Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 13th, 2019 at 10:50 am
With an unprecedented number of projects in the pipeline, it’s hard to keep up with all the work being done by the Portland Bureau of Transportation these days.
In an effort to keep you updated, here’s the latest on several projects you might be wondering about.
NW in Motion (NWIM)
The public review draft of PBOT’s NW in Motion plan is ready for your feedback. NWIM is PBOT’s tool to organize and prioritize the projects and policies needed to make the northwest quadrant a nicer place to walk and bike. This part of town is undergoing massive change and it’s vital that we build a strong foundation to make sure that it transportation network can keep up.
PBOT will host an open house tomorrow (Thursday, 11/14 at Chown Hardware) where you’ll be able to view the plan and talk to PBOT staff about NWIM. The open house will also have info on several other NW projects including: the Flanders Bridge over I-405, the NW Flanders Bikeway (NW 1st Ave to NW 24th Ave), the Couch/Burnside/I-405 Improvements Project, and the Zone M Parking Permit Program.
NE 12th Avenue Overcrossing
Eight years ago PBOT hosted a sometimes thorny conversation around how to improve safety and operations of 12th Avenue where it goes across I-84. While we wait for the Blumenauer Bridge, 12th remains a crucial north-south bikeway connection between Lloyd and the central eastside.
In September 2011, a committee decided on a host of bikeway updates that just materialized last week. Here’s what PBOT shared with me last week about the changes:
We added a new ramp at the southern end of the westside sidewalk for easy bicycle access back to the roadway and a bike box where people bicycling can wait for the eastbound signal at NE Irving Street. We also installed a bike box with signal loop detection so people bicycling can continue east along the bike lanes on Irving. Eastbound cyclists on NE Lloyd Boulevard can use a ramp to get up on the sidewalk and continue southbound across the NE 12th Avenue bridge. We also installed a bike box on Lloyd at NE 11th Avenue so that people riding westbound on Lloyd Boulevard will be able to stay right in the bike box along the north side of Lloyd Boulevard and execute a two-stage turn onto the shared pathway on the NE 12th Avenue overcrossing.
This is a significant change that better defines roadway space and eliminates the shared-lane environment we used to have.
Also notable is that PBOT has formally closed the northern east-west crossing of NE 12th and Irving.
NE 47th Avenue
PBOT has begun work on a $7.7 million project that will rebuild NE 47th Avenue between Columbia Boulevard and Cornfoot Road. 47th is currently in very bad shape with some sections in the city’s bottom 1% in terms of pavement condition. It has no shoulders, sidewalks, or bike lanes, and is very dangerous due to industrial businesses and frequent truck and freight traffic.
PBOT plans a full reconstruction of the road that will come with paths for walking and biking on both sides of the street. Part of the funding ($900,000) comes from the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau who wants to improve access to the recently upgraded Whitaker Ponds Nature Park. 47th will also get new street lighting and a rapid-flashing beacon near the park entrance.
The new cross-section will have two, 13-foot wide lanes that will be physically separated from the biking and walking paths. The paths will be 17-feet wide on the west side of the street and 17 to 22-feet wide on the east side. PBOT says the project should be completed by late summer, early fall of 2020.
SW in Motion
SW in Motion is PBOT’s, “short-term prioritization, refinement, and implementation strategy for planned active transportation investments in Southwest Portland.” With $750,00 already allocated for a mix of bike lanes and safer crossings, the final draft of the plan finally has a City Council date. First slated to be adopted back in September, PBOT Commissioner Eudaly pulled it from the agenda at the last minute, saying, “I didn’t have adequate time to fully review the final proposal, connect with community members, and address any remaining concerns…it’s vitally important that we get it right.”
The new city council date is December 5th. Review the final draft on the project website.
Safer Outer Stark
PBOT is nearing the end of a public process to identify and prioritize projects that will improve safety on SE Stark between 108th and 162nd (city limits). This is one of the most dangerous streets in Portland and is on the High Crash Corridor list for all modes. With project design due to begin in 2020, PBOT has scheduled an open house for Monday, November 18th. Learn more on the project website.
A new street opened in Portland today. As of this morning PBOT is allowing traffic on a section of SW Bond between the Marquam and Tillikum Crossing bridges — but only if you’re not in a car or a truck.
SW Bond is opening in phases and PBOT has decided to open a short section of it to bikers, walkers, and other low-impact vehicle users. It will remain carfree until OHSU completes an extension of SW Meade sometime next year. Once completed, SW Bond will be the northbound, one-way couplet to SW Moody. The cross-section has 38-feet of space for driving that includes two 11-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot wide parking lanes. There’s also a 6.5 foot bike lane separated from the sidewalk by trees and from parked cars by a three-foot buffer.
Learn more about the project on PBOT’s website.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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