The Portland Bureau of Transportation will begin work next week on what they’re (smartly) calling an “update” to Northeast Glisan Street east of I-205 to the city limits.
The project will take a variety of steps to improve safety. PBOT will reconfigure lanes to encourage safer speeds, add medians and flashing beacons to make it easier to cross on foot, add bike lanes, and more.
PBOT crash data puts NE Glisan in the top ten of the most dangerous streets in the city. “Highway-style streets like NE Glisan Street divide neighborhoods and make it nerve-wracking for kids to walk or bike to school or families to walk to parks or the store,” states the project website. “Long stretches of road between signals mean people drive too fast, making it unsafe, and sometimes deadly, to cross the street.”
This section of Glisan currently allows drivers to use all seven lanes of the roadway — including five for driving and two for parking. The project will reduce that number and create several zones where drivers will go from having two lanes (in each direction) to one. Instead of reducing lanes for drivers along the entire corridor, PBOT has come up with a less controversial idea: “narrow road, wide nodes”. There will be one lane for through driving (in addition to a center turn lane) in three sections, but it will go back to two lanes at major intersections of NE 102nd and 122nd.
Here’s how PBOT explains this new approach:
“Major intersections will continue to have multiple driving lanes in each direction. For example, this image (above) shows what NE Glisan Street will look like going west at NE 125th Avenue approaching the major intersection at NE 122nd Avenue. This “narrow road, “wide node” design minimizes delay for people driving while still improving safety between intersections. Bike lanes will continue through the intersections. This increases the overall people-moving capacity of the street.”
Bicycling-related updates will include a new signalized crossing at NE 128th (part of the 130s neighborhood greenway), a buffered (paint-only) bike lane eastbound and a parking-protected bike lane westbound between NE 102nd and 122nd, and parking protected bike lanes in both directions from 122nd to 162nd (city limits).
The project budget is $400,000 and funding came from a mix of federal highway funds (granted to the city by ODOT and Metro), and PBOT System Development Charges and Portland’s cannabis tax.
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