As part of the new neighborhood greenway (a.k.a. bike boulevard) coming to Southeast Bush Street, the Bureau of Transportation wants to construct a two-way bike lane through Ed Benedict Park. If current plans get built, it will be the first time PBOT has installed a through-bikeway over an existing natural surface area of a park.
“”We are initiating this particular pathway to manage the interaction between pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and other typical park users to keep things safe.”
— Kyle Chisek, PBOT
The SE Bush neighborhood greenway is slated to go east of I-205 from SE 101st to SE 148th. The Bush route will be used during the East Portland Sunday Parkways scheduled for July and PBOT project manager Kyle Chisek says they hope to have the new bike lanes through the park finished by then.
Bike riding is legal in Portland parks, but bike traffic uses the same winding paths shared with other parks users. In Ed Benedict Park, the bikeway would be much more transportation-oriented in that it would go directly through park — separating bike traffic from more recreational-minded park users.
bikeway transitions onto SE 102nd Ave.
Or, as Chisek puts it, “We are initiating this particular pathway to manage the interaction between pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and other typical park users to keep things safe.”
PBOT’s first choice would have been to use surface streets for the SE Bush bike boulevard, but Chisek said they had to “think creatively about how to make connections” because East Portland doesn’t have the connected street grid common in inner neighborhoods.
Chisek says since they’ll be paving over grass, PBOT plans to “mitigate any impervious surface with green investments.” Conversations about the bikeway between PBOT, Parks, and the Bureau of Environmental Services are ongoing.
PBOT is currently in the middle of the public outreach for this project and Chisek says the response has been good. “Discussions with Parks and with the community about the path have gone pretty well so it’s definitely the direction we’re heading.”
— Learn more about this project and PBOT’s other neighborhood greenways on their website.