Committee decides on changes to Vancouver/Wheeler near Rose Quarter

Bike traffic in The Vancouver Gap-6

The right lane of this block of
Vancouver between Broadway
and Weidler will become a bus/bike
only lane.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee for PBOT’s Lloyd District Bikeway Development projects has reached a decision on how to improve North Vancouver/Wheeler Avenues between Broadway and the Rose Quarter.

This project — which includes what we’ve referred to in the past as the “Vancouver Gap” — is one of three the committee is working on (the others, the 12th Avenue overcrossing and a bikeway on NE Holladay are still being hashed out). The committee made their official technical recommendation to the Portland Bureau of Transportation on May 19th.

Below are the recommendations (taken directly from PBOT project staff document):

Bike Left Turn Lane (from Broadway onto Vancouver):

Concept: provide a two-stage turn facility for cyclists turning left from Broadway (similar to the two-stage turn from Weidler onto Williams Avenue)

Recommendation: that the project team investigate creating a two-stage bike left turn facility from Broadway onto Vancouver Avenue.

Vancouver Avenue (Broadway to Weidler):

Concept: convert the westernmost travel lane into a bus/bike only lane.

Recommendation: that PBOT conduct a test of a bus/bike only lane between Broadway and Weidler, subject to the consent of affected agencies (e.g. ODOT, TriMet). If consent can not be obtained or if the test is unsuccessful, this section will be marked with sharrows.

Restriping of the Curve (Weidler to Winning Way):

Concept: provide additional space to southbound cyclists and more definition of motorists’ travel space.

Recommendation: that the section between Weidler Street and Winning Way be restriped to provide additional space to southbound bicyclists. The exact dimensions will be subject to an engineering analysis. Add green bike lane and/or dashed bike lane lines through the intersections of Wheeler with Center Court and Winning Way.

Buffered Bike Lane into Regular Lanes (Winning Way to Multnomah Street):

Concept: separate cyclists and motorists at the north end of the segment and provide facilities that best accommodate the multiple users of the street at the south end, including transit buses, right turning vehicles, and Rose Quarter event traffic.

Recommendation: that the section between Winning Way and the Rose Garden service driveway be restriped to provide additional space for southbound and northbound cyclists using buffered bike lanes; and that the section between the Rose Garden service driveway and Multnomah Street be restriped to provide more space for northbound cyclists and, for southbound travellers, to provide two travel lanes: a shared right lane (marked with sharrows) that becomes a shared right-turn-only lane, and a left lane that becomes a shared left turn lane.

(Investigate adding a bike box and/or bike lane to facilitate bike movement from southbound Wheeler into the Rose Quarter Transit Center. Investigate adding a two-stage left turn for bicyclists from westbound Multnomah into the Rose Quarter Transit Center.)

Committee member Paul Manson tells us that these improvements are contingent on approval from ODOT. The City will have to demonstrate successfully that the changes will not affect access to I-5 (which has on-ramps in the vicinity). If all goes according to plan, the changes will be made this summer and will be officially considered a “test” for two years before becoming permanent.

We’ll have more on this and the other Lloyd District projects as developments warrant. For more coverage, see our Lloyd District Bikeway Projects tag.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Andrew Seger
Andrew Seger
12 years ago

I wish I could bet money on things like, “ODOT will find I-5 access impacted by these changes.”

Though based on what I see riding by at rush hour it seems like there’s an awful lot of cars with washington plates that are affecting I-5 access. If only there was some sort of market based way to manage demand at peak times for scarce resources.

Allan Rudwick
12 years ago

I think there’s a decent chance that ODOT doesn’t block this. We looked at video from the intersection and it appears that the right lane is barely used even during rush hour.

12 years ago

I hope we can count on the Province of Quebec to chip in for the new Columbia River Crossing.

12 years ago
Reply to  noah

You win the internets for the weekend!

Lindsay Walker
Lindsay Walker
12 years ago

The next Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting is
Thursday, June 16, 8:30 to 10:00 am at 700 NE Multnomah, 3rd Floor Conference Room. Discussion will be focused on the NE 12th Ave. Overcrossing.

12 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay Walker

and the deck is stacked in favor of putting southbound bike traffic on the sidewalk with pedestrians. anyone who wants to keep some territory on the bridge deck should show up for the public comment portion of the june 16 meeting.

12 years ago

Take some more time off from work, I guess. Somehow this does not feel like vacation.

How ’bout we run over a few high school kids between now and then, just to show how poorly putting bikes on that sidewalk would work? Anyone who doesn’t feel like doing violence to others can instead get crowded off the almost-foot-high sidewalk and fall onto the roadway. That would be a great way to keep traffic moving smoothly.

12 years ago

Here’s a fun one that didn’t make the study list but should.

Install hydraulic ram at Wheeler and Williams to sweep cars from intersection (a la bowling alley) when light turns red for entry to southbound I-5 between 4 and 7 pm

A lower cost option could be to install those automatic bollards that spear cars who try to sneak through bus lanes.