Project to make N Delaware Ave bike-friendly breaks ground in March

N Delaware crossing Rosa Parks Way. (Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

In the coming months there will be a new neighborhood greenway established in north Portland. The project will create a more bicycle-friendly street on a 1.3-mile stretch of North Delaware between Sumner and Terry.

Delaware is already an important north-south street in the bike network, but it’s currently listed on the official city bike map as a “shared roadway” — one step in quality below a neighborhood greenway. Delaware connects the campus of Adidas North American headquarters near Willamette Blvd in the south and crosses important east-west bikeways such as Ainsworth, Rosa Parks, Bryant and Lombard. Delaware also provides direct access to Arbor Lodge Park, Chief Joseph Elementary School, Portland Village School, and Kenton Park.

To make it safer and more welcoming for bicycle riders, the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced in an email to nearby residents earlier this month they plan to begin construction at the end of March.

The plan calls for:

  • 19 new speed bumps,
  • green crossbike striping at N Killingsworth,
  • green bike boxes at N Rosa Parks (along with parking removal at the corners and a ban on right turns during red signals),
  • and sharrow pavement markings, new wayfinding signage, intersection daylighting, and turned stop signs along the entire route.

Changes at Rosa Parks Way will be especially welcome. This intersection was the site of a very serious injury collision in 2016 that left a man paralyzed. It is also a busy cycling route for families coming and going to Chief Joseph Elementary School who want to use the existing protected bike lanes on Rosa Parks.

A few blocks north of Rosa Parks, between Saratoga and Bryant (an existing neighborhood greenway), PBOT has already made Delaware a carfree street. This section is between an elementary school and a park and is a safe place for kids and their families to play! In 2015, volunteers erected a covered bike parking area in the street.

Delaware emerged as a “Tier 1” recommendation during PBOT’s North Portland in Motion planning process.

Also of note in this project is PBOT’s decision to not address the problematic crossing at Lombard. You’ll recall that the Oregon Department of Transportation completed a major bikeway project on Lombard in 2022, but they downgraded the bike crossing at Delaware. PBOT is aware of the issue, but says they don’t have enough funding to make changes at this time.

Learn more about this project on PBOT’s website.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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pdxblake
pdxblake
1 month ago

It’s so disappointing that ODOT has money to effectively remove the N-to-S crossing of Delaware over Lombard and PBOT has to find money to undo the damage. But ODOT has gobs of money to throw at projects that probably won’t every get built at all or in the form that they are trying to force through (I-5 widening at the Rose Quarter and Columbia River).

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  pdxblake

ODOT has gobs of money to throw at projects that probably won’t ever get built

Talk to your state legislators; they’re the ones providing the money and directing ODOT to blaze ahead on the CRC. They could just as easily tell ODOT to scale the project down and instead spend the money on making it safer to cross their urban highways.

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

And the governor who like her predecessor is as highway-centric and SUV-loving as it gets.

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

The CRC is dead. But long live the IBR. 😉

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Todd/Boulanger

New name on an old turkey.

Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago
Reply to  pdxblake

Yes, ODOT removing that pedestrian and bike-activated signal really stinks. I surmise that they think they’re unsafe, while PBoT does not. I wonder if there’s any studies of their relative safety? I’ve used this type of signal a lot while cycling, primarily at SE Salmon & Chavez thousands of times, and love them.

Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff S

on further reflection I’m inclined to guess that ODoT doesn’t like these signals since they do not have activation by/signal head for autos.

dw
dw
1 month ago
Reply to  pdxblake

So many places in our bike network where ODOT ruins an otherwise good route. I guess they’re set up to serve the interests of rural/suburban drivers above all else, so no wonder. Like Watts said below, write your reps.

Andrew Kreps
Andrew Kreps
1 month ago

To the editor: The link to the volunteer-built bike shelter seems to link instead to a 2006 Pedalpalooza Dance Party volunteer page. Which sounds awesome. 🙂

Andy Palmquist
Andy Palmquist
1 month ago

ODOT’s redesign of Lombard was a total joke when it comes to bike-friendly infrastructure.

Aaron
1 month ago

So disappointing that they aren’t fixing the crossing at Lombard which is by far the most problematic part of N Delaware. I stopped riding on Delaware as my primary route to get to the post office because that crossing feel so dangerous and unprotected. I guess we’ll spend a bunch of money painting bike boxes and adding speed bumps but nothing is going to fundamentally change about Delaware for me after this project unfortunately, it still won’t be fit for purpose traveling North-South in that part of the neighborhood.