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Lombard bike lane project now includes key signal upgrade at Delaware


Current conditions at Lombard and North Curtis.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A project on North Lombard Street that aims to reduce driving access and the injuries and crashes that come with it, will now include upgrades to a key intersection.

As we reported back in March, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s $10 million Lombard Multimodal Safety Project will include a lane reconfiguration and buffered bike lanes.

ODOT announced today that the project scope will expand two blocks east to include North Delaware and Boston avenues. Delaware is a key north-south crossing of Lombard (U.S. Highway 30 Bypass) that’s used as part of the annual Sunday Parkways event because it connects Kenton and Arbor Lodge parks. Delaware is also on the route for Portland Village School. ODOT says a “pedestrian activated signal” is in the plans at Delaware.

The project now stretches 1.3 miles from Fiske to Boston — a stretch ODOT says average one crash every 11 days, with over half resulting in injury.

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This section of Lombard currently has six five lanes for driving and car access. There are two lanes in each direction and parking on both one side. The new configuration will be similar to what ODOT striped further west of here back in 2017. Instead of two lanes in each direction, there will be one lane and a center turn lane. Intersections will get a left-turn only lane and there will be a seven-foot wide bike lane (including a one-foot buffer stripe) for nearly the entire length of the project (minus one block on the western end). ODOT will also repave the street as part of this project.

Among the changes to the street will be significant parking removal along Lombard.

Here’s how ODOT describes some of the changes:

The project’s purpose is safety, not the flow of traffic… The center turn lane allows for dedicated left turn phases at traffic signals, which provide for safer left-turning movements. Studies show that adding a center turn lane typically reduces crashes by up to 29%. A three-lane cross section facilitates a safer crossing for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users. It also reduces the risk of a crash for drivers turning left on and off Lombard. While the traffic volumes on North Lombard meet the recommended thresholds for converting from a four-lane to a three-lane cross section, ODOT is conducting a detailed traffic analysis as part of this project to ensure that traffic continues to flow smoothly through the project area.

A final public open house is expected later this winter and construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.

Learn more at the official project page.

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

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