Wednesday to celebrate the newly revamped
path on the Going Street Bridge.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Yesterday was a good day for Lenny Anderson. For a man well-known to local politicians and city employees as a persistently unsatisfied advocate, he was smiling and singing the Bureau of Transportation’s praises.
“I’ve got to give them credit, the city really came through this time.”
The reason for Anderson’s happiness (besides the presence of friends, coffee, and pastries) is an improved connection for biking and walking traffic to the Swan Island industrial area on its main artery, N. Going Street.
ODOT and PBOT recently completed a $5 million earthquake retrofit on the Going Street Bridge into Swan Island from the Greeley Street overpass to N. Basin Ave. Thanks to Anderson’s advocacy as director of the Swan Island Transportation Management Association, the project included widening of the sidewalk path on the north (westward) side of the street from eight to 10 feet and the addition of a crash barrier.
“It used to be eight feet with an open curb,” said Anderson as big trucks rumbled by, “so it actually felt more like six feet.”
On Swan Island, Anderson feels that separating bike traffic from motor vehicle traffic is imperative. “I told PBOT I don’t want any paint used down here.” Even so, Anderson admits that he pushed for a bike “climbing lane” on the south side of Going Street (which travels uphill) but he says federal lane width requirements meant there was no room for them.
The new stretch of path is nice, but it’s an island with no clear or easy way to get on and off it. When coming down Going from Interstate, there is no signage to clue bike traffic that the path exists and the connections on and off of it are severely lacking.
But despite its shortcomings, it’s still progress.
Advocates with North Portland Greenway, an effort to create a riverside path that connects the Eastbank Esplanade at the Steel Bridge with Cathedral Park in St. Johns, are happy to see the new path. NPGreenway core member Scott Mizee was at the event Wednesday morning. “We’re very excited. This is huge for the Greenway, Going is a major access point to the future trail.”
While Anderson is celebrating the completion of this project, he’s far from finished. He and other partner agencies are off and running with “Going Green,” a project that would turn Going Street into a stormwater catching, traffic moving, thriving active transportation corridor complete with a linear park that includes singletrack bike trails connecting Interstate Avenue to Madrone Park on the bluffs (I’ll have more on this exciting project in a separate post).
While Going Green is still just an idea, Anderson is already looking ahead toward cutting the ribbon on another bikeway project that’s close to completion — the Waud Bluff Trail near University of Portland. “Next year’s celebration,” says Anderson, “will be on the Waud Bluff Trail Bridge.”