NE 7th through Lloyd District slated for new bikeway

Posted by on September 5th, 2014 at 10:30 am

7thlead

Detail of PBOT’s plans.

The Bureau of Transportation is eyeing NE 7th Avenue between Weidler and Schuyler for its latest street re-design project aimed specifically at improving conditions for cycling.

Northbound on 7th, the project will add a six-foot wide bike lane and a bike box between Weidler and Broadway, then a bike lane and sharrows between Broadway and Schuyler. In the southbound direction, the project will a mix of bike-only lanes and shared lanes with sharrow markings between Schuyler and Weidler. Also in the plans are a bike box on Broadway to facilitate two-stage left turns from 7th onto Broadway.

Here’s PBOT’s latest project concept drawing:

7th

And a close-up of the new northbound bike lane design:

7thcloseup

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PBOT project manager Chris Armes says this section of 7th has been on the city’s radar for quite some time. Go Lloyd, the local transportation management association (formerly the Lloyd TMA), has also called for bike access improvements in this location.

Why is there a need for dedicated cycling space here?

NE 7th is a key north-south connector through the Lloyd that saw major bikeway improvements as part of the eastside streetcar project. South of Weidler, 7th has a wide, parking protected bike lane. But unfortunately, the bikeway ends north of Weidler, right where things get tight with heavy traffic volumes, on-street parking, two large street crossings, a narrower street profile, and several commercial driveways.

Here’s how the bicycling conditions change as you head northbound from Multnomah toward this existing gap…

On NE 7th just north of Multnomah you have a wide, buffered, curbside bike lane that is quite low-stress:

NE 7th near Broadway-Weidler-1

Then it changes to a standard bike lane just south of Weidler (near Chipotle):

NE 7th near Broadway-Weidler-2

Then all the sudden you are dropped into this environment, which is right where PBOT plans to stripe a six-foot wide bike lane (a far cry from the low-stress environment just two blocks south!).

NE 7th near Broadway-Weidler-3

The type of gap that exists today on NE 7th is a deal-breaker, safety-wise, for many Portlanders.

Here’s the proposed new cross-section between Weidler and Broadway:

7th-sectionNB

And here’s the proposal for the mixed, bike lane and shared environment between Broadway and Schuyler:

7th-bwayschuycross

Initial plans that circulated through the community yesterday called for a continuous bike lane for the entire two block section. However, Armes said the owner of the Cotton Cloud furniture shop (just north or Broadway) objected to that plan due to access concerns. “We made some adjustments at her property,” Armes said during an interview yesterday, “Because she has that loading zone and overhead doors and we thought we’d have a conflict so we dropped the bike lane and did sharrows instead.” (See image above.)

NE 7th near Broadway-Weidler-4

Driveway and loading zone for Cotton Cloud furniture store.

As it stands now, the changes still leave a gap between a long-established bike boulevard on NE Tillamook and the bikeway on 7th. Asked whether PBOT would consider additional changes north of this project to make a stronger connection to Tillamook, Armes said the road simply gets too narrow and in order to make room for a bikeway they’d have to take out trees and a planting strip. (There would be room if PBOT would be willing to remove the free, on-street parking. We asked them about this in a follow-up but haven’t heard back yet.)

Armes didn’t have a cost estimate for the project (likely inexpensive because it’s just paint striping), but said funding for the project came from Lloyd District parking meter revenue. If all goes according to plan, the changes could be in place by the end of this month. Anyone with comments on the proposal can contact Armes at Chris.Armes@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-7051.

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mitch
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mitch

A door zone bike lane? Remove the free parking and do a buffered bike lane (many of the businesses around there already have private parking lots), or scrap the bike lane and do 20mph speed limit with sharrows and traffic calming devices. Otherwise, this bike lane might make it more stressful and less safe than it is today.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

All that on-site parking and still can’t seem to remove the on-street parking lane.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Perhaps they are retaining the on-street parking in preparation for future development? I’m sure by 2018, Muchas Gracias will be torn down and rebuilt as the Weidler Muchas Gracias Condos, with 200 units and 40 basement parking spots.

maccoinnich
Guest

Believe it or not, they are tearing down the Taco Bell… to build another Taco Bell.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Needs to be a 3 level pseudo-mexican QSR: Del Taco on street level, Baja Fresh then Chipotlé on top.

Gregg
Guest

Is it possible to get Sharrows up to Tillamook? Or even better up to Morris or Klickatat? Or Going?

Any word about a Pedestrian/ Bicycle Bridge over I-84 at NE 7th?
I’ll call Chris Arms and ask as well.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

I heard a rumor about SE 9th becoming a dedicated bike street. That would tie into nicely to NE 7th across I-84 with a bike/ped bridge.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Gregg, I totally agree that 7th should be a sharrows with traffic control between Broadway and NE Skidmore or NE Going.

Reza
Guest
Reza

Sharrows on 7th are a mere band-aid. The traffic volumes are too high on the street, and the centerlines are in direct conflict with the idea of a low-stress shared environment. Either parking needs to be removed to add bicycle lanes, or diverters should be installed at strategic locations to dissuade cut-through traffic.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

the volumes on 7th are between 4800 and 5400 cars per day, about 400 northbound in the peak hour, or 6 per minute. An uphill bike lane going northbound would be a good change, but removing the curb extensions on the east side would be expensive, and the circles move traffic to the curb.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

The Tillamook upgrade to greenway would add traffic calming on 7th south of Knott. Seems like sometime some sharrows could be added to 7th as well.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

This looks great, and is very necessary! This will get northbound cyclists through the worst of it, but I am disappointed to see that it still simply ends. I wonder if PBOT would consider a diverter N’bound at Hancock, and make 7th a sharrows. Probably would need another diverter s’bound at Fremont or Knott? Anyway, if PBOT won’t take parking off the street for some decent bike infrastructure, maybe will they will take traffic off the street. 7th is commonly used as a short-cut for impatient drivers diverting from MLK.

jeffb
Guest
jeffb

7th north of Broadway is heavily used by cars trying to bypass traffic on MLK at rush hour, I’d be surprised if we ever see diverters there.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

Jeffb,
I can understand that these commuters would be resistant to diverters, but this is what the diverters are intended to prevent! NE 7th Ave is a largely single-family residential street with great north-south connectivity and few stop signs. This makes for a tempting, but very unsafe, short-cut for impatient motorists. With diverters, 7th would become a much better community asset by serving local traffic and through-cyclists.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Jeff,
Except that 7th is classified as a local service street, one that is supposed to connect local residents to higher classified streets. By policy, diversion would be warranted with the current traffic volumes. And it is on the 2030 plan.

Joseph E
Guest

Good to know! If I lived on that street I would start a campaign for diversion. It will increase the value of properties on the street and make life much more pleasant for anyone who lives there.

jonno
Guest
jonno

Sorry to say this is classic PBOT in recent years — preserve street parking at all costs, paint a door zone bike lane and then end the facility before it actually makes the connection to the rest of the network. Show some guts! If that street parking is so valuable that it’s worth undercutting the usefulness of the change, then why aren’t there parking meters already installed?

Frustrating.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Agreed completely. Door-zone bike lanes should never be even considered. Remove parking and stipe a curb-side bike lane with a buffer (ideally some sort of physical barrier).

Why are we still building state-of-the-art bike lanes from 20 years ago when there are much better and safer options available?

Andyc of Linnton
Guest
Andyc of Linnton

Portland! From crappy and terrible mixing environments to 1990’s infrastructure in the blink of a decade or two!

maccoinnich
Guest

There are parking meters already installed. The whole of the Lloyd District is a metered parking area, although meters aren’t installed on every block. The two blocks affected are both metered. (Map – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/369228). (Streeview – https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5347047,-122.6585986,3a,75y,60.17h,65.46t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZx_LhMhsVCqJHGTjWTAIkA!2e0).

I think this is great. It’s one of those classic Portland gaps in infrastructure, and this is a low cost, low controversy solution to making it better. PBOT should be doing more little infill projects like this. If we waited for them to rebuild the whole of NE 7th to Copenhagen style street design standards, we’d be waiting a very long time.

Concordia Cyclcist
Guest
Concordia Cyclcist

I believe there are only meters on one block (between Weidler and Broadway). The entire three blocks north of Broadway don’t need parking anyway as it is simply used by employees of the immediate businesses. While I’m happy to see improvement, they really could have connected to Tillamook very easily, but chose to side with subsidized parking instead.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Why does PBOT refuse to even consider protected bike lanes?

FauxPorteur
Guest
FauxPorteur

Why this obsession with jamming bike infrastructure on already crappy roads? 9th avenue all the way from Holgate to Lombard would be vastly superior. Its already under-utilized for motor traffic (mostly serves as a free linear parking lot in reality). I’ve ridden all the way from Burnside to Powell on 9th at 3pm in the middle of the summer and didn’t pass or get passed by a single motor vehicle going either direction.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

This is a great point! (9th Ave has a lot to recommend it. Through the neighborhoods, it could be pretty simple to just turn stop signs to prioritize bikes. The big costs of choosing 9th, and the main reason advocates tend to talk about 7th IMO, is that 7th Ave already has a lot of infrastructure in place to get bikes safely across busy intersections. (th ave would be sort of starting from scratch (which could be good, but def. more $$). The thing I noticed about 9th is that it bisects Irving Park- this could be really great from a bicyclist’s viewpoint, but it could cause a lot of conflicts within the park

Reza
Guest
Reza

While 9th has low traffic volumes north of Broadway, the pavement is absolutely awful, and the street also has a circuitous connection through Irving Park via a narrow path. Not ideal.

I do see benefit in putting 9th on a road diet or (at the very least) installing sharrows in the right-hand lane through Lloyd.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

It would be great if the city were more forward-thinking, and did something crazy like creating a 10ft-wide path directly through Irving, connecting with 9th on both ends. Probably would be cheaper than converting 7th to a full-blown greenway.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Good news! The disappearing bike lane at Wiedler is annoying/dangerous. Now if funding could appear for a 7th Ave bike/ped bridge across 84, so we don’t have to negotiate the crowded 12th Ave bridge and Lloyd Blvd gauntlet….

John
Guest
John

“…funding for the project came from Lloyd District parking meter revenue.”

Music to my ears. Now how about some NE 28th parking meter revenue, some SE Hawthorne parking meter revenue, Belmont, Division, Williams, Mississippi, etc…

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

No more free parking in commercial zones, and meter money for making those streets safe for all modes…bike, walk, and motorized wheelchairs!
Note that up to Tillamook, 7th has extra wide parking strip which could be narrowed and replanted.

KYouell
Guest

Adding my voice to those that use 9th instead. Use it through Lloyd to get to Tillamook. Sure maybe some of the street is bumpy, but it’s safer than a door zone bike lane with cars zipping by.

This is not 8-80 street design.

FauxPorteur
Guest
FauxPorteur

Bumpy under-used roads are easier to repave/repair/revamp than completely designing and building out imperfect infrastructure on a auto (and rail)-centric thoroughfare. Some of the worse paving issues with 9th are in the middle of intersections that could become micro-neighborhood-park auto-traffic diverters like the ones on the Adanac bike street in Vancouver BC. It’s been a decade since I’ve biked in VBC, but I remember it being great, even for a foreign visitor without a bike map.

For those concerned about biking through Irving, yeah, a little effort would go a long way in improving this. Not insurmountable.

Patrick Barber
Guest

So sad that we’re spending all of this capital investment on “improvements” that aren’t much better than what’s there already. Why not save the money until they can actually muster some ambition, and then lay down some actual bicycle facilities?

Chris Anderson
Guest

Jonathon are you riding in the door zone in that picture just south of Broadway? I usually keep quiet about riding style but you are a public figure: http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

I’m not a vehicular cyclist but once you see how much more predictable cars are when they don’t have the option to pass you unsafely, it’s painful to see riders give cars an inch.

Personally my door zone policy is never not even a little bit ever. But I often have a kid sitting up front…

Scott Batchelar
Guest

As a Lloyd District resident – this barely qualifies as a bandage, within ONE YEAR NE 7th & 9th streets plus Multnomah will be handling the influx of 1000 new bike commuters due to the Hassalo on Eighth development.

Anything that doesn’t factor that in and plans accordingly is a colossal waste of Public Resources – I’m thankful that PBOT has prioritized this street but if the already high level of foresight that the Hassalo on Eighth development has put into their bike parking is any indication with 1200 bike parking spaces my sincere hope is that they will push both PBOT and the LloydTMA to adopt protected Bike Facilities on all three of those streets.

I wonder if this is the first stirrings of American Real Estate Trust pushing the PBOT to upgrade this area so they can use it in their Marketing for Hassalo on Eighth plus don’t forget that they also own 14 more blocks in the Lloyd Area that will be developed in the next few years.

Im glad that PBOT is doing this but if they are not going to build for the future why are they even bothering?

I also want to second using 9th rather than 7th it’s much safer and you don’t have to deal with all the construction.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

…Still waiting for them to close the gap on SE 26th between SE Taggart and SE Division…on the city’s first official bike lane…

mh
Guest
mh

As soon as I saw this proposal, I sent a note to Chris Armes asking who on-street parking ADJACENT TO A PARKING LOT was serving. Her answer: “There was a desire by the community to balance the need for on-street parking (now and in the future) with better bike facilities. The Bureau of Transportation developed the layout with the north bound bike lane with this in mind. If you are in favor of removing all of the parking to accommodate a bike lane in each direction I can convey that to the Neighborhood Association and the Businesses.”

I’ve not come up with a good response, since “the community” requiring on-street parking for imaginary future businesses just makes me tongue and typing-fingers tied.

daniel
Guest

i’ve lived on ne 7th for almost 18 years, worked in the lloyd area for 4 and ride through that area almost daily. as stated in some opinions above, 9th ave is the way to go for many reasons. the current 4 auto driving lanes plus 2 parking lanes is totally unnecessary from lloyd to broadway, so a separated bike lane is a real possibility with very little impact on traffic. north of broadway, a simple swath of new asphalt for bikes (similar to that on nw marshall in the pearl) until the pavement improves at brazee would be cost effective and probably good enough. there is plenty of room in irving park behind the baseball/soccer fields for a bike path, and then it’s an easy neighborhood greenway conversion all the way up to dekum. 7th is terrible for many reasons (streetcar tracks, roundabouts, curb extensions, traffic volume, etc). it’s low hanging fruit in my opinion, and a much easier solution for a n/s bike corridor than the 20s bikeway (which i also think is a necessary bike corridor).

Anne Hawley
Guest
Anne Hawley

Totally agree with others who’ve said that the obvious choice through Lloyd would have been 9th rather than 7th. As a daily commuter from downtown via Lloyd to the Sabin neighborhood, I quickly learned that my slower riding and the slight incline northbound did NOT mix with the cut-through car traffic, circles and curb extensions of 7th Avenue. I discovered 9th on, like, my second day of commuting, and never looked back.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

As I recall, it was the Lloyd TMA (now Go Lloyd) that specified that 7th Avenue would be the N/S bike route through the district. This was about the time when the Tillamook Bikeway was going in…mid-90’s. Now sure if they still feel that way, but 7th north of Broadway to Tillamook has always been unpleasant for me. North from there I would not touch it. 7th thru Lloyd works fine; the Streetcar track crossings are well marked and at good angles. The badly needed bridge for bike/ped traffic over I-84/Sullivan’s Gulch could, I expect, connect as easily to 9th as to 7th on the north side.

Mark Nockleby
Guest

is there something wrong with the left-turn lane?