The City of Portland plans to get work started again this weekend on the North Rosa Parks Way project.
The repaving and lane reconfiguration project began in early May and was mostly complete by mid-July. But there are three sections of the two-mile long project that are unfinished: from Delaware to Interstate, from Williams to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, and the I-5 overpass (which is the State of Oregon’s responsibility). This situation means that road users must switch between the old (standard door-zone bike lane) and new (parking-protected bike lane) configuration.
As we reported back in June, PBOT left two sections untouched because the pavement was good enough to keep and they didn’t want to damage it with their standard method of grinding off the existing striping, so they hired a different contractor who uses a water-based method. Now they’re ready to go and PBOT says the work on those final two sections will begin (and will likely be completed) this weekend.
PBOT has also shared final design drawings for the project. The drawings reveal that the City’s proposal for a more robust crossing median at N Villard have been abandoned. In May we shared how PBOT wanted to build a more robust median island at Villard (a very popular traffic cut-through street) that would prevent people from driving north-south through the intersection. The City’s preferred design would have provided, “increased protection for people walking and bicycling,” according to the PBOT project manager. I’ve asked PBOT to explain why they don’t plan to move forward with the full median and will update this post when I hear back.
It also looks like PBOT will not pursue a floating bus island at the stop on the southwest corner of Albina and Rosa Parks Way as initially planned. Last we heard PBOT was working out kinks on the design with TriMet.
Meanwhile, ODOT’s I-5 overpass section is a mess. Not only has it lacked complete lane striping since the repaving was done in May; but now a separate project to rebuild curbs at the on-and-off ramps has created a work zone that forces bicycle riders into a shared lane environment. We’ve asked ODOT for an update and timeline and will share that information once we hear back.
A few other notes about how this project has changed the street:
– Driving speeds are way down now that people have one fewer lane to use and they have to pay attention to avoid hitting parked cars that are floating in the street (instead of hugging the curb).
– People are also doing a much better job parking in designated spots instead of the bike lane now that PBOT has completed the striping and signage work.
– Right turns off Rosa Parks are still a problem. Many people drive into the bike lane prior to the intersection, which is against the law. It’s a bike lane, not a turn lane! I’d like to see PBOT create stronger designs to prevent this behavior. A few more plastic wands or a cement curb would do the trick. PBOT might also consider a “BIKES ONLY” pavement marking.
Have you ridden the new bikeway on Rosa Parks? What do you think?
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