north rosa parks way
What began as a straightforward repaving project is now one of Portland’s best protected lanes. In the past two weeks, the Bureau of Transportation has finished restriping North Rosa Parks way between Willamette Blvd. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This means it’s now possible to bike (or scoot!) in a wide curbside lane that has some form of separation from drivers on 3.5 linear miles of this important east-west neighborhood street.
“We’re definitely learning some lessons.”
— Scott Cohen, PBOT project manager
It’s been six weeks since the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) began grinding off pavement and laying down new lane striping as part of the North Rosa Parks Way project. Yet despite weeks of dry weather and no major controversy or pushback (at least that we’ve been able to confirm), the project is still not closed to being finished. Meanwhile, people who ride on the two-mile stretch between Martin Luther King Jr and Willamette boulevards are frustrated by incomplete striping and many people park their cars illegally in the new bike lanes.
At the end of May, PBOT posted an update that acknowledged the major elements of the project that remain: they haven’t even began on the sections from Delaware to Interstate and Williams to MLK; none of the promised, plastic delineator posts have been installed; no permanent “No Parking” signage has been added despite a major change in parking availability; many bits of pavement markings are incomplete; and a median island crossing at Villard has yet to be started on.
As paving machines and bulldozers rumble and beep along North Rosa Parks Way today as part of a repaving project that started a few weeks ago, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is considering a last-minute change to the project they say provides even more protection for people walking and bicycling.
At issue is the crossing of Rosa Parks at Villard, a street between Willamette Blvd and Greeley Ave. Currently there’s no marked crossing at Villard. That leaves just over 1,100 feet of this neighborhood collector street without a clear and safe place to cross.
Back in March we shared PBOT’s initial design proposal which included two zebra-striped crosswalks and median islands in the middle of the street. As a partial median, the design would do nothing to limit driving movements. Now PBOT says they have the “opportunity” to upgrade this design further by making it a full median diverter that would prohibit some turns for auto users while still allowing bicycle riders to get through.
The redesign of North Rosa Parks Way now includes a bike-only signal, wider bikeways (and narrower lanes for driving), a safer crossing, and a floating transit island. These changes (and a few other tweaks) have been made in the month since the Portland Bureau of Transportation first launched the project back in February.
This key neighborhood collector street will see major striping changes from North Willamette to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The biggest change is a “parking-protected bikeway” (almost) the entire length of the project — and a buffer stripe with intermittent plastic delineator wands for added
protection separation. Instead of on-street parking, PBOT will use the curb lane for a bike-only lane. In the process, PBOT will significantly decrease the amount of parking overall.
Going from west (Willamette Blvd) to east (Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd), here’s how the project has changed in the past month…
When we reported on the major changes coming to North Rosa Parks Way last month, the City of Portland hadn’t released their survey for the project.
It’s out now. And because this project is so important, we want to make sure you take a few minutes to fill it out.
To refresh your memory, the Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to update the street after they do a repaving project. The plan is to redesign the street from Willamette to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. PBOT says changes will include: “Improved pedestrian crossings at key locations, improved transit stops on N Rosa Parks at N Albina Street, protected bicycle lanes in the corridor; and a street design with a more neighborhood feel.”
This is a crucial neighborhood street that desparately needs a makeover.
In the survey, PBOT wants to know specific locations you have difficulty getting to transit stops, walking, or bicycling. And in classic PBOT fashion, they also want to know about, “Any specific locations… where on-street automobile parking is important for the community.” There’s also a question that asks about your overall level of support for the proposed changes.
We’re tired of having to advocate for what should be common sense updates to streets where auto users are given way too much priority. But at this point, PBOT still puts value into these surveys so it’s in everyone’s best interest to fill it out and share your input.
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A key east-west street in north Portland is poised for a makeover.
Since Sunday night we’ve been following two crashes that involve people who were riding bicycles in north Portland. The first happened late Sunday night (3/27) at North Lombard and Jordan Avenue. The most recent one happened just last night on North Rosa Parks Way at Delaware. Here’s the latest information we have on both of them…
As part of project’s $60 million budget, $1 million was set aside for a “Community Enhancement” fund. Among other things, that fund will pay for ODOT to stripe bike lanes on N. Rosa Parks Way from Vancouver to Montana.
This stretch of Rosa Parks Way is a key connector to Interstate Avenue, which has seen a lot of development in recent years. Residents on the east side of I-5 who visit the new New Seasons Market, the MAX station or any other destination, must grapple with high-speed motorized traffic, narrow shoulders, and two freeway on/off-ramps in each direction.[Read more…]