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City set to make big changes to NW Marshall

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Detail of changes coming to Marshall.

The Bureau of Transportation is scheduled to make long-awaited changes to NW Marshall Street between 10th and 11th (map). Their aim is to make bicycling conditions more pleasant by decreasing the amount of people who drive on the street and by adding dedicated space for bicycle traffic.

Auto traffic on Marshall has increased considerably after the bike lane on NW Lovejoy was removed and it was turned into a one-way street as part of the eastside streetcar project. This is problematic because Marshall is supposed to function as a bike boulevard. PBOT had hoped auto traffic would use Northrup (one block north), but that hasn’t happened. (For more on this issue, read our story from September 2011, PBOT eyes changes in the Pearl to reduce auto traffic on NW Marshall)

Existing conditions on Marshall.

Currently, Marshall is a standard, two-way street with sharrow pavement markings and auto parking in both directions.
The coming changes were outlined in a flyer (PDF) PBOT emailed to residents and stakeholders yesterday:

  • Marshall will become one-way eastbound for motor vehicles between 10th and 11th.
  • Motor vehicles will no longer be permitted to turn left onto Marshall from 10th Ave, or continue westbound across 10th on Marshall.
  • 2-way bicycle access on Marshall between 10th and 11th will be maintained.
  • This traffic control change will be installed in fall 2012.
  • The Bureau of Transportation will monitor traffic volumes and if this treatment is effective, the change will be made permanent.

And here’s the official plan drawing…

(View project PDF for full size drawing and more info.)

As you can see, the diverter and signage will prevent cars from turning left (west) from NW 10th onto Marshall. Two-way bike access will be maintained via a six-foot, curbside bike lane separated from parked cars by a one-foot buffer. The parked cars will be facing east, which should minimize dooring potential (because drivers will (should) more easily see people coming toward them in the bike lane). Eastbound bike and auto traffic on Marshall will share a 14-foot wide lane.

PBOT refers to these changes as a “test”. They plan to analyze whether or not it helps achieve their goals and then make changes if needed (which could include another diverter at NW 15th).

PBOT project manager Mauricio Leclerc ( says the changes will be implemented either this week or next.