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Killingsworth gets two-way protected bike lanes in Cully neighborhood

Posted by on May 25th, 2017 at 12:11 pm

New bikeway and crossing on NE Killingsworth-12.jpg

An opportunistic move by the Portland Bureau of Transportation has given us a glimpse into the future of biking and walking in the Cully neighborhood.

PBOT recently took advantage of a repaving project on Northeast Killingsworth to build a new striping and crossing treatment that connects NE 55th and 54th Avenues. It’s all part of the $3.3 million “Connected Cully” project that PBOT won funding for via a State of Oregon grant (the 2015-2018 STIP to be exact). I took a closer look at it yesterday.

PBOT has built a two-way bike lane for one block that’s separated from motor vehicle traffic with rubber curbs and plastic wands. Mid-way between 55th and 54th a bicycle rider has the choice to either continue straight or use a crosswalk. The crosswalk has a standard zebra-striped walking area and an additional green cross-bike treatment on both sides (to handle two-way bike traffic). There’s also a new signal with an activation button at the mid-block crossing.

New bikeway and crossing on NE Killingsworth-3.jpg

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New bikeway and crossing on NE Killingsworth-8.jpg

As you can see in the images, this area gets a lot of walking traffic. I was only there for a few minutes and saw three separate families come by — each of whom had toddlers in tow and were pushing a stroller. And they all used the new bike lane because there are no sidewalks.

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Why here?

The only major destination adjacent to this new bikeway is Trinity Lutheran Christian School. Since that’s a private institution, the changes to Killingsworth wouldn’t have been done as part of the City’s Safe Routes to School program (which focuses on public schools). I asked PBOT Communications Director John Brady about it and he said the new striping and crossing treatment was built as part of a future neighborhood greenway that will run along 55th and 54th Avenues. When PBOT got wind of a paving project on Killingsworth, they re-striped for the future instead of putting things back like they were. Way to go PBOT!

The Connected Cully project includes lots of other changes intended to make it more pleasant to walk and bike in this area. The info below was taken from the PBOT project description included in the ODOT grant application:

What’s in store from the Connected Cully project.

This is just one of several safe streets and active transportation initiatives in the Cully area. As we reported in February, Cully won over $2 million in infrastructure investments that will include a new “biking and walking parkway” on NE 72nd Avenue between Lombard and Fremont.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Adam
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Looks like a decent facility. Am I correct in that the cycleway appears to switch sides of the street halfway down? Seems like an unnecessary conflict point, and there does not appear to be any way for cyclists to activate the crossing light.

PBOT deserves some praise for not simply maintaining the status quo here, although the facility needs to be approximately 100 times longer. 😉

MaxD
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MaxD

I really dislike these short, two-way bike ways. It strikes me as pretty dangerous in a situation like this where cars are going pretty fast. Why not just add a buffered bike lane on either die of the street? The signal, however, looks great. From the picture (2nd photo) it looks like a standard signal with a red, yellow and green phase. I really dislike the hawks and rapid flashing beacons. They do not look like traffic signal and people driving treat them them advisory signs not commands. I regularly see people driving blow right through when flashing red. People seldom go through solid reds at traffic signals.

Adam
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Adam

Coincidently the most current Google Earth view of these intersections show what appears to be a Sunday Streets event underway… you can follow the people ‘ants’ to see the route, which uses this exact connection (less the crosswalk it looks like).

rick
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rick

Jersey barriers. Street trees.

Adam
Subscriber

Side note, why are all of the new bike stencils wearing backpacks?

J_R
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J_R

I truly don’t understand the fascination with the two-way bike lanes on one side of the street.

Having bikes in the opposing direction of travel makes them entirely unexpected for motorist turning from the side street. We already know that motorists turning right seldom look for pedestrians coming from the right and pedestrians are moving slowly. Now add a faster-moving cyclist coming from the right and you are looking at disaster.

I had personal experience with this decades ago on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana. I’ve seen no evidence that putting bicyclists in an unexpected position on the roadway produces good results.

Gary B
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Gary B

The two-way bike lanes were used to take advantage of the existing midblock crosswalk. Otherwise, you’d have crossings at 54th and 55th, plus the midblock crossing for pedestrians, to accomplish the stated purpose of connecting 54th to 55th. Considering it’s aimed at neighborhood greenway users (8/80), it’s not an unreasonable approach.

Andrew Kreps
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Andrew Kreps

There’s no chance I’ll ever use the word “protected” to describe that. There’s no protection, just a modicum of separation.

Andrew Kreps
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Andrew Kreps

MaxD
it looks like a standard signal with a red, yellow and green phase. I really dislike the hawks and rapid flashing beacons.

Every time one of those says “Warning, cars may not stop” to me, I want to punch whomever decided that was an approvable piece of infrastructure.

paikiala
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paikiala
Aaron
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Aaron

I live on Prescott between 42nd and Cully. What is “curb tight sidewalk infill?”