It’s time to help the Portland Bureau of Transportation make northwest neighborhoods as bike-friendly as possible.
PBOT has just opened an online open house and shared latest project concepts for their Northwest in Motion project. This is an effort to identify and prioritize about a dozen projects that aim to encourage biking, walking, and transit use in and around the Pearl District .
The online open house is presented in the form of an interactive map that features the design concepts for each project. You can click on a street to see the concept, then scroll down to tell PBOT if they’re on the right track (or not) and to share feedback.
We last shared the draft designs at the end of April and there appear to be several compromises made since then.
The NW Johnson neighborhood greenway is slated for updates, and the design at 15th (adjacent the REI store) has changed significantly since we last checked. The initial concept (shown below) was to eliminate eastbound driving space to make a two-way cycling-only lane:
Now the design shows only sharrows in both directions:
PBOT Project Manager Zef Wagner (via a comment below) said they heard some concerns from the community and business owners about driving access; but, “We changed it because we realized that to address the problem of both freeway traffic and east-west traffic, we didn’t really have to do a diverter on that block. Instead, we could solve the problem through alternating one-way streets (with contraflow bike lanes) between 11th and 12th, 13th and 14th, 15th and 16th, and 17th and 18th. This new design is simpler and easier to implement, with less impact on circulation, and is arguably a stronger approach to diversion than the previous concept.”
Wagner says the diagonal diverter was removed from the plans at the request of “bike advocates” who felt it wasn’t a good idea to move drivers from one neighborhood greenway to another. “As staff, we agreed with this assessment on further reflection. So instead, we are proposing diverters at 18th and 15th to achieve the same goal in a different way.”
As you can see, these designs are still not finalized. As PBOT cements their Tier 1 project list, it’s imperative they hear from people who want these streets to be as safe as possible for bicycle riders. Here’s that link to the online open house one more time. You have until June 30th to leave comments.
And if you just can’t get enough of northwest neighborhood transportation planning, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association’s Planning and Transportation Committee will host a presentation on the projects from PBOT at their meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, June 4th). It will be held at Pacific Northwest College of Art (511 NW Broadway, Room 237) from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. There’s also an open house tomorrow night for the related Broadway Corridor project (which we covered late last month).
If a Pedalpalooza ride is more your way of learning, join PBOT and friends for the NW In Motion Bike Ride tonight (6/3). It leaves from Lucky Lab NW (1945 NW Quimby) at 6:00 pm.
UPDATE and CORRECTION, 3:50 pm: This post initially said changes on Pettygrove and Johnson were made due to pushback from drivers and business owners. I’ve edited it to reflect comments from PBOT project manager that further explain the context for the changes. I regret any confusion.
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