We’ve been working for a couple weeks to better understand how ODOT’s Barbur Crossroads Safety Project will (or won’t) mesh with PBOT’s SW Capitol Highway Project to provide safe passage across the Barbur Crossroads, a notorious jumble of freeway ramps, local roads and highways in southwest Portland.
After ODOT told us new bike lanes were not part of their project, I came across a line in Mayor Wheeler’s proposed 2021-22 budget for a “Capitol Hwy: Huber-Taylors Ferry” project. According to PBOT’s 2012-22 requested budget (below) this money will be used as local match in partnership with ODOT and, “may be used for sidewalk construction right-of-way acquisition, or other leverage opportunities as appropriate.”
Asked about the funding, PBOT Communications Director John Brady told us via email they’ve been working with ODOT,
“On a design that accommodate [sic] bicycles in a shared facility with pedestrians on the proposed 7-8 foot-wide sidewalk on the east side, and the existing 8-foot sidewalk on the west side, between Barbur and Taylors Ferry. It would use striping and pavement markings to delineate ped and bike space.”
Teasing apart budget arcana and jurisdictional responsibility is beyond the scope of this article, but the important news is that PBOT has plans to get bicycle riders from the Taylors Ferry end of their $27.5 million SW Capitol Highway – Multnomah Village to West Portland project to Barbur Blvd. It’s not clear what happens between Barbur and Huber.
The aforementioned Huber-Taylors Ferry project in the Mayor’s budget asks for nearly $30,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, and it appears that $172,480 was budgeted for the current fiscal year, although Brady stated that “we don’t have final cost figures as the designs have yet to be finalized.”
This month PBOT will hold two online open houses for their larger SW Capitol Highway Project just north of the Barbur Crossroads. The first open house will be a live zoom meeting on June 10th and the second will be online and self-guided. This project is a joint PBOT, Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Water Bureau effort, with $6.6 million coming from Fixing Our Streets, which makes it the largest project ever funded by that program. $14 million of the allocated $27.5 million is for the construction contract with the remaining funds “attributed to planning, design engineering, right-of-way acquisition, project management, and construction management and inspection.”
— Lisa Caballero, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lisa Caballero has lived in SW Portland for 20 years. She is on the Transportation Committee of her neighborhood association, the Southwest Hills Residential League (SWHRL) and can be reached at email@example.com.