Here’s what Hawthorne will look like after PBOT’s ‘Pave and Paint’

Posted by on June 11th, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Before/after with PBOT rendering of new striping.

Anyone who hoped the City of Portland would reconsider plans to re-stripe Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard with a bike lane might want to call them before the end of business hours today. That’s because crews are set to start paving and painting on Monday.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation send out a statement Friday that the highly contentious Hawthorne Pave and Paint project is all set to begin. They also shared a new rendering of what their new plans will look like (above). Instead of the two curb lane, four general purpose lane configuration we have now between 22nd and 50th, the new plan will have two curb lanes and three general purpose lanes.

In addition to a new lane configuration, PBOT has already built around 180 new ADA-compliant curb ramps. They plan to do the paving in two phases and once the new pavement is ready, they’ll spend a few more months adding median islands, marked crosswalks, and new street lights.

PBOT says the new street design and features will reduce crashes on the designated high crash corridor and make it safer for all users.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Biking Portland since ‘78marishebaTodd/BoulangerRain Waterssoren Recent comment authors
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hamiramani
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I’m still unsure of exactly where the pedestrian refuge islands will be placed. And, just as important, I haven’t heard a single thing about new north-south Greenways to feed into Hawthorne (this was their compromise: https://bikeportland.org/2021/02/09/a-closer-look-at-how-pbot-will-reconfigure-hawthorne-blvd-325875).

Perhaps the most important of these north-south Greenways would be 34th, which ideally would run From Clinton (where there’s a nice contraflow bike lane to Division) to Laurelhurst Park. 34th is a vital corridor for folks on bikes but it’s often congested with drivers leading to lots of conflict.

Here are some thoughts for dealing with some parts of 34th:
1. Don’t allow right turns onto 34th from Division AND Hawthorne (in the north AND south directions). These are especially high conflict zones and forbidding drivers from making right turns onto the 34th will significantly improve the stress level.
2. Add contraflow bike lanes like we’re seeing implemented in NW Portland. Drivers have easy access to 30th and Cesar Chavez if they want a through street. We don’t need to have 34th act as yet another through street.
3. We need car traffic mitigation at Sunnyside school. The intersection of Salmon and 34th is often full of conflict. There are probably several options but it can’t remain as it is.

I hope someone at PBOT will read this. You gave the drivers Hawthorne (for now)…It’s time to make good on your plans to provide folks not driving some respite.

soren
Guest
soren

“car traffic mitigation”

I greatly prefer the D-word: Diversion. Salmon is already a failing Greenway and will likely become more of a disaster as caravans of p***ed off cage drivers switch to Salmon to avoid Hawthorne. Diversion at 20th or 23rd, 29 or 30th, and 34th is badly needed. (Diversion at 12th or 13th is also badly needed but is out of this project’s scope.)

BTW, 34th was once a marked low stress bike route as can still be seen by a few faded bike platters. It’s amazing to me how PBOT essentially gave up on maintenance of it’s marked low-stress bike routes decades ago with little outcry.

“You gave the drivers Hawthorne (for now)”

Removing two cage through lanes and spending over half the budget on ped improvements is not giving Hawthorne to the drivers.

hamiramani
Subscriber

I guess I’m just skeptical of “pedestrian improvements”. The best way to keep pedestrians safe is to widen the sidewalks, reduce speeds, add shortened crossings at *every* intersection, remove parking from intersections…A few refuge islands will not cut it. Also, the name “refuge island” should tell us all we need to know; we are made to take refuge from high-speeding “cage drivers” as you say.

soren
Guest
soren

PBOT has committed to installing 10 median refuge islands:

comment image

LASM
Guest
LASM

So looks like there are four new crossings for pedestrians, all east of the main Hawthorne drag, which is so awesome and much needed. In particular, the one at 23rd will be clutch with Grand Central and Jam generating tons of foot traffic across the street here. Honestly seems like a signal could have been applicable there.

soren
Guest
soren

The ten orange circles with blue lines represent new high-quality median islands, warning signs, and new marked crosswalks. Other than installing some sort of signalled intersection this is the highest level of enhanced crosswalk possible.

It’s disappointing that I’m the only person posting on bike portland that is excited by this pedestrian infrastructure. As of now, I’m taking a long break from bp because I find the epistemic closure here to be really depressing.

–“Stormcrow” Soren

marisheba
Guest
marisheba

As someone that lives in the neighborhood, I am SUPER excited about the new median islands! They will really transform pedestrian safety and the crossing experience. I had somehow missed the boat that they were installing 10! Doing a little dance over here.

Falkor
Guest
Falkor

Totally agree! 34th Ave is already a popular bike route but would be even more popular for all ages and types of riders if it had traffic calming and diversion.

soren
Guest
soren

Love to see the bus actually having room to safely navigate Hawthorne’s two (!) through lanes. As someone who lives two blocks off of Hawthorne and bikes just about every day, I’m really looking forward to seeing this road diet make Hawthorne a less desirable cut through route for sports utility cage commuters (SUCC).

“three general purpose lanes.”

Describing a turn only lane that will contain concrete median islands and large metal signs (see GIF in story) as a “general purpose lane” is simply not accurate.

hamiramani
Subscriber

Unfortunately, the much wider lanes will encourage speeding and the left turn lane is bound to get used for passing slower moving traffic. The adopted design is anachronistic at best. But I do hope (though not holding my breath) that the street will be calmer (as I live a block away and almost never go there because it’s a car sewer).

soren
Guest
soren

4 –> 2+1 road diets are not anachronistic. They are a gold-standard treatment when it comes to making 4-through lane streets less stressful for vulnerable traffic.

“the much wider lanes will encourage speeding”

That’s not what is typically seen with these kinds of road re-configurations. For example, traffic speeds dropped on the much-wider lanes on Sandy after a similar 4–>2+1 diet.

I don’t spend much time on Hawthorne because few of the businesses located there appeal to me. I do, however, frequently cross Hawthorne as a pedestrian and this is difficult and dangerous during commute hours. This project will unambiguously make Hawthorne safer for me as a pedestrian. (On a bike it’s easy for me to roll to a signaled intersection 6-8 blocks away.)

maccoinnich
Subscriber

What stretch of Sandy was that?

soren
Guest
soren

*Foster.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

Well, that’s not really a fair comparison then. Hami was making the case that going from 9′ lanes to 12′ lanes on Hawthorne will encourage speeding. On Foster the lane widths are 10′ (refer to page 17 of the Foster Road Transportation And Streetscape Plan).

Falkor
Guest
Falkor

This is simply a myth, that wider lanes lead to higher speeds on a street with only one lane in each direction. The research on lane width says wider lanes lead to higher speeds only on multi-lane roads, in other words when you have passing lanes. If there’s only one lane in each direction, it’s not an issue.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

Do you have a link to this research? As someone who doesn’t drive a lot I’m maybe not very representative here, but I definitely find myself driving faster on Belmont (which has wider lanes due to the narrow sidewalks) than I do on, say, inner Division.

Falkor
Guest
Falkor

NCHRP 783 and The Green Book are cited on the bottom of page 11 of the Protected Bike Lane Design Guide and seem to indicate little difference in safety/speed from 10 to 12 feet width of lane.

https://bikeportland.org/2018/06/26/heres-how-we-build-it-pbot-releases-draft-version-of-protected-bike-lane-design-guide-284675

Social Engineer
Guest
Social Engineer

Google the Durkan Speedway in Seattle if you want to see reports about speeding even after a 4-3 road diet went in (with wide travel lanes and no bike lanes).

drs
Guest
drs

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theurbanist.org/2019/09/23/car-activist-revolt-hangover-living-with-the-new-35th-avenue-ne/%3Famp

Thanks for the tip. I frequently experience aggressive passes in the center turn lane when biking on the stretch of Hawthorne that is already configured that way East of Caesar Chavez.

Todd/Boulanger
Guest
Todd/Boulanger

Correct: as Dan Burden famously said in the 90s…arterial road diets introduce the “rolling speed bump” of prudent drivers enforcing the speed, especially with hardened refuge island…vs. the out of date 2+2 multi lane arterials that facilitate speedy driver slaloming…past prudent drivers.

Those 2+2 roads worked with active police enforcement (traffic patrols) pre 1980s…but PPB has changed…

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

I love the lane in the middle and use them often for semi truck parking. It’s a working solution for delivery parking.
Heck, ride your bike down it. Who’s gonna stop you?

It’s incredible that in this day and age, it was even a debate whether bikes would be welcome in One of Portland’s prime real estate areas

soren
Guest
soren

There will be a concrete median island every other block or two so riding your bike in the turn lane is not only illegal and dangerous (given the inability of cage drivers to perceive people on bikes in unexpected places) but also difficult (unless you have excellent but rude bunny hopping skills).

Skeptical
Guest
Skeptical

Looks objectively worse for bikes and cars. Fumes from backed up cars will help the sidewalk diners huff their cares away!

was carless
Guest
was carless

Simple solution, only allow electric cars down Hawthorne!

soren
Guest
soren

So partly-unprotected 4 foot bike lane aficianados (e.g. Healthier Hawthorne) are afraid of high speeds in 20 mph-posted lanes with median-enhanced crosswalks and signals every 1.5 blocks.

Other bike aficianadoes are inexplicably afraid of slow speeds and cage congestion (the horror; see above).

Vehicular cyclists are mad that taking the lane might (hypothetically at best) be more difficult.

And, last but definitely least, cage drivers will be furious at the baked-in slower-speeds and congestion this 4–>2+1 reconfiguration will actually entail.

When everybody but pedestrian-centric users is mad it’s probably evidence that this was a dirty compromise (due to PBOT’s desire to focus $$$s on areas where BIPOC people and/or immigrants are being disproportionately killed by our racist/classist traffic system).

My biggest worry is that this reconfiguration will dramatically slow down Trimet 14 during peak hours. Therefore, I strongly believe the remaining 2 traffic lanes should be converted to rose lanes that would also allow scooters, boards, skates, mobility devices, and…*very faint drumroll*…bikes. If this is too radical for city council-PBOT, we could ban personal cages on a pro-time basis.

lex
Guest
lex

seems like this “improvement” will make it harder to bike on hawthorne. two lanes in each directions allowed cyclists to take a lane while letting cars use the other.

Steve
Guest
Steve

That’s what I thought too when reviewing this. When riding Hawthorne currently, I at least know that aggressive drivers can use the passing lane. Here, I’m worried about aggressive drivers more than before. Yikes.

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

They both look like a clusterf***. I prefer using parallel streets and popping over to Hawthorne via a sidestreet. Almost looks like somebody needs a freeway through that area according to all the whining on this board over the last 10 years. Just joking. . .

Biking Portland since ‘78
Guest
Biking Portland since ‘78

Completely ridiculous redesign. It will be worse for drivers, worse for bicyclists, worse for buses, and barely better for pedestrians, if at all. Whoever planned this should be fired.