Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

NE 122nd bike lanes closed for green street construction

Posted by on September 7th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

View Larger Map

Map of work area.

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is in the midst of a green street project on NE 122nd that will close the bike lanes between Fremont and Shaver until November. When the project was first announced (on August 22nd), here’s how BES explained its impact on traffic:

Green street construction will close bicycle lanes and sidewalks on NE 122nd Avenue between NE Fremont and NE Shaver… Construction will not affect vehicle traffic.

That announcement raised eyebrows of some citizen transportation activists. They felt BES wasn’t taking adequate measures to maintain bicycling and walking access through this important north-south corridor. “It seems quite ironic that a project designed to improve the pedestrian realm,” wrote one activist in an email to BES, “would fail to accommodate active transportation modes during construction.”

Since then, I’ve followed up with BES’s Community Outreach and Public Involvement staffer Kate Goudschaal.

Goudschaal informs me that crews will only work on one side of the street at a time and that, “there will be a bike lane open on one side of NE 122nd at all times.” She also said that the contractor will maintain access for people walking on sidewalks through the work zone “at all times” and that the sidewalk would be available for people to walk bikes through the construction areas.

After further follow-up about their work plans, Goudschaal confirmed with me that when construction work blocks the bike lanes there will be “Bikes in Roadway” signs in place and that people on bike will be encouraged to merge into adjacent travel lanes.

Construction is expected to continue through the end of October. The changes will include small rain gardens built into the sidewalk and street that collect stormwater runoff.

If you ride through this area and have feedback about the safety of bicycling through the work zone, let me know and I’ll pass it on to BES.

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  • Dan September 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I ride this twice a day…or did. The work that was done earlier made me want to write because the notification of closure wasn’t all that far ahead of the actual closure (aren’t there standards of distance before actual work required?). When you mix that in with the downhill gradient, traffic, and an easy bike achievable speed of 30+mph, it was a real accident waiting to happen. The loose gravel that was there for a while was also somewhat of a head scratcher, but that may have been due to earlier water/sewer work done on the same stretch of road.

    Guess it’s time to start using the 205 path again if I don’t feel like taking the lane…which I have done on plenty of occasions on that stretch because of construction and debris.

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  • Chris I September 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What’s the deal with Beech “Park”? It looks like an active farm to me.

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  • A neighbor September 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Since I live very close to this location I can tell you this is a rather poor section of 122nd. The traffic is heavy due to the freeway onramp and the fact that the street narrows due to the freeway support columns, constricts the traffic flow even worse. The north bike lane is downhill and as Dan said above full of gravel. There is an option of riding north on the south path but an overgrowth of blackberry bushes makes that path poor. I hope some good work is done to make the bike path more usable.

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  • Paul Johnson September 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Added to OpenStreetMap, should appear here on the cyclemap shortly.

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  • captainkarma September 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I see the Bat-Signal – it’s time for loading up the burley, bringing a broom and cuttin’ some brush. Citizens, feel free to join the battle & fight bikeroute blight whenever & where ever it rears its evildoer heart in Biketown City.

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  • steelshwinnster September 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    As my job dictates, occasionally I drive this section of 122nd. Several times in the last month the signage for which lane was closed was incorrect. Maybe they did not have the correct sign on truck. Also, the construction vehicles were blocking the lane on the side that they were working on, how would that enable taking the lane. Signage for the construction and barracades for saftey were only surrounding the construction vehicles. Oh well, once again “the city that works, does’nt…..good luck out there, I’ll be looking for you all.

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    • Dan September 8, 2011 at 7:38 am

      In regards to taking the lane when the vehicles blocked one – I was in the left lane, the only one available on those days. Those were nervous days as car traffic was often working out the sudden merge situation as well.

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  • Spiffy September 8, 2011 at 6:54 am

    small details I know, but the “View Larger Map” link points to a driving map rather than a cycling map… 28 seconds by car, click to get 3 minutes by bike…

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    • Paul Johnson September 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

      All in all, the bike map rendering on Google leaves much to be desired when Google’s been plagiarizing OpenStreetMap on a two week delay for some time now (google the OSM mailing lists, help site, etc; there’s lots of people pointing this out), and does the rendering better.

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