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Portland wins $10 million in federal grants for biking/walking projects

Posted by on February 3rd, 2017 at 3:41 pm

This segment of NE 72nd in the Cully neighborhood will get a 12-foot wide walking/biking path.

Project locations.
(Graphic: Metro)

On Thursday the Metro Council unanimously adopted $30 million in grants for 12 transportation projects around the region. Portland won big by garnering $12.8 million of the total awarded. The funds will go toward five different projects — four of which ($10 million worth) are focused specifically on making it easier and safer to bike and walk.

Yesterday’s decision comes after a year of public feedback and analysis of dozens of projects that vied for the money. It’s part of Metro’s regional flexible funding process that happens every three years. Out of this pot of around $130 million, $33 was up for grabs in a suballocation that Metro decided to split 75/25 between “active transportation/complete streets” projects and freight projects respectively.

Although one of Portland’s projects was in the freight category, it also includes several elements that will improve biking and overall traffic safety.

Here are more details on the five projects (taken from PBOT project applications):

Brentwood-Darlington Safe Routes to School – $2.2 million ($6.6 total project cost)

PBOT says the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood has numerous sidewalk gaps and “substandard” bicycle facilities. This project will remedy that by building sidewalks on SE Duke and Flavel from 52nd to 82nd. It will also create a neighborhood greenway on SE Knapp and Ogden from 32nd 52nd to 87th. Of particular note is a major crossing upgrade of SE 82nd between Ogden and Knapp. PBOT will construct a multi-use path on the west side of 82nd. Also at Knapp/82nd, a traffic island will be placed in the center turn lane and there will be a rapid-flashing beacon. At the crossing of SE 52nd and Knapp there will be new curb extensions at the NW and SE corners and island-protected bike lanes at the NE and SW corners. (Note: This project was originally conceived with a multi-use path connecting 87th/Flavel to the Springwater Corridor. PBOT is working with Portland Parks to reinstate that element. The scope was changed prior to the final grant award decision.)

Cully Walking and Biking Parkway – $2.2 million ($5.9 million total project cost)

Several blocks east of the City’s first-ever cycle track on NE Cully Blvd, this project will build a new bikeway on one mile of NE 72nd “through the heart of the Cully neighborhood.” Here’s more from PBOT’s application: “It will help to break down historical barriers in the form of freeways and busy streets and create a major network connection that serves multiple neighborhoods that have been traditionally left out of active transportation infrastructure investments.” We can expect new sidewalks and crossing treatments the length of the corridor. On the bicycling side, this project will build a separated multi-use path parallel to the roadway from Killingsworth to Prescott. The middle section from Prescott to Sumner has sufficient right-of-way to construct separate pedestrian and bicycle facilities, so that section will feature a two-way raised bikeway with a 4-foot planting strip as a buffer from the roadway. South of Prescott (to Sandy) PBOT will use a neighborhood greenway treatment. (The project was initially concieved with a path the entire length, but the scope was changed prior to the grant award.) The project will also include new lighting, street trees and “place-making elements.”

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Halsey Street Safety and Access to Transit – $2.4 million ($5.1 million total project cost)

The idea behind this project is to improve access to the very busy 82nd Ave MAX station and bus stops and improve safety along NE Halsey. On the Halsey overpass of I-84 PBOT will build a two-way protected bike lane and between 82nd and 92nd they’ll build a new 12-foot wide path separated by a planted buffer on the south side of Halsey (that will ultimately connect to the forthcoming undercrossing of the I-205 path at Gateway Green which is part of the Sullivan’s Gulch project). PBOT says the project will, “provide a dramatically improved user experience.”

Jade District and Montavilla Connected Centers – $3.2 million ($7.8 million total project cost)

This project includes eight key pieces of new infrastructure that will make biking and walking in the Jade District and in the Montavilla commercial district easier and safer. Highlights include a separated and protected bike lane on SE Washington from 72nd to I-205 that will include a 16-inch wide raised curb between the standard vehicle lane and the bike lane. To get the space for this PBOT will remove on-street auto parking on one side of the street. West of 76th, on a curved section where Washington becomes Thorburn, the new bike/walk path will replace an existing standard vehicle lane and be separated from other traffic by a jersey barrier (PBOT says this lane space reallocation can be done, “without significant traffic impact.”) In the Jade District, PBOT will improve several arterial crossings as well as add traffic calming and bikeway upgrades on SE 85th.

From PBOT:

Project Elements (numbers refer to map):
1. Street, sidewalk and lighting on SE Clinton between 82nd Ave and 87th Ave.
2. Sidewalks on portions of SE 85th between Powell and Division to fill gaps of missing sidewalk. Add lighting at Division. Minor improvements to the 80’s Neighborhood Greenway on SE 85th Ave between Division and Powell to address segments exceeding recommended volumes or speed per the 2015 PBOT Neighborhood Greenway Guidelines.
3. (3 and 4, or 5) SE Woodward Neighborhood Greenway improvements from approximately 75th/78th to 85th Ave. Either improve the route along SE Tibbetts to SE Brooklyn (5) or SE Woodward to SE Brooklyn (3 and 4). Either includes a jog on 82nd Ave for roughly half a block with a two-way bike path combined with the sidewalk behind existing curb. Enhanced crossings of arterials, locations to be determined.
6. Add Separated Bike Lane with physical protection on SE Washington from 72nd to 92nd Ave/ I-205 multi-use path.
7. Reconfigure left turn movements from 82nd to the Stark/Washington couplet to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic impacts on local streets.
8. Enhanced crossings of arterials, including SE Washington and Stark at 84th and 86th.

Central Eastside Access and Circulation Improvements – $2.8 million ($5.4 million total project cost)

While funded in the freight category, this project will also improve cycling on the central eastside. Of particular note is the repaving of SE Clay (a major east-west bike route to the Esplanade and Hawthorne Bridge) and a new traffic signal on Ankeny (a popular bike route) at the tricky intersection of SE 11th/Sandy. Here’s more from PBOT:

The project will improve freight access and circulation and reduce conflicts in the Central Eastside by adding new traffic signals and beacons, and modifying existing traffic signals, consistent with the adopted SE Quadrant Plan. New traffic signals will be added at 16th/Irving (serving the freeway ramp entrance), Ankeny/MLK, Ankeny/11th, Washington/Grand, Washington/MLK, and the Hawthorne ramp to MLK/Clay. Pedestrian hybrid beacons will be added at Salmon/Grand and Salmon/MLK. Signals will be modified to allow protected left turns from Stark to Grand, Washington to MLK, Clay to Grand, and Mill to MLK. The project also includes roadway reconstruction on SE Clay St from Water to Grand to improve freight operations.

This is a very exciting slate of projects and PBOT deserves major kudos for getting them all lined up. The focus on east Portland and areas with major safety and access needs means these projects just might entice a new segment of our population out onto the streets.

With local (city) funding through a mix of system development charges, gas tax money, and general transportation revenue, all of these projects are now fully funded. Keep in mind though, that the Metro (federal) portion won’t get paid out until 2019, although it’s possible construction could begin prior to that date. Stay tuned for more information on each project as they get closer to breaking ground.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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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Bjorn
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Bjorn

What does “will use a greenway treatment” mean within the context of the 72nd avenue improvements. 72nd from Prescott to Fremont consists of 2 narrow one way streets with parking on either side of a series of park blocks. I had previously heard that a path would be built through the park blocks so that cyclists didn’t try to have to contend with people using 72nd as a cut through. “Greenway treatment” has me concerned that this won’t be the case and that cyclists will still have to contend with impatient drivers who want to pass when there is often not enough room. Perhaps some of this could be mitigated with a diverter to try and discourage through traffic from using 72nd.

Beeblebrox
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Beeblebrox

Wholesale parking removal would be very difficult along 72nd, but creating some spaces for comfortable passing seems like it has potential, especially by pulling back parking from corners. As you example illustrates, there’s also signage and design that just makes it clear that drivers need to slow down and just forget about passing. It will be an interesting public process to get a design figured out.

Adam
Subscriber

These all look like good projects. I like that PBOT is pushing curb-separated cycleways, not just the mountable curb ones. The Ankeny/Sandy intersection is currently terrifying; glad it’s getting a signal. As is the Woodward greenway 82nd Av crossing; no more having to ride on the sidewalk!

rick
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rick

Nothing for east Portland. Nice to see a bike / walk bridge over I5 in Wilsonville and a new industrial jobs opportunity for Tigard.

Justin M
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Justin M

Terrible. Think of the entire mile of freeway (or at least most of a mile) that could have been built with this money.

Specialized Hardrock
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Specialized Hardrock

Good walking and bike infrastructure is important; particularly in an urban area. Hope it happens but if PDX is a sanctuary city then may have to do it without Fed funds. That’s OK.

We can breath a sigh of relief now. Just out today:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-03/un-official-admits-global-warming-agenda-really-about-destroying-capitalism

q`Tzal
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q`Tzal

I wonder how long Portland or Oregon will have ANY federal grants once the current president tries to strong arm us into being an obedient vassal state of Trumpnation?

Let’s be honest here: we will resist a lot at first then his administration will yank every cent of federal funding it isn’t forcibly prevented from doing.
Do we need roads?
Are we prepared to fund everything 100% in state?
Are you ready to squeal like a pig? He’ll want revenge no matter what we do.

Don’t bet do much on transportation funding for the next 4 years.

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

In the interest of less-confusing nomenclature, perhaps when a multi-use path adjacent to a roadway is discussed, we should use the longstanding term for it: sidewalk. Since we downgraded bike paths to shared use paths that give pedestrians the right of way, a shared-use path on the edge of a roadway is simply a sidewalk in all ways.

I don’t feel much joy in placing these mandatory-use sidewalks all over the place. Decades of experience has convinced me that sidewalks, no matter what we call them, are the most dangerous place to ride.

Even when a city gets fantastically high ridership, like Davis had thirty-five years ago, those sidewalks/sidepaths remain a bugaboo. In Davis back then, there were only two places people on bikes got injured: on the diagonal railroad tracks on 2nd Ave and at the intersection of the side path on Russell Blvd with the hwy 113 on-ramp. Everyone knew people who had been injured at that intersection.

Ten years from now, people on this site will be agitating to have these sidewalks properly labeled as sidewalks so that there is no mandate to ride on them, and we still won’t have the proper bike lanes and traffic law enforcement that would allow PDX to meet its stated ridership goals.

SE Rider
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SE Rider

“PBOT says the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood has numerous sidewalk gaps”

PBOT doesn’t need to say this, it’s just a fact. The neighborhood has a SINGLE road with curbs and complete sidewalks in 1.4 square miles.

Adam
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Adam

I’m curious how adding traffic signals to neighborhood greenways can be considered a safety project?

Whenever a traffic signal goes in on a neighborhood greenway, vehicular traffic skyrockets.

Just look at the signal that went in on NW 23rd at the utter joke of a supposed “bikeway” that is NW Raleigh Street.

NW Raleigh is car hell now.

Kittens
Subscriber
Kittens

Finally some good news!
Especially excited about the signal at sandy and ankeny

Stephan
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Stephan

B. Carfree
There’s physical infrastructure and there’s social infrastructure. Social infrastructure includes things like traffic law enforcement, strict liability, strict licensing requirements, relative ease of obtaining/losing a license, entitlement, respect for the law and general civility. There is a world of difference in social infrastructure between the US and Northern Europe.
Just as there are sidewalks in neighborhoods I would not walk on at night and others that I would, there are sidepath facilities that I will use and others that I won’t. The difference isn’t the physical structure, it’s the social setting. We are fools if we merely import the physical infrastructure from abroad and ignore the things that allow it to function, imo.
Recommended 1

This is a very good abd important point and ine that should receive more attention. Call it social infrastructure — a great term — or culture, the point is that the same infrastructure changes will have very different effects depending on the context. I do not think yhat Portland will increase its bike ridership to levels similar to leading European cities without changing the broader context. And as long as that does not happen, I think we need to invest more in physical infeastructure to get the same results such as increase in safety or bike ridership.

Bill Stites
Subscriber

Does anyone know if traffic signals are being planned for SE 9th ave. at Belmont and Morrison? With many new buildings coming online in the area, including the goat blocks, there will be much more activity and foot traffic.
Also, do we know if the counter-flow lane on Morrison [Grand – 11th] is going away? I would think it’s obsolete relative to today’s design standards … it certainly is dangerous, and appears to be an historical remnant of pandering to auto access.

nuovorecord
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nuovorecord

David Hampsten
…and get a Republican, like you used to have with Hatfield & Packwood; who knows…
Recommended 1

Oh, you mean a unicorn?

Jim Labbe
Subscriber
Jim Labbe

“that will ultimately connect to the forthcoming undercrossing of the I-205 path at Gateway Green which is part of the Sullivan’s Gulch project.”

After unsuccessfully seeking STIP funding a few years back, the City should have taken advocates’ advice and repackages the I-205 under crossing project as an extension of the Tillamook Neighborhood Greenway that connects to the Gateway Transit Center and reconnects neighborhoods historically severed by the freeway. Selling the I-205 as the first segment very long-term and challenged Sullivan Gulch trail is a bad strategy and undersells the benefits of this project.

Bjorn
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Bjorn

Does anyone have a firm handle on when the 72nd avenue improvements will occur. I was looking for better info today and it appears that it might not occur until 2019-2021. With the new park going in I think this is a recipe for disaster as children will be using 72nd to go to and from the park and someone is going to get hurt unless we get some sidewalks put in.