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Neighbors will hear City plans to reduce driving on Lincoln-Harrison greenway tonight


These signs have been plastered up and down Lincoln-Harrison in advance of tonight’s meeting.
(Photo: Amy Wren)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation wants fewer people driving on the Southeast Lincoln-Harrison neighborhood greenway.

The Lincoln-Harrison greenway is a major east-west bikeway between Mt. Tabor and inner southeast. The problem is that it’s also a popular route to drive cars on. A 2015 traffic analysis by PBOT showed it was one of the worst-performing greenways in the system in terms of auto volume, with traffic well above national standards. PBOT aims for greenways to have only 1,000 average daily cars per day; but portions of Lincoln between 30th and 50th have 2,500 to over 3,500 cars per day.

From PBOT’s Neighborhood Greenway traffic analysis, February 2015.

The city plans to share a proposal for a host of updates to the street they hope will bring these numbers down. They’ll present this plan at the Richmond Neighborhood Association tonight at 7:00 pm. PBOT hasn’t released the full proposal on their website, but a copy floating around neighborhood and activist circles gives us an idea of what’s in store.

The project will cost an estimated $170,000 and will install several methods of traffic calming and diversion between SE Clay and Ladd Streets (the western end of the greenway) all the way east to 64th. 31 speed bumps will be added along with new 20 mph speed limit signs. There will also be updated crossings and various types of median diverters and key cross streets. A semi-diverter is planned at SE 26th, and at 50th there are plans for a full center median to prevent turns onto Lincoln and make the crossing safer for bicycle and foot users.

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Here are images of the proposal shared on the Bike Loud PDX email list (PBOT has not responded to my request for the plans):

Initial reaction to the plans by activists are that more diverters and fewer speed bumps should be used. “[Speed bumps] are a sign that you haven’t installed enough diverters,” Bike Loud’s Jessica Engelman said in an email last month. ”

In March 2015 a BikePortland commenter named Tyler shared his support of more traffic diversion. “Lincoln between 52 and 39th is almost as much of a race track as Clinton [a nearby greenway that PBOT recently finished a similar project on], especially in the morning, with Tabor-ites rushing their kids to the elementary at 42nd. I’d love to see the traffic reduced to almost nil on both of these routes… The city’s failure/refusal/inability to act will eventually result in a tragic situation.”

On that same thread, east Portland advocate Jim Chasse offered this perspective: “Forgive me if I consider all the whining about speeds on Neighborhood Greenways a little uncalled for. My morning commute takes me down Division Street — the busiest street in Portland with 48,000 vehicle trips a day, through 2 of the top 5 high crash intersections in the city (122nd and 82nd) and it isn’t until I cruise onto Lincoln St. at 60th that my blood pressure drops 20 points. While I agree speeds on the Greenways should be kept in check, it would also be nice to have a few more facilities in east Portland besides major arterials.”

PBOT is said to be presenting this to neighborhood groups in hope of getting endorsements before finalizing design plans and moving forward. A public open house for the project is reportedly set for this fall with construction starting in 2018.

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

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