Joe Bike

PBOT improves greenway connection across North Interstate Avenue

Posted by on March 18th, 2020 at 11:59 am

New buffered bike lane now connects all the way to Interstate (it used to disappear here). It’s just one of several additions in the area.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Even amid the virus outbreak, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is working on our streets. On Sunday, city work crews were out in north Portland installing new signage and markings to fill a key gap in our bikeway.

New sharrow on northbound Interstate directs riders to Killingsworth and Michigan Greenway a few blocks over.

PBOT spent spent 2018 and 2019 adding infrastructure to North Willamette from Interstate to Rosa Parks to make it a “low-stress, family-friendly” street. Most notably they installed diverters at North Greeley, North Villard, and at Atlantic and Jessup.

Willamette’s north-south cousin is Michigan, which was established as a greenway in 2011 and has been beefed up with more diversion several times since.

But these greenways were separated by a bikeway gap and difficult crossing of N Interstate. PBOT says the work they just completed was meant to close that gap and is the “final piece” of the Willamette greenway.

Click images to see captions.

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To help folks get from Michigan to Willamette via Killingsworth westbound, PBOT has added a left turn box to the northwest corner of the Interstate/Killingsworth intersection. In addition to the green box, there’s green “cross-bike” markings across the intersection and a new bike lane on N Interstate between Killingsworth and Willamette (adjacent the gas station and MAX station).

Going eastbound, PBOT has added a left turn bike lane on Willamette that directs riders to northbound Interstate where there are now two sharrows prior to the Killingsworth intersection. To connect to bike lanes on Killingsworth, PBOT has added a new section of buffered bike lane all the way to the Interstate intersection through the existing TriMet bus stop.

These are relatively small changes and they are still don’t provide bike riders with unprotected space away from drivers; but they are a step forward. And as anyone who has biked on Interstate knows, anything that adds institutional and legal respect for bike riders is very welcome.

In related news: PBOT has also recently striped a brand new bike lane on North Mississippi between Cook and Fremont.

This is a sketchy block that has been a frustrating gap for many years. The bike lane used to drop completely north of Cook where on-street parking is still allowed (boo!). Given the steep hill, the speed differential between bicycle and car users added to the stress. As you can see in the image above, PBOT simply moved the centerline over, removed the sharrow, and installed a standard bike lane. (It’s still very unfortunate that free car parking takes precedence over riding space here and on the commercial section of Mississippi, but that’s a conversation for a different day.)

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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11 Comments
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    Jason March 18, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Nice bike bell.

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      Jason March 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Although this may read as a taunt, I meant that genuinely. I have the same bell and it has an amazing tone! The Achilles heel is rain though, one drop and it gets muffled.

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        John Lascurettes March 18, 2020 at 6:09 pm

        I haven’t met a bike bell that doesn’t get dampened by droplets of water yet. I even carry my water bottle over to the display in a bike store these days to test.

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          John Lascurettes March 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

          Though I’d be really interested in trying out how water works on these. I’ve seen these at Metropolis (didn’t have my water bottle) and they look and sound beautiful. https://www.knog.com.au/oi-bike-bells/oi-bike-bell-small.html

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            Jason March 19, 2020 at 8:55 am

            The Sprucycle bell was engineered with the consultation of an audiologist. During the construction on the Burnside bridge, I found that pedestrians were able to hear the bell. The tone is clear, penetrating and carries farther than you’d think.

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              idlebytes March 19, 2020 at 9:49 am

              I have that bell it definitely is dampened by rain. When it’s dry though I’ve noticed people on the other side of the bridge can hear it. I do find larger bells like the Crane bells stand up to the rain a bit better.

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    todd boulanger March 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    As for “rain proof” bells ‘go big and go old school’. I have never had such a bell fail due to rain…as rainy dark conditions are when I need it the most for my safety and the safety of others too.

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    cmh89 March 19, 2020 at 7:48 am

    It’s crazy PBOT hasn’t abandoned the “bike-cross” design. Its so awful.

    It’s also a shame that PBOT wasted this opportunity to improve N Willamette. Hopefully in a decade they will find enough spine to turn N Willamette into an actual greenway. Between the speed bumps and the stop signs at all the high speed cut through streets, it’s very unpleasant to be on.

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    Some love for NoPo March 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    I’m glad to see these improvements.

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