City preps to cut speed limit on four mid-sized streets

First look at NE Multnomah project-4
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is ordering slower traffic speeds on four streets, three of which have recently been redesigned to be more neighborhood-friendly.

The four are Southwest Vermont Street from Capitol Highway to SW 45th near Gabriel Park, which will go from 35 to 30 mph; SW Multnomah Boulevard from Interstate 5 to SW 31st, going from 45 to 35 mph; NE Glisan Street from 27th to 79th, going from 35 to 30 mph; and NE/SE 47th Avenue from NE Tillamook to SE Oak, going from 30 to 25 mph.

All four streets have bike lanes for some or all of those segments.

PBOT spokeswoman Diane Dulken said Wednesday that the Vermont project had been triggered by a recent sidewalk infill project. Multnomah was redesigned in 2014 to add raised bike lanes for a few blocks. Part of Glisan was restriped in 2014 to remove passing lanes and add street parking and a crosswalk refuge.

“When we do a project, whether it’s a road reconfiguration or a sidewalk infill project or some other project, then part of that work, part of what we do is we evaluate speed, whether those speeds are appropriate for the new design or the improvements that are going in,” Dulken said. “We then put in the recommendation to ODOT and go through that process.”

The speed limit changes are already complete on 47th and Glisan, both of which were marked with the new speeds late last month. Dulken said Vermont’s change is likely to take effect “early this year” and Multnomah’s is “planned for this year.”


We previously mentioned the Glisan speed limit change on Tuesday in a post that also called attention to a new character in the bike lane there.

Beneath that post, BikePortland reader Cory Poole wrote about the effect of the recent change on 47th to his family’s neighborhood.

“I live on 47th between burnside and stark,” wrote Poole. “The city reduced the speed limit to 25 and we have noticed a HUGE difference in traffic speed. Before it was routine to see cars go by at 40 mph. This on a road that is used heavily by bicycles and has no shoulder or bike lane. Thanks to whoever made this happen!”

Correction 2/5: A previous version of this story referred to a different quadrant of Multnomah. The one discussed here is in Southwest.

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