southwest portland

First look: The tiny (yet important) cycle-track on SW Terwilliger at Capitol Highway

by on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:17 am

New bikeway SW Terwilliger and Cap Hwy-1.jpg

It might not look like much, but it makes a big difference.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“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…]

Willamette Greenway trail link might wait decades if Tesla plan goes through

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 4th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

tesla gap

(Image: Bob Cronk via South Waterfront Facebook group)

Half a mile south of the lonely riverside trail segment derided recently by The Oregonian as a “pathway to nowhere,” the city could miss a chance at a key connection.

Last week, Tesla Motors filed an application to convert an old metal-parts warehouse between Macadam Avenue and the Willamette River into an auto showroom.

But for people who would like to see a continuous riverside trail here, there’s bad news: a special section of city code exempts projects in the South Waterfront from having to connect greenway trail segments on their property unless they’re adding at least 50,000 square feet of new floor space. Because Tesla only plans to remodel the warehouse, not expand it, the unused space behind its shop wouldn’t have to redevelop.

[Read more…]

TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 29th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

trimet bike parking

Concept art for a new bike-and-ride facility at the Goose Hollow MAX station, due to open by the end of 2016.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency expects to add new locked “Bike and Ride” facilities this year to its Goose Hollow, Beaverton Creek and Orenco Station MAX stops, greatly increasing the west side’s capacity for bike-to-transit commuting.

It’s especially welcome news for MAX commuters through the crowded Robertson Tunnel between Portland and Washington County. Job and residential growth in Central Portland and urban Washington County have been leading to more and more people looking to reach those stations by bike.

At at least one of the facilities, there’s even room being set aside specifically for cargo bikes.

[Read more…]

Safety audit reveals new approach to fixing Barbur bridges

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 20th, 2015 at 11:08 am

southbound barbur street view

Almost half of southbound rush-hour traffic on Barbur turns right here. Converting the right lane to right-turn-only could boost driver safety on Barbur while making room for continuous bike lanes.
(Image: Google Street View)

Buried inside 115 pages of analysis of Barbur Boulevard, a “safety audit” released Monday seems to have come up with something interesting: a pretty solid new idea for fixing the dangerous wooded section of Southwest Portland’s most important street.

It’s fairly simple. Instead of losing a northbound auto lane from Miles to Hamilton, one of Barbur’s two southbound auto lanes could peel off at Capitol Highway.

South of Capitol Highway — which is where 40 to 50 percent of southbound Barbur traffic exits anyway — the street could be restriped to add continuous bike lanes across a pair of narrow bridges, ending the current situation that pushes bikes and cars to merge into the same 45-mph lane.

[Read more…]

First Look: Southwest Moody is now probably Portland’s best street to bike on

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 14th, 2015 at 5:09 pm

moody lead

The new coloring and lane sorting makes things much more intuitive and comfortable for people biking and walking.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Just in time for Tilikum Crossing’s public preview last weekend, TriMet and the City of Portland unveiled a new design for the main street leading to the South Waterfront.

In two words: It’s fantastic.

[Read more…]

Portland bike counts up in eastside grid, down in east and southwest

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 12th, 2015 at 10:34 am

Green dots are locations where the 2013-2014 average bike count was more than 10 bikes higher than the 2011-2012 bike count. Red dots are locations with a drop in 10 or more bikes. Yellow dots showed relatively little change.
(Data from Portland Bureau of Transportation, geocoded by SteveLeathers and mapped using Google Fusion Tables)

If the last two years of city bike counts tell any coherent story about biking in Portland, it’s this: Biking keeps rising in Portland’s bike-friendliest neighborhoods, but not fast enough to make up for declines in the parts of Portland where biking is often unpleasant.

[Read more…]

State will conduct safety audit of Barbur and formally weigh road redesign

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 26th, 2015 at 2:01 pm

barbur curve looking north

Typical midday traffic approaching a curve in Barbur Boulevard from the south.
(Image: Google Street View.)

Four months after saying it had no plans to do so, the Oregon Department of Transportation will formally consider the possibility of new changes to a two-mile stretch of Barbur Bouelvard where six people have died in cars, on motorcycles and on foot in the last six years.

[Read more…]

The Friday Profile: Steve Novick, the accidental Southwest Portlander

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 13th, 2015 at 3:54 pm

novick

Portland city commissioner and Multnomah neighborhood resident Steve Novick, photographed at Baker & Spice in Hillsdale this morning.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Portland’s transportation commissioner arrived in town, he was almost a caricature of a newcomer to the Northwest.

[Read more…]

In sidewalkless Southwest, neighborhood greenways are made for walking

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 13th, 2015 at 1:52 am

swwalklead

A SW Illinois Street piggyback ride,
brought to you in part by speed bumps.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Part of Portland’s big idea of renaming “bike boulevards” as “neighborhood greenways” was that they’re not just bikeways; they’re spaces for street play, sports and other fun. And they’re also, the line goes, good for walking.

It’s easy to laugh that last part off on the east side of Portland, where almost every greenway is lined with sidewalks.

Not so in Southwest Portland, where neighborhood greenways are few but sidewalks are nearly as rare.

[Read more…]

SW Portland mini-profile: Bobby Tower and Michael Black, musicians

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 10th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

wide angle buskers

“There’s not a lot of gathering places in the urban environment, you know,” said vocalist Michael Black, right.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Part of the reason you don’t expect to encounter Bobby Tower and Michael Black at the bus stop outside the Burlingame Fred Meyer is that you basically can’t hear them until you’re within a couple yards of them.

Even midday, their music is almost completely drowned out by the constant roar of traffic on Southwest Barbur Boulevard and, about a block away, the gully of Interstate 5.

[Read more…]