Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Portland’s first two-way cycle track to open Thursday

Posted by on November 2nd, 2011 at 11:16 am

Artist rendering of SW Moody taken from project website.

Tomorrow, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will lift the lid on their SW Moody Project that includes what will be downtown’s first-ever cycle track.

Green line is project area.
Dotted blue line is
forthcoming Portland-Milwaukie
Light Rail/bridge.

The new cycle track will handle two-way bike traffic on a 16-foot wide path separated from cars, foot traffic, and streetcar tracks (unlike the curbside buffered bike lane on SW Broadway near Portland State University that’s not technically a cycle track). The total cost to construct 0.6 miles of SW Moody from SW River Parkway to SW Gibbs was $66 million and it was funded through a variety of federal, city and state funds (including $23 million from a TIGER stimulus grant).

(Please note: This amount is for the entire project, which includes streetcar/rail tracks, standard vehicle lanes, sidewalks, and more. Based on estimates by PBOT in the Bike Plan for 2030, the cycle track itself probably cost around $600,000.)

Moody’s facelift (literally, they raised the road 14 feet) is part of a larger initiative known as “Portland’s Innovation Quadrant” — a 120-acre section of the South Waterfront area officials say is slated for redevelopment and to, “facilitate new job creation and provide access for people and goods.”

Here’s more from the SW Moody project website:

“As the main access point to the South Waterfront Innovation Quadrant, SW Moody Avenue will be improved to include three traffic lanes, dual streetcar tracks, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The new construction will increase roadway capacity and introduce urban development standards such as fiber optic, sewer, stormwater and water infrastructure to support future development. This investment in roadway and streetcar facilities supports the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail extension, “Complete the Loop” streetcar line extensions, and the Portland to Lake Oswego streetcar line.”

The completion of this project will also be welcome news to folks that have dealt with an annoying bicycle detour during the construction period.

I’m very eager to see how the bicycle traffic lanes have turned out in this project and how they connect with the rest of the system. To get an idea of what it looks like, check out the video simulation (with neat before/after shots) below:

Stay tuned for my “First Ride” report with photos and video. See some very recent construction photos on Portlandize.com.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

52
Leave a Reply

avatar
26 Comment threads
26 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
28 Comment authors
GlowBoyPaul JohnsonJustinLizEgropp Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dave
Guest

I have some aerial view photos of the road between the Ross Island Bridge and CHH on my blog here, at the very bottom (taken yesterday): http://portlandize.com/2011/10/its-almost-here/

About the first photo in your post here – I think the two dark areas on the left of the trees are the two-way cycle track, and the dark area on the right of the trees is the sidewalk (if I understand correctly).

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Key words: “…separated from…foot traffic…”

For any separated “bike path” to be truly viable for transportation purposes, we must move away from MUPs.

jeff
Guest
jeff

good news. I’m pretty tired of maneuvering through pedestrians and cyclists on the sidewalk.

Byron
Guest
Byron

I hope that people don’t get the idea that $66 million was spend on the cycle track, which is what I originally thought. In careful reading I see that it is only part of what was done but trolls will see that number and scream that bicycles are getting too much.

Anthony Choate
Guest
Anthony Choate

South Waterfront can hardly be considered “downtown”… I was bummed to find out this cool new facility is in such an out-of-the-way area rather than actually in downtown proper.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Wow, that’s the most expensive piece of bicycle infrastructure I’ve heard of. 26 miles of the Banks Vernonia Trail was $1.4 million. ~30 miles of the Springwater was just under $15 million as a repave. And now this…barely over half a mile for $66 million, and puts cyclists in one direction in a location motorists aren’t going to expect. I think that almost doubles the lane-mile cost of the Inner Dispersal Loop rebuild project on Tulsa’s downtown freeway circuit.

BURR
Guest
BURR

Does that $66 million include the cost of the streetcar or just the cycle track?

If it’s just for the cycle track, man is that a huge waste of money that should have been spread out over more than a 0.6 mile facility.

Dave
Guest

Pretty sure the $66 million is the entire road construction.

Gabriel Nagmay
Guest

That video is totally unrealistic. Come on… a blue sky? Really?

Ryno Dan
Guest
Ryno Dan

South Waterfront is not “downtown”. Sorry.

Alex
Guest
Alex

So when will this be connected to the future Naito cycle track?

dachines
Guest
dachines

Educating the public that the cycle track is not intended for pedestrians is going to be a HUGE task. Even in places like Amsterdam, where cycle tracks have been around awhile, I personally witnessed mode conflicts with the cycle tracks quite frequently…different colored paving, signs, stencils…nothing seemed to prevent this.

With that said, why is the cycle track next to the street car line? Why isn’t the sidewalk next to the street car line instead? Placing the cycle track next to the street car line is going to create conflicts with pedestrians. Without fail, pedestrians will both walk along and stand in the cycle track, especially near the street car stops. For example, this already happens at the transit centers along the I-205 MUP. Hell, this is even represented in the video above at about at the 2:17 mark!

Cycle tracks will be an interesting lesson about sharing the “road” for us cyclists.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

A few years ago it appeared this was going to cost a whoppingly stupid 7 million dollars a block.
Now it seems to have surpassed this…

Reality is we do not need streetcars, nor cycle tracks.

Could have saved a whole lot of money here….

dachines
Guest
dachines

Ahhh, perhaps I am wrong about the respective cycle track and sidewalk placements. It appears that in some of the material regarding the project that the alignments are with the sidewalk closest to the street car line and the cycle path furthest away. I hope so!

Scott
Guest
Scott

Thanks for the update. I live in SWF and cannot wait to see this finished. I think it will really open up SWF area to the rest of downtown.

JJJ
Guest
JJJ

Unfortunately, many will soon discover that separating pedestrians and cyclists doesnt actually mean anything. Pedestrians will walk anywhere.

Dave
Guest

They just announced that the cycle track and sidewalk portions are open as of 3pm today! Can’t wait to leave work now!

Kerry
Guest
Kerry

Woo! I am so DONE with that sidewalk!

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

One thing about the horrible detour, is that it seemed to change at least once per week. Every week a different way to crash!

Jacob Mason
Guest
Jacob Mason

Cool project, although two-way cycle track, seems to overstate the case a bit. This is hardly along a typical city street, since there are basically no crossings. It’s more like a greenway that happens to be next to a street. The same is true of the Broadway cycle track (or protected bike lane, if you want to get snooty), which also doesn’t deal with turning conflicts. The only cycle track project in Portland that actually addresses this issue is the NE Cully project, which does a good job but is located in a super low-traffic area with few conflicts anyway.

This project seems symptomatic of how conservative Portland is when it comes to actually figuring out how to install cycle tracks on its streets. You guys are getting left in the dust by New York and Chicago, which are blazing ahead with new cycle tracks. Granted, those cities need them more, with their crazier congestion, but there are certainly Portland streets which could use much better cyclist protection. In my opinion, those cities are catching up really quickly, as they are fighting the tough political battles to build their infrastructure. Portland has started to see such conflict, but has largely shied away from many of the difficult projects that truly transform streets.

To put things into perspective, when this project opens, Portland will have 1.5 miles of protected lanes, while NYC will have 23 miles by the end of next year, many cutting through the heart of the CBD. Chicago will have 25 by the end of next year and 100 miles in four years. Obviously these don’t tell the whole story, and Portland is still way way ahead on most other regards and has may exciting projects in the works. That said, infrastructure is really important. The most bike friendly cities in Europe are known for their extensive cycle tracks which allow cyclists to bike comfortably on otherwise busy streets. Unless Portland starts tackling the tough street space reallocation problems, it may someday lose its status as the most bike-friendly city in the US.

Egropp
Guest
Egropp

Rode it on the way home tonight, and it is wonderful. I did not know it was there, but the nice traffic control people directed me onto it.

Liz
Guest

Rode it last night and this morning. Very nice ride. Especially, after a year of a kind of sucky commute. Hope that they add more pavement signage, though. Even if it’s not always adhered to, it’s helpful to let riders and walkers how they are expected to share the path.

Justin
Guest

So looking forward to construction being over. As a pedestrian, I get clipped on the shared sidwalk often enough that I should wear hockey equipment on my daily commute.

Justin
Guest

*sidewalk

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Would be interested if someone could take a GPX track of the new cycleway and it’s approaches both directions and email it to me or submit it to OSM and let me know the track number so I can update OpenStreetMap.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Had an appointment at OHSU this morning and rode the new cycletrack. Nice, except the crossover near the OHSU/Tram streetcar stop makes ZERO sense to me … what, again, is the reasoning behind moving the bike track closer than the pedestrian track to the streetcar platform!? What I saw this morning was lots of pedestrians walking in the bike zone, oblivious to the markings and signage. This was NOT a problem further north, where the cycletrack is on the other side of the ped track as it belongs.

And speaking of oblivious, so are the construction workers taking up residence at several points along the path. They’re still acting as if the thing is closed to the cycling public, and I can guarantee there will be an injury-producing collision involving one of those guys before this thing is finished.

BTW (and echoing some comments above about Portland falling behind other cities), this whole thing is nice, but I just spent a week in #1 cycling city Minneapolis where I grew up. They have lots of two-way cycletracks, and have for many years. Funny how Portland can be in some ways leading and in some ways years behind, all at the same time.