New buffered bike lane on SE Division (in Gresham)

Detail of Gresham’s new striping on Division.
(Larger version)

Fresh of their Bronze award from the League of American Bicyclists, Gresham (our neighbor to the east) is charging ahead with their bike plans. Thanks to a tip from reader Adam Osborn, we’ve learned about the new, bicycle-only travel lane being installed on SE Division.

Similar to what Portland did on SE Holgate, a 1.5 mile stretch of Division from SE 175th Place (Gresham’s western border) to just west of NW Birdsdale Ave will soon have six-foot wide, curbside travel lanes for bicycles with a one and a half foot buffer from the adjacent travel lanes. To make room for this change, the City of Gresham removed on-street parking for the entire stretch.

“It’s definitely a huge improvement. It gives you more space, it can be unnerving when a giant truck comes by you on Division.”
— Adam Osborn, local resident

According to Jonathan David in Gresham’s Transportation Planning department, these are the first buffered, bicycle-only travel lanes in the city. David says this is one of the projects being implemented from the City’s Transportation System Plan that passed in 2000. He says one reason for removing the on-street parking was to improve visibility for people trying to enter onto Division (a major arterial) from smaller side streets.

Local resident Adam Osborn noticed the new lanes have already been painted between 175th and 181st (striping remains to be completed, but is weather-dependent). He regularly uses Division to commute and get around, so he’s thrilled to see Gresham improving its bikeways.

“I’m excited to be able to ride on them,” he told me today, “It’s definitely a huge improvement. It gives you more space, it can be unnerving when a giant truck comes by you on Division.”

Most of Division is a 40 mph speed zone and Osborn says cars typically go faster than that. With the new lanes, he feels much more comfortable. “It’s nice to have the buffer for that piece of mind that the cars are just that much further away from you. I’m excited. It’s good to see improvements out here.”

SE Division in Portland has a bike lane (in most sections), but it also has a parking lane, which can make for less than optimal conditions. See the photo below of someone dodging a large truck on Division during a ride we took out there a few years ago.

A stretch of SE Division in Portland with on-street parking and not much of a bike lane.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As an added bonus, Gresham’s new buffered bike lanes on Division intersect with Phases 2 and 3 of the Gresham-Fairview Trail, which are slated to be completed by next year.

Learn more about Gresham’s Division Street Striping Project here.

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