new city bikeway designations
to an advisory committee
(Photo © J. Maus)
As part of an ongoing effort to update the Bicycle Master Plan, city bicycle coordinator Roger Geller (and his trusty associate Denver Igarta) recently completed a field work and bikeway identification and mapping exercise in North Portland.
Geller presented the results of that work to a meeting of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee last Tuesday.
The thrust of the effort, according to Geller, was to identify new streets that could be potentially developed as bicycle boulevards (low-traffic streets where bicycle travel is given priority). “Our network is very bike lane heavy,” Geller told the committee, “one of the important elements of the Bicycle Master Plan is for us to identify a network that really focuses more on bike boulevards.”
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Geller and Igarta identified gaps that exist in the bike network throughout North Portland and they also made a list of recommended improvements needed to “make these streets work well for bikes.” Geller said that on many of the streets, “there’s not much needed,” to make them more bike-friendly and he added that the “big ticket items” are a few tricky intersection crossings.
Notice large gap around Lombard.
With this new work, PDOT has now filled in many of the gaps in North Portland with what they hope will become officially designated, “city bikeways”. A city bikeway is the highest ranking of three official street classifications that relate to bike traffic (there are also “local service bikeways” and “off-street paths”).
The city bikeway classification is important from a policy standpoint because it provides direction to the PDOT as to what type of improvements, facilities, etc… can be developed on those streets in the future (much like a designation of “freight access street” does for truckers).
The largest remaining gap in the North Portland bikeway network is N. Lombard Ave (a state highway). Geller said they have plans to add some bike lanes toward the western end of Lombard but that much of it will remain as is (without any room or facilities for bicycles). “We’ll be stuck with a big gap (on Lombard) until something big happens,” he said.
Geller and Igarta will now determine cost estimates for recommended improvements and then take maps and more information out into the neighborhoods to get more feedback.
— You can learn more about PDOT’s Bicycle Master Plan update efforts here.