Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

PBOT teases SW Naito project images ahead of open house

Posted by on January 10th, 2018 at 9:30 am

PBOT concept for new design of SW Naito south of Market Street.

As I shared last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is about to launch a major project on SW Naito that will have a dramatic impact for bicycling connectivity downtown. The big open house is tonight (1/10) and there’s a lot of buzz around it already (Better Block PDX is making it their monthly meeting).

The star attraction at the open house will be concept drawings that give us a clearer view of what PBOT envisions for the new SW Naito. I haven’t seen all of the drawings yet (I don’t want to scoop the open house because that might discourage people from attending, although I will share them here as soon as they’re available), but PBOT has leaked a few of them out in the past few days.

Check out the plans for the new crossing of Naito at Jefferson, just south of the Hawthorne Bridge:

Compare that with the current conditions at Jefferson and you can see why this project is such a big deal:

Looking east at Jefferson across Naito.

Advertisement

This is the view from the road about two blocks south of the Hawthorne Bridge:

And here’s PBOT’s rendering of how the new bikeway will look south of Market:

PBOT is calling this “a major facelift”. Naito will be, “completely rebuilt from the ground up, with safety and efficiency improvements for all travel modes,” from I-405 to just north of Jefferson. Other elements of the project are (via PBOT):

➤ New traffic signals, including a dedicated signal for vehicles accessing the Hawthorne Bridge and a pedestrian crossing signal to access Pettygrove Park, the Lovejoy Fountain, and the Halprin Blocks.
➤ New bicycle and pedestrian facilities on the east side of the street, including a new path and sidewalk. Currently, no bicycle or pedestrian facilities exist on the east side of SW Naito.
➤ Updated signal timing to improve traffic operations through the corridor.
➤ Improved crossings at major intersections to improve safety.

In an email from PBOT this morning, I also noticed an explicit mention of how this project is connected to Better Naito north of the Hawthorne Bridge: “The project’s boundaries end just beyond SW Jefferson, allowing a future connection to the seasonal Better Naito project and year-round access to Waterfront Park” (it should only be a matter of time before we can stop calling it “seasonal”). Combine this with PBOT’s recent completion of a new bike signal and protected bike lane from NE Davis to the Steel Bridge and we’ll soon have a protected bikeway for the entire length of Waterfront Park. (Sidenote: It’s clear that PBOT is doing whatever they can to surround the middle “Better Naito” portion with protected bikeways in order to bulk up their argument for making it permanent.)

Suffice it to say this could be a transformative project — and even though PBOT is already at 60% design, there’s likely to be pressure to compromise the design. Some changes are to be expected, but we simply can’t afford to make this a good bikeway when it has potential to be great. Please stay informed and ready to help PBOT do this right as the project moves through the public/political process.

Tonight’s open house will have free snacks and it’s open from 4:30 to 7:00 at the PSU Center for Executive Professional Education at 1500 SW 1st Ave., Suite 100. Facebook event link and more details on the BP Calendar.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

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

22
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
Kyle BanerjeeGeoff Grummon-BealePhil RichmanoliverJohn Liu Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
9watts
Guest
9watts

“there’s likely to be pressure to compromise the design”

I wonder if this is how things go in places we look to with envy? And if not, why not?

rick
Guest
rick

I generally like the road diet at SW Jefferson Street. Just plant a native White Oak tree in that new space at Jefferson at Naito. I’m excited about the smooth pavement.

Justin
Guest
Justin

I love this. Such a huge improvement over the current conditions. I am a little concerned about having a two-way bikeway crossing what’s basically a highway off-ramp tho. Is that safe?

igor
Guest
igor

Does this new configuration leave Naito the same width as before, putting the bike path in what was formerly parkland, or are they proposing that Naito be narrowed to support the bike lanes north of Hawthorne?

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

Pic 2 — Looks like the southbound bike lane needs additional width in that squiggle, so southbound traffic splitting to turn right or left doesn’t block each other up.

Also a larger radius on the turns would be really nice for people with bakfiets or trailers, but looks like space is tight…

Ted Buehler

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

How will the bike path remain a bike path, and not be a pedestrian zone where cyclists have to weave slowly through the crowd, like on the path by the riverfront?

Naito is an important commute route and needs to accommodate both drivers and cyclists moving at commutish speeds. For cyclists, that means we need to be able to ride at 15-25 mph without endangering ourselves or others.

Geoff Grummon-Beale
Subscriber
Geoff Grummon-Beale

As someone who commuted through this area for years, I think this design will be a huge improvement for safety.

However, the design of Naito/Jefferson speaks volumes about which transportation modes are prioritized. Northbound motor vehicles exiting to the Hawthorne Bridge are given a straight shot on a freeway style off-ramp, while bikes are required to make two sharp 90 degree turns in an area with no room to queue that also has heavy pedestrian traffic.

Phil Richman
Subscriber

Will e-bikes be legal and, if so, which types?