Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 31st, 2019 at 2:51 pm
At their meeting this week, Portland City Council accepted a $2.2 million grant from Metro that will allow the Bureau of Transportation to build the final, unfunded piece of 70s Bikeway. The seven mile project aims to create a family-friendly bicycling corridor just west of 82nd Avenue between SE Flavel (near Springwater Corridor) and NE Sacramento streets.
The one-mile section of the project that received funding this week is known as the Cully Walking and Biking Parkway, which will build a bikeway on 72nd Avenue through the heart of the Cully Neighborhood. Combined with local matching funds, the total cost of this project is estimated to be $5.6 million. Metro’s investment comes in the form of a federal pot known as regional flexible funds.
The Cully Walking and Biking Parkway was initially planned to be a 10-foot wide sidewalk and 12-foot wide, two-way bike path built on the existing Roseway Parkway — a wide, grass-filled and tree-lined median between Sandy and Prescott. But that plan changed after PBOT felt it was too expensive and would encroach on park users. PBOT Communications Director John Brady said the agency reduced their funding request from $3 million to $2.2 million, “In order to have more funding available for a Safe Routes to School project in Brentwood-Darlington.” He also said, “The path through the parkway was one of the more expensive elements of the project. In addition, we heard from the community that they used the space as a gathering place.”
Instead of a separated walkway and bike path, bicycle users will share the road with auto users between Sandy and Prescott and the street will receive typical neighborhood greenway features like sharrow markings, speed bumps, signage, and new crossing treatments. North of the parkway, the project will come with physically separated paths for bikers and walkers on the west side of 72nd between Prescott and Sumner and a “shared multi-use path” from Sumner to Killingsworth. North of Prescott, the project will also include new street lights, street trees, and other placemaking elements.
Cully — a neighborhood with the most diverse census tract in the state of Oregon and bordered by Columbia Blvd, 82nd Ave, 42nd, and Prescott — and is slated for a host of investments in the coming years. The area has been saddled with inadequate transportation infrastructure since it was incorporated into Portland in 1985. It has bad connectivity and only 34% of streets have sidewalks. In addition to safety benefits, this project will give Cully residents direct access to the Columbia Corridor industrial area which has one of the highest concentrations of blue-collar, living-wage jobs in the region.
PBOT is currently in the project development phase and hopes to have final plans for the project completed by February 2021. Construction is expected to begin later that year. Stay tuned for opportunities to weigh in on design details.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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