New path makes key connection for bike boulevard in north Portland

New path makes key connection for bike boulevard in north Portland

Reader Nick Welch sent in this photo of the new
shared-use path PBOT has built between Westanna and Newell
streets in north Portland.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has just completed a new shared-use path as part of their North Portland Connector neighborhood greenway project. The new pathway connects N Westanna Ave to Newell Ave and to the Peninsula Crossing Trail just north of Lombard.

The pathway is a crucial section of PBOT’s east-west bike boulevard that allows people to ride safely across the north Portland peninsula west of Interstate Avenue via a combination of streets including N. Houghton, Dana, and Terry.

Kenton resident Nick Welch works in St. Johns and says this greenway is exactly what he needed. “Now you can finally get across the North Portland peninsula without touching the abomination that is Lombard Street.”

Welch said he’s already been using the Houghton/Dana/Terry greenway, but before this new path was built, he was forced to take the bridge on Lombard over the railroad tracks. Lombard (as all locals know) is an ODOT-owned freight route and high-speed arterial that doubles as the Highway 30 bypass. It’s a street you rarely see people biking on.

Here’s more local knowledge from Nick about how this new path improves his commute:

“The real problem is getting to/from the Lombard bridge on the east side. Previously it required riding along Lombard for a few blocks between the bridge and Westanna. Riding in the street is miserable, and riding on the sidewalk is probably dangerous (with all the driveways, intersections, etc.) and definitely tense. There was part of a path that took you from the Peninsula trail to Newell, but it was a dead end, and you still had to head out to Lombard to get to Westanna. It was basically a dead end loop that was only useful for the apartment complex on that dead end. Now you can ride from Westanna directly to/from the Peninsula trail and the only contact you have with Lombard is over the bridge itself.

It’s a very nice upgrade to the experience.”

Here’s a map view of the new path:

And PBOT’s design drawing:

In addition to this new shared-use path, PBOT has also added several crossing improvements, including new crosswalk striping and median islands where Houghton crosses Portsmouth. See the before/after photos from PBOT below.

Learn more about the North Portland Connector project on PBOT’s website and follow all of their exciting work on bike boulevards via the main Neighborhood Greenways site.

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