Take a deep dive into PBOT's data-based approach to building new sidewalks and marked crossingsRead More…
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Take a deep dive into PBOT's data-based approach to building new sidewalks and marked crossings
(April 23, 2019) Why do we prioritize sidewalks and crosswalks? Everywhere we look, we see places that need to be improved to provide a safe, inviting, and accessible pedestrian network. Despite these clearly-defined needs, the City has limited resources to address them, so we use a data-based approach to make sure we are meeting the greatest needs first. Today we’re looking at the history of sidewalks in Portland and how PedPDX, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) pedestrian master plan, uses data to prioritize where new sidewalks and marked crosswalks are installed.
History of Sidewalk Development in Portland
In Portland, property owners are responsible for constructing, maintaining, and repairing the sidewalks abutting their property. This applies to home owners, business owners, schools and other large institutions. Traditionally the requirement to construct sidewalks where they are missing or deficient is triggered when development or redevelopment projects are proposed. As part of the development, property owners must construct or improve the sidewalks fronting their property in accordance with City standards. This is how the vast majority of sidewalks have historically been built in the City of Portland. The mature sidewalk system in inner Portland that was constructed with development (often over 100 years ago) still serves residents today.
However, as Portland’s boundaries have expanded over the years, missing sidewalks have become an increasingly prevalent problem.
Historically, the Portland city limits ended at 82nd Avenue. It wasn’t until the late 1970s and 1980s that Portland began annexing parts of unincorporated Multnomah County, much of which was already developed without sidewalks. Neighborhoods in outer East Portland and Southwest Portland that were annexed into the city typically did not have complete sidewalk networks. Many of these annexed areas still retain some of their rural character, and they continue to have insufficient infrastructure to meet the needs of people walking.
The majority of streets with missing sidewalks lie within already developed neighborhoods that were annexed to the City of Portland in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.
How does PedPDX Prioritize New Sidewalks and Marked Crosswalks?
While building and maintaining sidewalks remains a private obligation, PBOT does invest in sidewalk construction frequently, particularly on busy streets that are deficient and could serve a larger number of people walking.
The magnitude of pedestrian infrastructure needs in Portland is significant. The PedPDXneeds analysis shows that there are approximately 350 miles of missing sidewalksalong Portland’s busiest streets, and a need for approximately 3,520 new marked crossings across the city.
This is likely more need than we have resources to address in the next 20 years. To put these needs in perspective, the City has constructed or repaired approximately 230 miles of sidewalks and 2,500 marked crossings in the past 20 years.
Benefits of a Data-based Approach
Given the high volume of missing sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure, how do we decide what to build? Prioritizing needs using a data-based approach helps ensure we are directing limited resources to locations with the greatest needs first. It aligns our spending priorities with adopted City goals and policies and the public’s stated priorities, and it also creates a process that is transparent and repeatable. A data-based approach to prioritizing sidewalk and crossing needs also helps ensure that we provide needed improvements in an equitable manner across the city, rather than responding to individual requests which may not always be where demands of safety, equity, and pedestrian need are greatest.
Public Input Guides Prioritization
To get a sense of what matters to Portlanders, we asked which sorts of places are most important to improve for walking. The PedPDX Citywide Walking Priorities received over 5,400 survey responses. Portlanders’ top priorities all revolve around the topics of demand (places where people are walking), safety (where people walking have been killed or injured), and equity (where people rely on walking). Those topics were used to construct the PedPDX prioritization methodology.
To align PedPDX with the Citywide Racial Equity Goals and Strategies, PBOT’s Racial Equity Plan, and the public’s stated priorities, PedPDX prioritizes pedestrian investments in locations with high equity needs. Locations with the highest equity needs receive the highest score (9-10) and are indicated in dark blue in the map below.
As best practices for measuring equity and PBOT and the City’s approach evolve over time, PedPDX will reflect evolving practices and apply PBOT’s most current methodology and data for measuring equity.
Pedestrian safety was also a key priority expressed by community members in the Walking Priorities Survey. Prioritizing safety ensures that the most dangerous street segments are addressed first, making the city safer for those most at risk. Pedestrians are disproportionately represented in traffic crashes, so prioritizing investments in locations where we see or expect to see pedestrian crashes helps us meet our Vision Zero goal.
The PedPDX safety analysis identifies street segments where pedestrian crashes have historically occurred as well as locations where roadway and behavioral characteristics are potentially correlated with pedestrian crashes. These risk factors include streets with three or more travel lanes and locations with speed limits over 30 mph.
Streets with the highest scores are those with the most crash history or risk factors and are indicated in red in the map below. Street segments with the lowest safety scores are those with the lowest pedestrian crash history and risk factors and are indicated in blue. As safety conditions change over time, the PedPDX safety analysis will be revisited and updated with current data.
Prioritizing demand means improving streets that provide access to important walking destinations – goods, services, jobs, and transit, to name a few. It also helps improve walkability and pedestrian vibrancy as expressed in Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan. To score pedestrian demand, PedPDX groups streets into four categories, in order of priority:
Higher point values are allocated to streets where more people are expected to walk (indicated in dark blue in the map below), such as within designated “Centers.” Lower point values are allocated to streets where fewer people are expected to walk (indicated in light green). These are typically Neighborhood Walkways located along residential streets.
Adding it Up
The individual scores for equity, safety, and demand are then added together. Street segments with the highest aggregated equity, safety, and demand scores are indicated in purple in the map below. Street segments with lower aggregated equity, safety, and demand scores are in lower tiers, with “Tier 5” as the lowest scoring (and lowest priority).
In theory, sidewalk and crosswalk gaps on streets with the highest scores (tier 1) will be addressed first. However, other factors will be considered in identifying near term sidewalk and crossing implementation opportunities, including leverage opportunities, funding sources, project readiness, and feasibility. As needs in top tier locations are systematically addressed, sidewalk and crossing gaps in lower tiers will be subsequently addressed. Visit our interactive map to see this information in more detail.
Share your feedback with us!
Visit www.PedPDX.com for a video walkthrough of the plan, to read the Public Review Draft, scroll through interactive maps, and take our online survey until May 3, 2019.
(April 22, 2019) – The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public street that repairs are scheduled on NE Cornfoot Road from NE 55th Avenue to NE Alderwood Avenue through Thursday, April 25 from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. The work includes grinding down the road surface and repaving to address numerous potholes in the roadway.
A detour is in place for eastbound traffic on NE Cornfoot Road. Westbound traffic on NE Cornfoot Road will be open to traffic, but the traveling public should expect significant delays.
Please avoid area if possible and expect long delays as we repair this section of road. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane detours and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.
This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change.
The season kicks off on May 19 in Southeast Portland
(April 18, 2019) - The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente are proud to announce another season of Sunday Parkways, Portland’s premiere family-friendly walking and biking event.
As in past years, Sunday Parkways 2019 will include five traffic-free events highlighting five different Portland neighborhoods from May through September. This year’s routes are classics with a twist, with new walking options at three different events for people who want to explore new neighborhoods and experience the fun of Sunday Parkways on foot.
The dates and locations for Sunday Parkways 2019 are:
The walking series includes the return of the Walk with Refugees and Immigrants in Outer Northeast on July 21, which will showcase new Portlander-led and co-developed musical and performance acts at both the start and end of the walk. In August, Sunday Parkways returns to the Green Loop. This route, which drew the largest number of participants in Sunday Parkways history in 2018, is not to be missed! The bike route will take riders on a tour of Portland’s Central City - over the Broadway Bridge, through the Rose Quarter, down SE Water Avenue and back over Tilikum Crossing. A series of walks, held in collaboration with staff and speakers from the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals Conference, will highlight iconic places in the Central City such as the Portland Open Space Sequence. In September, Sunday Parkways will include the Ainsworth Walking Boulevard in partnership with Oregon Walks in Northeast Portland.
“Congratulations to Portland Sunday Parkways on its 12th season! Sunday Parkways connects communities, and fosters the healthy, active use of our public streets for people of all backgrounds and abilities,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “Last year more than 125,000 people experienced their streets in a new way at a Sunday Parkways event, and I hope to see even more Portlanders walk, bike, and roll together in 2019."
“We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente and the dozens of other sponsors and vendors who give their time, money and resources to supporting Sunday Parkways each and every year,” said Chris Warner, Interim Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “Sunday Parkways is more than just a walking and biking event, it’s where Portlanders of all ages come together to play and engage with community organizations and businesses in fun and meaningful ways. There truly is something for everyone at Sunday Parkways.”
“As we begin a new season of Sunday Parkways, I can’t help but remember all the great moments of past seasons that have been shared by myself and my family,” said Mychal Tetteh, Active Transportation & Safety Division Programs Section Manager. “Sunday Parkways is about making memories that last a lifetime and I can’t wait to see what memories we make this year and beyond.”
Sunday Parkways is currently looking for vendors, community partners, entertainers and volunteers who want to make Sunday Parkways happen. If interested, please contact Sunday Parkways at 503-823-7599, PortlandSundayParkways@portlandoregon.gov or check out the website at PortlandSundayParkways.org.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is the organizer of Sunday Parkways, working with our presenting sponsor for the last twelve years, Kaiser Permanente, as well as returning sponsors Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Clif Bar, NW Natural, AAA Oregon/Idaho, AARP of Oregon, HDR Inc., Bureau of Environmental Services, New Seasons, Portland Fire and Rescue, Halprin Landscape Conservancy, iQ Credit Union, Portland Art Museum, Travel Portland, Parking Kitty, Portland Rose Quarter, Portland State University, and Bureau of Emergency Management.
In 2019, PBOT is excited to welcome Linfield College as a new partner.
PBOT and other public funds cover a third of the program costs, and two-thirds of funding comes from sponsors, vendors and individual supporters.
About Sunday Parkways
Sunday Parkways is a series of free community events opening the city's largest public space—its streets—for people to walk, bike, roll and discover active transportation. The events are beloved by Portlanders of all ages. Annual attendance averages over 125,000 participants for the five Sunday Parkways events. Residents and visitors say they come to enjoy the traffic-free streets connecting parks and schools filled with activities, music and vendors. It’s safe, family-friendly and a chance to meet neighbors. For more information, including route maps, visit PortlandSundayParkways.org or call 503-823-7599.
Southwest in Motion charts a course for a future Southwest Portland where residents have a range of safe and reliable transportation choices
(April 17, 2019) The public review draft of Southwest in Motion (SWIM) is out! Like the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) other plans for active transportation, such as East Portland in Motion and Central City in Motion, SWIM is a realistic short-term action plan that identifies and prioritizes walking and biking projects for Southwest Portland. The public review draft of SWIM and an accompanying survey will be open for six weeks, through Friday, May 24.
The SWIM plan was developed with extensive public feedback from Southwest Portlanders. Over one thousand people used PBOT’s online mapping tool to provide their initial feedback on walking and biking priorities and needs in Southwest Portland. A stakeholder working group provided oversight and their knowledge of the neighborhood to help fine tune projects. In addition, PBOT convened eight separate community focus groups to help staff identify infrastructure needs unique to specific communities. Participants included OHSU Campus Outreach, SW Trails, Markham Elementary Somali Families, Congregation Kesser Israel and others.
The draft plan:
With continued population growth in Portland, Southwest Portlanders can play a major role making the City’s vision for a safe and sustainable transportation system a reality. In fact, today’s transportation trends suggest we are in the midst of a major transformation of how people get from place to place in Southwest Portland. Recent trends suggest that more and more people in Southwest Portland are choosing to get out of their cars and walk, bike, roll, or take transit instead. With the potential for major transportation investments on the horizon, what would it look like for Southwest Portland to be a place where every resident had a wide range of transportation options? By establishing a basic network for walking and biking, Southwest in Motion charts a course for a future Southwest Portland where residents have a range of safe and reliable transportation choices.
Ready to dig in? View the public review draft of Southwest in Motion, check out specific project details and descriptions from Appendix A, then take a quick survey and tell us what you think. Your feedback will be used to help further refine the SWIM Plan before it is shared with City Council. The City Council date for the final draft plan is not yet set.
Join our interested parties email list to receive a notice when a City Council date is confirmed by signing up on the SWIM website: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/SWIM
(April 11, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) advises the traveling public that starting Monday, April 15, the pedestrian/bicycle path on the north side of Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, will be closed for two weeks, followed by a two-week closure of the south side path.
People walking and cycling in both directions on Tilikum Crossing will share the south side path between OMSI/SE Water and South Waterfront/SW Moody MAX stations April 15 through April 26, then share the north side path April 29 through May 10. These dates are subject to change.
The closures will allow PBOT’s contractor Goodfellow Bros, Inc. to connect a new segment of SW Bond Avenue to Tilikum Crossing / SW Porter Street. Work will include demolishing and replacing concrete walkways and bikeways, handrails, electrical conduits, striping, signage and signal equipment. Periodic night work will allow TriMet and Portland Streetcar services to continue without disruption.
We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all construction signage, and use alternate routes if possible. Portions of this work are weather-dependent and the schedule may change.
When SW Bond Avenue opens later this year, people will be able to walk, jog, roll, bike and scoot over the Tilikum Crossing from the east side, then make an immediate right turn onto SW Bond Avenue for a shorter route to downtown (or do the opposite route to access Tilikum eastbound). At the north end, SW Bond Avenue will connect to what used to be a cul-de-sac on SW River Parkway underneath the Marquam Bridge.
SW Bond Avenue will feature sidewalks or interim asphalt walkways on both sides of the street, and a sidewalk-level protected bike lane in the northbound direction. Southbound bikes will share the roadway with light vehicle traffic in the southbound vehicle lane. Vehicular traffic will be able to use SW Bond Avenue in both directions between SW Meade Street and SW River Parkway, but will not be able to access SW Porter Street / Tilikum Crossing. Metered on-street parking will available north of SW Meade Street.
The SW Bond Avenue Extension Phase 1 is a partnership between PBOT, Prosper Portland and Oregon Health and & Science University (OHSU). The city’s investment in this 1,500-foot-long street serves as the city’s contribution to the Knight Cancer Challenge – a public-private partnership launched by Phil and Penny Knight in 2013 to construct a state-of-the-art OHSU research institute focused on early cancer detection and treatment. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute opened in 2018 at 2720 SW Moody Ave. and will see improved access upon the completion of SW Bond Avenue and SW Meade Street later this year. SW Bond Avenue also will provide access to six additional development sites on OHSU’s Schnitzer Campus.
Substantial completion of SW Bond Avenue is anticipated in July 2019; however, PBOT’s ability to open the street to the public will depend on a number of technical issues associated with the connection to SW Meade Street, including lighting conduits and general construction activity. We will report an anticipated opening date when it is available.
Learn more and sign up for email updates about construction progress and upcoming community events at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/bondave
The SW Bond Avenue Extension is funded by the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area administered by Prosper Portland, transportation system development charges administered by PBOT, and an Immediate Opportunity Fund grant from the State of Oregon, with right-of-way donation and most environmental remediation work provided by OHSU.