The Portland Bureau of Transportation has quietly finished construction on a project that has completely rebuilt Northeast 47th Avenue and given it one of the city’s best bikeways. A half-mile section between Columbia and Cornfoot has gone from a crumbling, two-lane road with gravel shoulders and no bike lanes, to a shiny new street with fresh trees, bioswales, and a wide protected bike lane.
It’s a key part of closing gaps so that one day it will be easy and safe to get from the 42nd Avenue corridor/Cully Neighborhood and the Holman neighborhood greenway to the Portland Airport, I-205 path, and beyond.
But how does it work? Check out my latest Bike-Thru video to see my impressions.
Or scroll down for photos and some written notes about what I saw…(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
— As I’ve expected for years since this project was announced, blockage of the bikeway by adjacent industrial businesses remains a problem. There are at least two or three repeat offenders whose trucks routinely block the bicycle traffic lane. PBOT needs to work on a new strategy to fix this.
— Maintenance looks to also be a problem with this protected bikeway (as with many others). There are several sections full of dirt and other debris. It’s too bad that we spend $7 million on a project and it looks terrible almost immediately.
– The width and design overall is great! Despite nearby traffic going 40+ mph and much of it being large trucks, because I was physically separated I felt safe while using this new bikeway.
— We now have much-improved access to Whitaker Ponds Nature Park! This is a gem of a park and now it’s much easier to get to without a car. Highly recommend checking out the paths and trails and views of the pond. It’s a great place to escape into nature.
— This is a high-quality island of infrastructure surrounded by unsafe gaps. The Columbia/47th intersection is not for the faint of heart and I still consider Cornfoot Road a no-go zone on a bike. The connection to the Holman greenway/42nd is also bad. It has no biking space and an uphill, shared lane in the southbound direction. That’s too bad, because we won’t reach the potential of this excellent new protected bikeway until we fix those trouble spots. The good news is there are plans in the books for a new 42nd Avenue bridge and for a new path on Cornfoot. They can’t happen soon enough and hopefully the completion of 47th adds urgency to the plans.
— It’s too bad the protection doesn’t go all the way to NE Columbia. For some reason (project scope most likely), the project doesn’t start until a few hundred feet north of Columbia.
Have you ridden this yet? Take a look at the photos and the video and let us know what you think.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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