The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced today that they have “transformed” a 1.8 mile stretch of SE 136th Avenue between SE Division and Foster. After 18 months of construction and a $6.7 million investment, the road has gone from a crack-and-pothole filled mess with on-street parking on both sides, to a much more complete street.
Here’s what PBOT has done:
– 1.8 miles of street repaving
– 1.8 miles of continuous sidewalk on the west side of the street
– 3.6 miles of new protected bike lanes (1.8 mi in each direction)
– 48 new or upgraded ADA curb ramps
– 52 new street trees
– 6 new bioswales
– 1 rebuilt traffic signal (SE Division St. and SE 136th Ave)
– 1.8 miles of upgraded street lighting
The changes not only improve the experience of using 136th and open it up to safer cycling, they also help people connect to many destinations including three elementary schools and numerous parks. Bus users will also benefit from safer crossings to reach the Line 17 and 10 routes.
The bike only lanes are five-feet wide with a three-foot buffer. They are adjacent to 10-foot wide general purpose lanes.
PBOT has also added to connections to other parts of the network from the new bike lanes on 136th. The two new bikeways are protected bike lanes on SE Holgate from 136th to 130th to connect to the 130s Neighborhood Greenway, and a series of sharrows and signage on SE Center to connect to the 150s Neighborhood Greenway.
PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty (an east Portland resident who wasn’t on council when the project was first designed and funded), said this project is another example of how the agency is directing investment toward the, “Historically neglected streets of East Portland.” Another part of the project Hardesty is excited about is that the prime contractor was a woman-owned firm and seven of the 11 subcontractors used are state-certified disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, emerging small businesses.
I plan to roll out to see this project myself soon. I’m curious how they look and feel in real life. One reader shared with us via Twitter this morning that the bike lanes are filled with leaves and garbage bins and illegally parked cars. This is common across Portland when these curbside bike lanes are installed, but the problems typically improve over time.
Have you used 136th recently? What was your experience?