The paused greenway project through Rose City Golf Course has been unpaused.
Reeling from the Broadway bike lane scandal, Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Millicent Williams has changed her mind about a key piece of the 70s greenway project. In statements made at the PBOT Bureau Budget Advisory Committee and in an all-staff email she sent Thursday, Williams acknowledged that it was her decision to pause the project — and now she has decided to unpause it.
“This is one part of the project I initially said to pause,” she wrote in the email. “No more pause. We will move ahead.”
To quickly rewind: PBOT planned to change the stretch of NE 72nd Avenue that bisects Rose City Golf Course from its current two-way configuration to a one-way for drivers. In order to create a more low-stress, family-friendly connection between NE Tillamook and Sacramento (both of which are bike routes), the redesign would turn it into one-way southbound for car drivers. The entire northbound lane would be reserved for biking, walking, rolling, and other non-car uses.
Some residents strongly opposed the plan, but after reviewing traffic data and their transportation policies and goals, PBOT opted to go through with the plan. They even sent out postcards to announce the start of construction. But then PBOT Director Williams put the project on ice. The rationale was that more community outreach needed to be done — in part because the initial round of engagement was done during Covid and (in Williams’ words yesterday), “When we were engaging on the project did not have the opportunity to connect some of the ways that we typically would, and so we want to get him to open community the opportunity to engage.”
Now the project will move forward.
“We decided today to move forward with the planned striping on NE 72nd Drive through Rose City Park,” Williams said in an email to PBOT staff Thursday afternoon. “This is one part of the project I initially said to pause. No more pause. We will move ahead on the striping.”
Williams said PBOT will move forward with the lane reconfiguration but that they still plan to do additional community outreach before all elements of the project are installed. “This is to do our due diligence because of the mixed feedback we’ve heard from the community about this segment of the greenway,” Williams wrote.