Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 24th, 2010 at 9:45 am
The East Burnside Couch Couplet project is nearing completion and the Bureau of Transportation has already begun the “traffic transfer” that will eventually turn Burnside and Couch into one-way, east-west thoroughfares.
What will these changes mean for people on bicycles?
It’s been six months since I took an in-depth look at how bike traffic is impacted by this project, so last week I got a briefing from PBOT on the latest updates and bike traffic advisories. I also took a reconnaissance ride through the area a few days later just to see how things were shaping up.
intersection. Imagine a bike-only lane
where that middle lane is now.
The big news is that the notorious northbound intersection of Sandy/Burnside and 12th is getting some bike-specific improvements. PBOT Project manager Chris Armes said instead of the current configuration of two standard through lanes and one right-turn only lane, they will change it to one through lane and one right-turn lane. In between both of those lanes will be a new bike-only lane. This should help create space for people on bicycles and remove the confusion and safety issues at this intersection.
Beginning next week, some other big changes will happen; Sandy will close between 12th and 14th forever and Couch will become one-way between 14th and MLK Jr. Blvd.
at NE 6th Ave.
I rode westbound on Couch the other day and noticed new traffic signals at every intersection. Also, beginning at NE 6th Avenue there are newly striped bike lanes that lead you all the way onto a new stretch of road that takes you from Couch onto the Burnside Bridge via an s-curve.
These new bike lanes on Couch tie into the newly recommended route for bike traffic headed downtown on SE Ankeny. Instead of going all the way to MLK and then connecting onto Burnside, the new route will be to head north on 6th to Couch and then head west, taking Couch all the way onto the bridge.
Beginning the week of April 4th, East Burnside will become one-way between the bridgehead and 14th. (As a cautionary measure, you are advised to avoid Sandy/Burnside between 12th and 20th until the second week of April.)