A closer look at PBOT’s SW 1st and Main project

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The view of the new striping from SW 1st and Main.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland has completed a project on SW Main that repaved and restriped the road between 1st and 3rd Avenues. The project illustrates how the Bureau of Transportation is often limited in what they can accomplish with a paving project, and how those constraints frustrate advocates who want better bus and bike access.

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Bumps and bus merge on SW Main will be smoothed out thanks to gas tax funds

This bumpy and stressful block of Main will be much-improved by next year.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
This bumpy and stressful block of Main will be much-improved by next year.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland is scaling up the massive new Fixing Our Streets program. Thanks to the passage of a 10-cent per gallon gas tax, the bureau needs to prepare, develop, design, and construct over 50 transportation projects over the next four years.

One of those projects will pave SW Main Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. This is the section of Main at the western terminus of the Hawthorne Bridge — one of the most heavily used bike routes in the city. Unfortunately people riding bikes don’t get a very nice welcome into downtown. The dedicated path on the bridge gives way to a bike lane prior to crossing 1st Avenue. Then between 1st and 2nd the bike lane all but disappears into a cracked road surface full of bumps. There’s also the tricky merge with other road users, including TriMet bus operators that need to service a stop at the northeast corner of 2nd and Main.

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