PBOT breaks ground on 70s Greenway crossing of NE Halsey

Before and after views of NE 76th offset crossing on Halsey.

— Story by Jacob Loeb, Montavilla News

Last week, road crews began work on NE Halsey Street at 76th Avenue (map), reducing driving lanes to make room for two pedestrian refuge islands and buffered bike lanes. This intersection improvement work supports the 70s Neighborhood Greenway project, providing a safe north-south connector for people walking or rolling to their destination. NE Halsey’s lane reconfiguration will extend several blocks east and west from this crossing, creating one travel lane in each direction with a center turn lane.

NE Halsey is one of the city-identified high crash corridors, making an enhanced intersection necessary at this new greenway crossing. NE 76th Avenue shifts 90 feet off-center at NE Halsey Street, creating two “T” intersections. Consequentially, engineers needed to construct extra in-road elements to protect multimodal cross traffic while allowing vehicle left turns. The new center turn lanes on NE Halsey will have two pedestrian refuge islands aligned with the east crossing of NE 76th Avenue and a short raised median to the west protecting a green striped bike crossing. Crews will reconstruct two corners featuring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps that align with mid-block curb ramps across NE Halsey Street. The SE corner of NE 76th Avenue and Halsey Street will also feature a westward curb extension, shortening the crossing distance and placing waiting pedestrians at the outer edge of the parking lane for greater visibility.

See PBOT engineering plans below:

The NE Halsey Street lane reconfiguration will extend from NE 70th to NE 80th Avenues and support other Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) safety improvements planned for this busy street. Reducing the four vehicle travel lanes to two adds road width for painted bike lanes to protect cyclists and a center turn lane for added protection. “This three-lane configuration is a proven safety improvement that national studies and local experience show results in safer travel for everyone,” explained PBOT representative Dylan Rivera. As they approach this ten-block segment of NE Halsey Street, signage along the corridor will notify people that a traffic pattern change is coming up.

PBOT expects the project on NE Halsey Street to conclude later this year, with striping and signage added by the end of December 2023. During the next few months, crews will need to close some streets and crossings as well as reduce travel lanes. Cyclists and pedestrians should use caution around NE 76th Avenue and potentially find alternate routes. TriMet has temporarily closed bus stops serving the 77 line (Stop IDs 2453 & 2452) at NE 76th Avenue in both directions. Riders who use those boarding locations should plan for additional travel time to the next stop through September 17th for eastbound service and September 27th for westbound service.

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Steve B
Steve B
5 months ago

I’m really excited for this project!

EP
EP
5 months ago

I’ve been waiting a long time for improvements on this stretch of Halsey that is a four-lane free for all race track/drag strip/mini-highway between 68th and 80th. A lot of people use this stretch as an alternative to I-84 from Hollywood to Gateway. When traffic is really backed up, people get off at 68th and then will race all the way out to 122nd to get back on I-84. It sucks playing frogger while trying to cross four lanes of high-speed traffic!

Hopefully these 70s greenway medians help calm traffic a bit until the rest of the street calming is in place, but I don’t know the timeline on that. The rest of the improvements should come from the scheduled “NE Halsey Street Safety and Access to Transit Project: NE 68th Ave to NE 92nd Ave”. The reconfiguration of 68th at the I-84 off ramp, and the mini-roundabout at 80th/81st will be great to see. The offset intersection at 74th is a tricky spot, I hope they come up with a good solve for that as well.

It’s great to see these changes finally coming to this area!

idlebytes
idlebytes
5 months ago

I just rode the new extension of the Davis/Everett greenway that connects 71st to 80th as part of the 70s greenway and it was great. Much less stressful than taking Burnside. Although of course in those nine whole blocks I did see a driver completely blow through a stop sign crossing the greenway going at least 20 mph so keep an eye out. Fortunately I was still a couple blocks away but it always makes me wonder if I were 20 seconds faster what would have happened.

I’m a little confused why they don’t seem to have any plans for how to cross Division at 77th. Currently they direct you to it from 80th but it just dumps you out on Division without even a marked crosswalk. If they aren’t going to do anything about it they should have directed people to 76th. It at least has a light and is technically a greenway although not a very good one with all the aggressive cut through traffic.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

That division crossing is a bit confusing since the route can’t go through PCC. It would be ideal if it could just use the new crossing at 80th and Division and then continue through PCC up to 80th. I’m not sure what the plan is, the new bike map shows a crossing at 77th and the project map looks like another street and says “Bikeway connection in partnership with Trimet.”

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/walking-biking-transit-safety/documents/portland-bicycle-citywide-map/download

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/pbot-projects/documents/70s-greenway-infographic/download

idlebytes
idlebytes
5 months ago
Reply to  EP

Ah thanks I missed that. Another connection that would be nice is if they could pave the one block of unimproved road on Clinton between 77th and 76th like they did for Everett. I ocassionaly ride through it but it’s rough even with my wider 35mm tires. I don’t even try it on my 28s.

Atreus
Atreus
5 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

TriMet is building the crossings at Division and Powell through a separate project later, so there will be a period of time where those crossings are not really improved. Just be extra careful crossing in the meantime!

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
5 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

I don’t think 76th is a greenway:

comment image

My guess is that it has sharrows and the occasional speed bump as a SRTS project.

Mark Linehan
Mark Linehan
5 months ago

Why is PBOT putting in this crossing of NE Halsey at 77th when there’s already a greenway on 74th that crosses Halsey at a traffic light? 3 blocks away?

74th is a more direct connection to the bridge over I-84.

Chris I
Chris I
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Linehan

And you can still use 74th if you want. Personally, I’ll take 77th so I don’t have to wait for the light to change.

Michael
Michael
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Linehan

I think that’s an error on the construction documents. The 70s Greenway project site refers to the intersection of Halsey and 74th. The key is that this intersection is finally getting a much needed upgrade.

Michael
Michael
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Linehan

Scratch my previous comment. I referenced the photo of the street crew with Google Maps Streetview, and it does look like the work is currently at NE 76th. Which seems odd if we’re just talking about the 70s Greenway project. BUT as a resident of the neighborhood a few years back, I remember getting a survey talking about both the 70s Greenway and a Halsey improvement. And indeed, the construction documents show bike lanes extending along Halsey beyond this isolated crossing. So, I wonder if this is actually for the Halsey improvement, and not the 70s Greenway. If so, I can say that I am beyond excited that this work is finally getting done, both as a cyclist and as a motorist who regularly drives this section of Halsey.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael

This intersection has two …intersecting… bike and road safety projects. The 70s Greenway, AND the NE Halsey Street Safety and Access to Transit Project: NE 68th Ave to NE 92nd Ave. Having a bike lane from 68th to 92nd will be amazing.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Linehan

This is for the 70s greenway. It’s way less stress to bike on 76th vs 74th. Especially if headed south/uphill to the horrible offset intersection at 74th and Halsey. I’ll take the lane if I’m headed northbound from the light at 74th and Halsey, but it’s a different story headed the other way.

The rest of the Halsey road diet and bike lane improvements are coming as part of the NE Halsey Street Safety and Access to Transit Project: NE 68th Ave to NE 92nd Ave.

Keith
Keith
5 months ago
Reply to  EP

I’m looking forward to the Halsey Street Safety project, but I wish there was some way to address the high speed west bound traffic coming off the overpass over 84 and 205.

EP
EP
5 months ago
Reply to  Keith

Theres _supposed to be_ a “mini-roundabout at 80th/81st to help calm/slow the westbound traffic coming down off the 82nd/84th overpass.

The other overpass at 84/205 is so tall that it creates a big downhill to build speed on. I’m not sure what the planned west-bound lane will look like there, but if it’s a right turn only lane, and only one lane through, traffic would help slow things. There’s _supposed to be_ a 2-way cycle track over 84/205 there, and less lanes for cars. I don’t know what to believe anymore with all the recent PBOT nonsense.

Watermelon lover
Watermelon lover
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Linehan

The southbound crossing of Halsey/74th should be improved for bicycling regardless of whether another crossing at 77th is built. It’s currently SO DIFFICULT to use. 74th between Halsey and Glisan will remain an important bikeway connection even with the new greenway.

EP
EP
5 months ago

It really needs to be a big 4-way intersection with traffic lights, despite the offset of 74th as it crosses Halsey.

Mary Vasquez
Mary Vasquez
5 months ago

That looks great. It’s alway dicey riding around Halsey and I-84. Any improvement will be welcome.