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Safer, more comfortable waterfront access
(Aug. 14, 2017) – PBOT Director Leah Treat, Will Naito of Naito Development and Better Block PDX announced the completion of traffic signal improvements, a new bicycle connection to the Steel Bridge, and safer access to Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park at a news conference today.
The new signals at the NW Naito Parkway and NW Davis Street intersection and the SW Naito Parkway and SW Main Street intersection were funded by the Fixing Our Streets Program. In May 2016, Portland voters passed Measure 26-173, Portland’s first local funding source dedicated to fixing our streets.
"This project helps everyone enjoy safe, comfortable access to downtown Portland and the beauty of waterfront park," Treat said. "Portlanders will need more biking and walking transportation options as our population continues to grow and we work to reduce carbon emissions and pollution. Thanks to the Fixing Our Streets Program, we have funding for essential maintenance and safety projects that will improve the quality of life for people across the city."
Will Naito, grandson of downtown business leader Bill Naito, said the crossing improvements will help grow the economy by connecting businesses and residents.
"A thriving downtown depends on great biking and walking connections," Naito said. "I personally enjoy biking to work, and I'm grateful for these crossing improvements. We need world class biking and walking routes, so thousands of people can come to work and shop downtown without traffic congestion. When the Grove Hotel opens later this year, we expect thousands of guests to use these improved bike and pedestrian crossings."
Better Block PDX, the non-profit group that started the Better Naito multiuse path pilot project, supports the safety improvements PBOT has completed.
“As an Old Town business owner, I hear people asking about how to get to the waterfront almost every day," said Ryan Hashagen, a volunteer with Better Block PDX. "These new signals and safer active transportation route will make it easier for visitors and downtown workers alike to have a more predictable, understandable route to the waterfront. Better Naito is becoming a spine of active transportation from the Steel Bridge to the Hawthorne Bridge.”
The improvements provide a connection that reduces conflicts along waterfront park and at the Japanese American Historical Plaza, a monument to the Japanese American experience. By providing an adjacent cycling facility, PBOT intends to reduce cut-through bike traffic through the historical plaza and to encourage bike commuters to take advantage of Better Naito during the busy summer festival season.
Located at NW Naito Parkway and NW Davis Street, an updated signal, path, and related cycle track provide bike commuters coming from the east side of the Willamette River a safe and convenient route to Better Naito and the year-round bike lanes on Naito Parkway. An updated traffic signal controls the right turn onto the Steel Bridge on-ramp, making that connection more predictable for people driving. It also includes new bike signals that allow people on bicycles to safely cross the ramp, north or south, when the right turn signal onto the Steel Bridge ramp is red.
Another crossing of Naito Parkway, at SW Main Street, has a new pedestrian signal that makes it safer for people to cross the busy street and access the park. Later this year, PBOT will also install a crosswalk on the Steel Bridge on-ramp.
Lean more about these bike and pedestrian improvements at the PBOT web site for Naito Parkway Riverfront Access Improvements.
(August 14, 2017) This week, PBOT celebrates a new connection for people with the modification of the existing traffic signal at NW Naito & Davis. This bike signal facilitates movement between Better Naito and the Steel Bridge. Located at NW Naito and Davis, the new path and bicycle signal provides people a safe and convenient route to continue south-north. The new bicycle traffic signal makes the right turn onto the Steel Bridge on-ramp more predictable for people driving. The bike signal will allow people on bicycles to safely cross the ramp in either direction when the right turn signal onto the Steel Bridge ramp is red.
This new package of improvements, delivered as component of PBOT’s Fixing Our Streets’ effort called, provide a connection that reduces conflicts along Tom McCall Waterfront Park and at the Japanese American Historical Plaza, a monument to the Japanese American experience. By providing an adjacent cycling facility, PBOT intends to reduce cut-through bike traffic through Historical Plaza and to encourage bike commuters to take advantage of Better Naito during the busy summer festival season.
The new path was constructed and striped by PBOT Maintenance crews in public right-of-way left over from the old Harbor Drive.
Figure 1 shows a view from the new path looking northbound.
Figure 1. Looking northbound from path, prior to signal turn-on
Figure 2. Before bike path and lane modifications, NW Naito & Davis
Figure 3. After bike path and lane modifications, NW Naito & Davis
To prevent conflicts between vehicles and path users, two bike signals were installed by PBOT’s Electrical Maintenance staff. After the initial signal is activated and traffic patterns have been observed for a few weeks, City staff will calibrate equipment that detects when people on bicycles are present at the intersection to modify the signal green time, optimizing flow for all users. Northbound right turning vehicles and eastbound vehicles from Davis are held at a red light while the bike signal indication is green, as shown in Figure 4. The bicycle signal heads use a device that allows them to be seen only by the intended (path) users.
Northbound right turning vehicles may proceed right when the right turn signal is green but are prohibited from turning right on red (with a No Turn on Red sign), as shown in Figure 5. The signal is timed to serve different vehicle and bicycle movements appropriately.
Figure 4. Movements during bicycle phase
Figure 5. Movements during Naito northbound right turn phase
The new signal was funded through Fixing our Streets’ Naito Parkway Riverfront Access Improvements project.
Figure 6. Reducing conflicts on Naito Parkway
Figure 7. Improved connections for people on bikes on Naito Parkway
Graphics credit: David Soto Padin and Christopher Sun, Portland Bureau of Transportation
"We will hold them accountable," Commissioner Saltzman says
(Aug. 7, 2017) Last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation fined two contractors who blocked the public right of way without a permit or in violation of a permit. The blockages exacerbated traffic congestion during the busy summer construction season. PBOT will continue to issue fines as needed to prevent unnecessary traffic congestion.
On Monday, July 31, Columbia Construction Service blocked a turn lane and a through lane just west of the Burnside Bridge, narrowing the street to one lane westbound during the morning rush hour. This closure caused extreme congestion, which delayed public transit service and other road users.
On Thursday, Aug. 3, PBOT ordered Turner Construction Co. to stop all work in the center lane of SW 12th Avenue, between SW Morrison and SW Alder. The company's permit only allows the closure of the right lane.
After receiving complaints and photographic evidence, both companies were fined last week.
Fines for unpermitted work in the right of way or violations of existing permits are added to a construction project's building permit. Time-sensitive building inspections are not conducted until a permit holder pays outstanding fines.
City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees PBOT, said unpermitted lane closures will not be tolerated.
"Amidst one of the busiest summer construction seasons in recent memory, I’m disappointed at the blatant disregard for the public," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees PBOT. "With the Get Portland Moving effort underway this year, City staff have been working diligently to coordinate the timing of many different public works projects to ease congestion as much as possible. For a private construction company to block a lane during rush hour, delaying thousands of people and undermining our efforts to reduce traffic congestion is unacceptable. We will hold them accountable."
While PBOT has approved many downtown-area lane and sidewalk closures for construction projects, the Bureau seeks to avoid closures during morning and afternoon peak travel periods. PBOT's permit review process helps coordinate closures to reduce the impact on the traveling public.
(July 20, 2017) – Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente is in Northeast Portland this Sunday, July 23rd from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature 7.6 miles of traffic-free streets and four City of Portland parks.
This Sunday Parkways coincides with the celebration of BIKETOWN’s first anniversary. To mark the occasion and to celebrate Sunday Parkways, Commissioner Saltzman will be joining participants starting at 11 a.m. He will ride a BIKETOWN bike and visit the parks along the route.
This weekend’s Sunday Parkways will also feature lots of health-focused fun. Sunday Parkways sponsor Kaiser Permanente has partnered with the nonprofit Community Cycling Center to benefit its Bike Club for kids. Participants can pick up a fun, interactive ‘Passport to Health Sticker Hunt’ map that takes them to five locations on each Sunday Parkways route to get their stickers. With each completed Passport to Health, participants get a prize and Kaiser Permanente will donate $5 to the Bike Club. Then they can share their achievement and photos on social media with #KPBikeClub.
“Our partnership with Portland Sunday Parkways began as an effort to increase the physical activity of our residents to prevent and treat obesity and other chronic diseases,” said Molly Haynes, Community Health Director for Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest region. “Yet, the health benefits of Sunday Parkways extend beyond physical activity into mental health and social connectedness. That’s what we want for the children and families in our communities.”
A valuable community resource, the Community Cycling Center’s after-school Bike Club program gives children who don’t have access or means to afford a bike on their own a chance to earn their own bike. They also learn safe riding and maintenance techniques, and develop skills in teamwork, problem solving and leadership by working and learning together.
“Bikes are transformative for both individuals and communities. Bike Club gives kids the tools they need for bikes to play an important part in their lives, from an actual bike, to the knowledge of how to ride safely and how to keep it safe and functional,” said Kasandra Griffin, Executive Director of the Community Cycling Center. “Fun, friendship, and confidence are among the additional benefits of this program.”
Sunday Parkways is the perfect setting for this partnership to benefit Bike Club. “People of all backgrounds, ages and abilities can enjoy moving their bodies in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Haynes, “and giving children an opportunity to learn to love biking and being active fits right in with our mission to improve the total health of the communities we serve.”
The Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways route connects neighborhoods from Woodlawn, Alberta, Fernhill and Khunamokwst Parks and travel along Ainsworth and Going streets - low or no-traffic neighborhood greenways, residential streets with low speed limits that are marked with bicycle symbols on the pavement.
The event’s detailed Sunday Parkways route map shows the route as well as bus options to help area residents get to Sunday Parkways via bike and transit. A schedule and listing of event highlights are available on the Sunday Parkways Northeast Portland brochure.
Sunday Parkways is a series of five free community events opening the city's largest public space – its streets – for people to walk, bike, roll and discover active transportation. The event series, held in a different neighborhood once a month from May to September, is hugely popular.
To schedule an interview with a member of Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest Community Benefit team, please contact Karen Vitt at 503-201-5399 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility.www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation
Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways provided by the generous support from the following sponsors:
The first City-sponsored program of its kind in the nation.
(Friday, July 21, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) launched its adaptive bicycle rental program today, called Adaptive BIKETOWN, the first City-sponsored program of its kind in the nation. An extension of BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share program, Adaptive BIKETOWN is a bike rental service for people with varying abilities and will offer a mix of tandem, hand cycles and three-wheeled bicycles for rent by the hour with the goal of increasing access to cycling.
The Adaptive BIKETOWN rental service will be operated by Kerr Bikes, which is owned by the non-profit organization Albertina Kerr. Kerr Bikes has operated a bike rental service for almost a decade in Portland’s Central City to help fund the non-profit organization’s programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. The Adaptive BIKETOWN bicycles will be available for rent at Kerr Bikes’ OMSI location along the Eastbank Esplanade. The rental cost is $5 per hour or three hours for $12 for people with disabilities, seniors and those who qualify for a TriMet honored citizen pass. First-time renters must register in advance for a bike fitting, to ensure that the bikes are properly adjusted for the best ride. Those measurements will be saved, allowing for easy walk in rentals for future rides.
The Adaptive BIKETOWN pilot program is a result of more than a year of planning and public input. PBOT staff interviewed individuals about their specific needs, published an online survey that received more than 200 responses, and established a public work group to advise the bureau on the program’s development. PBOT provided $30,000 in funding for upfront program costs, including $14,000 for the purchase of 10 bicycles. Nike has contributed an additional $10,000 for ongoing program costs, including raising awareness of Adaptive BIKETOWN.
“Portland is already known across the country as a destination for bicycling, and I am proud that we will now be a cycling destination for people of all abilities,” said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “This program helps everyone experience our city’s excellent bicycle network.”
“Just as BIKETOWN has opened the doors for cycling for people in Portland, I believe that Adaptive BIKETOWN will open those doors even wider,” said Transportation Director Leah Treat. “As a city we have ambitious goals for getting more people to choose bicycling and other forms of active transportation. The more inclusive we are, the more successful we will be in reaching them.”
“I am passionate about bicycling. When BIKETOWN launched, I was disappointed that there weren’t bikes for me,” said Jeremy Robbins, a member of PBOT’s Adaptive Bicycle Pilot Project Work Group which helped advise PBOT on the program’s development last spring. “Working with PBOT and others on developing Adaptive BIKETOWN has been very rewarding. I’m very excited for the launch of this historic project.”
“We are so proud and excited to offer adaptive cycling options at Kerr Bikes with the help of community partners,” said Jeff Carr, CEO of Albertina Kerr. “Portland is a great cycling city. For Albertina Kerr to be able to extend our mission by empowering those with disabilities to participate in this program is tremendous.”
“Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community--for all people, of all abilities,” said Jorge Casimiro, Nike Vice President of Global Community Impact. “This is why we’re so excited to support Adaptive BIKETOWN as part of the BIKETOWN program with the City of Portland and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Adaptive BIKETOWN will give even more Portlanders and visitors an opportunity to enjoy Portland’s innovative bike share program and experience the joy of cycling in the city.”
The Adaptive BIKETOWN pilot will run through through Fall 2017. Over the winter, PBOT staff will evaluate the program and make any necessary changes or additions ahead of the 2018 season. For reservations and additional information about the program, please visit http://adaptivebiketown.com.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation
About Albertina Kerr
Since 1907, Albertina Kerr has strengthened Oregon families and communities. Today, we provide programs and services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, empowering them to live richer lives. For more information about Albertina Kerr, call 503.239.8101 or visit www.AlbertinaKerr.org
Nike believes in the power of sport to move the world and unleash human potential. As a longtime partner with the City of Portland, BIKETOWN highlights the company’s commitment to make Portland even more active, vibrant and innovative. As the title sponsor of BIKETOWN, Nike designed the innovative visual identity for the program’s standard bike which is the highly identifiable orange that is synonymous with Nike. In addition, Nike oversees the design and branding of the system’s logo, stations and physical presence, as well as a select number of limited-edition bike wrap designs.