You’ve heard of rails-to-trails, how about rails-to-cycle-track?
That’s what in store for a defunct railroad bed on a 0.6 mile section of NW Nicolai Street that’s been paved over in the northwest industrial area. The Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to add some markings and a few other finishing touches to make this a two-way bikeway between Highway 30 and NW Wardway. It’s one of 18 projects that
will be built will receive funding in the coming year thanks to $2,085,000 set aside for small-scale projects identified through programs in the city’s Transportation System Plan (TSP).
An opportunistic move by the Portland Bureau of Transportation has given us a glimpse into the future of biking and walking in the Cully neighborhood.
PBOT recently took advantage of a repaving project on Northeast Killingsworth to build a new striping and crossing treatment that connects NE 55th and 54th Avenues. It’s all part of the $3.3 million “Connected Cully” project that PBOT won funding for via a State of Oregon grant (the 2015-2018 STIP to be exact). I took a closer look at it yesterday.
PBOT has built a two-way bike lane for one block that’s separated from motor vehicle traffic with rubber curbs and plastic wands. Mid-way between 55th and 54th a bicycle rider has the choice to either continue straight or use a crosswalk. The crosswalk has a standard zebra-striped walking area and an additional green cross-bike treatment on both sides (to handle two-way bike traffic). There’s also a new signal with an activation button at the mid-block crossing.
As you can see in the images, this area gets a lot of walking traffic. I was only there for a few minutes and saw three separate families come by — each of whom had toddlers in tow and were pushing a stroller. And they all used the new bike lane because there are no sidewalks.
The only major destination adjacent to this new bikeway is Trinity Lutheran Christian School. Since that’s a private institution, the changes to Killingsworth wouldn’t have been done as part of the City’s Safe Routes to School program (which focuses on public schools). I asked PBOT Communications Director John Brady about it and he said the new striping and crossing treatment was built as part of a future neighborhood greenway that will run along 55th and 54th Avenues. When PBOT got wind of a paving project on Killingsworth, they re-striped for the future instead of putting things back like they were. Way to go PBOT!
The Connected Cully project includes lots of other changes intended to make it more pleasant to walk and bike in this area. The info below was taken from the PBOT project description included in the ODOT grant application:
This is just one of several safe streets and active transportation initiatives in the Cully area. As we reported in February, Cully won over $2 million in infrastructure investments that will include a new “biking and walking parkway” on NE 72nd Avenue between Lombard and Fremont.
on Broadway between N. Wheeler and Ross
is in the running for state funding.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Oregon Department of Transportation has released an updated list of projects to be funded and constructed through their 2015-18 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). For ODOT Region 1 (which includes Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah and parts of Washington County) the program splits $127 million between a “Fix-It” pot and an “Enhance” pot to the tune of $60.5 million and $66.4 million respectively. “Fix-It” projects “maintain or preserve the existing system” (primarily new signals, bridge repairs, and paving), while the “Enhance” projects “expand or improve the transportation system.”
The list released by ODOT today for public feedback is a 150% list — meaning they will further narrow down the list based on your comments.
For context, this is the first time ODOT has ever doled out these funds in this manner. Prior to last summer (when ODOT announced the changes), the STIP program had 22 different individual programs. All these dedicated funding pots have been simplified down to just these two. [Read more…]