Updated: New bike lane coming to N. Mississippi hill

Posted by on June 5th, 2008 at 10:33 am

new bike lane on N. Mississippi-1.jpg

Looking north on N. Mississippi Ave. at N. Graham.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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).

new bike lane on N. Mississippi-2.jpg

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 ;-).

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Adams Carroll (News Intern)Jessica RobertsMetal CowboySteveDabby Recent comment authors
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a.O
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a.O

Good news. I agree that is a better route, and a fun hill to climb for those of us who enjoy that sort of thing. Amnesia, here I come!

Ron
Guest
Ron

This is my route too, and I would really appreciate a bike lane there. It is a better route for all the reasons Jonathan mentions — and a great way to build cardio 🙂

jeff
Guest
jeff

Ah, Amnesia. That was my first thought when I saw this post 🙂

Todd Boulanger
Guest

Yes – great news. One less reason to jump on the Yellow line MAX with my bike.

Does it include sharrows for the downhill route?

I also hope (someday) for a Danish style \’bike escalator\’ for this hill or Interstate at Overlook. (Kinda like a rope tow for bicyclists.) The link to the \”bike lift\” or \”trampe\” in Trondheim http://www.trampe.no/english/

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Just an FYI that I have confirmed the project with PDOT and have updated the story accordingly.

Metal Cowboy
Guest

My neck of the woods as well. I\’ve been known to detour away from my interstate ave climb to pick up a laughing planet burrito or schedule a business meet up at Amnesia. That detour just got better.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

I ride that daily as well. Perhaps if the next BikePortland social hour is at Amnesia, those who rarely stray into NoPo can sample our new bike lane!

MJ
Guest

That\’s my hill too!

Glad they\’re adding the lane, now if they would just remove some of those pesky stop signs my commute in the morning would be even nicer!

BTW: Anyone see that HUGE KEY poster someone stuck on the bridge support?

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Yup, saw that too MJ. It said \”Do not duplicate\” on it.

A cool anti-highway piece.

Mmann
Guest

Could have used one of those lift thingys on Tabor last night 🙂

BURR
Guest
BURR

Todd – for some as yet unexplained reason, PDOT doesn\’t \’do\’ sharrows…

Dabby
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Dabby

Sharrows are confusing to many. Especially to drivers. When driving, they are barely noticeable, and might as well not be there.

I remember when they popped up in the NW, 18th and Couch. I thought they were ridiculous.

In my opinion, they are not as effective as many might think.

On a lighter note, one of our own was given a \”No Brake\” ticket while riding UP Mississippi Hill. (on a fixed gear that has a very effective braking system)

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

Yay, I will use this every day!!

Steve
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Steve

Gotta disagree with Dabby, I have talked to a few folks (drivers) about the sharrows on 19th and they think they definitely raise awareness of cyclists there. I would love to see similar signage on the St. John\’s bridge. But we are off-topic eh?

Metal Cowboy
Guest

Sounds like good off topic conversations for a bikeportland.org social hour at amnesia brewing – there are more than a few of us who live in the area – what do you say JM?

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

Remember this? Scheduled for completion by the end of June 2008? Still not done. Come on, PDOT, we’re waiting!

Now that I think about it…did the bike network even expand in 2008?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Jessica,

the bummer is that not only has this not been striped, but the preliminary striping has been worn away completely due to the storm. ugh.

i will try to follow up with PBOT about it.