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Kaiser Permanente completes new bike path through North Portland campus

Posted by on March 11th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

kp-path-leader

Workers put finishing touches on the new bike path just south of N Failing Street. It opened yesterday.
(Photos: Kaiser Permanente)

Kaiser Permanente has just opened a new bike path through their campus on North Interstate Avenue. It helps close a troublesome gap and makes biking east-west through the Mississippi area and Overlook neighborhood much easier.

Back in November we highlighted concerns that Kaiser’s parking lot and a “no bicycles on sidewalks” policy was making it difficult to bike between the Failing Street Bridge (a key biking and walking-only connection across Interstate 5) and southbound Interstate Ave. Those concerns were heard by Kaiser staff and now they’ve made good on their promise to fix the situation.

Molly Haynes, Kaiser’s director of community health (who also happens to enjoy bicycling and is engaged in the local advocacy scene) hosted a meeting with Kaiser staff and a bike safety expert from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

We discussed the issue and many possible solutions. The one we settled on was to build a new bike path that would take people from the bridge, through the parking lot and onto Overlook Drive (which meets Interstate with a signal).

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Yesterday we heard from Haynes that the new path is completed and ready for use!

She sent over a few photos…

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Looking south from Failing St just as you come off the bridge.
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Looking northeast toward the Failing bridge from the Kaiser parking lot. They removed one auto parking space to create room for the bike path.
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Here’s another look at same angle with completed striping.
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Looking north at Failing Street.

There are still some additional sharrow markings through the parking lot and onto N Overlook that are being considered.

This is a great example of people making their voices heard about a concern, a private company (working with PBOT) taking those concerns seriously, and then — and most importantly — doing something about it.

If you have ridden this new path let us know how it works.

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meh
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meh

Single layer of asphalt adjacent to trees.

Give it two years before the roots heave and crack the surface.

Rick
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Rick

Oregon white oak?

mh
Guest
mh

I hope so, they’ve got a deep tap root.

canuck
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canuck

It’s off camber as well.

Allan
Guest
Allan

It looks wide enough for 1 bike. Points for trying?

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Looks like the path is all of 30 feet long, so doesn’t matter if it is bumpy, off-camber, narrow, etc. Kaiser, a private company with no obligation to allow the public to cross its property at all, did a nice thing here.

Caesar
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Caesar

Perhaps not a legal obligation, but an ethical obligation: yes.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

A great improvement. I use that facility and get there by bike. Thanks Kaiser!

matt picio
Guest

Good effort, but agreed it should be wider. I do appreciate that Kaiser worked to make something available, they aren’t under any obligation to do so.

Steve B
Guest
Steve B

Awesome!!

Kaiser employee
Guest
Kaiser employee

I’m worried about this bike path now going right through a busy parking lot. I work there, and it’s a matter of time before someone is hit.

mh
Guest
mh

Sharrows, then sue the pants off of the driver.

oliver
Guest
oliver

Yes. So simple, so functional. A cheap and easy connector at the edge of adjoining paths, instead of a barrier. It’s the sort of “unsung” infrastructure that punches way above its belt.

Well done Kaiser.

oliver
Guest
oliver

sorry, punches above its weight.

RH
Guest
RH

Looks great, thanks Kaiser! I think the width is good. Southbound folks will use it more than Northbound.

Ben B
Guest

Nice.
Regarding the width, this is a very short bike path, in an area that I don’t think gets a huge amount of traffic. (Certainly, every time I have ridden through there, I have been the only bicyclist) FWIW, The approach to Freemont bridge is also quite narrow, and seems more likely to be a traffic bottleneck than this path.

It’s a sensible place to put it, and is much nicer than the curb-hopping, grass riding cul-de-sac that the parking lot used to be…

Monica
Guest
Monica

I routinely travel between the Lloyd district and this campus, where I am both a patient and employee. I use the Failing Street bridge and was often “guilty” of using a small section of sidewalk because I didn’t want to dismount to haul my loaded bike over the curb and through the often-muddy trail. The new path is a small but significant gesture to welcome bikes to the Interstate campus, along with additional/improved bike racks installed over the past year. Also, I’ve never had trouble with cars in those interior roads. Other drivers (patients and staff) have been consistently courteous, in my experience. I’m thankful for all Kaiser does to encourage active transportation.

mh
Guest
mh

Jonathan, you should have elbowed both Chris Smith and me last night at the BAC and mentioned the win – I’d have started celebrating sooner. Thanks to all who worked on and for this.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Who can we msg with thanks for this great gesture?

Esther
Guest
Esther

Very exciting. I have gotten trapped in the Kaiser parking lot numerous times forgetting that you couldn’t get through. I really appreciate Kaiser doing this, especially since that’s how I get to and from my providers since I use the Failing Bridge. THRIVE!

ethan seltzer
Guest
ethan seltzer

Big thanks to Greg Raisman at PBOT and to Dan Field at that Kaiser Foundation for helping to move this along. It all began with a conversation at the Policy Bike Ride last August. Nice work, all!

jeronimo
Guest
jeronimo

I’ve read some negative commentary on a brand new access to and from failing overpass – couldn’t be better! What’s next, Easter baskets made in 3rd world sweatshops by exploited slave labor?

halverbk
Guest
halverbk

Congratlulations! Rex Burkholder mentioned this to me not long after the MAX Yellow Line opened. It can be challenging to make things like this happen with Kaiser until you connect with the right person or team. I know, because I work there.