Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 4th, 2019 at 1:37 pm
A nearly two mile stretch of SE 136th Avenue is getting a major makeover thanks to a $6.7 million investment by the City of Portland.
The SE 136th Paving and Sidewalks to Opportunity project will spend $4 million to repave the entire roadway between SE Division and Foster. That’s the largest project ever funded by the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Fixing Our Streets program, a 10-cent gas tax increase voters passed in 2016. An additional $2.7 million in System Development Charges (SDCs) will fund a host of other updates including: lane striping that includes eight-foot-wide bike lanes in both directions, new sidewalks on the west side of the street (see below), a crew crosswalk at SE Foster, 48 new or upgraded ADA curb ramps, 52 new street trees, six bioswales to capture stormwater runoff (funded by Bureau of Environmental Services), a traffic signal upgrade at Division, and improved streetlights.
PBOT also says users of TriMet bus lines 2, 9, 10, and 17 will benefit from better access to stops.
If SE 136th sounds familiar, that’s because it was the location of a tragic collision in 2013 that resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl. After Morgan Cook was killed while walking across 136th at Harold, former Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan vowed to fund sidewalks on the street. At one point, Hales even wrestled precious paving funds from PBOT in order to do it. And Fagan was also successful in lobbying the legislature for funding to build a sidewalk on the east side of the street.
When this project was presented to the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee back in January, members encouraged PBOT to include some sort of physical protection in the bike lane buffer zone. At that time, PBOT said the large number of residential driveways would make that difficult. PBOT also said the project budget was not large enough for protection. I confirmed with PBOT today that they were able to fund protected bikeways.
“The bike lane will be protected by concrete curbs… that will be permanently doweled into the ground,” says PBOT Director of Communications John Brady.
Construction is expected to begin in summer 2020.
CORRECTION, 12/5: This post originally quoted PBOT spokesperson as saying the new curbs will be 16-inches tall. That was incorrect. Meant to say 16-inches wide. The curbs will be just like others used on Rosa Parks Way and Lombard. I regret any confusion this caused.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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