Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

With goal of less driving, Portland unveils 20 ‘Northwest in Motion’ projects

Posted by on November 29th, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Old, exposed rails on NW 15th Avenue are just one of many barriers to biking in northwest PBOT wants to remove.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has released a list of 20 projects they’d like to build in northwest Portland and now it’s your turn to visit the online open house and give them feedback.

The list emerged from PBOT’s Northwest in Motion (NWIM) planning process that we first profiled back in May. The 20 projects include 10 neighborhood greenways, seven “corridor safety” projects, and three transit line improvements (view interactive project map below the jump). Similar to their approach with Central City in Motion (which passed City Council earlier this month) and Southwest in Motion (which has an open house tonight), PBOT says the aim of this process is to identify and develop projects they can fund and build in the next five years.

Below are two PBOT maps. The first one shows existing and funded bikeways in the NWIM project area. The second one shows all the proposed NWIM projects (“CS” is corridor safety, “TI” is transit improvement, and “NG” is neighborhood greenway):

Once the project list is finalized, it will be easier for PBOT to funnel parking revenue and other funding sources to them.

In addition to the project list, PBOT is also using this opportunity to change the roadway classification of some streets. Classifications are important planning designations that often dictate what types of treatments PBOT can use. PBOT has three main cycling designations that make up what they call a “functional hierarchy of bikeway routes”: Local Service Bikeways (for circulation within a neighborhood), City Bikeways (principal routes), and Major City Bikeways (the “backbone” of our bike network).


*Interactive map of NWIM projects.

In NWIM, PBOT is proposing to downgrade Overton, Thurman and Raleigh from City Bikeways to Local Service Bikeways. This change would come with a promise to upgrade Savier and Pettygrove into modern neighborhood greenways. On NW Savier for instance, the proposal is to add speed bumps and sharrows, turn stop signs, and install bikeway signage between 14th to 29th. Other updates include addition of auto traffic diverters, removal of old railroad rails in the pavement on NW 15th, and other changes. Once implemented, PBOT would remove sharrows on Raleigh which is one block south. A similar swap of upgrades and subsequent removal of sharrows would happen on Pettygrove and Overton.

Another key project would be an update to NW Johnson, a crucial east-west connection through this part of the city. PBOT wants to add all the greenway trimmings to Johnson between 9th and 24th and repave the bumpy spots.

A completely new neighborhood greenway is proposed for NW 22nd. It would create a bike street between NW Savier and SW Salmon that would include a safe crossing of Burnside via SW King Ave.

As we discovered during our NW Portland Week, given its density and street grid NW Portland has vast potential for biking. Currently just eight percent of residents ride to work and 44 percent drive alone — despite the fact that PBOT estimates show 37 percent of all auto trips in northwest are less than three miles.

If you live, work, or play in this area, please visit the online open house and help PBOT prioritize investments and make these projects better. The open house will be available through December 13th.

The project list is expected to be finalized by early 2019 and an investment strategy should be passed by city council by this coming spring.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
15 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
mark smithsorenMantraPDXGlowBoydan Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alan Love
Alan Love

Interesting that Thurman would be downgraded. Surely no one would ever want to ride a bike to Forest Park, right?


None of the projects include protected bike lanes. Everett/Glisan, 18th/19th. Without physical separation, Portland will continue to stagnate.


I was wondering why several stop signs showed up on Overton this week and this helped me understand why. Looks like they’re planning to move the greenway to Pettygrove at some point. Probably a good idea since Overton today is a sorry excuse for a greenway.

Wish they could have waited until Pettygrove construction was under way before mucking up Overton though.


Lowering traffic volumes would make NW much easier to ride in. I don’t have any numbers, just casual observations, but the destination dining and retail in the area bring in a lot of folks from all over the metro area, most arriving by car. Maybe the city could up the meter rates a bit. Good Sam will always be a traffic generator, both from patients and staff.


What does “turn stop signs” mean?


“…modern neighborhood greenways.”
International standards, I hope.