(April 26, 2016) – Better Naito is returning to Portland for a second summer. The pilot project, a partnership between Better Block PDX and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, creates a safe way for people to get to and around Portland’s summer of festivals at Waterfront Park. The project was first piloted in June 2015 during the two weeks of Rose Festival City Fair and returned for the Oregon Brewers Festival the same year.
From May 2 to July 31, 2016, during all hours of the day, one northbound traffic lane from SW Main Street to NW Davis Street will be converted to a multi-use path for two-way walking and bicycling.
From July 1 to July 4 ONLY, the lane conversion will extend from SW Clay Street to NW Davis Street to accommodate people traveling to or around the Waterfront Blues Festival at the southern end of Waterfront Park.
The festivals in Tom McCall Waterfront Park draw almost 700,000 people between April and November; roughly 15,000 more people per day during peak season. But to reach the festivals, people are too often forced to squeeze into narrow dirt paths, walk in a bike lane, or bike in a travel lane with motorized traffic. Better Naito 2015 created a safe space for people to travel to and from these events.
As a result of Better Naito 2015’s success, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is granting Community Event Permits to the festivals and events taking place at and along Waterfront Park. The organizations will implement placemaking features along the Better Naito corridor and create a physically separated space for people walking and biking in order to help everyone safely and comfortably access the waterfront.
Data collected during the 2015 Better Naito found that during non-peak hours, motor vehicle travel times were not significantly affected. The travel time from the half mile stretch of SW Clay to SW Stark increased the most during AM and PM peak travel hours between 7:00-9:00 AM and 4:00-6:00 PM, with typical increases in motor vehicle travel times during peak hours between 45 seconds and one minute. The full report can be found on the Better Naito website: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/NaitoParkway
A video produced by Better Block PDX about the 2015 Better Naito features interviews with community organizations, volunteers, City staff, and festival organizers about their successful work to transform one of Portland's most iconic streets. View the video on PBOT’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/YmNK6upDzLY
Additional details will be shared at a media event during the first week of May.
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