PBOT’s new plan for Holladay St bikeway includes auto parking swap

NE Holladay street-4
A new plan by PBOT would convert
the auto parking on this stretch
of Holladay into a 10-foot
wide shared auto/bike lane.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has released a new plan for how to turn NE Holladay Street into a major, two-way bikeway from the Rose Quarter Transit Center to Holladay Park in the Lloyd District.

Advocates initially pushed to make Holladay completely carfree; but that idea was off the table by the time PBOT began an official public process for the project back in December 2010. Then, real estate developers, various Lloyd District stakeholders, and even the Portland Development Commission piled on with objections to the “loss” of any parking on NE Holladay — an element of the project that’s considered imperative to make the required space for a comfortable bikeway.

Detail of PBOT concept plan.

After going dormant for several months following a Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting in May, PBOT just announced that a meeting will happen this Thursday (9/29). They have also shared a new concept plan that could get “possible action” (which I assume to mean a vote) by the SAC this week.

The breakthrough on Holladay comes with the addition of 33 auto parking spaces on NE 9th Ave.

Instead of fighting powerful interests who have drawn a line in the sand about any decrease in the amount of auto parking in the Lloyd District, PBOT’s new plan is to swap 33 existing auto parking spaces on Holladay with the addition of 33 new spaces on NE 9th Ave. The space for the new auto parking is coming primarily through diagonal parking.

Diagonal parking
on NE 9th.

On NE 9th north of Holladay, plans call for 16 new diagonal parking spaces. South of Holladay, there would be 7 new diagonal spaces and 10 new curbside spaces.

“In addition to added spaces,” writes project consultant Scott Bricker in an email to stakeholders today, “diagonal parking generally has added benefits [for] people on bicycle and foot.”

On Holladay between NE 11th and 13th (the block with Holladay Park), PBOT’s latest proposal would maintain the existing nine auto parking spaces. The two-way bikeway would also end at 11th, with eastbound bike traffic continuing on Holladay and westbound traffic using NE Multnomah. Sharrows would be added to direct bike traffic from NE Multnomah to Holladay (and vice versa) along 11th and 13th.

It’s unfortunate to lose the two-way bikeway between NE 11th and 13th because this would be a key connection to the future Sullivan’s Gulch.

The conversion of auto parking on Holladay will allow PBOT to design a two-way bikeway. Westbound bike traffic would enjoy a 10-foot buffered bike lane (eight-foot lane, two-foot buffer) and eastbound bike traffic would enjoy a ten-foot wide lane that would be shared with auto traffic via sharrow markings.

To make Holladay even better for bicycling, PBOT would also install bicycle traffic signals and detectors at every intersection between NE 9th and I-5.

Another breakthrough for this project is permission from TriMet to open up the section of Holladay between NE Wheeler and NE 1st for bicycle traffic only. This segment of the roadway is currently closed and is used by TriMet for emergency bus staging and other purposes. With access for bicycles, it would be possible to connect a new bikeway on Holladay directly to the major bikeway that travels north-south through the Rose Quarter Transit Center.

Detail of PBOT concept plan showing section of Holladay between Wheeler and NE 1st (the Rose Quarter Transit Center is in the upper left).

PBOT is also prepared to close the right-hand turn from NE 1st to Holladay to auto traffic, except during events at the Convention Center (this would be done via removable bollards, something I’d love to see used more).

Other changes PBOT wants to do along with this project include new striping on N Interstate to facilitate safer crossing from Wheeler.

Download the latest PBOT concept plan drawing for NE Holladay (PDF).

The meeting where these changes (and changes to the 12th Ave overcrossing) will be discussed is this Thursday, September 29th from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm at 700 NE Multnomah (3rd Floor Conference Room). More info at the official PBOT Lloyd District Bikeway Development Projects page.

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