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4M Neighborhood Greenway goes out to bid in latest sign of east Portland progress

Posted by on January 6th, 2021 at 10:41 am

SE Mill and 131st with PBOT conceptual rendering.

Over a decade after it was listed as a “recommended project” in the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030, the 4M Neighborhood Greenway is finally moving forward.

At their meeting Wednesday morning, city council will authorize the Portland Bureau of Transportation to put the eastern portion of the project out for a construction bid. The $2.2 million project (funded via $550,000 from 2016 “Fixing Our Streets” gas tax increase and $1.6 million in Transportation System Development Charges) is expected to be built in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

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Once completed the 4M Greenway will stretch for 4.2 miles on SE Market/Mill/Millmain/Main between Southeast 89th and 174th (Gresham border) and will be the longest east-west greenway in east Portland. The route is considered a lynchpin in a network of safe bike routes that will provide an alternative to riding on the dangerous and high-speed arterials of SE Division and SE Stark. It will connect the I-205 path to many parks and schools and will intersect with three north-south greenway routes.

Today’s council action will impact the eastern portion of the 4M project, a 2.2-mile segment on SE Mill and SE Main from 130th to 174th (above left). Plans call for a mix of treatments that include speed bumps/sharrows in some sections and bike lanes in others. PBOT will also add some new sidewalks, wayfinding signage, trees and street lights.

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Western end of the 4M shown in context with other projects in progress.

The western portion of the project between SE 89th and 130th has been bundled into the $11 million East Portland Access to Employment and Education project. Construction on that project began in December and includes the 100s and 150s neighborhood greenways as well as new bike lanes on SE Cherry Blossom Drive.

Progress on this key east Portland greenway is very welcome news. Since being recommended in the Bike Plan 10 years ago, the project was also part of the East Portland in Motion plan adopted by city council in 2012. But progress stalled when PBOT budget decisions defunded the greenway program a year later. In 2014 the nonprofit Street Trust pushed for its completion and in 2015 the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee named it as one of their 10 top priorities citywide.

Moving forward on the 4M is just the latest bit of good news for east Portland. Last year we reported on new connections to the Springwater Corridor path, new bike lanes on SE 136th, the big makeover on at SE 80th and Mill, new greenway connections from the Springwater to Gateway Transit Center, and buffered bike lanes coming to 162nd Ave.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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soren impey
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soren impey

It’s odd that a Greenway that “active transportation champion” Novick cut in 2013 is out for bid prior to the 100s and 150s which were funded years prior. If PBOT genuinely prioritized equity, the fully funded 100s and 150s would not have been intentionally neglected for a decade.

Note: the 100s and 150s Greenways would implement significant improvements in infrastructure for pedestrians and people with disabilities on some of Portland’s most deadly arterials.

Scott F Kocher
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Funny I was just talking with a person who lives in E Portland yesterday and SE Mill came up. The “after” picture shows adding centerline stripes and unprotected bike lanes (and no calming features on those segments??). Is that really a good design? It doesn’t appear to address concerns which I understand include speeding, and more drivers using Mill as cut thru because, increasingly, it’s faster than Stark and Division. Mill has very long straightaways with no speed bumps, stop signs, or other features to prevent dangerous speeds. The City doesn’t show any speed study mid-straightaway. However, even near the stop sign at 143rd half of drivers were speeding, according to the one study I see:
https://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=7ce8d1f5053141f1bc0f5bd7905351e6
Adding centerline stripes won’t help speeding, and will make the street feel more like a major road suitable for driving fast.
Also, Mill is a prime example of where PBOT should comply with the ordinance directing PBOT to post 20 MPH on collectors in residence districts (as they have done in NW). Is that in the works?

John Liu
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John Liu

$2MM for 4 miles of painted stripes?

qqq
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qqq

Does anyone know if the rendering is of a particular location? I’m asking because it doesn’t look like it’s near 131st. The “before” photo has sidewalks on both sides, with room for street trees on both sides. The “after” has no sidewalks or street trees on one side. Why prioritize on-street parking over providing a sidewalk? No sidewalk on one side means people either walk through people’s private yards, or walk in the bike lane, or (if coming or going to a house) have to cross mid-block to get to the sidewalk side.

Mark Linehan
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Mark Linehan

I’ve ridden that entire route multiple times, and I thought it was already designated as a neighborhood greenway. The improvements are welcome, but that’s a lot of money for painted bike lanes. I certainly support sidewalks, diverters, speed bumps, and pedestrian crossings if that’s what we get for the money.

I found these streets fairly calm. Just painted lines won’t make much difference to my use of this route.

mark smith
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mark smith

Putting down double yellow lines basically screams to drivers go faster…. Taking the Lions out actually makes them go slower…

EEE
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EEE

A bit O/T, but has anyone noticed the change to the Google Maps bicycling overlay? Unfortunately now basically all Portland streets show up as bike-friendly at a certain zoom-level rather than just the designated greenways (or the greenways that were designated some time in the past — not sure how up to date it was).