The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been working on reconfiguring the intersection at Southeast Lincoln-Harrison and 30th in the Richmond neighborhood for some time. We took a closer look at this project back in January, and since then, PBOT has done something local advocates have pushed strongly for: They have replaced “paint-and-post” with concrete islands and curbs!
As you can see, it looks a lot cleaner. Save for a bit of construction still in progress on the east side of 30th Ave south of Lincoln Street, the project is effectively complete. So, what’s the verdict thus far?
First, check out a few more images:
As a Richmond resident, I bike through this intersection regularly, and I’m usually in good company: the Lincoln-Harrison greenway is an important east-west bikeway in southeast Portland in between busy Hawthorne Blvd and Division St.
When I went over to check out the specs of the updated intersection, I saw several other people biking through the new infrastructure. One person who stopped to talk to me while he was biking with his dog said he doesn’t feel much beyond “meh” about the updates.
He said he and his dog ride this route almost every day, but he hasn’t noticed a substantial change here as far as his ease of his experience. Nonetheless, he said he appreciates that PBOT pays attention to small details like this, because in certain cases, he’s seen them make a big difference.
(Initial plans were very meager.)
The reason for this project was to address the wide expanse of pavement created by the offset intersection where Lincoln becomes Harrison going west — which was too wide to be safe for people biking, walking or otherwise rolling through, especially considering the volume of car traffic on 30th. PBOT has planned to make improvements to the greenway since 2017 after identifying it as one of the worst-performing greenways in the city because of its stretches of high car volume and speeds.
Now, thanks to new swaths of new paved medians and other features, the crossing at 30th is much tighter than it used to be and as a result people can’t drive as fast. And as we pointed out in January, since people driving cars can’t travel east onto Lincoln from Harrison, traffic is much calmer.
PBOT traffic data shared in fall 2019 showed that their calming methods at this intersection had been a “significant success” with a whopping 41% decrease in average daily traffic (ADT) at Lincoln and 30th.
The larger context here is what this project illustrates about PBOT’s approach to defending neighborhood greenways from car users. First they identified the problem, then they brought potential solutions to the neighborhood, then they tweaked their plan based on public feedback (the initial plan called for only a few sharrows!), then they installed the temporary plastic posts, then they added paintings in partnership with the neighborhood, and now they’ve finished it off with a high-quality, permanent treatment.
Thanks PBOT. Now let’s replicate this approach and implementation at thousands of intersections citywide!
[Jonathan Maus contributed to this story.]
[This is our sixteenth story (!) about PBOT’s efforts to tame traffic on the Lincoln-Harrison neighborhood greenway. Browse the archives to learn more.]