Project to eliminate two driving lanes on SE 162nd Ave will break ground this summer

The future of 162nd Ave.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced this week that the Southeast 162nd Ave Safety and Access to Transit Project will begin construction this summer.

In order to cross the street to reach this bus stop on 162nd and Grant, you’d either have to dodge speeding cars or walk down to Division …where you could get on at another stop.

The new design will leave people with three lanes to drive on instead of five. The reconfiguration gives PBOT room to vastly improve the safety of crossing the street to access transit stops and to create 14-foot wide bike lanes.

Unlike similar projects in east Portland, 162nd is not yet on PBOT’s ‘High Crash Network,’ a collection of streets and intersections where there are the most traffic deaths. As we shared back in 2019, the idea here is to tackle the problems proactively, instead of letting a dangerous situation spiral out of control.

The need to fix these aspects of 162nd was identified after TriMet added a new bus line serving the street (line 74) in 2018. TriMet installed bus stops at multiple points along the street where there aren’t crosswalks, making it unsafe and a hassle for people to get to their stop. PBOT says more than 6,000 drivers exceed the 35 miles per hour speed limit on this section of 162nd daily, a significant portion of whom are going more than 45 mph. Combined with a lack of sufficient crossings – there are only four on the entire 1.7 mile stretch – these high speeds are especially dangerous.

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When this project is complete, there will be seven new crosswalks with concrete median islands to shorten crossing distances located at the Alder, Mill, Lincoln-Grant, Taggart, Tibbets, Haig and Rhone intersections.

The project will also improve street lighting and fix some sidewalks. The stretch of 162nd between Division and Powell will be repaved (the full project scope is from Powell to Stark).

Kem Marks, who was then the Director of Transportation Equity at the Rosewood Initiative, told BikePortland in 2019 he was glad PBOT was taking a proactive stance on this project.

“The purpose of this project is to make sure it doesn’t become [a high crash corridor],” Marks said at the time, adding that as east Portland grows in population, the chances for traffic injuries or fatalities increase, too.

This project is funded with $4,300,000 from the Fixing Our Streets program and $1,700,000 from TriMet via the transportation bill passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017.

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Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago

When I look at a street plan like this and see bike lanes sandwiched between street parking and travel lanes, with no actual physical separation (curb, wands, anything) planned it really annoys me. Why can’t the bike lane go between the parking and the curb? They did it on the spur of Hawthorne from the viaduct to 12th and it works well. Just seems like a no brainier to me

Jonno
Jonno
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

I disagree with parking separation being safer, at least in my experience. On the Hawthorne stretch it’s difficult to pass slower riders (it’s downhill so generally fast), my right hook close calls are more frequent, and drivers tend to stop way farther past the line at intersections with less room for riders to adjust course. Again because it’s a fast stretch all of these issues are magnified. I’ve had similar circumstances on NE 7th and SW 2nd. A curbside bike lane is safer than a door zone lane, but IME parking protected lanes screen the rider from drivers’ view and create more conflicts than they resolve.

Let's Active
Let's Active
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

I also like riding within better sightlines of right-turning drivers on a road like this. Parking does provide better protection, but I’m generally more worried about turning vehicles and being “out of sight, out of mind.”

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
6 months ago
Reply to  Let's Active

And PBOT found that hardly anyone parks on this street given that it is almost entirely single-family with driveways.

Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

That lane is easily wide enough to pass in my experience, although I can see that being an issue on narrower stretches. My preferred street level bike infrastructure would be a raised, separated, two way path on one side instead of parking altogether. But that would take away parking spots, and we can’t have that!!

cdan
cdan
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

exactly! pisses me off every time riding up Naito north of the steel bridge, so many parked cars pulling in and out, delivery and utility trucks and vans parking half in the bike lane, clueless people opening doors which mean you have to ride at the very leftmost edge of the lane. sure, a parking-protected lane might lead to occasional issues for fast cyclists at intersections where cars don’t expect something faster than a pedestrian yet and make it harder to pass, but the goal here is to make cycling safe and approachable for grandma or a 3rd grader. parking protected lanes, eventually ideally replaced with sidewalk level paths and moving the curb inwards, are the way to go.

maxD
maxD
6 months ago

This is great. It is a no-brainer to reduce the width of the street and slow traffic for safety. I hope they incorporated some bus priority lanes so busses could get to the front at signals.

soren
soren
6 months ago

We need more of this everywhere and especially in affluent areas. Eliminating SUV/light-truck/(car) lanes will harm “choice-drivers” far more than “no-choice-drivers” and is therefore inherently less regressive than the fees (too small to significantly impact GHG emissions or the preferences of choice-drivers) favored by trickle-down voodoo-economics urbanists.

The time to rely on piddling supply-side “YIMBY” market incentives/disincentives to address GHG emissions was 40+ years ago. At this point anyone who is not advocating for mandates (e.g. getting rid of SUV/light-truck lanes systemically, getting rid of parking in the urban center and in commercial areas, banning sales of all personal ICE vehicles, banning sales of vehicles that weigh more than ~3000 lb, banning vehicles that have a mpge <130 etc.) is part of the problem.

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

A clarification: High-crash corridors and other high-risk streets should obviously be prioritized but there are plenty of such streets in bougie inner Portland that are less likely to be re-striped due to affluent SUV-centrism. For example, Sandy, Couch-Burnside, or Broadway-Weidler could be reduced to one SUV/truck lane each way. (MLK-Grand could also be reduced but this would require extensive community outreach and a comprehensive community agreement with REAL DOLLARS to address racist displacement and community erasure.)

Will
Will
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

Uh, everyone and their mother would love West Burnside to be narrowed and the sidewalks widened and planted. The only person that’s controversial for is Tres Shannon.

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  Will

…everyone and their mother would love West Burnside to be narrowed.

I don’t think this is true at all. There are an awful lot of very wealthy reactionary people in inner NW and SW Portland.

But even if it were true “organizers” are instead fixated on oxygen-sucking campaigns to levy small regressive fees that are unlikely to change middle/upper class behavior enough to substantially reduce CO2e. The physics of SUV/light-truck/(car) pollution demands massive changes in our transportation system not more nibbling around the edges that mostly functions to give people the illusion of doing something.

Tweaking extractive capitalism with small fees is just another form of delay.

Watts
Watts
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

Please bring the restriping to inner SE Powell! I don’t at all understand why fixing up the streets in the “affluent” areas is somehow striking a progressive blow against the man, but hell, I’ll take it. Bring on the blows! Yes please!!!

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Affluent people have the time and money to raise the kind of fuss that makes PBOT planners want to curl up in fetal positions. The reactionary rich who live in the Pearl, NW district, and twee inner SW hills have always had the ear of city council. I would love to see the kind of political revolution that would jam this kind of structural change through but I’m not holding my breath.

maccoinnich
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

I don’t see anyone arguing against this project, but of course that doesn’t stop you from using the comment sections to air your personal grievances.

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

personal grievances

I provided examples of policies that sharply differ from the mild “reforms” urbanists prefer and these policies were summarily dismissed as nothing more than a “personal grievance” — yet another ad hominem. It’s fascinating how YIMBYs, who are infamous for their derision and mockery of NIMBYs*, are unable to tolerate even mildly pointed criticism of their own center/center-right socioeconomic ideoloy.

*and occasionally PHIMBYs like myself

maccoinnich
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

Would you like to share with the group some of the work you’re doing on banning sales of all personal ICE vehicles for example? And who, specifically, is opposing that?

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

I could describe some of my advocacy and even some of the policy work I’ve done for political candidates but I don’t think any of this would satisfy your “curiosity”. IMO, the subtext of this request for personal information is that if someone is not part of the “coalition” that focuses on the tiny changes allowed by capitalist politics they are just some kook who has a personal grudge* or have some other personal flaw that allows for dismissal (or worse).

I hope I’ve never attacked you personally and if I have, I apologize. Nevertheless, I will not apologize for my criticism# of the dehumanizing market fundamentalism that serves as the bedrock of Portland’s urbanist/YIMBY movement.

*absolutely no evidence for this is ever provided

#this is a political opinion, not a personal attack

X
X
6 months ago
Reply to  soren

Soren: smarter and more woke than anyone on BP, yet uses a term like “voodoo” so nonchalantly lol

soren
soren
6 months ago
Reply to  X

Thank you for your comment. I apologize for using this term and will definitely stop using it.

Jonno
Jonno
6 months ago

Now do 102nd, 122nd and 148th

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Didn’t 102nd and 122nd just get done?

jonno
jonno
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Not with lane reductions, I believe.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

It’s nice to know that with the right diet, lots of exercise, and a bit of cash, every roadway out there has an opportunity to be a better roadway, more fit and longer lasting.

jonno
jonno
6 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

I stand corrected. I was on 122nd and Glisan the other day and it was still 4 lanes in that area.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

I’ve seen road diet plans for 148th plus for 122nd south of Holgate. I’m hoping they eventually do an anorexic road diet of “advisory bike lanes” on 122nd after they add a tree-lined boulevard median and protected Rose and bike lanes, plus 20-foot wide sidewalks, from Holgate to Airport Road.