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The making of Better Broadway (photos)

Posted by on May 9th, 2016 at 10:25 am

Signs and cones await their destiny as stars in the Better Broadway project.(All photos by A.J. Zelada)

Signs and cones await their destiny as stars in the Better Broadway project.
(All photos by A.J. Zelada)

Better Broadway opens today. It’s the latest temporary street transformation brought to you by an exciting partnership between Better Block PDX and the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The new pilot lane configuration will run from today through Sunday (5/15) and it includes a significant change to traffic patterns on NE Broadway from 7th to 24th.

What does it take to create something like this? Lots of volunteers, super smart traffic engineers, dedicated activists, supportive local business owners and neighborhood groups, just to name a few of the people and organizations involved. Last night they all got together to deploy hundreds of traffic cones, temporary signs, new crosswalks, and even DIY median islands. We’ll have photos and more coverage of the project this week; but we wanted to show you the set-up so you can appreciate the work that goes into these projects.

The photos are by longtime Oregon bike advocate, BikePortland supporter, and Better Broadway volunteer A.J. “Jerry” Zelada:

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Rolling out tape for a new crosswalk.

Rolling out tape for a new crosswalk.

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Using the Portland-made "Truck Trike" (built by Stites Design) to haul supplies.

Using the Portland-made “Truck Trike” (built by Stites Design) to haul supplies.

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Teamwork!

Teamwork!

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Better Block leader Ryan Hashagen talks with a passerby.

Better Block leader Ryan Hashagen talks with a passerby.

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Looking over traffic plans.

Looking over traffic plans.

Better Block volunteer Gwen Shaw talks to a local TV crew.

Better Block volunteer Gwen Shaw talks to a local TV crew.

Stay tuned! We’ll be back with a report from the launch event today at noon and will have more coverage this week.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

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Adam
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Adam

Glorious!!!

I’ve been enjoying the Better Block Naito changes this past week a lot – as a dog walker, and bike commuter. Excited to see this too on Broadway!

Now if only it could be extended all the way down yo the Broadway Bridge, where it’s REALLY needed. 🙂

Adam
Subscriber

I love the Better Block projects, but wish that the city would take more urgent action to make their installations permanent. For example, they are still silent on the sidewalk/plaza bump-outs at Clinton and 26th that Better Block demoed back in 2014. Our glacial public process is seriously holding us back as a progressive city.

That being said, the expansion of Better Block this year is a welcome addition to our local advocacy and should hopefully put more pressure on elected officials to act quicker.

ethan
Guest
ethan

Were those cars there previously, or are they being used to unload supplies? If the former, I would be disappointed in the city for not restricting parking the night before.

Also, when I went by there today (on the bus), it looked like some of the cones had been hit by a car. Did that happen, or was it just the weird angle that I was looking at it from?

ethan
Guest
ethan

What do the drafts look like?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Just rode the whole length of it during my lunch hour. Great job for a temporary install and kudos for all the hard work. Hard to believe that the forces of happy motoring will be able to tolerate that big juicy empty turn lane with-out tons of future scrap metal hurtling down it.

Bob K.
Guest
Bob K.

Looking forward to giving it a ride this afternoon and stopping by some of the adjacent businesses to let them know that I am more likely to visit them in the future if there is a safer, calmer Broadway.

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

I crossed B’way at NE 19th this morning, as I do several times a week, and was delighted with how much easier it was with only two lanes to cross. I would love to see this made permanent.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I ride Broadway from NE 24th to the Pearl on my morning commute. It was fantastic to not have high speed traffic buzzing 3 ft away from me this morning. Big thanks to Better Block and all of the volunteers.

mh
Subscriber

I wish I had put off shopping at Kitchen Kaboodle last week and saved my custom for this week. Must be something else I have to have…

SD
Subscriber

Time for xurros!

M
Guest
M

As a resident, one block N of 16th and Broadway, this project is a very annoying, difficult to negotiate and confusing. Broadway is a busy street and to try to pare it down to two lanes with cones, unclear direction and intention, has made driving on Broadway somewhat unsafe. If this were to become permanent obviously cones would not be used, however the end goal — making Broadway more walk able and similar to Hawethorne and Division, is ridiculous because there are no, or very few, good places to eat or shop on Broadway. I am not a fan in any way.

T
Guest
T

I’m currently a resident one block N of 9th and Broadway and have lived in NE Portland most of my life. This has been the most confusing and poorly executed project. Additionally, it is very badly timed with the MAX work beginning at the same time which has created even more traffic. What you are left with are upset people ripping into side streets, burning rubber at the intersections, and trying to by pass all of the traffic backed up. There are a lot of elderly and children around in the neighborhood and someone is going to get hit on the sidelines. I’m not convinced it’s worth it. I shop our neighborhood all of the time and have for years and years. I don’t mind waiting until it’s clear to cross Broadway, which it does get clear enough to cross in a reasonable time. For example, I walk down and cross at 18th to shop at Furever Pets (who are awesome!!) and yes, wait a bit until the light at 21st changes, but it does and I’m able to cross . It’s reasonable. The difference with my view and some above is that I live here, you are commuting through. This is still a neighborhood, not just a shopping mall.

Richard Helton
Guest
Richard Helton

This was confusing and a saftey hazard. I could not see the cyclists between the parked cars and the road. Almost hit one twice because of all the crap in the road you cant see the cyclists. It would also help if cyclists remember they are vehicles too and shiould obey the traffic laws. Dont run through stop signs and use turn signals and be seen or you will get killed.

KEEP BROADWAY LIKE IT WAS. IT WAS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE THE CYCLISTS WITH ALL OF THE PYLONS AND CRAP AND PARKED CARS. THIS CRATED MORE OF A SAFETY HAZARD THAN THE WAY IT WAS. GEEEZ

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

Horrible idea!!!! Traffic in Portland has done nothing but increase beyond its streets capabilities to handle it. Sizing down Broadway is only going to make the problem worse.

*If you want to improve safety for bicyclists try painting the bike lane green so it’s clearly labeled.