Construction has begun on a project that will bring significant changes to a key bikeway couplet in southeast Portland just in time for summer.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is building new bike and bus lanes on Southeast Hawthorne and Madison from the Hawthorne Bridge viaduct to SE 12th Street. The designs are adapted from the Central City in Motion and Rose Lane initiatives which reduce road space for drivers in order to improve conditions for bus and bike users.
Highlights of the $1.1 million project include:
- a seven foot wide, curb-and-post protected bike lane on Hawthorne between Grand and 12th,
- two floating bus islands to prevent conflicts between bike and bus operators (one at 6th, the other at 12th),
- bus lanes (a.k.a. bus and turn or “BAT” lanes) on Hawthorne and Madison,
- new bike signal phase at Hawthorne and 7th to prevent right hooks,
- car turning ban on Madison and Hawthorne onto 6th to prevent right hooks,
- eight new upgraded crosswalks,
- reduction in car parking spaces to improve visibility at intersections.
Here are details from the technical plan drawings:
Intersection of Hawthorne, 12th, Clay and Ladd:
The changes should bring welcome relief to one of the most important — yet stressful — streets in the network. Hawthorne currently has five lanes that can be used by drivers (three for driving, two for parking) and one lane exclusive for cycling. The new cross-section will have a wider bike lane, an 11-foot wide bus lane and two general purpose lanes. The two general purpose lanes will be available during the weekday rush from 2:00 to 7:00 pm and will be reduced to one lane at all other times with the northernmost lane being used for parking and loading.
The project will also attempt to improve the complex intersection of Hawthorne, 12th and SE Ladd Ave. A new buffered bike lane will be installed on 12th between SE Clay and Hawthorne and will continue to Madison. Currently this block has no dedicated cycling space.
On Madison (the westbound part of the couplet), the bike lane will be similar in width to existing conditions. The big change will be removal of the parking lane to make room for a longer and more consistent bus lane. Between 6th and 7th, bus and bike operators will share a lane before the two trade places at Grand just before the bridge viaduct entrance.
We’ll be eager to see how this project turns out. It’s the most ambitious example yet of how PBOT will integrate their enhanced transit and protected cycling corridors.
Construction is expected to wrap-up by July.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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