The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is set to begin work on a significant project that will add more vehicle access and capacity on SE Division. The project will re-configure the existing four-lane stretch of road between SE 60th and 80th into a five-lane cross section.
Instead of four standard vehicle lanes, the updated design of Division will include three standard vehicle lanes (one for each direction and a center turn lane) and two bicycle-only lanes. The changes came after PBOT identified Division as one of their “High Crash Corridors” and neighborhood residents said addressing bicycle safety concerns was one of their top priorities. In addition to the new, six-foot wide bike lanes, PBOT will also install a crossing improvement at SE 68th Ave.
Kyle Gunsul, who lives just off Division at 69th in the South Tabor neighborhood, is thrilled with the street’s new design. He says it will make Division much easier to cross and give him and other residents a safer way to access Mt. Tabor Park. “People fly down this stretch of the road,” he shared with us via email, “So trying to find a simultaneous opening across four lanes of road where cars are often truckin’ in the 40’s sucks… this created a Frogger [reference to a popular 1980s video game] situation in trying to get to the park or just attempting to head north.”
Gunsul sketched out the map below and described some of the bike access problems he faces and how the new bike lanes will help solve them.
The two red circles, Gunsul says, are areas he most often tries to access. “South of Division the I-205 path is pretty much cut off from South Tabor,” he notes, in reference to the circle on the right. The circle on the left is Lincoln, Gunsul’s “favorite bike boulevard” and the way he gets downtown.
“So, slapping down a bike lane solves many of these issues, but moreso, greatly reduces the barrier between South and Mt. Tabor. I’ve been very impressed with how PBOT rolled this out. Gotta dig Portland.”
We’re really looking forward to seeing these changes on Division. Expect a full report once the new lane striping is complete.