Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 24th, 2017 at 8:54 am
Last April we highlighted the massive potential for cycling in the northwest industrial area — a place with thousands of jobs, burgeoning residential and office development, and lots of wide streets.
Now, thanks to the ongoing building boom along the Willamette River north of the Fremont Bridge, the City of Portland will create nearly a mile of new bikeways to connect the area’s new residents and employees to the rest of the city.
The new bike lanes will connect to existing ones that currently end at NW Naito Parkway and 9th. From 9th to NW 15th, PBOT will reconfigure the roadway from its existing five standard travel lanes to three standard lanes (one lane in each direction and a center turn lane), two buffered bike lanes and an auto parking lane.
Here’s the cross-section that will be up for a vote at City Council on Wednesday (January 25th):
In addition to smooth pavement and new lane striping, PBOT will rebuild the traffic signals at NW 9th, 15th, and 17th Avenues, and bring all ADA curb-ramps up to code.
Over 40 percent of the project’s estimated $2.6 million price tag will come from a private developer. That’s because PBOT grabbed the opportunity to work with Park Office LLC, the developer of the Field Office currently under construction at 2035 NW Front Avenue.
Park Office LLC has agreed to be the sole member of a Local Improvement District (LID) and they will put $1.1 million toward the project (and could receive an equal amount of credits in system development charges in exchange). PBOT will pay the balance of the project with $1.5 million from their pavement preservation budget.
In documents filed with City Council, PBOT notes that they have received “multiple complaints” from developers about the lack of bike lanes in the area in light of “rapidly growing residential development.” The Field Office project, the City says, will be “built with bicycle access in mind.” According to Next Portland, It will have 96 bike parking spaces and accompanying lockers for its tenants.
As Portland grows, PBOT is simply doing their job to make sure that our roads keep up with current demands and user preferences. “A goal of this project,” they state in council documents, “is to increase the bike mode split in NW Portland from 4.9% measured in 2012 to a higher level more commensurate with the Citywide average of 6.1%. New residential development is occurring in this area but multimodal transportation facilities have not kept pace with this new development.”
Construction is slated to happen this year and will be completed by early 2018.
Portland City Council is scheduled to vote on this project Wednesday (1/25) at 10:15 am.