If all goes according to plan one part of Portland will leapfrog to an exciting new level of bike-friendliness in the next three years. Or should we say, it’ll jump?
Portland has just been named one of 10 cities nationwide (out of 80 that applied) to be part of “The Big Jump,” a program managed by the nonprofit advocacy group People for Bikes that aims to double or triple the amount of riding in one geographic area by 2019. In Portland’s case the focus will be on the Gateway district.
Dubbed the “Gateway to Opportunity” project (more on that name later), the bureau of transportation will zero-in on the area bordered by I-84, East Burnside, I-205 and NE 132nd Avenue with the goal of making it much more bikeable than it is today. With this nudge from People for Bikes, PBOT will look to advance and complete 13 different projects by 2019. The projects include protected bike lanes on the NE Halsey-Weidler couplet in the heart of Gateway, three major neighborhood greenway projects, a bikeway overpass of I-205 to connect to the Sullivan’s Gulch trail, and much more. In total, the Gateway to Opportunity project will encompass an estimated $21.35 million in infrastructure spending and create about 39 miles of new bikeways.
As one of the selected cities, Portland will receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from People For Bikes each year for three years, as well as an additional $50,000 in matching funds or financial commitments from local organizations.