The Bureau of Transportation has issued a major update to the plans for a project that will add a protected lane for vulnerable road users on a one-mile section of SW Capitol Highway between Multnomah Village and Barbur Blvd.
A big change since the project was first announced two years ago is that the new 60% plans have removed the “green street” planter strips from the corridor. According to a statement from PBOT earlier this month, this decision, “allows for more separation between people walking and biking on the east (downhill) side of the roadway, and reduced grading impacts on the west side.”
The current cross-section calls for a 12-foot wide multi-use path in the southbound (uphill) direction split between a four-foot lane for walking, a five-foot travel lane and a three furnishing zone. In the northbound direction there will be an 18-foot wide, grade-separated path split between a six-foot wide sidewalk, a three-foot planting zone, a six-foot lane for vehicles, and a three-foot furnishing zone. The center of the cross-section will feature two, 12-foot wide travel lanes.
These new plans also give us our first detailed look at how the street will look from a cycling perspective. Northbound, the lane will be constructed out of a black material to help differentiate it from the adjacent sidewalk. At each intersection, PBOT will install green-colored crossbike markings. In the southbound lanes the path will have markings on the concrete to keep people aware of where they should walk and roll. Cycling speeds will be much slower southbound due to it being uphill.
While this progress is welcome news, the project continues to move slowly (two years of planning and we’re still just at 60% design?!). This is the highest priority transportation project for southwest neighborhood advocates and they’ve been pushing for it since 1996.
Despite the design taking longer than anticipated (the city should get some slack here, given that streets in southwest have extraordinary stormwater management issues), PBOT says construction is still on track to begin next year and be done by 2020.
Learn more about this project at the official website.
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