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City to break ground on 80s bike boulevard project next month

Posted by on June 15th, 2011 at 10:20 am

Approximate route of new bike boulevard
coming to east Portland.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is close to the start of construction on a new “neighborhood greenway” that would parallel 82nd Avenue in northeast and southeast Portland. PBOT has put out a request for proposals to find a construction firm to start and the project is scheduled to begin next month.

The three-mile route would mostly use 86th and 87th Avenues and would stretch from NE Hassolo Street (near I-84) to SE Bush (south of Powell). The project is one of many neighborhood greenway projects PBOT is working on throughout the city (their plan is 15 miles of new neighborhood greenways (a.k.a. bike boulevards) each year through 2013).

To create a more comfortable and accessible route that parallels 82nd Avenue (an ODOT-controlled arterial), PBOT will use the familiar tools of speed bumps, curb extensions, sharrows, speed bumps, cycle-tracks, tree plantings, new signals, signage, and so on.

The northern section of the route — from NE Hassalo to SE Market — goes through already calm residential streets and will receive a mix of speed bumps, turned stop signs, and curb extensions. But in the southern portion of the route — from SE Market to to SE Bush — PBOT has much more ambitious plans, some of which are still under review with ODOT.

To get bicycle traffic safely across the offset intersection of SE 87th and SE 85th at SE Division, PBOT will install a two-way cycle-track on the south side of Division (similar to what they did on NE 33rd at Going St)…

On SE 85th between Clinton and Brooklyn, PBOT will take advantage of ample existing right-of-way to build a new, 18-foot pathway for (two-way) bicycle and walking traffic…

Further south, to help make the crossing of SE Powell between SE 85th and 86th easier, PBOT’s initial plans were a series of cycle-tracks: one on the north side of Powell which would then connect to another cycle-track on SE 86th that would continue south to SE Lafayette…

Unfortunately, PBOT says the Powell crossing with cycle-tracks as shown above is now on hold until next year as they iron out details with ODOT (since Powell is a state-controlled arterial).

PBOT says construction — except for the Powell crossing — is set to being in July.

Learn more about this and other projects in the pipeline from PBOT’s neighborhood greenway program here.

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  • David June 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I love that cycle-tracks are now a “familiar tool.”
    pure sweetness.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

      yeah. pretty awesome. i agree. the fact that their entire n’hood greenway program is such well-oiled machine is pretty sweet too.

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  • Bob_M June 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I know that the greenways are a different beast from multi use paths, but less than 1/2 mile away is the grade separated MUP along I-205. As far as bike routes go this seems pretty redundant. Is it possible that this project is moving forward because the lower income and neighborhood in the 80s is easier pickings for the PBOT bike program than the 50s bike way through a more middle class neighborhood?

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    • A.K. June 15, 2011 at 10:58 am

      I don’t know about you, but the 205 path is a less than ideal ride – I only use it to link together longer rides because there are few other options. So I personally don’t see this as redundant at all.

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      • A.K. June 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

        I should clarify this further. The 205 path is “functional” to facilitate transportation from point A-to-B, but I’d rather hum along on a nice street. I’m glad the 205 path exists as all, but I’m not the biggest fan, since there are a number of awkward street crossing and zig-zags across the freeway.

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    • Spiffy June 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

      the I-205 path is horrible and I rarely use it, as a last resort… I don’t like the constant hills and the traffic noise… I use 92nd and 82nd before I use the I-205 path…

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  • q`Tzal June 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

    shhhhh … if no one mentions on street parking maybe this one will get implemented.


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  • Schrauf June 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Will users be required to wear balloon pants and neon and have big hair?

    80s… nevermind…

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    • matt picio June 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      Don’t forget leg warmers and headbands…

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  • John Mulvey June 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

    This project is a welcome addition. My only thought at this point is that as the network gets built, there is a growing problem with inadequate attention beaing paid to connections with other bikeways in the system. There can be a little bit of a “silo” mentality among program staff, who naturally enough want their project to move forward and are less concerned with something perceived as being outside their scope.

    For instance, I hope this project gives some attention to how it will connect with the E-W Center/Gladstone route, which currently hits its eastern terminus at Center and 80th –a mere 6 blocks from this proposed N-S route.

    Center was and is a great location for a bikeway. So is this new route. But riders are left to fend for themselves in the most challenging part of the area (ie, crossing 82nd Avenue).

    I get that there’s a logic to going after the “low-hanging fruit,” but as a regular everyday SE biker I want some attention given to the hard stuff too.


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    • OnTheRoad June 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Sort of analogous to where bike lanes go along just fine,until they get within a block of a major intersection, and then just disappear.

      “It’s been fun, but you’re on your own from here. I’ll see you again on the other side of that intersection, where things are calmer.”

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  • t.a. barnhart June 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    per John M’s comment: for me, the bigger problem is getting from SE 72nd (off the Clinton bikeway) to where this will start (or the I205 bikeway). for now, you have to ride along Division quite a ways. it’s not too bad compared to some routes, but it’s still a major speedway, bikes have to shift into traffic at 82nd, and then you get blocks of cars roaring by at 45 or more until you get to the bikeway.

    we need these big new routes to connect seamlessly (as possible) to existing routes). right now, they are not. and that’s a big problem for encouraging new riders.

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    • Andrew Seger June 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Agreed. I used to go out to Harrison Park Elementary from SE Portland and the only two decent routes were either over Tabor on the Lincoln bikeway or that incomplete clinton route with some unpleasant riding on division. Would be a nice opportunity to pave some streets and build complete streets to connect that up to these two bikeways, if the money could be found.

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      • OnTheRoad June 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        And some of the streets in the Clinton area on both sides of 82nd are unpaved and/or don’t have curbs and gutters.

        A project to pave an E-W route through there would probably cause a similar reaction as those Willamette Blvd. people about their street parking.

        Change? We don’t need no freakin’ change.

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    • John Mulvey June 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      I’m a big fan of the Mill Street crossing in that area. Nice and chill, not much auto traffic, and an old school Red/Yellow/Green signal. Plus it continues east straight through to the I-205 MUP (a.k.a. the Woody Guthrie Trail). I wish there were ten or twelve more Mill Streets along 82nd.

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  • nrdbomber June 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    …from Clinton, the bike route jogs you to Woodward all the way to 82nd. No need for riding on Division ’til you cross 82nd?

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    • Andrew Seger June 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Harrison Park is on the other side of Division at 87th. The bike path kinda peters out and takes me the wrong direction. Far less than ideal right now, but if it connected up smoothly with this new bikeway it’d be great.

      Also, I think if the city offered to pave outer portland resident’s streets in exchange for bike barriers/local access only streets they’d probably be ok with it. It’d feel like residents are getting something in exchange for giving up parking, as opposed to the Willamette residents, who feel like they’re just giving up their space. (nevermind that it isn’t there, bike facilities would decrease car speeds and increase saftey, etc, etc)

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  • Justin June 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Idea, How about extending the side walk an extra 3-4 feet, and calling it a bike lane? Seems to me that paint is a whole lot cheaper than stone, and can easily be changed in the future if it doesnt pan out. These permeanant mesures (like say, the 205 “bike path”) isn’t being appriciated as much anymore.

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  • Spiffy June 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I don’t see a proposed light for crossing Powell… granted, it’s not THAT tough to cross, but for n00bs it’s quite daunting… I had a couple in tow on Tuesday and crossing Foster and Powell in the 50’s was a little scary for them…

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    • John Mulvey June 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Many of us pressed hard for a dedicated ped/bike crossing at 56th and Powell as part of the 50s Bikeway project. (There’s an old crosswalk and dismantled signal there already.) We didn’t get it.

      Part of the problem is that ODOT has jurisdiction over Powell and wouldn’t sign off on a hawk signal or anything else.

      In theory, the possibility still exists that if and when ODOT joins the 21st Century there could be something installed there, but as of now it’s being left out of the funding package for the 50s Bikeway, so it would need to find $.

      The inadequacy of the plan for bikes and peds in the Powell and Foster areas was something I and others raised again and again, but the issue never got a tenth the attention that the diverter at Division is getting (see other thread).

      It’s extremely frustating because it always seems that installing a state of the art bike crossing in someplace like Laurelhurst is easy yet there’s always an excuse for why it can’t be done in a place like Foster-Powell.


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  • Tim W June 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    This route would be incredibly easy to connect with the SE Center greenway. The Center route shifts south a bit to Boise for the last block and ends at the spotlight that leads to Wal-Mart (which has sharrows just the the west of the intersection). All that would need to happen is to lead from 86th to west on Bush for a block, then south on the street (which is probably privately owned) and there you are on Boise, cross the stop light and your on the Center greenway.

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  • kenl June 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Will users be required to wear balloon pants and neon and have big hair?
    80s… nevermind…

    I’m still looking for a Member’s Only jacket in Traffic-Safety Lime Gore-Tex…

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  • John Russell (jr98664) June 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Why not use 89th and 90th Avenues? All of the way from Hassalo to Division, there is only one jog over from 90th to 89th at Taylor. Thanks to this, it would greatly simplify crossing both Glisan and Stark/Washington.

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  • Paul Johnson June 18, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I really wish PBOT would stop it with the speed humps on neighborhood greenways and stick to chicanes and other traffic calming measures that don’t abuse cyclists.

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  • Paul Johnson June 18, 2011 at 12:32 am

    I do like the cycleway with pedestrian segregation. That’s a good idea, glad to see PBOT finally took a page from the Riverparks Cycleway Authority of Tulsa’s playbook.

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  • Paul Johnson June 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

    This route has been added to OpenStreetMap and should render on the next OpenCycleMap tile update (along with a ton of changes submitted by TriMet).

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