When we shared the news of improvements coming to the NE Marine Drive last month, many of you were disappointed that nothing was being done on the section between I-5 and 33rd Avenue.
A commenter named Kristin shared that, “Though there’s a ‘bike lane’ through that section, it’s crazily overgrown and very narrow in spots, making the fast truck traffic even scarier.”
We’re happy to report that as of Tuesday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has lowered the speed limit in this two-mile stretch from 40 to 35 mph. And lest you think it won’t matter because of a lack of enforcement, recall that PBOT also has an active speed camera near 33rd. According to a statement this week, the camera will issue warning for two weeks to give people a chance to adjust to the lower speed limit and citations will resume October 10th.
The camera is going to be very busy given that PBOT’s latest traffic study found that around 1,000 people per day drive at least 50 mph or over at this location.
“The gnarliest gap of them all.”
— Jim Sjulin, 40-Mile Loop advocate
Lowering the speed limit is one way PBOT is trying to get a grip on the dangerous driving that has plagued Marine Drive for years. In the five year period between 2012 and 2016 there were over two crashes reported on Marine Drive every month.
While these anti-speeding measures will help, this section of Marine Drive needs much more aggressive interventions. Given that it’s part of the 40-Mile Loop and that it connects to north and northeast Portland neighborhoods and existing destinations like the Columbia Slough path, Delta Park, and Vancouver — we’ve must get this fixed as soon as possible.
Advocate with the 40-Mile Loop, Jim Sjulin (whom we mentioned last month), said the one-mile section between the Bridgeton neighborhood and 33rd is, “The gnarliest gap of them all.”
East of Bridgeton, Sjulin is pushing for a complete re-build of Marine Drive and a new multi-use path across Port of Portland property on the south side of the road that would connect to the existing off-street path at 33rd (behind the boat shop).
Marine Drive is a vital connection to the river and key piece of our active transportation network. It’s nice to see PBOT address its safety problems and we look forward to much more being done in the future.
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