The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced today that Better Naito will come to an early close this year. The city will take down the plastic wands and signs and remove the pavement markings on the weekend of September 22-23rd — one week before it was scheduled to end.
Here’s more from PBOT:[Read more…]
“The Mayor wants one of these options to move forward [and] is interested in Option B.” — Michael Cox, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for Mayor Ted Wheeler
Now in its fourth year as a seasonal street oasis for vulnerable road users, the talks about making Better Naito permanent are heating up.
This past winter, the Portland Bureau of Transportation commissioned a private consulting firm to develop a report (below) with conceptual designs for a capital project that would replace the temporary plastic delineator wands and paint striping that exist today on Naito Parkway’s northbound lanes from SW Main to NW Couch with a permanent, 20-foot wide path for bicycling, walking, and other uses.
This is the first time the report has been made public. We received a copy of it from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications Michael Cox after hearing about from various sources. Here’s the report:[Read more…]
A quarter-mile of Portlanders lined Southwest Naito Parkway’s temporary protected bike lane Thursday evening to form bollards with their bodies and call for the next “Better Naito” to be permanent.
As Portland prepares to remove a temporary protected bike lane on Monday and biking advocates prepare to call for permanent improvements with a human-protected bike lane demonstration tonight, a separate discussion has been going on.
As part of last year’s voter-approved Fixing Our Streets program, the city has promised to reconstruct and repave Naito Boulevard between the Hawthorne Bridge and Interstate 405. But state law requires reconstructed roads to add bike facilities — and that stretch of Naito has never had bike lanes.
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.
This is a subscriber post by Kiel Johnson of Go By Bike.
At 6 p.m. tonight, join me and your fellow bike enthusiasts for what could be, if we want it to be, the biggest bicycling demonstration in Portland’s history. Together we will stand against the complacency that has told us that more biking is inevitable if we only do nothing.
We all know how to get more people biking, but it will only happen when enough people in Portland stand and demand it as loudly and as often as they can.
Each bike lane that we add or take away tells a story about who we are and what kind of place we want to live in. Are we a city that fosters health, community, and environmental stewardship? Or are we a city that breathes the same polluted air and sits in the same traffic as most of the rest of the United States? Tonight, I choose to help make a city where biking is accessible and safe for all; where we prioritize people who move through our city in ways that make us appreciate one another; where we build bridges that connect communities instead of rivers of cars to separate us.
As the City of Portland prepares to remove the temporary protected bike lane along its downtown waterfront, some Portlanders see a one-time chance to grab the public imagination.
A group of residents and others who support protected bike lanes in the central city and elsewhere are planning to line up along the soon-to-be removed Naito Parkway protected bike lanes at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, to touch arms and create a half-hour “human-protected bike lane,” complete with music, then capture the image for a crowdfunded advertising campaign in support of permanent bike lane protections.
“I think it’s gonna be awesome,” said Emily Guise, the co-chair of advocacy group BikeLoudPDX. “We’re taking inspiration from people who have done them around the globe: Dublin, San Francisco, New York. … It’s going to be a really positive event.”
Sorry Portland Business Alliance, but the evolution of downtown streets will continue with or without your approval.
The business lobbying group (known around here as “the PBA”) that used to have considerable sway over downtown decision-making, made their opposition to the Better Naito project clear last week. And while the PBA might feel better when the temporary biking and walking-only lane gets removed in September, they’ll soon realize it’s just one of many moves the Portland Bureau of Transportation is making to update downtown streets. And those updates are all aimed at doing the same thing as Better Naito: create more space for biking so it becomes safer and more convenient for more people.
With Better Naito, a new (permanent) path to connect to the Steel Bridge, and several other recent developments, the future of Portland’s downtown bike network is taking shape and Naito Parkway plays a leading role.
Here’s how just a few parts of this emerging bike network figure into that future…