With just two months before they re-implement Better Naito, the City of Portland has released a 26 page report (PDF) touting its successful run last year.
The reconfiguration of Naito Parkway — which includes a protected spaces for biking and walking on the east side of the street — will return on May 1st and will run through September 30th. Better Naito begain in 2015 as a demonstration project of volunteer-led Better Block PDX. 2017 was the first year the project was fully under City of Portland purview.
The City is eager for Better Naito season because analysis from the Bureau of Transportation shows it’s working very well. “The project was incredibly popular with people walking and biking. In just one day, over 12,000 people walking used Better Naito to access the Waterfront Blues Fest,” PBOT wrote in a press statement. “What’s more, a total of 393,173 one-way trips were taken by people on bikes on Better Naito over the five-month project period.”
Many Naito users were happy with the additional safety for biking and walking. Thanks to the (locally-developed) Ride Report app, PBOT can claim that people bicycling were twice as likely to ride Better Naito than the Waterfront Trail. Bicycle users were also 3.5 times as likely to ride on Naito Parkway during the Better Naito season than during the off-season.
And for people who drove cars and trucks, the impact of the reconfiguration on their travel times was “minimal”. Citing their own analysis and observations, PBOT says driving times for northbound auto users during the morning commute (7:00 to 8:00 am) increased by just 1 minute and 28 seconds (between Clay and Stark). Travel times were similar for the evening commute (4:00 to 5:00 pm), where it took drivers an additional 1 minute and 33 seconds to move through the street.
To put the popularity of Better Naito into perspective, PBOT counts showed that bicycle users accounted for nearly one-third (31%) of the total northbound traffic volume in the PM peak.
Here are a few other charts from the report:
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