The Tillamook neighborhood greenway, which extends east-west across northeast Portland just three blocks north of Broadway, is one of the city’s oldest, and it’s a key bikeway for people traveling through bustling neighborhoods like Grant Park and Hollywood.
Unfortunately, Tillamook has become so bustling around NE 33rd and Grant Park, that it’s no longer the recommended bike route.
As we reported last year, instead of making changes to Tillamook east of 33rd, the Portland Bureau of Transportation opted to route bicycle riders south onto NE Hancock, a less-trafficked street with more potential for traffic calming interventions.
Yesterday PBOT revealed how they’ve realized a big chunk of that potential.
In the two blocks between 41st and Cesar E Chavez, PBOT has prohibited through auto traffic and created an alternating one-way for drivers while maintaining two-way access for bicycle users (see Instagram video from Armando Luna at right). To enforce the changes, they’ve placed two concrete barricades on either end of the two-block stretch.
This lane configuration is already in use on several blocks of NW Flanders in the Pearl District.
PBOT still permits on-street auto parking on both sides and one lane is shared (marked with a “sharrow” marking) while the other is a bike lane buffered from parked cars.
Infamous Portland blogger Jack Bogdanski posted an article airing his grievances about the changes, titled “the stupid never stops.”
Here’s more from Bogdanski:
“The only souls who will be able to get through there on the road now are the 1 percent who do so on bicycles. Everyone in a motor vehicle gets diverted onto the nightmare that the bureaucrats have already made out of the nearby streets… But oh, the city’s many bikey children are no doubt beside themselves with glee.”
Greenways are supposed to divert car traffic to create a safe biking route, so hopefully Bogdanski’s assessment is correct! We’ll see how these changes continue to pan out in coming months so this greenway is safer for people to bike on.
In addition to these lane changes, PBOT also plans to install a push-button activated crossing at Hancock and 33rd, speed bumps and greenway signage on Hancock from 28th to 62nd, and “enhancements to greenway crossing of NE Sandy via Kelly Plaza.”
These changes are part of the larger Tillamook Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement Project which launched in 2018. Learn more at PBOT’s website.