Say your goodbyes to the big tree and traffic circle at NE 7th and Tillamook because the City of Portland is about to remove it.
The traffic circle is good at calming traffic, but it also reduces visibility and often creates unexpected behaviors when people cut it the wrong-way and/or don’t adhere to proper yielding etiquette.
Tillamook is also a popular east-west bike street and PBOT thinks removing the traffic circle from this offset jog with 7th will make the intersection less stressful. This project’s also means the area surrounding the intersection will be closed to car traffic for 4-6 weeks.
This is part of PBOT’s Lloyd-Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project to “establish a low stress walking and biking route” connecting neighborhoods in NE Portland to the Lloyd District and the Blumenauer Bridge (and everything south of I-84). PBOT is also working on a project to make it safer to get to the Blumenauer Bridge via 7th from the south, which they say they’ll begin construction on later this month. And they’ve already completed a Rose Lane project at NE Couch as another established bike route to the new bridge.
Below are two more views of what the 7th and Tillamook intersection looks like now today:
According to a map PBOT released with this project announcement Thursday, they will install a “two-way bicycle lane” on Tillamook one block east and west of this intersection. We aren’t clear if that’s just during the construction zone or exactly what this will look like, but we’ll report back when we learn more.
The changes at this intersection may seem small, but it’s important to have as little friction as possible on this north-south corridor. The city just spent $19 million on this bridge, so people need to be able to get there!
It will be interesting to see how people respond to the intersection being closed to car traffic. Tillamook is a greenway, which ostensibly means it should be very low-car already, but this closure will give people walking, biking and rolling a chance to see what navigating the area is like when they don’t have to avoid car traffic. (People on Twitter are already calling on PBOT to make it carfree permanently!)
Construction on this project will start on Tuesday and go until next month. Stay tuned for updates as the Blumenauer Bridge corridor continues to unfold.