A visual summary by ODOT of the surface-street changes proposed in the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. (Images: ODOT and Google Street View)
When they explain their support for spending hundreds of millions to add two new on/off freeway lanes and freeway shoulders to Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter, Portland city leaders have a go-to answer: better surface streets.
It’s true, Mayor Ted Wheeler conceded last month, that more freeway throughput at this interchange would do “very little to arrest congestion.” Instead, more driving is likely to fill any new space that might open up on the freeway, ultimately leaving cars and trucks as jammed as before (though possibly elsewhere on the road system).
But from Portland’s perspective, Wheeler said, the $450 million Rose Quarter project is “mostly a bicycle and pedestrian play.”
OK. So we wanted to know what, exactly, are taxpayers getting in this location that would improve biking and walking?
After a year on hiatus, Portland’s only bike-specific craft fair will ride again this December.
The simple idea, as phrased by co-producer Elly Blue of Microcosm Publishing: “Anyone who makes something bike-centric can pay a small tabling fee and come sell their stuff to a crowd of happy cyclists. It’s informal, fun, and all about building community and supporting the kitchen table and small business economy.”
This year’s event happens the weekend of Dec. 15-17 at the Bike Farm, 1810 NE 1st Ave. just north of Broadway. It’s free to attend Saturday and Sunday; this year there’ll also be a paid preview party on Friday night to benefit the Bike Farm’s mission (a cheap place to crank on your bike and/or learn how) and to let people “shop early in a festive but less busy setting,” Blue says.
From SE 82nd Avenue to the Gresham city limits near 174th Avenue, the agency is planning to pay for a vertical barrier, mostly a series of concrete curbs, to protect the bike lanes that will have been recently widened and buffered by a separate City of Portland project. And when the Division bike lanes pass bus stops — as they would at 87th, I-205, 101st, 112th, 122nd, 130th, 135th, 143rd, 148th, 156th, 162nd, 168th and 174th — they’ll often be wrapping to the sidewalk side in order to reduce bike-bus conflicts.
Ride right, pass left? Or the other way around? (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
I got a call this week from Portland resident Alec Boehm, who’s looking for advice on a question many Portlanders have grappled with over the years.
When people biking and walking have dedicated spaces on a relatively narrow multi-use path, should faster bikes pass slower bikes on the right, or on the left? And (by the same token) should people who expect to be passed keep to the left of the biking lane, or to the right?
You can see the same situation constantly on the Hawthorne Bridge, and sometimes the Broadway, too. Until this week, you could sometimes see it for northbound bike traffic on Naito Parkway’s temporary protected biking and walking lanes, too.
Suspended licenses: In most of the United States, losing the ability to drive sends anyone who needs income into a “hellhole of desperation.” Maybe that’s why three in four Americans with suspended licenses choose to keep driving, even though that can lead to a crushing debt burden if they’re caught.
This stretch of Naito has never had a bikeway. One could become a crucial connection if it were added, but it’d mean making at least part of “Better Naito,” the temporarily improved stretch of road immediately to the north, permanent. (Image: Google Maps)
The result: The city has worked up a rough engineering concept that includes a bike path and protected two-way bike lanes between Salmon Street and Harrison Street, including on-street protected bike lanes beneath the Hawthorne Bridge onramp that would permanently repurpose one of Naito’s four auto traffic lanes for biking, at least at this crucial pinchpoint.
Blazers Bike Night in 2014. (Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)
The NBA’s bike-friendliest franchise is again inviting Portlanders interested in bicycling to get discounted tickets and join a special bike-themed pre-game reception.
This season’s first Portland Trail Blazers Bike Night happens at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Blazers will face the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Center in inner Northeast Portland. It’s being co-organized with the Community Cycling Center, the local nonprofit bike shop and bikes-for-all advocacy group.
200-level tickets that night are on sale for $58 and 300-level tickets are on sale for $28, with a $5 transaction fee per order. To get those prices and entry to the pre-game reception (“food, drinks, raffle prizes and an opportunity to learn more about the Community Cycling Center”), sign up at rosequarter.com/bikenight/ with promo code BIKE. The promotional sale ends this Sunday, Oct. 1.