In preparation for moving the old SELLWOOD BRIDGE onto new footings to make a detour bridge while building the new bridge, there will be a bridge closure of one week in January. It will either be January 10-17 or January 17-24. They will slide the bridge over to the temporary location. The plan is to move it all in one day, probably Saturday. The only thing that would postpone these dates would be an ice storm or other weather event. The best place to watch this event would be from Sellwood Riverfront Park or the pedestrian path on the east side leading up to the bridge. Or you can watch their web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org. If you want to get on their information mailing list, go to email@example.com. The temporary bridge will be in place for three years. When the bridge is closed, bicyclists will have to use the Hawthorne or Morrison Bridges. No other bridge closures are planned until 2015 although there will be short closures of up to 20 minutes. The present bicycle path (sidewalk) will still be usable on the detour bridge until we get real bike lanes in 2015.
There are several new sections of bike lanes. On NE MULTNOMAH St. through the Lloyd District there are new, protected bike lanes. PBOT worked in partnership with Lloyd District businesses to make this happen. Bike access has gone from a narrow, seldom used bike lane to a wider lane with a colored strip separating the bike lane from the travel lane. There are also “bikes in lanes” signs along the route. PBOT has also repaved SW BARBUR BLVD. just south of downtown Portland. They’ve widened the bike lanes and painted a striped buffer. The new lanes are almost a mile long and stretch from SW Caruthers, near I-405, south to SW Lane at Naito. And the recently installed GREEN PAINTED BIKE LANES ON SW STARK AND OAK seem to be working. Most drivers are only driving in them to make turns. The new paint is highly visible and the lanes are extra wide with bike symbols every few feet. We will see what happens over time.
Because of a $4.4 MILLION BUDGET GAP for the upcoming fiscal year, PBOT proposed cutting $1.5 million that would directly impact biking and walking projects and programs. They propose cutting over $550,000 from “Active Transportation”. That would end their support of SUNDAY PARKWAYS. They also propose cutting $1 million from projects including neighborhood greenways (bike boulevards), bike and pedestrian safety programs, Safe Routes to School and many more. This is just the first proposal but not good news for these important programs.
PBOT has applied for $39 million in STATE TRANSPORTATION GRANTS. The grants are administered by ODOT. Some of the more important ones are:
- $1.7 million to construct a segment of the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail under I-205
- $1.5 million for a traffic signal at Broadway and Wheeler
- $5 million for “Complete, safe networks” to fix biking and walking safety gaps in the system
- $1.5 million for N. Williams Traffic Safety Project
- $1 million for Red Electric Trail, focusing on safe routes to schools in the southwest hills
- $225,000 for planning/design of South Waterfront Greenway which stalled due to lack of funds