gap”
(File photo © Jonathan Maus)
According to Mr. Ginsberg, the new bike lanes they hope to stripe will be narrow — down to just four feet in some sections of the southbound lane — but they still fall within PDOT standards (that’s an important consideration from a liability standpoint).
Yes, a four foot bike lane is a bit narrow (bike lanes on N. Vancouver are six feet), but in this case it seems it was either this configuration, or nothing. (The motor vehicle travel lanes will also be constrained. Instead of a usual 12 feet, they will vary from 10-10 1/2 feet.)
I think we should be thankful that Mr. Geller went to bat for bike lanes (and connectivity) in front of the Freight Committee and came out with a hit.
According to PDOT, they expect to stripe the lanes, but they still need final approval from the Freight Committee and, according to Geller, “ideally, no strenuous objections from anybody else.”