The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is moving forward on their Going Street Bicycle Boulevard project.
One of the centerpieces of the estimated $250,000 project is the crossing of MLK Jr. Blvd. For the uninitiated, MLK is a major north-south arterial that’s technically a state highway (99E). That means it handles a lot of fast motor vehicle traffic and because it is so unpleasant to cross in many places it acts as a de facto barrier between neighborhoods.
To make the new Going Street route a place “where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority,” the city has just installed new signage, pavement markings, and (most importantly) medians in the middle of the intersection.
I went out this morning to take a closer look.
Turning movements for motor vehicles are now limited to right turns only in all directions. There are also new advisory signs on MLK warning of the presence of humans. For people walking, there are new zebra-striped crosswalks and advance stop lines prior to the intersection where motor vehicles are supposed to stop. The new median barriers also have bike lane-sized cut-throughs.
People can now use this generously sized median area to wait for a break in traffic — and the idea is that the mere presence of these medians, signs, and paint will make that task much easier.
The next big piece of this project will be getting people safely across the off-set intersection at NE 33rd. Construction on that section is set to begin next month.
Learn more about what’s in store for Going Street via this in-depth look at the plans we published back in November or check out the City’s bike boulevard page.