Having a reduced speed limit and 15 feet of space dedicated to biking and walking on Naito Parkway for three full months is a welcome improvement. But it comes with a trade-off: In order to get full support for the project from Waterfront Park event organizers, the City of Portland is allowing trucks to use the lane as a loading zone.
(Photo: Greg Raisman)
Dozens of volunteers are now meeting weekly to plan temporary human-friendly makeovers of Northeast Broadway and the Burnside Bridge this spring and summer.
Better Block PDX’s next “work party” is tonight at Pizza Schmizza at NE 7th and Broadway, from 6-7:30 p.m. Next Wednesday it’s the same time at Black Water Bar, NE 9th and Broadway.
The Broadway demo will create a protected bike lane for one week, from May 9-15.
One of Portland’s most interesting annual traditions just got a little more official.
After three years of doing short-term demos themselves, the volunteer-led street reinvention group Better Block PDX has struck a formal partnership with Portland State University’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. With the help of PSU planning and engineering students, this new partnership means Better Block will constantly churn out a pipeline of projects that temporarily re-envision public spaces around Portland.
The new agreement will create one of the only academic programs in the country to integrate hands-on uses of “tactical urbanism,” as these lightweight, flexible projects are often called, directly into a student curriculum.
The volunteer organizers of Portland’s three-year-old team of street rethinkers say they’re in the “off season” but getting ready to scale up.
Better Block PDX is the group behind a much-praised temporary redesign of NW/SW 3rd Avenue that led to rapid installation of crosswalks and a buffered bike lane and (more recently) a two-week test of walking and biking lanes on SW Naito Parkway that has some in the city talking about permanent changes.
They’re about to begin considering temporary street demos for 2016, and plan to hold a public meeting this February to start the selection process.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Starting this Friday morning, the non-profit Better Block PDX, the Bureau of Transportation and its commissioner-in-charge Steve Novick will embark on perhaps the boldest experiment we’ve seen in years: the creation of public space on Naito Parkway in what are currently standard travel lanes.
(Image: Ankeny Alley Association grant application)
One of Portland’s top tourist attractions seems poised to become dramatically less car-oriented by the start of 2016.
(Photos: Ryan Hashagen)