Right now, 122nd Ave is a scary street for many people to use. It has nine lanes: two general lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, two lanes for parking and two bike lanes. The cycling space is unprotected and between parked cars and other travel lanes buffered only by thin lines of paint. The wide cross-section makes it difficult to cross safely and encourages bad decisions.
These are issues PBOT seeks to improve with its 122nd Ave Plan, and they want your feedback on what they should prioritize in the redesign of a key section.
While changes will ultimately be made to all of 122nd Ave (which stretches 6.4 miles from SE Foster Road up to NE Marine Drive) as part of this plan, PBOT is currently considering how best to use initial funding from the Fixing Our Streets program to redesign just the 1.4 mile segment from Foster to SE Powell Blvd.
Earlier this year, PBOT released community feedback they received about the 122nd Plan, noting some people were torn between maintaining car traffic space and adding more protection for people walking and biking. Another high priority item seemed to be adding green space to the street, as it lacks canopy coverage that’s not only visually appealing, but also helps cool streets when large expanses of pavement drive up temperatures on hot days.
Based on that feedback, PBOT has created three options with renderings for the redesign between Foster and Powell. All three options increase protection for people riding in the bike lanes, add a center median and trees to varying degrees of priority. What’s not up for debate is that the space currently devoted to two lanes used for driving will be reallocated to more important uses — a move PBOT says won’t cause increased congestion.
Here’s the lowdown on the options:
The first option focuses on buffered bike lanes, which beefs up the paint buffer between the bike lanes and car parking/car traffic. This option maintains most of the current parking space, and of all the choices, it provides the least space for adding trees
The second option is to create parking protected bike lanes, which would move car parking space to be directly adjacent to car traffic space so the bike lanes are adjacent to the sidewalk. In this case, parking space would get about a 50% reduction and there would be more space for trees along some corners.
The third option is the most dramatic redesign. This option provides ample space for trees and landscaping in very wide center medians, cutting back on the buffer between bike lanes and car traffic but significantly shortening the amount of time people crossing the street have to be in the line of car traffic. People driving wouldn’t be able to access driveways directly due to the center median and would need to make U-turns. This design would require additional funding to implement.
PBOT plans to begin construction on this section of 122nd in 2024. You can find out more about the redesign at the project website and give feedback through the survey, which will be open through June 16th.
Taylor has been BikePortland’s staff writer since November 2021. She has also written for Street Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org