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3.6 miles of protected bike lanes coming to SE 136th Avenue

Posted by on December 4th, 2019 at 1:37 pm

PBOT cross-section.

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.

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PBOT also says users of TriMet bus lines 2, 9, 10, and 17 will benefit from better access to stops.

Existing conditions near Central Street.

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 jonathan@bikeportland.org
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David Hampsten
Guest

30 years overdue.

Jim Chasse
Guest
Jim Chasse

Technically 23 years.
The Outer Southeast Community Plan noted 136th Ave. as a priority in 1996.
Because of the leadership of then State Representative, now Senator Shemia Fagan and her efforts to bring any transportation funding to East Portland, half the sidewalks on 136th are complete already. Some of the first “concrete on the ground” projects in East Portland. She also contributed another $21 million from state sources to fund a safety project on Powell Blvd. between 122nd and 136th and 21 crossings throughout East Portland.
I wish we had better representation at the local level.

David Hampsten
Guest

I was basing 30 years from before annexation in 1989, when the county was also expecting 136th to be a collector or a connector (minor arterial.)

Toby Keith
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Toby Keith

On the bright side, it’s another photo op for Chloe Eudaly.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I guess this is neither here nor there, but when he talks about curbs 16″ high, is he talking about Jersey barriers or some other type of curb that I’m having trouble visualizing?

David Hampsten
Guest

According to a local traffic engineer here in NC, the curb height is directly proportional to the expected car traffic speed and preventing cars from jumping the curb and hitting pedestrians. Since a 6 inch curb is standard in a residential area in Portland, IMO a 16 inch curb implies that PBOT engineers expect car traffic to go well over the 35 mph speed limit on 136th, as they are already doing so.

soren
Guest
soren

The curbs used for cycle tracks in copenhagen are just ~4″ higher than street level (and in practice often lower than that).

joe adamski
Guest
joe adamski

Sooo happy to see this. Curious to see how interchanges such as Harold and Holgate will be treated

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Member

What a week for transportation in portland! Tina Kotek asking for ESD, Rose Lane ambitions, bike parking. We are continuing to make progress, I just hope it is fast enough but I guess it never is for advocates.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

How does a short curb that cars can easily drive over amount to protection for cyclists when a short curb with sharp edges doesn’t protect pedestrians on the sidewalk?

billyjo
Guest
billyjo

So we build these bike lines with a curb. Somebody sits their trash cans in the street (the bike lane) now what? How do you swerve around them, when there is a concrete curb?

Zach
Guest
Zach

You get off your bike and push their trash can out of the way

Alan Kessler
Guest
Alan Kessler

And mess up my cleats on the asphalt? Are you nuts!? Maybe some people bring street shoes with them, but I, for one, leave those useless 6 oz. in the Lexus.