Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 5th, 2008 at 10:33 am
The City of Portland plans to re-stripe N. Mississippi Avenue to make room for a new bike lane in the northbound (uphill) direction.
According to a source at PDOT, the new lane will be six feet wide and will grow to seven feet at the curves. Scheduled completion is the end of this month.
The plan is to narrow a painted center median that currently exists on the street and move the motor vehicle lane over to make room for the bike lane. The new bike lane will begin at N. Graham St. and continue to N. Cook St. (just a block from the top of the hill at N. Fremont). Check out a Google map of the area here.
As someone who rides on this street almost daily, I can attest that this is a welcome improvement.
I prefer riding up Mississippi (even though it’s a steep climb) because it is more direct than N. Williams and is much more pleasant to ride on than N. Interstate (a busy street where cars and big trucks zoom by just inches from the bike lane).
Being such a steep road, the speed differential between bikes and cars is acute. Combine that with the sharp, blind corners and you’ve got a recipe for collisions. It’s also worth noting that when a bike is present, cars usually move over anyways, so this new lane striping would simply accommodate existing behavior while improving visibility and providing a more comfortable environment for people on bikes.
Kudos to PDOT for making this happen. Of course, in a perfect world they’d just go all the way and install a bike lift ;-).