First look: The tiny (yet important) cycle-track on SW Terwilliger at Capitol Highway

New bikeway SW Terwilliger and Cap Hwy-1.jpg

It might not look like much, but it makes a big difference.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The changes are a big improvement.”
— Barbara Stedman, southwest Portland resident

Slowly but surely, the City of Portland is improving bikeways in southwest. Case in point are the recently completed changes to the intersection of SW Capitol Highway and Terwilliger (a.k.a the “teardrop”).

People who ride in this area know the intersection well because it was a common place for close-calls. I experienced this first-hand during a ride-along with a southwest Portland family in 2012 (see photo below). The curvature of the road, mixed with the unprotected bike lane was a bad combination. Fortunately a Portland Water Bureau project provided the impetus to finally fix the bikeway and make something much safer (and we were fortunate that a volunteer advocate spoke up to make sure it happened – thanks Keith Liden!).

Before I share more photos of the new bikeway, here’s how it used to look (note the pinch-point and how the younger rider opts wisely for the sidewalk):

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City will update NW 16th Ave with buffered bike lane

The new bike lane will fill a gap in the network and help people connect to the new carfree bridge coming to NW Flanders. (Image: PBOT)
The new bike lane will fill a gap in the network and help people connect to the new carfree bridge coming to NW Flanders.
(Image: PBOT)

The City of Portland is reconfiguring the lanes of Northwest 16 Avenue between Johnson and Glisan. That three-block stretch of road in one of the most dense areas of the state currently lacks dedicated bicycle access.

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City of Portland boosts network with 5.6 miles of newly buffered bike lanes

A few of the streets recently striped by PBOT to narrow standard lanes and provide more space for cycling-only lanes.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
A few of the streets recently striped by PBOT to narrow standard lanes and provide more space for cycling-only lanes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Have you noticed all the new white stripes on Portland streets? In the past few weeks, several key bike lanes across the city have been beefed up with an additional bike lane stripe. These buffers create more breathing room between bicycle riders and automobile drivers.

After coming across several of them while riding around recently, I asked PBOT what was going on.

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Repaving on E Burnside brings newly buffered bike lanes

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
buffered burnside

Yes, this guy doesn’t seem to know he’s riding in the buffer rather than the lane. Bike stencils or cross hatches would help.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Here’s an example of the sort of incremental bike-lane improvement we can hopefully expect to see more of now that the city has $9 million more per year to repave roads.

This spring, the city refinished East Burnside Street with a smooth new coat of asphalt. And when they did, they converted the 1990s-style door-zone bike lane to a more comfortable buffered bike lane between Interstate 205 and approximately 90th Avenue.

It’s not a major improvement but it does extend what was already a buffered bike lane on Burnside’s bridge across I-205 by about a third of a mile. This is the most comfortable crossing of I-205 anywhere south of Marine Drive, so it’s nice to improve the comfort a bit further west.

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PBOT plans to stripe new 3rd Avenue bike lane this weekend

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
3rdpage

Image from PBOT website showing new configuration of SW 3rd just south of Burnside.

The new lane will be a wide, buffered bicycle lane to increase comfort for all ages and abilities of bicycle riders, such as tourists and families.
— PBOT

The demonstration that inspired it happened one year ago, the compromise among stakeholders that confirmed it happened four months ago, and it was first promised to be on the ground one month ago.

Now, at long last, the Bureau of Transportation has made an official announcement that they plan to “reconfigure” 3rd Avenue this weekend.

As we reported back in August, the plan is to re-stripe nine blocks of 3rd from NW Glisan to SW Stark in order to make room for a bicycling-only lane. The new bike lane will be installed in place of the existing standard lane and it will be seven-feet wide with extra “buffered” space on boths sides.

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First look at new, left-side buffered bike lanes on NW Everett

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
new buffered bike lane NE Everett-14

There’s a new, 10-foot wide bike lane on NW Everett (and as you can see not everyone knows it’s for bikes only).
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT has completed a lane “reorganization” project on NW Everett Street between NW 25th and I-405. As we reported back in May, this project is the result of two factors: An understanding by the bureau that the intersection of NW Everett and 16th is unsafe due to its history of right-hook collisions; and a repaving project that gave them a golden opportunity to do something about it.

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Eugene students’ proposed downtown-to-campus bikeway moving forward

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Rendering of 13th at Oak Street in Eugene.
(Image: LiveMove)

A student-driven project in Eugene, intended to create a “more comfortable and intuitive” link between the University of Oregon campus and downtown Eugene, seems to be on its way to construction and just scored a statewide planning award.

We’ve ventured south of our usual coverage area to track this project a bit because it’s such a good example of community-driven planning in a city with close Portland ties.

UO graduate student David Minor was killed in a car crash while riding his bike on East 13th Avenue in 2008. His parents have put up $150,000 in his memory to support this project.

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Student project could become two-way buffered bike lane in Eugene

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Rendering of 13th at Oak Street in Eugene.
(Image: LiveMove)

When we explored four reasons college towns tend to be bike-friendly last month, we left one off: they produce lots of technical experts who are passionate about improving their communities.

It looks as if a group of Eugene students is likely to do exactly that. After nine months of volunteer planning, the University of Oregon group LiveMove has unveiled a plan for their city’s second two-way bike facility, and the city government is officially considering it.

The plan is for 13th Avenue, a one-mile one-way corridor between the UO campus and Olive Street in downtown Eugene. The east-west route has a bike lane, a bus line and various commercial storefronts.

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In Vancouver, bike lovers celebrate restriping of an overbuilt arterial

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, center, joined
the crowd trying out a newly right-sized
MacArthur Boulevard Saturday.
(Photos: Dan Packard)

“Like it a lot.” “Love it!” “Feels a lot safer!” “Freakin’ FANTASTIC!”

These were some of the comments from people on a bike ride Saturday along the newly restriped, right-sized MacArthur Boulevard in Vancouver, Wash. After months of advocacy and activism, people who use bikes finally have a model transportation corridor along a portion of the major east/west bicycle route across the southern part of Vancouver.

Mayor Tim Leavitt was one of the approximately 35 people who joined the ride of the new buffered bike lanes. Speaking afterward, he said, “I’m very pleased with the outcome of all the public involvement and advocacy. This new configuration really improves connectivity and safety for everyone who uses the road. And this is just the beginning for this community and will be an example of a smart, safe transportation corridor.”

As part of a restriping project along MacArthur, the city had initially proposed sharrows as a way to appease both people concerned about a sub-standard shoulder for bikes and people who wanted to keep two lanes of auto traffic in each direction, even though the road is very lightly traveled.

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First Look: Wider bike lanes on NW Broadway ramp

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
New striping on Broadway ramp-3

Wider is better. (Note the old bike lane stripe
that has been scraped off.)
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

PBOT is nearly finished with a project to improve bicycling conditions on the NW Broadway ramp south of the Broadway Bridge. The $30,000 project is expected to be finished by tonight but most of the new striping was completed early this morning before rush hour.

In order to create the additional five feet needed for the buffered bike lane, PBOT reduced the amount of vehicle lanes from five to four. Instead of a five-foot bike lane and four, 9.5-foot standard lanes, there is now a 10-foot bike lane and three, 11-foot standard vehicle lanes. The change was made because of the huge amount of people who ride bicycles down this ramp and the need to create safer and more pleasant conditions for them.

I rode it this morning and took a few photos.

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