(Photo © J. Maus)
The Rose Quarter Transit Center has long been a barrier to bikes. But now TriMet, the City of Portland and the BTA are teaming up to test new options intended to “find a safe and reliable” way for bikes to get through the transit center.
According to TriMet’s communications manager Mary Fetsch, on June 11, TriMet will conduct two tests that will involve new bike lanes, a bike box, temporary bus stop locations in addition to cones and lane striping on the street.
The first test will be carried out from 7:00 – 9:00am and the second will happen from 3:00 – 5:00pm. The BTA has rounded up 25 cyclists to help with the test.
During the test, TriMet will move inbound bus stops to N. Multnomah Street (on the far side of Interstate). In the morning test, two-way bike lanes and a bike box will be put on Wheeler Street and the outbound bus stop will move about 50 feet south.
In the afternoon test, Fetsch says three outbound bus lines will reroute via Interstate, will go right at Multnomah, and will stop on Multnomah between Interstate and Wheeler.
During the tests, TriMet will collect feedback from bus operators and video cameras will record and observe the different scenarios.
Based on how the tests go, the tentative timeline is to come up with a recommendation in July, construct the preferred option this summer and officially open the new bike access facilities and bus re-routes in fall.
The saga of poor bike access through the Rose Quarter Transit Center pre-dates my involvement with the Portland bike scene, but suffice it to say that the issue has been a thorn in the side of advocates and riders for many years.
Currently, bikes are not allowed to ride through the Transit Center at any time. The route bikes are supposed to take is N. Multnomah Street, however, the reality is that many people on bikes simply can’t resist the shortcut and riding through NE Wheeler (off of N. Interstate) has become commonplace.
It is great to see this cooperation and movement forward. Hopefully a good solution that works for everyone can be realized.
Do you ride near this area? Are you one of the scofflaws who ride through the transit center (I’ve done it a few times myself)?