Several sections of the I-205 path will be updated by the Oregon Department of Transportation this year.
As part of a larger I-205 widening and repaving project ODOT plans to make upgrades to the adjacent multi-use path in Maywood Park, at NE Glisan, and at the SE Stark/Washington crossing. They will also stripe new bike lanes and crossings on the SE Johnson Creek Blvd overpass.
Here are the details…
Maywood Park repaving
The path in this location has several bumps and cracks due to tree roots which ODOT says are a “safety concern”. With $645,000 allocated for the project, ODOT says they’ll also upgrade curb ramps to make them more easily accessible for people with disabilities, add new signage (including the all-important “no motorized vehicles”), and install center-line striping. The need for striping might be related to this section being slightly downhill in the northbound direction which often leads to high speeds and increases a risk of collisions.
ODOT Region 1 Transit and Active Transportation Liaison Jessica Horning tells us the project was funded via a small, one-time program in the 2016-2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Interestingly, last summer we heard from reader Ken S. that he suffered severe injuries while riding on this section of the path. He was biking southbound at the sharp, blind curve in the path at NE 96th and Mason (right where that tree is in the photo above) while two people riding abreast were coming the opposite direction. Ken said the nearby residents who responded keep a first-aid kit on-hand because collisions are so common at this location. ODOT says this current project will only address repaving and ADA ramps and that the alignment of the path won’t change.
It’s also worth noting that this section of the path is one of the main access points for the increasingly popular Gateway Green Bike Park, which doesn’t have a car parking lot or any direct automobile access.
Construction on this project is set to start in fall 2018 and should take a few months. Impacts to trail use will only last two weeks and there will be detours in place. ODOT is hosting an open house tomorrow (3/21) at Mt. Hood Community College (10100 NE Prescott Street, Room #144) where you can ask questions and learn more about what’s in store.
NE Glisan Intersection
Everyone who has ridden the northern I-205 path remembers crossing Glisan. It’s absolutely terrible. We are very happy to hear that ODOT is finally doing something about this.
The path at this location dumps people right onto a very busy arterial crosswalk. That’s bad enough. What makes it even worse is that automobile users constantly bully everyone else by encroaching into the crosswalks in their selfish haste to get on or off the two I-205 freeway ramps. And because this is such a car-centric place, the roads are usually full of debris, potholes, and cracks.
Not surprisingly, ODOT’s Horning says the changes that are coming have been, “informed by the crash history at that location”.
The changes will include: ADA-compliant curb ramps and upgraded beg buttons; a realignment of the crosswalks; widening the path/sidewalks on both sides of Glisan to 12-feet; and improving the visibility of the path by adding new LED lights, reflectors and signage. To encourage a base level of civility in drivers, ODOT will add special stop signs that aim to prevent right turns across the path (see image).
Unfortunately this project will result in the closure of the path between the Gateway Transit Center and Glisan for about 28 days during construction. A detour will be signed to guide path users to NE 99th.
SE Stark and Washington
Another bad crossing exists where the path meets up with Stark and Washington. Path users must cross two large arterials via unprotected crosswalks and a narrow sidewalk. ODOT appears to have just minimal upgrades planned at this location: they will widen the crosswalks to “allow for easier crossing for both pedestrians and bicycles.”
You can learn more about the Maywood Park project here and view a PDF fact sheet of the other projects here. Details on tomorrow’s open house are posted on the BikePortland Calendar.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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I regularly ride from Gateway Transit Center to 162nd, and I gave up on the 205 path. I would rather ride 102nd bike lane to Burnside. Too much broken glass and awkward crossings. Hope it improves things.
Has anyone been riding the 205 path somewhat regularly between the Glenn Jackson and Division? Any safety concerns from homeless camps? I’m thinking about using it as a commuting route in the summer but don’t really want to get jumped for my trailer or bike.
I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve ridden it for years and never had any kind of problem.
Thanks, that is helpful. I’ve ridden it a fair amount, but not in the last 2 or 3 years and wasn’t sure if things had changed.
Ride it all the time, haven’t had a single altercation on the path from homeless, that said, I am not naive and do carry a 4″ benchmade in my jersey pocket every single day. Oncoming two abreast riders are much more dangerous. That said, there is a ton of glass, so bring a tube.
There’s been a large camp with the usual piles of trash and tents blocking the path where it goes under Sandy Blvd. Occasionally it gets cleared out and quickly returns.
Yeah broken glass, stench of urine, and tents/garbage partially blocking the path. Just went through there today.
I only ride that section when I’m with a group.
Trash all over. Glass in the path. Wandering pedestrians, some of whom are friendly when I ask for room, some who aren’t.
Another multi-use transportation facility abandoned to scofflaws.
[Hi J_R: I don’t appreciate you insulting people who live on the path. We don’t know what their story is and I just think it’s mean to call them names. Please find other ways to express yourself. Thanks – Jonathan.]
I wouldn’t really call scofflaw an insult, it is a word that means someone who fails to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce. That just seems like an accurate description of what is going on where the 205 crosses sandy. I take the lane on sandy to avoid that stretch of the path.
The definition isn’t important to me. What I care about is the context and the impact of the word. This is a sensitive topic so we need to be careful with the words we choose. Thanks.
That particular location seems to suffer from people intentionally making it unusable for cycling by breaking glass on the path. Littering laws in a hard to access place like that underpass are basically impossible for police to enforce, and sweeping up the glass is seems ineffective as it appears that the glass is being broken with the intent of stopping people from using the path to bike. The camping is one thing, and call those who are breaking glass/littering what you will, but this is beyond just camping, and much more similar to someone dumping tacks in the bike path. There is a garbage can at the south edge of the transit center so all the littering/broken glass is completely avoidable.
The homeless are one of the most impeding aspects about cycling in Portland.
Cyclists are impacted most by them as they congregate on the paths.
It is ruining the city.
I have no idea what you think you are defending these days….
The problem in this city (and the west coast) is a serious and mental issue problem.
Until the “leaders” get serious, it will not get better.
You are an enabler….
Agreed 100%. We are getting absolutely nowhere with the status quo. I made the mistake of taking my daughter on the Springwater for what I *thought* would be a nice little ride. We instead encountered a sea of trash in some places and at one point a guy who looked like Charles Manson stumbling around with a hatched in his hand. My daughter was terrified and we’ll never go back there to ride. A real win for cycling huh?
I meant “hatchet”…my dumb typo.
I ran across a guy downtown with a baseball bat strapped to his back and dressed like the black bloc. In the middle of the day…
I am really looking forward to these changes. This is definitely the worst stretch of the 205 path.
just re-doing some curbs and adding signage at Glisan is a joke..
I avoid this intersection at all cost and just detour to 99th in that area..
as Hilly as the 205 path is already why not put a fly over/under for this street..?
and can they start sweeping these bike lanes more frequently, glass and metal shards everywhere..I don’t ride out Burnside anymore due to all the tires puncturing glass from I205 to 181st
Project managers on this should replace the new-fangled crossing buttons (mounted on the wrong side of the pole) with traditional buttons that do not require stepping outside of your path of travel to activate.
Improving the route to/from the airport at the south end of the Glen Jackson bridge, including signage to/from the Airport Way bike path to the terminal, would be helpful. Northbound traffic should be advised that this is the last exit off the I-205 path before the bridge. The crossings at Sandy, Gilsan, and Stark/Washington are also adjacent to busy freeway interchanges, and all of them need safety improvements, especially for right turns by cars onto the northbound freeway. (Sandy is especially bad during rush hour in this regard.) Glisan needs slower speed limits and enforcement between 102 Av. and I-205. Eastbound traffic on Glisan often tries to beat the stoplight at the northbound freeway onramp. These crosswalks could be brick surface, a la the downtown transit mall, with yellow borders, not white, for increased visibility. The trail could also use better guide signage, too.
Agreed… the headline got me excited but the changes at Glisan are pathetic. It is absolutely horrible. I cannot think of a worse crossing for a bike path.
I ride this stretch all the time. The improvements I’d like to see are:
• An ADA ramp at the north end of NW Maywood place. That would let me ride downhill on the street and easily access the bike path just before Prescott. Due to bumps, curves and traffic, I’d rather ride the street in that stretch.
•Better access from the Gateway transit center to the bike path. Someone (TriMet?) put up a fence between the transit center and the bike path. Going south bikers now have to come within a couple feet of the tracks to access the path.
•Better policing of the path between Burnside and Stark. There’s wall between the path and the freeway, and that section is always full of detritus, often dark at night, and has become popular with the homeless. I’ve seen plenty of needles and needle activity while riding that stretch.
•Some sort of solution to avoid right-hooks going south at Stark. Cyclists come out from behind the wall, and cars are flying up the offramp next to them. If the light is green, cars will make a quick right turn without looking for bikes.
•Have crosswalk walk/don’t walk signs coordinate with the signals at Stark and Washington. Those signs only seem to change when the button is pressed, so when going north, for instance, it’s possible to cross Washington with a green light, and arrive at Stark, where traffic seems to have a green (the light can’t be seen by cyclists going north since the adjacent street is one-way south). Cyclists either have to stop, press the button and get a walk light in the next cycle, or cross their fingers that the light won’t change as they cross Stark. If the walk/don’t walk signs coordinated (or counted down) with the light, then cyclists could know if it were safe to cross without stopping.
Technically the Glisan crossing is PBOT, who apparently have a plan AND funding to properly fix the crossing, but still no will to do it, political or otherwise. So it’s nice to see ODOT step up and do a few fixes, even if they are just cosmetic; perhaps to guilt-trip PBOT into doing their part? Whatever works.
The improvements on Glisan are being funded primarily with PBOT Fixing our Streets funds and some ODOT Ped/Bike funds. The graphic does not make it super clear, but the sidewalk/path will also be widened to 12 feet on both sides of Glisan. The path widening, in combination with the wider and relocated curb ramp, will create a shorter crossing and provide a larger and more visible space for people using the path to wait for the signal to cross. The “Right Turns Stop for Peds/Bikes” sign will also be a dynamic LED sign that turns on after the pedestrian crossing button is pushed (similar to the dynamic sign for the bike lane at NE Grand/Couch) so that we can hopefully get better attention/compliance from drivers making the right turn from the ramp across the path crossing. These are the type of improvements we can make in the short term without triggering much larger more expensive changes to the structures over/around the MAX tracks and freeway interchange. As someone who uses the I-205 Path a lot, I think they will be very helpful.
There is more info on the improvements we’re making available here: http://i205construction.org/files/glennjacksontojohnsoncreek/library/bike-ped-fact-sheet-201712.pdf?0e3a931ae8
And if you have questions/concerns about the I-205 Path or any other ODOT facilities (anything from maintenance issues to requests for new crossings/sidewalks), please contact AskODOT at 1-888-Ask-ODOT or https://highway.odot.state.or.us/cf/comments/comments.cfm
We aren’t able to fix/fund everything, but this is how a lot of issues get on the agency’s radar.
Translation by someone who is politically able to do so:
“We aren’t able to fix/fund everything”
State legislators, the Governor, and the political appointees at ODOT keep bike/ped funding extremely low while pushing very expensive freeway widening. If you want more than a tiny percentage of the giant amount of bike/ped problems with our state transportation system fixed, get involved with state politics. Talking to your local representative and senator, or looking into their votes/policies, finding out that they’re an unredeemable, and voting them out, are the logical things for most people to do.
“but this is how a lot of issues get on the agency’s radar.”
If your issue is easy and cheap to fix, this is a good way to go. If it’s not easy and cheap, you’ll just get frustrated that no one appears to be working on the thing you reported. They looked at it, they just saw that it cost money and said, “Well, THAT’s probably not happening anytime soon, but we’ll throw it on the ever-lengthening list!”
Not saying you’re being two-faced Jessica; what you said is entirely true and entirely appropriate for your role. Just giving the broader context for folks who aren’t familiar with ODOT in the context of bike and pedestrian issues.
Jessica, on Glisan there is a large center-turn gore in the middle of the street that cannot have traffic on it, the traffic pattern simply doesn’t allow it. Why is this very large area, which the crosswalk crosses, not have an island on it? It would increase bike and pedestrian safety by reducing crossing distances and slow traffic in the area. Couldn’t ODOT or PBOT put in parking curbs or the mountable barriers called for in the outer Powell protected bike lane, along the lines where the double-yellow lines currently are? Maybe even add a planter or two?
We looked into adding a raised concrete center island there, but unfortunately when large trucks need to turn right from the freeway ramp onto Glisan they need to pull all the way out into that center lane in order to not run over the curb ramps and path with their trailers. (I could email you a picture of the turning template if you’re really interested, but am not sure how to share a graphic in the comments section.) So anything you put in that center island area would need to be something that can get run over by a truck somewhat regularly (not a planter or curb stop). I can’t really think of a separator product we have available right now that would stand up to that and wouldn’t need to be replaced fairly regularly.
Come to think of it, I’ve seen that happen. The turns often extend even into the traffic on the other side, who end up backing up or turning out of the way, as if a fire engine was coming through. Given that, why not add a ped island further east, just west of NE 97th?
I second this. These types of crossings should all have islands built.. 50 years ago.
Seems to me that the yellow thermoplastic at a spot where bicycles will be makinh a 90° turn onto or off of the path via the crosswalks is a rscipe for disaster when the pads are wet, which is highly likely 40% of the time here. Add the oils and chemicals combustion will deposit in the area, double jeporady. I know they are an ADA requirement, but not sure that it will be a good situation.
The 205 path is on my bike commute, and the Glisan St improvement seems hardly better. Without banning right turn on reds, or making the path for bikes significantly larger this will continue to be a difficult section to navigate. When headed southbound, it is impossible to cross the street on bike and make the 90 degree turn on the narrow sidewalk while staying mounted on my bike. If there are multiple bikes crossing at once it is impossible to fit on the path and I take the lane instead. Has the project manager every ridden this stretch before? I’d need a couple more feet of sidewalk pavement separating me from the constant stream of turning cars to make waiting at this intersection remotely comfortable.
any plans to pick up all the homeless garbage currently clogging up the path in that location?
Nice to see ODOT making some improvements. It sure would be nice if they would fill in the missing gap of the 205 path down in Clackamas county.
I just rode it again last night. So slow. Yeah 102nd bike lane is faster. Almost crashed into some dudes smoking a bowl too. It’s a nice idea but…
So glad the NE Glisan intersection is getting some attention! It’s always scary, and that’s where my husband fell and broke his elbow a couple years back.
My own preference would be to re-align the bike path to go under Glisan and up a new ramp to connect to the Burnside viaduct, but I’m sure that’s far beyond anyone’s budget.
Or a bike bridge over Glisan might work. But also far outside anyone’s budget.
Just rode through here today. Not too impressed. Somehow I thought more was being done. I ride south on the path to Glisan. Then cross the on ramp headed west. There are new curb ramps, but the traffic signal hasn’t been changed. The west-bound/right-turning on-ramp traffic got a green light right when I got the walk signal. A few second head start would be a lot safer.
A group of five of us came upon the I-205 Path Glisan crossing last night going South and were surprised to find the Walk signal gone and crosswalk button disabled. Didn’t see any signage beforehand. We figured a way across further East on the sidewalk, but this could be hazardous if someone still tries to cross at the path as it’s completely torn out on the South side. ODOT should put up barricades so people don’t encounter this unexpectedly. Here’s the detour I imagine they already have planned but have not yet implemented:
Back again. Still not impressed with the changes at Glisan. It seems there’s a new north-south crossing signal that’s not quite running yet. Cars turning right/north onto the highway barely even slow down. I pressed the “upgraded beg button” but all that did was give me a walk signal at the same time the light turned green and three cars sped right past me in the crosswalk. There are currently a bunch of orange bollards there along the way-too-big-of-a-radius corner. Those seem to be doing more good than anything else.