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Elevated Green Loop path emerges from latest Broadway Corridor plans

Posted by on May 22nd, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Rendering of Green Loop path through Broadway Corridor site. Broadway Bridge in upper right.
(ZGF Architects)

The flyover lives.

New renderings and details for the Green Loop through the Broadway Corridor project site have been made available by architects working on the project. They include our most detailed view yet of how the path will navigate from the Parks Blocks, through the site, and up to the 30-foot high junction at NW Lovejoy and the Broadway Bridge.

After a general planning concept was adopted earlier this month, ZGF Architects has just submitted drawings for the site to the City Auditor’s Office in advance of a Design Commissioner meeting set for June 6th. ZGF has been working on the site plan with Portland’s development agency, Prosper Portland, since 2015.

The Green Loop — a project to create a carfree pathway around the central city — figures into this project because the alignment of the path goes right through it. The drawings released today offer us brand new details about how the Green Loop will be designed through the Broadway Corridor site — including an 83-foot long bridge that would go over NW Johnson Street.

Here’s a description from ZGF:

“The Green Loop will approach the USPS site from the south along the North Park Blocks, gradually climbing at the north end of the central open space to a bridge crossing of Johnson Street. North of Johnson, the Green Loop continues as an elevated bridge to the intersection of the Lovejoy and Broadway Bridge ramps. The ramp will be integrated with landscape and an active retail facility, providing a significant placemaking opportunity.”

The drawing below shows elevation (in pink) and dimensions (in black):

The green-and-pink striped lines are “bicycle and pedestrian access ways” which will help people access the Green Loop from surface streets:

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ZGF shared these images as examples of the design of the path and adjacent landscape:

In the “Bicycle Circulation” drawing below, note the NW Johnson neighborhood greenway and how the Green Loop connects directly to North Park Blocks:

The sketch below shows a view looking north at the future site. Note how the ramp would take you from NW 9th, through the site and onto the bridge:

Here’s what ZGF added to give context to the drawing above:

“The preferred concept brings the existing two-way Park Avenue north from Hoyt Street to Johnson Street, helping to connect the North Park Blocks to the Johnson Street Neighborhood Greenway… The street will have active ground floors of buildings at its western edge, with a pedestrian focused woonerf street serving one lane in each direction. At the east edge of the street, the Green Loop will transition from Park Avenue to the Park Block, where it will climb north and up over Johnson Street on a landscaped switchback ramp. The adjacent park block is intended to be open and flexible, to accommodate a wide range of programmed and informal community gathering and recreation.”

Prosper Portland expects the first phase of development for this site (which will be housing, with retail in phase two) to begin in 2021. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is currently doing a transportation impact study on the site which we hope to share once it’s ready.

To download the full ZGF presentation, click here.

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

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andy
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andy

Wow. ZGF seems really committed to making cycling to and from N/NE Portland as difficult as possible. Is there anything less efficient on a major multimodal pathway than a series of switchbacks? Back to the drawing board, ZGF.

I'll Show Up
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I'll Show Up

I bet those ramps have something to do with keeping it from being too steep. Bicycle riders will not be the only people on that structure. Some will have wheelchairs and such. Just sayin’

Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

Inlet Park does not look like a great bike facility, and probably isn’t a design we should be striving towards.

Allan Rudwick
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They should include a giant ramp that starts far enough south that no switchbacks are needed. Obviously. Anything else is ridiculous and should be dismissed out of hand. Design the other elements around that need.

Mark smith
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Mark smith

The only firm that should be designing this is one from a bike friendly country in Europe. Anyone here is simply reinventing the wheel from their own car biased brain.

Cory Poole
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Cory Poole

If they make the turnouts much bigger than pictured I think it could work. It might even be fun. If it looks anything like the plan view or the example photos it will be a disaster. Could you imagine a pod of 30 cyclists going through those? How about someone with a bakfiet or tandam?

matchupancakes
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matchupancakes

maccoinnich
I wouldn’t say this is obvious. The further south the ramp starts the less time the green loop spends in the Park Blocks. It also makes connections to the NW Johnson greenway trickier.

Clarification is needed around the NW Johnson connection here. Johnson travels underneath the bridge at the end of the ramps and switchbacks proposed here. It is not a direct connection. If built as proposed, it will connect via NW Park Ave and the North Park Blocks on the southern approach. From Johnson greenway, a person using a bike could turn onto what would be an extension of Park Ave and she would then turn left at Irving to begin the climb onto the switchbacks. That raises questions.

Is the Park Ave build out within the existing USPS site a park multiuse path or is it a public roadway? The first image implies a roadway with curb extensions and on street parking (perhaps cafe seating and bike corrals). If a roadway, will it be restricted to cars?

Nathan
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Nathan

Can we just Highline this beast! Totally cap PNCA’s parking lot, give them some covered parking for free, do some wiggles(instead of total switchbacks and make a landing for the north/south path on the actual park blocks south of glisan. Heck lets keep part of the elevated path going and get it past Burnside. From there make Park Ave a bike/pedestrian only allows some truck loading/unloading capabilities utilizing telescoping bollards for the stretch between Burnside and Salmon. That would be a visionary change that still allows for major arterials like burnside to function for motorized traffic.

Carter Kennedy
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Carter Kennedy

The people who designed those switchbacks must not be bike riders. They are awkward and difficult to ride. The only advantage they have besides saving space is that they limit the speed of downhill riders, which is good for a mixed-user ramp like this one.

Make a longer ramp with gentle curves. Surely an imaginative architect can come up with a graceful, usable design integrated with the rest of the development.

Douglas K
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Douglas K

I attended the Broadway Corridor open house this evening, and complained about the switchbacks. The woman I spoke to said the switchbacks gain about 16 feet of height. In my comments, I suggested putting in either a circular playground or a small amphitheater, and having the path loop around it as it climbed. It would be much easier to handle than the switchback concept, and might be a better use of park space.