Greenway and bike lanes coming to 60th Avenue corridor

Posted by on July 1st, 2021 at 6:31 am

PBOT will remove all on-street parking on this section of 60th to make room for buffered bike lanes.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is poised to install bike lanes on a key section of Northeast 60th Avenue and create a neighborhood greenway in the Rose City Park neighborhood south of Alameda Ridge.

The changes are coming as part of PBOT’s $9.5 million 60th and Halsey Area Improvement Project. Last month, the city announced changes on the project website that funding cuts would delay some of the bike-related updates. The project website states that, “this project will no longer include bike improvements as part of the 60s Bikeway from SE Davis Street to NE Sacramento Street.” That announcement led to speculation online that all the project’s bike facilities would be cut.

I followed up with PBOT Communications Director John Brady for clarification, and it turns out the news isn’t as bad as it appears.

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New bike crossing at 61st/62nd and Halsey.

First, let’s back up a bit: PBOT has three main focus for this project. The first is to tame Halsey between 47th and 60th, where they plan to reconfigure the cross-section from four general purpose lanes to three lanes. Halsey will also be repaved and widen the sidewalks from four to six feet. On 60th between Halsey and Holladay, PBOT also wants to improve walking conditions with wider sidewalks and better lighting at crossings. Then there’s the 60s Neighborhood Greenway, which will aim for a lower-stress option to north-south cycling through this area between NE Davis (south of I-84) to NE Alameda.

According to Brady, the only bikeway elements of the project that won’t move forward right away are the southern half of the greenway between NE Oregon and 60th to NE Davis and 62nd. “This is because we need approximately $200,000 to upgrade the crossing at Glisan and 62nd,” Brady said. “We are hoping to find these funds through construction cost-savings, but we won’t know if we can achieve this until we’re well into building the project.”

This is a very unfortunate delay, because the North Tabor neighborhood has been waiting years for safer access to the MAX light rail station on 60th. Tabor transportation advocate Terry Dublinski-Milton was not pleased to hear of any cuts or delays to this project. “So north Tabor will be the only neighborhood without bike access to their MAX station, in the entire metro area.”

During the planning of this project in 2019, many people hoped for bike lanes on NE Halsey, but PBOT has decided against that. In a summary of public feedback, PBOT explained their decision: “PBOT will not stripe bike lanes on this segment of NE Halsey Street because the road is too narrow to provide standard-width lanes and protected left turn lanes and bike lanes.”

PBOT does plan to install painted bike lanes on 60th between Oregon and Hassalo. The lanes will be five feet wide with three-foot buffers to separate bicycle users from car users. On-street car parking will be removed from both sides of NE 60th from Hassalo to Oregon and within 20-feet of each intersection to improve visibility. Greenway treatments (sharrows, speed bumps, signage) will be installed from NE 60th and Hassalo to NE 61st and Alameda — including a bike crossing at Halsey and 61st/62nd (see graphic).

Construction is expected to break ground later this year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Dylan
Guest

This is next to my house and the scariest section of road that I typically ride on a regular basis. It has always been a bummer to feel “safe” while riding practically everywhere in Portland except the 1/4 mile section of 60th at the start and finish of each ride. I can’t wait.

Tim Marin
Guest
Tim Marin

“…..the city announced changes on the project website that funding cuts would delay some of the bike-related updates…….”

The city is getting $217 million in federal money and they keep talking about lack of funds. I think they just state this when there is something they don’t want to do. Where is all this money going? Park rangers? Let’s build some long lasting beneficial infrastructure with this blessing of federal funds!

https://www.kgw.com/video/news/local/portland-gets-217-million-from-covid-relief-bill/283-983d5741-0b0d-4daa-b9e1-b07a9bff2593

King Cully
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King Cully

Gotta pay the city bureaucrats to approve all the approvals and all.

Psmith
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Psmith

That money all goes to the General Fund, which means none of it goes to PBOT.

Irina
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Irina

Ok but funds can be transferred to PBOT. I actually transfer funds from my savings account to my checking account often. I bet even the barely functioning city of Portland could figure it out too. 🙂

drs
Guest
drs

I sure wish they were adding bike lanes on all of 60th. I almost got run over by an irate driver on NE 60th a couple days ago. They should also close the on ramp into I84 on Wilcox if they really don’t want drivers to turn left from SB NE 60th onto NE Wilcox. In this age of zero traffic enforcement, drivers totally ignore the no left turn sign in that location (and countless other locations around Portland).

Psmith
Guest
Psmith

Drivers are allowed to turn left there…it’s just a “no left” for semi trucks. So if you’re just seeing normal cars turning left, that’s perfectly legal.

adventurepdx
Guest

Quick correction: The street you are referring to is NE Willow, not NE Wilcox.

I live right by here, and need to cross this on bike quite a bit. I’m not as worried by the left-turning drivers onto 84, but more worried about the right-turners, the ones heading north on 60th from Glisan. There’s been at least one close call. Plus, there ALWAYS seems to be broken glass in the shoulder on the east side of NE 60th between Oregon and Willow.

drs
Guest
drs

Right, NE Willow, not NE Wilcox. Thanks for the correction. And looking back at Google street view, I see that the no turn signs for NB and SB traffic on NE 60th at this intersection do only apply to trucks.

I rarely find myself in that neighborhood, so I’m not particularly familiar with the intersection. But my harrowing experience was instigated by a southbound driver who was turning left onto Willow, and who I assume was impatient to get onto the freeway onramp.

I think that contesting with people that are eager to get onto freeways is a situation that will always be rife with conflict for urban cyclists. We can only strive to engineer lane arrangements and traffic solutions that mitigate the conflicts. I hope PBOT’s proposed changes in the area will make it safer for you to get around your neighborhood.

For whatever reason, Tuesday was a particularly bad day to be riding around. I got yelled at by drivers on NE 82nd, SE Ceasar Chavez and almost run over on NE 60th. I had a couple of other penalty passes from drivers of cars and trucks that were way too close for comfort. A whole lot of negative experiences over the course of 3 hours of riding. Don’t know if it was just people’s frustration with the hot weather or what, but people in cars were way more irrationally pissed off than usual.

adventurepdx
Guest

Agreed. This is a harrowing intersection on a bike no matter which way you come at it. The eastbound off-ramp at Halsey/68th just east of this one also isn’t a pleasure, but I go through here regularly to get back home. Bike routes and freeway on/off ramps are never a great mix.

Toadslick
Subscriber

I cannot freaking wait for this greenway. I don’t own a car and I have to cross at 60th and Glisan or 60th and Halsey to get from my place to any bike routes. It feels ridiculous to have zero low-stress options while living in America’s platinum-rated bike capitol. (said with a heavy eye roll)

maccoinnich
Subscriber

So if the text on PBOT’s website is incorrect, are they planning on correcting it? Why did they initially post that all the improvements between Davis and Sacramento would be removed?

maccoinnich
Subscriber

PBOT will not stripe bike lanes on this segment of NE Halsey Street because the road is too narrow to provide standard-width lanes and protected left turn lanes and bike lanes.

The framing here suggests PBOT’s hands are tied due to limited ROW, but adding a center turn lane to NE Halsey is a choice. This stretch of Halsey is 60′ wide with 36′ curb-to-curb. What they are moving forward with will have three 12′ wide vehicular lanes. They could have also chosen to have two 10′ vehicular lanes and two 8′ wide bicycles lanes. That would provide the same cross section for cars as inner Division, Belmont, Stark, Alberta, etc; streets that aren’t noted for their danger.

drs
Guest
drs

I think that PBOT has been prioritizing the installation of turn lanes (both center turn lanes and right turn lanes) at high demand intersections as a general practice in recent years. I assume the goal is to avoid backups caused by vehicles queueing to make turns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03Lpn67A6oo

Zach Katz
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Zach Katz

Exact same false dichotomy as the Hawthorne decision.

Psmith
Guest
Psmith

It’s not about the center turn lane, it’s about the protected left turns to 57th and 60th at the signals, which are part of the safety improvements that were the original purpose of the project.

maccoinnich
Subscriber

The city has lots of signals where a two lane road meets another two lane road without a center turn lane / left turn lane; indeed, there’s one right by my own home. This configuration has never struck me as especially dangerous.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

These intersections have a huge amount of turning traffic, and it needs to be addressed. This is a dangerous spot to cross as a pedestrian because drivers are focused on finding a gap and jamming it left as fast as possible.

Zach Katz
Guest
Zach Katz

The solution is to build traffic calming measures to prevent said jamming, not reward bad behavior at the expense of pedestrian and cyclist safety.

soren
Guest
soren

“…Belmont…Stark, etc; streets that aren’t noted for their danger.”

Wes Hatton was killed by a turning cage driver in 2018 while attempting to legally cross Belmont. Turn lanes and signals could have prevented this needless death.

Lower Stark is a High Crash Network street and far too many human beings have died on this dangerous stretch of road.

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/vision-zero/high-crash-network

Both Division and Alberta have seen extensive installation of the proven pedestrian infrastructure that is lacking on Belmont and lower Stark (e.g. signed and marked crosswalks). This infrastructure was also lacking on Hawthorne between 20th and 50th but a fix is being installed in coming months (Yay!).

***Moderator removed last paragraph***

maccoinnich
Subscriber

I just googled that crash. It was a right turn from 30th onto Belmont. How would the installation of a center turn lane have changed anything?

soren
Guest
soren

I erroneously recalled it as a south-bound left turn. Thanks for the correction.

ChadwickF
Guest
ChadwickF

I think we need to start doing Flanders Crossing type celebrations every time new infrastructure goes in.
Party!

JR
Guest
JR

Is the article correct with this: “Halsey will also be repaved and widen the sidewalks from four to six feet.” ?

I’m not aware of any sidewalks on Halsey being widened for this. I just know about the widening of NE 60th sidewalks from 3′ to 6′ wide (still curb tight).

PdxPhoenix
Guest
PdxPhoenix

I was wondering that this morning waiting for the bus. Which way would it be widened (on Halsey)? Toward the street? Then trees, shrubs will have to go & the power poles will still be in the way. Toward the peoples houses? Then trees, shrubs, fences, retaining walls, steps will have to move… IDK about that.

PdxPhoenix
Guest
PdxPhoenix

So, living in the middle of this on Halsey, I’ll still be riding in the sidewalk, still on the narrow sidewalk to/from max. On the upside, the RV parked south of Hasslo for over a year now will get removed, maybe?