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Here are the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee’s top 10 priorities citywide

Posted by on February 27th, 2015 at 1:55 pm

What do you think?
(Click to enlarge, or see below for details and links)

As we reported earlier this week, the City of Portland is trying to hone its massive transportation to-do list by asking people to rank their 10 favorite projects.

In a letter circulated this week, the citizens’ committee that’s most closely tied to Portland’s biking policies shared theirs.

Here’s the list, with a links to past coverage of each project:

1) A biking-walking bridge across Interstate 84 between NE 7th, 8th and/or 9th Avenues. This would create the most comfortable inland freeway crossing in the city between inner Northeast and Southeast Portland, linking the rapidly redeveloping Lloyd District and enabling a “green loop” of comfortable bikeways ringing the central city. $8.3 million.

2) Northeast Broadway Corridor improvements from the Broadway Bridge to NE 24th. This would link up to an anticipated protected bike lane on NW/SW Broadway all the way to maybe the #1 biking destination in the city: Portland State University. $3.5 million.

3) Terwilliger Bikeway Gaps. These would create a continuous bike lane over the hills above Barbur Boulevard and through Southwest Portland past another major biking destination, Oregon Health and Science University. $1 million.

4) Inner Barbur Corridor improvements. The needlessly wide stretch of road between Terwilliger and SW 3rd sometimes known as the Barbur Woods, where the land is mostly flat but the bike lanes end at two bridges and one person dies per year. $3.7 million.

5) I-205 undercrossing at NE Hancock and I-205. Connecting the 82nd Avenue area near Rocky Butte to Gateway Green and ultimately the developing Gateway regional center. $2 million.


6) 4M Neighborhood Greenway. A neighborhood greenway, already fully planned, snaking from the I-205 path past David Douglas High School and eastward to the Gresham border. $450,000.

7) 122nd Avenue Corridor Improvements from NE Sandy to SE Foster. Bike lane, sidewalk and public transit stop improvements on East Portland’s most important north-south street. TriMet has said it would upgrade the 71 bus to frequent service if changes like these are made. $8 million.

8) North Portland Greenway Trail from Swan Island to the Rose Quarter. A direct link between two of the city’s fastest-growing job areas, Swan Island and the Central Eastside, and part of a continuous off-road path from the tip of the St Johns peninsula to the Springwater Corridor. $7.3 million.

9) Portland Bike Share. Using shared bicycles to create an active and supremely cheap form of all-hours public transit in the central city and surrounding neighborhoods. $4.5 million.

10) NW Flanders Neighborhood Greenway, including a biking-walking bridge across I-405. The first comfortable link between downtown Portland and the city’s densest residential neighborhood, connecting to the Steel Bridge and TriMet MAX. $3 million.

BAC Chair Ian Stude said this week that the committee devoted a lot of effort to building this list, drawing on what he said is a geographically diverse membership and striving to serve a mix of neighborhoods and populations.

In its letter, the committee added:

The PBAC has concerns about the overall project selection for the TSP constrained and unconstrained list and how this aligns with the need to equitably distribute these projects throughout the city. However, we have identified 10 high priority projects from the list of 290 currently listed in the TSP draft. We ask that PSC and PBOT prioritize these projects as critical improvements to the transportation network.

How do you think they did? Whether you disagree with any (as reader Terry D-M did, vociferously and with data) or agree wholeheartedly, it’s not too late contact the city by email or using its online Map App tool.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. 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

  • Adam H. February 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    This is a great project list. I’m especially excited about Broadway and bike share. The city has a great opportunity to create a world-class separated bike facility on Broadway, and this could set the example for later projects. Bike share will get more riders on the road and hopefully accelerate more bike projects. Leah Treat is supposed to announce a launch date for bike share by end of year.

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  • Granpa February 27, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    The idea of a tunnel under I-205 is vastly inferior to a bridge. The tunnel will harbor the homeless, the tunnel will not be visible to the outside, and I can almost smell the pungent ammonia smell, and I am miles and a decade away from this feature.

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    • Adam H. February 27, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Having lived in Chicago and commuted along the Lake Front Trail, I can attest to the disgusting shape of all the underpasses under Lake Shore Drive one must use to access the lake.

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    • Kyle February 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      I don’t believe this is going to be a tunnel. Instead, it appears to be a multi-use path underneath existing overpasses:

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      • Terry D-M February 28, 2015 at 7:50 am

        True…and this short extension is critical to the whole region. An overpass of this size would cost MANY millions, plus would not make sense considering the hilly topography. This on ground connection was accidentally found while doing the research for the Sullivan’s Gulch trail … one realized there was room.

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    • Jim Labbe March 3, 2015 at 8:44 pm


      It is not a tunnel. The route goes along the railroad under an overpass at the south end of Gateway Green.


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  • rick February 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Terwilliger will need the bike upgrades when the BES sewer work is taking place by Power Court.

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  • Kyle February 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    The 4M greenway would give me a great alternative to Springwater to get out to east county!

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  • Alex February 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    No off-road cycling improvements listed? It is part of becoming a platinum listed city, isn’t it?

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    • Dave Thomson February 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      The key word here is transportation.

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    • Jim Labbe March 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      The I-205 underpass will connect to off-road cycling opportunities Gateway Green.

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  • Blake February 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I am excited to see the lower section of the NP Greenway trail added. There has been a lot of work put into adding real infrastructure for people coming from N PDX to points in Downtown, SE and SW Portland that doesn’t involve braving Interstate. The link attached to my name, gives a few nearer-term changes that PBOT should make to improve safety on N Interstate Ave between Tillamook and the Rose Quarter before the NP Greenway is built.

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  • m February 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Where’s the Sullivan’s Gulch trail???

    The NE Broadway project is a complete waste of time, money and effort with the existing quieter, safer, healthier, and faster NE Tillamook right next door.

    This NE Broadway project is more about calming car traffic by reducing lanes than it is about improving biking opportunities. It will cause lots of political damage. The increased traffic density will cause drivers to simply move over to previously quiet streets like my wonderful Tillamook thoroughfare. Please say no to this project.

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    • Adam H. February 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      If done correctly (i.e. NOT what was done on Williams), a protected cycle track on N/NE Broadway would better connect to businesses and not force people riding bikes to divert to side streets. It would create an additional safe and direct route to businesses and to downtown.

      That being said, I’d like to see some extra diverters go in on Tillamook in conjunction with this project to discourage diversion by people driving.

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      • m February 27, 2015 at 3:59 pm

        Arterial roads exist for a reason. Reducing that arterial capacity in a section of the city with streets laid out on a grid will not magically get people to abandon their cars for alternative transportation. It means the drivers will, when faced with increased traffic on their normal route, simply move over to previously quiet streets in Irvington and other neighborhoods to get where they are going, diverters notwithstanding. This is Utopian BS at work.

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        • Kyle February 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm

          We could add bike facilities to arterials without capacity reductions by removing free on-street parking. In my opinion this would make the arterials safer as well, since drivers and cyclists won’t be dealing with parking-hunting drivers nosing in and out of spots.

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        • Kyle February 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

          Additionally, if businesses insist on keeping auto parking capacity in their area they should think about parking garages (to accommodate cars *and* bikes).

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        • soren February 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm

          Tilamook is fine if I’m just passing through but most of my destinations in the area are on or around Broadway. Cyclists and pedestrians deserve safe access to the commercial areas wear we eat, drink, shop, and play.

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        • maccoinnich February 27, 2015 at 5:39 pm

          There is a freeway parallel to NE Broadway with a lot of right-of-way entirely dedicated to cars. I like riding along Tillamook if I’m trying to get across the city, but sometimes my destination happens to be on Broadway.

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        • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
          Michael Andersen (News Editor) February 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm

          Is Broadway at capacity? If not, those aren’t essential arterial capacity, they’re just passing lanes.

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  • soren February 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    We’ve been discussing many of these projects for years. I’d like to see a shorter list with some project start dates.

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  • Michael February 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I think Barbur should be at or near the top of the list; and other areas where cyclists and pedestrians have been killed over the past few years. I recall seeing a maps at the end of 2014 and end of 2013 that showed those locations. Those locations should be the top priority if we are serious about becoming a so-called Vision Zero city. Many of the items listed here would be nice (biking walking bridge over I-84 or improvements to NE Broadway for example), but don’t fit, in my mind, as an the most urgent.

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    • Blake February 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I agree, Barbur should be at the top of the list, but vision zero won’t be achieved by following the ambulances to the latest fatalities but looking for places where fatal crashes are more likely. After seeing some pretty video evidence of consistent speeding on N Interstate Ave southbound (cars going 40-50mph on a narrow section of a 30mph road), I would have preferred to see the N Portland Greenway (which would provide a safe alternative to Interstate) higher on the list.

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  • Chris Anderson February 27, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I’d like to see upgrading the Greenways with real diversion, and doing Commercial Greenways in places like E 28th, NE Alberta, and NW 23rd, somewhere on an actually happens list.

    How about instead of watering everything down through endless public process, we just build it all the right way, and then have public process to decide which one or two to revert? Livable-by-default not by exception.

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  • davemess February 27, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I’m impressed that Outer/East projects actually got 3 out of 10 on this list. Wasn’t expecting that many.

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  • Gregg February 27, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Imagine a Portland where ALL of these projects got funded and built starting immediately. What a huge boost it would be for the city.

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  • Terry D-M February 28, 2015 at 7:58 am

    All ten of these projects need to be built ASAP….though I still think $3 million for Flanders is WAY under budgeted. I agree on those that were dropped, though this still leaves much of the city left out. it is only the “top projects.”

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) February 28, 2015 at 9:27 am

      I suspect this is so small because it doesn’t include a bunch of stockpiled system development charges from housing projects in the Pearl. Some public money is needed to leverage those neighborhood-specific dollars. Does anyone have info on this?

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      • Reza March 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        Yes, you are correct Michael. There’s $1.5 million in SDCs that can only be spent in this general vicinity. So, no, they can’t be transferred to outer east Portland (like a certain councilor might have you believe).

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  • Gerald Fittipaldi February 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I’m amazed that nothing is included for the one area that serves all Portlanders and also has the most potential for creating a meaningful, safe and welcoming bicycle network: DOWNTOWN PORTLAND (PSU campus, NW/SW Broadway, Park Blocks, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th). Portland is perhaps the ONLY “bicycle friendly” city that lacks any sort of bike network in its downtown … the place that has the most destinations and the highest demand for safe and comfortable bike facilities. This should absolutely be in the top 3.

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    • soren February 28, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      In partial defense of PBOT, I believe these are projects that have not yet been funded (e.g. the $6 million grant for downtown improvements is not included).

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      • Gerald Fittipaldi February 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        Thanks for the clarification. I can’t wait for downtown to have a true bicycle network.

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  • tom March 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    my wish list is small. id like to see the naito pkwy gap underneath the steel bridge completed and some super bright led lighting along the esplanade. its c.h.u.d. city after dark. so many vagrants getting in fights, drinking and general illegal hijinx. its like running the gauntlet after 7 pm along there. not safe…..

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