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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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