Better bike lanes confirmed for key stretch of ‘Dirty 30’

They call it “Dirty 30” for a reason!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s Highway 30 is an extremely important part of the cycling network, so we watch very closely for any opportunity to make it better.

You might recall last fall when we shared a hopeful story about how the stretch of what many locals call “Dirty 30” for its often debris-filled bike lanes could see cycling upgrades as part of a major Oregon Department of Transportation repaving project.

Now we’ve gotten our first-ever look at plans that confirm what the bike lanes will look like…


ODOT plan drawing for Highway 30 between Saltzman and Bridge Ave.

To refresh, the $8.5 million U.S. 30 NW Industrial Area Repavement Project will repave 2.5 miles of the highway between NW Bridge Avenue (just beyond the southern ramp up to the St. Johns Bridge) and NW Saltzman Road — which is a legendary road that offers an excellent cycling connection into Forest Park, Leif Erikson, Skyline, and beyond. In addition to smooth pavement, ODOT will update signals at NW Bridge and NW Front avenues, add and improve ADA curb ramps, and “look for opportunities to improve the roadway for people using bikes.”

Map of project boundary from ODOT.

According to an ODOT cross-section drawing (above), the plan is to install a more consistent bike lane with a wider outer stripe. The current lane has a relatively thin outside stripe and the width varies from just two-feet in some spots to five feet in others. The ODOT drawing shows they’ll narrow the two inner general purpose lanes by one foot to make the bike lanes wider and more consistent.

Yes you read that right: ODOT will take space away from a general highway lane and use it to make bicycling conditions a bit better.

Reached for more details today, an ODOT spokesperson said they’ll make the bike lane five-feet wide and even wider where space allows. There will also be a two-foot painted buffer stripe wherever possible. Another big upgrade will be paving of some driveway aprons as far back from the road as possible. This was done at the urging of cycling advocate Scott Kocher to decrease the spread of gravel into the bike lane.

We need to do a lot more to make Highway 30 safe for cycling and these are small steps forward.

Construction on this project will start in spring 2022. Learn more on ODOT’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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