If you are full of doom and gloom, you should really take a closer look at what’s happening on 82nd Avenue. After years of advocacy and tragedy, the City of Portland finally took it over from the State of Oregon last year. Now our local transportation bureau is busy turning it into more of a welcoming, civic main street instead of the stressful “orphan highway” it’s always been.
There’s $185 million to spend on a seven-mile stretch of 82nd between SE Clatsop and NE Killingsworth. The first phase of that is what PBOT is calling “Critical Fixes,” an $80 million package of projects focused on signals and streetlighting. Earlier today I shared their plans for new medians that will tame traffic on 82nd between NE Glisan and Davis.
Today PBOT announced they are ready to break ground on a separate project that will build six new signalized pedestrian crossings. The locations are NE Beech, NE Klickitat, NE Schuyler, SE Clinton, SE Ash, and SE Schiller streets. But wait, there’s more! They’ll also upgrade curb ramps to ADA standards, install high-visibility crosswalk markings, and add concrete median islands at each location. These are part of 21 total new or upgraded crossings that will be built in the next few years (three are done already, four more will get done in 2024, and PBOT has eight planned for 2025 and 2026).
These crossings are a huge deal. They’re coming (mostly) to intersections (see above) where there’s currently nothing for people on foot or bikes to get across five lanes of scary traffic. The cumulative impact on drivers when you add crossing treatments like this (not to mention the myriad other things PBOT is doing to 82nd) is huge. Speeds will come down. Compliance for Oregon’s crosswalk law will skyrocket. Dangerous driving will decrease.
Seriously…. Take a few minutes to check out PBOT’s 82nd Avenue Critical Fixes website to learn more about what they’re up to.