Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 16th, 2018 at 2:21 pm
There’s more good news for inner northeast Portland bikeways: In addition to the new Sullivan’s Crossing Bridge over I-84 and a (potentially) revolutionary new neighborhood greenway on NE 7th, the Bureau of Transportation is planning to update and enhance the bikeway on Tillamook.
Tillamook is one of Portland’s legacy greenways, first established in the 2000s when they were called bicycle boulevards. This key east-west bike route that connects north Portland and the Lloyd to the Hollywood district was one of six greenways identified in the City’s 2015 Neighborhood Greenways Assessment report because it failed to meet national standards for auto volumes. For being such a key part of the bike network, Tillamook’s meager accommodations include only sharrows and a few signs.
To help reduce auto use, lower driving speeds, and improve safety for walkers and bikers, PBOT has a host of minor changes planned. Among them are new crosswalks and other pavement markings, signage, flipping stop signs in favor of the greenway, removal of auto parking at some intersections, speed bumps, and more. The $150,000 project (which includes non infrastructure costs like planning) will improve a 1.5 mile section of the street from Flint to 28th.
When it comes to diverting auto users to other streets, PBOT is eyeing the intersection of Tillamook and Williams and/or Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. In this section, current analysis shows there are about 1,200-1,450 drivers per day — well above the City’s safety threshold of 1,000.
Notable in the initial design proposal is the removal of auto parking near the corners of 21st. This is an example of “intersection daylighting” that activists have been clamoring for for years. PBOT refers to it as “safety parking removal” in project documents. Oregon law currently prohibits parking within 20 feet of an intersection but the law is rarely enforced. In addition to the auto parking prohibition, PBOT wants to add median islands, crossbikes and crosswalks, and a speed bump in the middle of the intersection.
Another element of this project worth watching is the fate of the little traffic circle at the off-set intersection of Tillamook and 7th. On the project website, PBOT says whether or not to keep the circle in place will be decided this fall as part of the Lloyd to Woodlawn project. During this month’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting last week, PBOT Project Manager Nick Falbo made it seem like it would probably be removed. “I think that traffic circle has got to go… It just doesn’t work well,” he said.
PBOT expects to build this project in Spring of next year. To learn more, and talk to project staff, attend the open house set for August 1st at 5:30 pm.
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