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PBOT delays protected lane in Kenton, citing neighborhood concerns


Today on N Denver Avenue, bicycle riders use a standard-width, door-zone bike lane.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

A protected lane on the Kenton neighborhood’s main street was supposed to be built by now.

As of last March, with funds from the Fixing our Streets program, the Bureau of Transportation was set to (once again) leverage a scheduled repaving project to reconfigure lanes on N Denver Avenue. The plans called for switching the existing, door-zone bike lane to the curb and adding a buffer on Denver between North Lombard and Watts that would protect vulnerable road users from other traffic. Auto parking would be provided in the street, creating the same type of “parking-protected bike lane” that PBOT has recently installed on nearby Rosa Parks Way.

But PBOT now says the project has been delayed a year until summer 2019. Here’s more from an email they just sent:

“When PBOT repaves a roadway, we often leverage the opportunity to improve safety at the same time and review the lane configuration, bike facilities, and crossings. We initially proposed repaving N Denver Avenue this summer, including protected bike lanes, transit stops and crossing medians.

We have received positive support, but also some concerns about the design as proposed and are placing a temporary hold on this project to continue our outreach with the neighborhood to better understand concerns, community needs, and preferences related to this project. We now intend to deliver this project in the summer of 2019, with a design that reflects the additional public input.”

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Here’s the design PBOT was proposing as of April:

We haven’t gotten details about the nature of the concerns with that design. However, it appears that the debate has to do with what should go in the curbside lane: A VRU lane (for vulnerable road users, a term I’m trying out instead of “bike lane”) or a lane for parking. In a new online survey PBOT is asking for feedback on two options.

Option 1 is the original design with the VRU lane curbside and the parked cars in the street:

Option 2 would keep parked cars at the curb and add a buffer to the left the lane people bike in:

If you use Denver Ave and want to learn more about this project, the Kenton Neighborhood Association is hosting PBOT for a discussion about it next Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm at the Kenton Firehouse (8105 N Brandon Ave). And don’t forget to share your feedback via the online survey.

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

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