The City of Portland is scaling up the massive new Fixing Our Streets program. Thanks to the passage of a 10-cent per gallon gas tax, the bureau needs to prepare, develop, design, and construct over 50 transportation projects over the next four years.
One of those projects will pave SW Main Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. This is the section of Main at the western terminus of the Hawthorne Bridge — one of the most heavily used bike routes in the city. Unfortunately people riding bikes don’t get a very nice welcome into downtown. The dedicated path on the bridge gives way to a bike lane prior to crossing 1st Avenue. Then between 1st and 2nd the bike lane all but disappears into a cracked road surface full of bumps. There’s also the tricky merge with other road users, including TriMet bus operators that need to service a stop at the northeast corner of 2nd and Main.
PBOT plans to address this block as part of a larger, $1.6 million project that will also repave SW Naito Parkway from SW Harrison to Jefferson and from I-405 to Lincoln (and will include possible traffic signal upgrades on Naito at Market and Clay).
In addition to smooth pavement, PBOT says, “Several measures will also be taken to increase safety for bikes and pedestrians.” The latest project description specifically refers to the problem of bicycle users coming off the Hawthorne Bridge and merging with buses stopped btween 1st and 2nd.
PBOT spokesman John Brady says the project will also address the right-hook issue at 2nd Avenue. We’re still waiting for more specifics about what type of solution they’ve got cooked up and will update this post once we know more. They have set aside $350,000 for the SW Main portion of the project. Construction is due to begin next year.
The city currently has $74 million in projects planned for the Fixing our Streets program. That’s just an estimate at this point and they plan to adjust the project list as the tax starts being collected on January 1st and more accurate projections can be made. Learn more about the program and view an interactive map of all the projects here.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org