Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Car parking swapped for bike lanes on SE 136th as part of $6.7 million paving project

Posted by on August 26th, 2020 at 3:18 pm

PBOT has swapped space for on-street car parking for fresh new bike lanes on SE 136th!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

How it used to look.

As part of an ongoing, “commitment to transportation justice and equity,” the Portland Bureau of Transportation is nearing completion of paving and other changes on a key section of SE 136th Avenue in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Using funds from the Fixing Our Streets program and System Development Charges, PBOT has undertaken a major upgrade to 136th between Division and Foster. The project includes: new pavement, nearly two miles of new sidewalk, 3.6 miles of protected bike lanes (1.8 miles in each direction), 48 new or upgraded ADA curb ramps, over 50 street trees, bioswales, an upgraded traffic signal and improve street lighting.

On Monday I checked out the nearly-completed section from Division to Powell.

Before the repave, this section had a standard neighborhood collector vibe of two travel lanes and two lanes used for on-street parking. There were no bike lanes. PBOT has traded those parking spaces for an 8-foot wide buffered bike lane (including a 3-foot buffer). Not in my photos are the concrete curbs (a.k.a. “traffic separators”) that will be installed in the bike lane buffer zone. PBOT says those will be installed the entire length of the project (except for gaps needed for drainage, driveways, and mailbox access) and crews will begin installing them on the Powell to Division section next week. The new curbs will be 12-inches wide and 4-inches tall and similar in design to ones installed on North Rosa Parks Way (among other locations).

Advertisement

In a statement about the project, PBOT said they are working to deliver more projects in east Portland because it aligns with their antiracist pledge. “PBOT continues to prioritize funding and delivery of infrastructure in marginalized areas. The neighborhoods along SE 136th Avenue are 45% non-white, one of the highest percentages of non-white populations in the city.”

We must do better than this if we want to meet our climate/planning/biking/Vision Zero goals.

While I was out there on Monday, I noticed a few people parked in the bike lane, but I suspect that will change once the curbs are installed. I was also a bit miffed that the bike lane narrows and the buffer disappears as you approach Powell. It’s disappointing to me that, even with a clean slate the best PBOT could do for bicycle riders at the intersection was a 4-5 foot unprotected bike lane with a big storm drain grate in the middle of it (photo, right). The green coloring helps, but that tends to fade quickly and loses its value over time.

Overall it’s great to see this new safer connection in this part of east Portland. It’s extremely rare to have dedicated — much less protected! — cycling space on a non-arterial, north-south through street east of 82nd. I look forward to heading out again as the project continues down to Foster.

Learn more about the project on PBOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

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

27
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
18 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)KEDEawristeMark LinehanDavid Hampsten Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
KED
Guest
KED

Speaking as someone who lives and bikes out here in East Portland, I for one am thrilled that the City is finally paying attention to us. We do bike out here, but since the infrastructure isn’t there to make it organized and safe, people have to use side streets (which often don’t connect to anything), sidewalks (if they exist- too often it is a dirt path next to the road) and parking strips, etc. to get around. Plus, most cyclists don’t look much like what is considered ‘typical’ in Portland, meaning many are on old, un-fancy bikes, wearing regular clothes. All this adds up to an ‘unseen’ cycling population.
Yes, those were most likely abandoned vehicles. They are everywhere out here. Stripped, wrecked, dumped, whatever. Sure, some are probably owned by someone, and perhaps seldom used, but oh, so many just magically appear in the parking strip overnight, missing wheels, hoods, interiors, engines, whatever. Often crammed with garbage, and without license plates, or very expired plates. The City will eventually tow them, but you have to report them.
What I would love to see happen is 122nd made safe for bicycles. The bike lane south of Powell is so narrow I think my handlebars are wider than the lane lines, and no buffer. It is terrifying.

Zach
Guest
Zach

Quick, someone write a book about how to build anti-racist intersections.

Phil
Guest
Phil

Is that a ticket under the Ford’s wiper?

Racer X
Guest

Interesting…in the pre project photo “How it used to look” there seem to be at least 3 to 4 abandoned / inoperable cars being stored on the street from their condition and debris in the foreground.

Jd
Guest
Jd

Love it, it won’t be but a month or two before it’s a bike lane/sidewalk south of Powell on 136th down to Powell butte and the springwater!

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

… and it only took 30 years for PBOT to complete this project…

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

This looks great. I’m glad folks in East Portland support this sort of project.

PTB
Guest
PTB

But without parking enforcement to keep cars out of the new bike lane and off the sidewalks this is a waste. Sidewalk parking out this way is very common. I can’t say the same about bike lane parking since infrastructure is pretty sparse. If there were more bike lanes, I’m sure they’d be abused just as badly as the sidewalks (also sparse, but not as much so as bike lanes).

Eawriste
Guest
Eawriste

Thank you PBOT! I’ve been waiting for this for almost my entire life.