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$5.6 million 72nd Ave project – sans parkway path – will move forward with Metro funds

Posted by on October 31st, 2019 at 2:51 pm

This section of NE 72nd Ave will be rebuilt with sidewalks, street trees, and physically protected bikeways.

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 parkway along NE 72nd was slated for a sidewalk and bike path before the plan was scuttled.

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.”

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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 jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Deepak SaxenaAndrew KrepsBobcycleToadslickBjorn Recent comment authors
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Bjorn
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Bjorn

It is a bummer that the path through the parkway is being lost as riding up 72nd from Prescott towards Sandy is often a very stressful experience because so many drivers use it as a cut through and there is not room for them to safely pass cyclists. It won’t be a part of this project but in the future I would like to see PBOT either close access to 72nd South of prescott for automobiles with a diverter, or realign the intersection so that the 72nd lines up north and south of prescott prior to splitting. The current 5 road intersection design has a high collision rate and makes crossing the street as a pedestrian a frightening experience. Removing 1 or 2 of these roads from the intersection for motor vehicles would improve things significantly.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

This is pretty disappointing. This is one of the few locations where it would be relatively easy to build physically separated bike infrastructure, but instead we’re falling back on making people cycle in the traffic lane.

joe adamski
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joe adamski

I have used this route on my commute. The intersection of Sandy,Fremont and 72nd make a fearsome intersection. I do not see how to unsnarl that mess, safely

Meghan Keys
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Meghan Keys

I think it would be wise if the word “sidewalk” is removed from this article because from what I am reading they are not giving us sidewalks- we are once again getting a consolation prize of a paved shoulder.

From PBOTs website: https://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=5d724197181c49809c4abb5933fbcadf&entry=1

7. Cully Walking Biking Parkway

The goal of this project (still in the early development phase) is to provide a high-quality pedestrian and bicycle parkway along NE 72nd Ave through the heart of Cully. This project will connect Cully residents to nearby commercial areas and schools, provide multimodal accessibility to parks and green space in Cully and Roseway, and will connect to the future 70s Bikeway to the south.

The project would construct a neighborhood greenway with traffic calming and crossing improvements from Sandy to Prescott, physically separated pedestrian and bicycle pathways on the west side of 72nd from Prescott to Sumner, and a shared multi-use path on the west side of 72nd from Sumner to Killingsworth. The project will also include lighting, street trees, and place-making elements.

Alex
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Alex

Interesting that the Cully neighborhood association endorsed the path in the median in 2016:

http://www.cullyneighbors.org/improvements-to-ne-72nd-avenue/

I wonder which neighbors had opinions that superceded those of the neighbors that voted to support the median path?

PBOT will not get more people cycling if they keep requiring cyclists to constantly dodge cars.

Johnny Bye Carter
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Johnny Bye Carter

I’m glad they’re not cutting into the park for a MUP. There’s plenty of room on the street if you remove parking. The only houses I saw without private driveways were the two on the west side of the street closest to Sandy, so they could end the bike lane right before that.

They cut into the park at 72nd and Foster just to make it easier for drivers by aligning that intersection, but we lost a piece of the park and gained more cement. I don’t wish that on my northern 72nd Ave neighbors. Reign in the drivers, don’t make it easier to drive faster by cutting the corners off our parks.

GlowBoy
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GlowBoy

Putting in a pathway where a street runs alongside a park is not “encroaching on park users”. It is encouraging and accommodating park users, for crying out loud. Park agencies across the country have gotten away with omitting sidewalks, often when every other adjacent property owner is required to put them in, for far too many decades.

CaptainKarma
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CaptainKarma

Thanks for a clear map posting. I wish every project and incident report would have a map to help the continuing inflow of new citizens who want to ride but don’t know how all the pieces fit together. Cully has installed a series of wayfinding signs as well, so things are looking up.

Toadslick
Subscriber

As Jonathan so aptly wrote in the subscriber email: “incrementalism is failure.”

I live in Cully and regularly use 72nd to get to points south, but only because no better option exists. It’s stressful in both directions, but especially heading south, because the combination of uphill slope, single traffic lane, and infrequently-used parking lane.

The result is that, as a bicycle rider, you are constantly weaving in and out of the parking lane to let cars pass, or you risk being honked at or yelled at. That might work for a confident rider on a nimble bike, but it sucks when I’m hauling groceries. I sure as hell wouldn’t use it to bring a family to Cully Park.

Of course, like so many roads, there would be plenty of space for bike/scooter lanes if the free public parking for cars was removed.

Deepak Saxena
Guest
Deepak Saxena

I go by that park fairly regularly as I live only a few blocks away and I’ve never really seen people gather there en masse. Even do, there’d be plenty of space for people to do so if it were made narrower to make space for bike infrastructure.