The City of Portland plans to get work started again this weekend on the North Rosa Parks Way project.
“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…
(Photos © J. Maus)
A bikeway project BikePortland has followed since April 2008 could be completed by the end of this month. The Portland Bureau of Transportaiton (PBOT) says they now expect the N Rosa Parks Way bikeway to be completed by the end of August.
The project was on a list of five languishing projects that I detailed back in August 2010 and it has been delayed numerous times for a variety of reasons (one complication is that the project crosses I-5 freeway onramps and an overpass, so ODOT must review and sign-off on the City’s plans). Work on the project started in earnest back in June, but has been delayed once again.
(Photo © J. Maus)
safer for bicycling has been
in the works since
(Photos © J. Maus)
As part of my daily work here at BikePortland, I track a lot of projects. The other day, prompted by a question from reader Jessica Roberts, I began to think about all the bike projects that are currently delayed and languishing for one reason or another.
Below are updates on five such projects. Each of them has been planned, discussed, and promised, but none of them have broken ground.
This view is looking west on Rosa Parks at Missouri.
(Photo © J. Maus)
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.
Savvy activists Shamus Lynsky and Shayna Rehberg, working closely with Roger Geller and the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee, applied for some of this funding and I’ve just gotten the word from ODOT that their project has been approved!
Here’s more from ODOT project manager Kate Dean: