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PBOT proposes more robust median at N Rosa Parks and Villard

PBOT wants to know if you prefer a beefier median at Villard.

As paving machines and bulldozers rumble and beep along North Rosa Parks Way today as part of a repaving project that started a few weeks ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is considering a last-minute change to the project they say provides even more protection for people walking and bicycling.

At issue is the crossing of Rosa Parks at Villard, a street between Willamette Blvd and Greeley Ave. Currently there’s no marked crossing at Villard. That leaves just over 1,100 feet of this neighborhood collector street without a clear and safe place to cross.

Back in March we shared PBOT’s initial design proposal which included two zebra-striped crosswalks and median islands in the middle of the street. As a partial median, the design would do nothing to limit driving movements. Now PBOT says they have the “opportunity” to upgrade this design further by making it a full median diverter that would prohibit some turns for auto users while still allowing bicycle riders to get through.

Here’s the existing view:

The initial design:


And once again, only larger now, the new proposal:

Earlier this week PBOT Project Manager Scott Cohen sent out an email with this proposal. We’re not sure what spurred it (I assume it was a request from the neighborhood); but here’s what Cohen wrote:

“The preferred design includes a full concrete median island in the center turn lane. The design provide increased protection for people walking and bicycling across N Rosa Parks and N Villard. The design provides more space for people walking and bicycling to wait for traffic to clear the lane to proceed across the street. A full median island will require auto traffic to only turn right both in and out of N Villard at the intersection of N Rosa Parks.

The initial design includes smaller refuge areas for people walking across N Rosa Parks. There is no designated space for people bicycling across N Villard to wait for traffic to clear a lane on Rosa Parks before crossing. The design allows full turning movements for all modes of traffic at the intersection of N Villard and N Rosa Parks, but provides less protection for people walking and bicycling.”

PBOT is urging everyone to contact Cohen with feedback and comments about the new design. He can be reached via email at or by phone at (503) 823-5345.

The new design provides more protection for people walking and bicycling across N Rosa Parks at N Villard. With this design, automobile traffic can only turn right into and out of N Villard. Please contact the project manager to provide comments about the new proposed design.

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

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