Portland’s regional transit agency is hoping to raise $175 million for bigger, faster-moving buses on Southeast Division Street, and some major bikeway upgrades would be in store.
From SE 82nd Avenue to the Gresham city limits near 174th Avenue, the agency is planning to pay for a vertical barrier, mostly a series of concrete curbs, to protect the bike lanes that will have been recently widened and buffered by a separate City of Portland project. And when the Division bike lanes pass bus stops — as they would at 87th, I-205, 101st, 112th, 122nd, 130th, 135th, 143rd, 148th, 156th, 162nd, 168th and 174th — they’ll often be wrapping to the sidewalk side in order to reduce bike-bus conflicts.
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.”
Changes coming to Southeast Morrison will create a new protected bikeway, bus-only lane, safer crossings and better access for freight vehicles between Grand and 12th. Belmont will also get a new bikeway to fill the existing gap between Grand and 7th.
Bicycle users will have to endure stressful and dangerous conditions on North Greeley Avenue for another year because the City’s plans for a physically protected bike lane have been delayed.
Back in February we reported that the Bureau of Transportation planned to update this stretch of Greeley between Going and Interstate by adding a 10-foot wide, bi-directional path separated from motor vehicle traffic by a two-foot wide concrete barrier (see proposed cross-section below). The barrier is needed because a recent PBOT speed analysis showed the 25,000 motor vehicles on the road every day are driven at freeway speeds — about 56-59 miles per hour on average.
Greeley makes an important connection between downtown and north Portland neighborhoods from Arbor Lodge to St. Johns.
Looking to improve safety and bicycle network connectivity in the central eastside, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is proposing a new protected bike lane on Southeast Morrison between Grand and 11th and a new bike lane on Belmont between Grand and 7th.
Morrison, which runs westbound toward the Willamette River, is designed as a couplet with eastbound Belmont. But for some strange reason (anyone know the history here?), there’s one eastbound lane on Morrison for the six blocks between Grand and 11th.
In a notice to nearby residents and business owners sent out earlier this month, PBOT asked for feedback for a new configuration that would shift the striping on Morrison, remove this eastbound lane, and add a protected bike lane. In addition, the project would re-stripe Belmont from Grand to 7th to add an eastbound bike lane.
“The changes are a big improvement.”
— Barbara Stedman, southwest Portland resident
Slowly but surely, the City of Portland is improving bikeways in southwest. Case in point are the recently completed changes to the intersection of SW Capitol Highway and Terwilliger (a.k.a the “teardrop”).
People who ride in this area know the intersection well because it was a common place for close-calls. I experienced this first-hand during a ride-along with a southwest Portland family in 2012 (see photo below). The curvature of the road, mixed with the unprotected bike lane was a bad combination. Fortunately a Portland Water Bureau project provided the impetus to finally fix the bikeway and make something much safer (and we were fortunate that a volunteer advocate spoke up to make sure it happened – thanks Keith Liden!).
Before I share more photos of the new bikeway, here’s how it used to look (note the pinch-point and how the younger rider opts wisely for the sidewalk):[Read more…]
Let me make this as clear as possible: If Portland wants to get more people cycling, we must provide a network of high-quality, physically protected routes that are connected to destinations. Any bikeway that does not provide physical protection from “A to B” that’s both real and perceived is a gap in the network.
I bring this up because of the fanfare that launched Better Naito last week. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fanfare is justified. The volunteers who advocated for the project initially and the city staff that have embraced it have many reasons to be proud. But let us not forget that this is still second-rate infrastructure designed on the cheap.[Read more…]
One of Portland’s scariest places to ride a bicycle is about to be erased from the map and replaced with a new bikeway that is physically protected from motorized vehicle traffic.