The City of Portland shared a delightful surprise yesterday when they announced the installation of concrete diverters on NW Flanders. Yes you read that right: Concrete diverters.
In a simple yet powerful move, the transportation bureau has prohibited driving on Flanders between NW 8th and Park thanks to six large concrete planters. The aim of the diverters is to reduce the volume of auto traffic on Flanders, which is pegged as a street where people can walk and bike without the stress of cars and their drivers. Each planter is about two-feet high, two-feet deep, and four-feet wide. Signs placed in the middle of one of the planters inform people that only bicycle users are allowed through. They’re placed right outside the existing crosswalks that connect the North Park Blocks, meaning the diverters will not only reduce the volume of drivers on Flanders they will also create a safer, more protected environment for people walking and rolling in the park.
These diverters are part of PBOT’s plan to make NW Flanders a neighborhood greenway that will eventually connect Waterfront Park near the Steel Bridge to NW 24th. The lynchpin in this greenway is the Flanders Crossing Bridge which was installed in late January.
PBOT has also dropped a diverter at NW 10th to prevent people from turning right (west) onto Flanders. Once the greenway project is complete, PBOT will install diverters at eight additional locations (see map below).
One block east of the new bridge at NW 14th, PBOT has added curb extension to the corners of NW Flanders. New signals at 14th are also being added to further improve biking and walking safety while limiting turning movements of car drivers. It’s all in the name of establishing Flanders as a major street for non-drivers, something that has been planned and promised for well over a decade.
According to PBOT Communications Coordinator Hannah Schafer, the greenway and the bridge should be open and ready to ride by this coming May!
Stay tuned for more updates on this project and special promotions designed to entice you to ride on Flanders.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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