In defense of a bike-friendly street and with a goal to stop drivers from cutting through a dense residential neighborhood, the City of Portland plans to construct a median island in the middle of an intersection in northwest.
The median will be installed on NW Vaughn and 24th. It’s a key crossing of the north-south, NW 24th Avenue neighborhood greenway route and the project was first identified through PBOT’s NW In Motion plan (see below).
A mailer sent to nearby homes by PBOT at the end of April said, “The project will improve safety and reduce cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets in the Northwest District, creating a safer, more comfortable connection. The project will make it easier for people on foot and bike to cross NW Vaughn.” Another stated goal of the project is to lower the amount of drivers who cut-through onto the greenway and to make it easier and safer for bikers and walkers to cross Vaughn.
As you can see in the plan drawing above, for drivers going north on 24th toward Vaughn, only right turns will be allowed. And from Vaughn, only right turns onto 24th will be permitted. Folks coming off I-5 who want to get to destinations like the shops on NW Thurman or Forest Park won’t be able to turn left at 24th. Instead they’ll need to go a block further west to a signalized intersection at 25th.
The project will add to already completed additions of speed bumps and five recently improved crossings on 24th from Flanders to Vaughn.
As per usual, PBOT will build the new median and crossing with temporary materials, then monitor traffic changes for six months before installing permanent materials. Construction is expected to begin in July 2023.