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City adds new buffered bike lanes to N Skidmore Street

Posted by on June 24th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-7

New, six-foot bike lanes on Skidmore.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has installed new bike lanes on N Skidmore Street. The new lanes begin at the intersection of Michigan Ave and continue west toward Interstate.

According to Ross Swanson with PBOT, the work on Skidmore is part of the Going to the River Project. That project is a $2.3 million effort to connect “Portland’s premier neighborhood greenway” on NE Going Avenue to the employment and industrial areas on Swan Island.

The new bike lanes are six-feet wide and have an added five-foot buffer zone where Skidmore crosses Interstate 5. There is no buffer on portions of Skidmore that are not on the bridge overpass (reader Allan Rudwick explains below that ODOT prohibits people from parking on freeway overpasses, thus giving PBOT plenty of width to widen the bike lanes). Crews were working this morning to install the hash-marks inside the buffer, which create more separation between the bike lane and the standard vehicle lane.

Here’s how the bridge looked prior to the new lanes…

And here are a few more shots I snapped this morning…

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-3

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-4

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-5

The bike lane is curbside, the area adjacent to the car is the buffer zone which will have hash marks in it eventually.

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-8

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-2

New bike lanes on N Skidmore-6

The buffer zones vanish as you leave the bridge and approach Michigan.

PBOT says they’re installing the new bike lanes from Michigan to Maryland and intend to complete the final blocks (to Interstate) once a construction project on Interstate is complete. Skidmore is not only a crucial connection between Swan Island and the Going neighborhood greenway, it’s also a key route for residents of the Overlook neighborhood to access popular shops and restaurants on Mississippi Street. For more on the Going to the River project, see PBOT’s website.

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RH
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RH

Very cool! This will make my trips to Mississippi Ave a little bit more easy going! Thanks PBOT!

Marty
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Marty

When ever I ride from Kenton to downtown, this is one of my crossing points (other would be Ainsworth). Glad to see them put those lines on Skidmore.

Andrew N
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Andrew N

Would love to see these lanes continued to MLK. Are there any plans for this?

Skidmore between Mississippi and MLK is a wide street with higher car speeds and an oversupply of 2 parking lanes; one side could be removed and turned into two bike lanes, which would make the ride safer for those of us east of MLK who use it to access Interstate MAX/Williams/Vancouver/Mississippi.

Allan
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Allan

One of the reasons why this was somewhat easy to do is that there is no parking on overpasses in Oregon. That meant this lane could go in without taking anything away from cars. If you want extended bike lanes, this will be the fight you need to win.

kittens
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kittens

Actually, people park all the time on Ainsworth overpass.

Hart Noecker
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It’s just another sprinkling of bike lanes here and there that don’t connect to one another. This is how PBOT does things. They won’t make the significant, bold changes necessary to achieve the 2030 Bike Plan.

MaxD
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MaxD

I agree, Hart! Why not connect the sidewalk expansion from Swan Island to Interstate? Connect Skidmore from Concord across MLK. Improve the safety on Interstate Ave by painting a vehicle lane from Killingsworth to Lloyd in both directions. Connect the missing chunk of bike lane on Interstate from Killingsworth to Dekum (sharrows would be perfect here!). Make Willamette one-way north-bound, one travel lane and one parking lane from Rosa Parks to U of P (Fiske or so, or better yet, to Portsmouth adn pave Van Houten for bikes!) and build a ramp on the Waud Bluff Bridge. The little bits and pieces that get soooo close are maddening!

Panda
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Panda

Andrew, if you dump parking on one side, is there room for 8′ bike lanes on each side of the road? One side could curb-tight and buffered by parked cars. It seems to me tha the route is relatively short, and users would want to going both north and south on interstate, Michigan, Mississippi, Vancouver/Williams, and 7th (I think skidmore should connect to 7th, and 7th developed into a north/south greenway). With that many north/south connections, it seems unsafe to be riding contra-flow. What am I missing?

Andrew K
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Andrew K

It’s a step forward and for that I am grateful.

Andrew N
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Andrew N

I was trying to be nice earlier but I actually agree with Hart. I don’t think “a step forward” is enough; PBOT needs to do a better job at thinking systematically and not just doing these little, politically-easy projects that create more gaps than they fill.

MaxD
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MaxD

This needs to connect to MLK! Mississippi at least. It is quite a shock to have your wide, buffered bike lane simply disappear with no warning or signage for bikes and cars what to do! 2 lanes of traffic merging with no sign- is this standard practice?

Can we get a 10.5 foot vehicle lane painted on to N Interstate from Killingsworth to NE Lloyd please! Cars and bikes need to have some idea where a buffer exists and where vehicles and bikes will be uncomfortably close! And Cars NEED some help staying out of the bike lane, maybe a lane line and some bumps?

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

This is such a good low hanging fruit option! – there should be buffered bike lanes on ALL ODoT over crossings (I-5 etc) where there are only 1 lane in each direction.

BURR
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BURR

Aw crap, why’d they have to go and do that? I was hoping they’d wait until they could afford a full-blown cycle track!

😉

Spiffy
Guest

reminds me of the I-5 bridge from Ainsworth… wide and unstriped… so much bike potential…

Kevin Wagoner
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Kevin Wagoner

Awesome! Strip it all the way to Barber then keep going please.

Ted Buehler
Guest

I rode these yesterday, pretty sweet.

Proof once again that there are lots of low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked.

Thanks PBOT!

Ted Buehler

Steve B.
Guest

Easy. Simple. Done. Thanks PBOT!

Alain
Guest
Alain

Nice improvement, and easy! I agree, Ainsworth overpass would be a great next project.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Now if only we could end the unconscious discrimination that is on display in the first photo of this article.
Notice that the bike lane ends for some construction zone issue: this is to be expected because sometimes work must be done in the road space.
What is discriminatory is the fact that if this was an automotive lane closure we would have signs and alternate routes. We close a bike lane here in the good ole usa the functional policy is “F#@% you, DIE!”
No advanced warning for cyclists in the same manner that is mandatory for automotive traffic.
No alternate travel path as mandated for automotive traffic. Bike lane just ends.
No sign for automotive traffic telling drivers that bikes will be swerving unexpectedly in to the now shrunken auto lane.
Most of these 3rd party contractors treat bike hazard mitigation as a non issue because they can’t imagine that bikes belong on the road.
Perhaps as part of BOLI’s licensing and continuing education requirements for licensed workers that perform duties in Oregon roadways the state could require these people to take a few classes hammering home the concept that despite their individual prejudices they are not allowed to endanger cyclists and pedestrians.