‘Transformed’: SE 136th Ave now has new pavement, sidewalk and protected bike lanes

Posted by on November 9th, 2021 at 1:28 pm

The new and improved SE 136th Ave. (Photos: PBOT)

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.

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136th and its relation to other bikeways. (Map via PBOT)

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?

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FunFella13
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FunFella13

I walked the stretch between Powell and Division a couple of weekends ago.. still no chance I’d ride out there. Too disconnected and too much speeding to trust the sporadic curbs.

PTB
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PTB

I run from the house to Powell Butte and cross 136th multiple times a week. This all looks pretty nice to me. They still need to keep hammering people who feel they can park in the bike lanes (a lot of folks out this way sure seem to own a ton of cars). I’m glad the city did all this work even though I’ve yet to see anyone use any of this.

jonno
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jonno

I rode it last night – bike lanes were filled with leaves and garbage bins 🙂

Rode it last Sunday – bike lanes were filled with leaves, garbage bins and illegally parked cars.

Otherwise it’s an improvement over what was there before. I’ve only used it to go from the Springwater to Holgate to access Powell Butte trails.

David Hampsten
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David Hampsten

18 months? Where did that figure come from? The project has been on the books for over 25 years. Some of the improvements were built in 2010 such as the Bush crossing, some later in 2012-14 such as the retaining walls. It’s taken 11 years to construct it, not 18 months. And the price tag is closer to $18 million over that time.

pixie
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pixie

3.6 miles of new protected bike lanes (1.8 mi in each direction)
1.8 miles of street repaving
1.8 miles of upgraded street lighting

Are the above statistics direct from PBOT? Doubling up the miles of protected bike lanes leaves a bad impression on how data is presented.

Was the street repaved in only one direction? Was the upgraded street lighting only in one direction?

Todd/Boulanger
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Todd/Boulanger

Pixie…In response to your comment “Doubling up the miles of protected bike lanes leaves a bad impression on how data is presented.” This measurement used is very common in the transportation planning and engineering field as it help to communicate the true facility size of a project. Image the alternative, the old CRC project could have been say a “~2 mile long project” vs. a ~24+ lane mile project…

eawriste
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eawriste

I think this is why using miles of PBLs alone can be a misleading number. A better metric would be miles of connected PBL network, in which case Portland has very few. Is 136th good? Sure. Is it connected to a safe network? Not even close. Is there a plan to prioritize a network at PBOT? I see no evidence of that.

TakeTheLane
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TakeTheLane

I don’t understand. Where are delivery vehicles and friends supposed to park while visiting the homes along this road? I don’t live there, but this is becoming a serious issue in my neighborhood, NoPo, for a different reason – businesses and infill created without parking.

Steve C
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Steve C

Take a look at google maps and street view. There was already no one parking along this stretch of 136th. I also see every house or apartment has a driveway with multiple spots and there are tons of side streets with ample street parking. If the area lacked parking before, this project didn’t make it worse in any way. If anything, legally allows delivery drivers to park in the bike lane, as they do all over, and make their delivery.

Jason Skelton
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Jason Skelton

If one’s home is on a major roadway you should not expect on street parking in front of your house. People live on Cesar Chavez and 82nd don’t have parking in front of their homes.

David Hampsten
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David Hampsten

The map is bizarre. It excludes the Springwater MUP, the PBLs (122nd to 136th) and BLs on Powell, and the TriMet upgrades on Division. Presumably it only includes PBOT projects.

SERider
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SERider

No way those bike lanes are standard width. The buffer is nice, but they look to be about 3-4 ft max in many spots. They can’t even fit the bicycle symbol in them without getting in the gutter/curb.