The new lane will be a wide, buffered bicycle lane to increase comfort for all ages and abilities of bicycle riders, such as tourists and families.
Now, at long last, the Bureau of Transportation has made an official announcement that they plan to “reconfigure” 3rd Avenue this weekend.
As we reported back in August, the plan is to re-stripe nine blocks of 3rd from NW Glisan to SW Stark in order to make room for a bicycling-only lane. The new bike lane will be installed in place of the existing standard lane and it will be seven-feet wide with extra “buffered” space on boths sides.
PBOT has also published a new website for the project.
Here’s more about the project from today’s announcement:
This community-led project will result in safer pedestrian crossings, a bicycle lane, reduced travel speeds for motor vehicles, and increased pedestrian space. As a part of the plan, PBOT recently installed 14 new marked crosswalks in the area. The new two-lane roadway configuration will further increase pedestrian safety by creating a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross with moving motor vehicle traffic. The project will also improve the bicycle network by connecting the existing bicycle lane on Third Avenue that terminates at NW Davis with the existing bicycle lanes on Stark and Oak Streets. The new lane will be a wide, buffered bicycle lane to increase comfort for all ages and abilities of bicycle riders, such as tourists and families. The bicycle lane design will also reduce conflict between bicycle and motor vehicle traffic.
While it’s not a physically separated and protected bike lane like many people want, this is a very significant project for Portland. Giving more downtown real estate to bicycling is a big deal (as explained rather well by our News Editor Michael Andersen in this comment). Not only that, but this project happened from the bottom-up. The grassroots momentum that led to the Better Block demonstration a year ago included local business owners, and the neighborhood committee that ultimately endorsed it included the Portland Business Alliance. Yes, the PBA.
We’ll be out there first thing next week with a full report and photos. Stay tuned. And let’s hope for dry weather. If it rains too much, PBOT might delay the work.