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City wants to build a parking protected bike lane on Denver north of Lombard


(Graphic: PBOT)

North Denver Avenue could be the latest street in Portland to get a parking-protected bike lane.

The Kenton Neighborhood Association says the Portland Bureau of Transportation is shopping around that idea as part of a repaving project this summer. “Last Friday, PBOT went door-to-door between N Lombard and N Watts on N Denver,” stated a KNA blog post published March 13th, “and spoke with roughly 35 people at 20 addresses, finding most neighbors enthusiastic about the project.”

We’ve since confirmed that PBOT has set aside $938,000 from their local gas tax-funded Fixing Our Streets program to pave and make ADA upgrades on Denver Avenue from Lombard to Watts. As of late February the project was at 60 percent design. According to a document available on PBOT’s website, a “final decision related to parking removal remains and relates to public involvement.”

It’s likely that PBOT has found low utilization of the existing curbside lane used for on-street parking on these five blocks and they want to use the space more efficiently. They did a similar analysis on Willamette prior to installing a buffered bike lane on that street late last year. And in a project announced just last month the agency also cited low-parking utilization as rationale for restriping North Rosa Parks Way with a parking protected bikeway.

Parking protected bikeways already exist on NE Multnomah and SW Broadway near Portland State University, where the bike-only lane is curbside and auto parking spaces float in the street. The design would result in less space available for parking due to turning movements at intersections.

The parking-protected bike lane on SW Broadway adjacent PSU.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On a flyer for the project the agency writes, “PBOT is taking the opportunity to improve safety conditions by adding protected bike lanes, safer pedestrian crossings, and a better waiting area for bus riders… We hope this project will increase access to and through the Kenton neighborhood for people of all ages and abilities.”

This section of Denver Avenue sits between Kenton’s commercial main street that was significantly upgraded via the Portland Development Commission’s Denver Streetscape Plan in 2010. That project widened the sidewalks and bike lanes.

North Denver south of Watts.

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Denver south of Lombard.

Kenton loves bikes! They’ve got these cool pole banners and a great bike shop right off Denver.

At the southern end of this project is the intersection with Lombard that ranks third highest for crashes involving walkers on PBOT’s High Crash Intersection list.

Denver is also a key connector between neighborhood greenways as evidenced by its inclusion in a family-friendly route to Smith and Bybee Lakes and Kelley Point Park we shared in 2017.

North of Kenton’s downtown, Denver already has a protected path and buffered bike lanes that connect to the regional trail network thanks to a 2015 project by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

As for this current project, the KNA says PBOT is still finalizing their plans. PBOT’s schedule says plans should be completed by this month and construction is set to start in June.

This project will be on the agenda of a meeting tonight (3/22) of the North Portland Land Use Group (a coalition of neighborhood reps) at 7:00 pm at the Historic Kenton Firehouse. It will also be discussed at the April 11th KNA meeting which is also held at 7:00 pm at the Firehouse. Stay tuned for an open house once the design is finalized. If you have feedback or questions, contact PBOT staffers Michael Serritella Mike.Serritella [at] ortlandoregon.gov or Mychal Tetteh Mychal.Tetteh [at] portlandoregon.gov.

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

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