Portland has lots of little sections of carfree streets. Usually just a block or two. I want to share more about them here in hopes that it inspires us to create more of them.
The other day I came across a brand new one: NW 24th between Westover/Flanders and Glisan.
This is a neat little block that was never really a major thoroughfare for drivers, but it’s still nice to have it officially set aside as a quiet carfree space. It’s amazing how a few concrete barricades can transform a potentially hostile environment into a serene one.
This is a gorgeous part of Portland that feels historic because it has very old paving stones still in tact and it’s surrounded by huge mature trees and old stately homes. While just one block in size, the space feels larger because there’s also a sidewalk and a hillside adjacent to Westover that adds some square footage.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) grabbed the opportunity to make this block carfree as part of a larger effort to establish NW 24th as a safe neighborhood greenway route as envisioned in the Northwest In Motion plan.
When I rolled through a few days ago I noticed that the block was a magnet for walkers, runners, and bike riders. It was beautiful! Whenever we reclaim streets for people, it becomes immediately clear that it was the presence of cars that prevents our streets from reaching their full potential.
Stay tuned for more of these little profiles of Portland’s many carfree spaces.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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