What a road diet on SW Barbur would look like

What a road diet on SW Barbur would look like

A rendering by Owen Walz of what SW Barbur Blvd could look like where it passes over SW Vermont.
– Click to enlarge –

As you might recall, a few months ago the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) was feeling heat from the public to consider a road diet on SW Barbur Blvd. Specifically, people were urging the agency to consider reconfiguring lanes to improve bike access over two bridges as part of a $5 million rehab project. The bike lanes on SW Barbur where it crosses SW Vermont and Newbury streets drops suddenly and and leaves people on bikes in a vulnerable position.

Here’s what it looks like now…

Now, local illustrator and graphic designer Owen Walz has released a rendering of what a road diet on SW Barbur could look like. Walz is volunteer with Friends of Barbur (Facebook), a group of citizen activists that have been pushing for a more bike-friendly Barbur for several years. (A road diet is called out as a recommendation in the Barbur Concept Plan, which is set to be adopted by Portland City Council tomorrow.)

Walz created the rendering above as part of a series of visualizations for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s (BTA) forthcoming Blueprint for Better Bicycling.

As for the status of the Barbur road diet idea, last time we checked (in March) ODOT had handed off the conversation to Metro’s SW Corridor planning process. Here’s more ODOT Community Affairs Coordinator Jilayne Jordan:

“A road diet is included in three of the five Southwest Corridor Plan project packages now being analyzed and modeled by Metro. Results of this analysis are expected in April. This analysis will provide all project stakeholders with a comprehensive look at the benefits and impacts of this project for cyclists, pedestrians, future high capacity transit operations and auto/freight users. Meanwhile, the Barbur Boulevard (OR 99W) Newbury Street and Vermont Street Bridge Rehabilitation project will proceed as planned, in a manner that does not preclude nor prejudice potential future redesigns of Barbur Boulevard.”

To learn more about the SW Corridor Plan and (possibly) about the prospects of a road diet on SW Barbur Blvd, there’s an open house this Thursday (4/25) at 5:30 p.m. Multnomah Arts Center (7688 SW Capitol Highway). You can also peruse the official SW Corridor Plan website.

If you’re so inclined to express your perspectives on this project, Metro‚Äôs project manager for the SW Corridor Plan is Malu Wilkinson who can be reached at (503) 797-1680 or malu.wilkinson@oregonmetro.gov; and ODOT’s project manager is Talia Jacobson who can be reached at (503) 731-3049 or talia.jacobson@odot.state.or.us.

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