What’s in store for NE Rodney? A dispatch from the open house

What’s in store for NE Rodney? A dispatch from the open house

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-7

(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported earlier this week, PBOT held their first open house for the NE Rodney neighborhood greenway project on Wednesday night. I wasn’t able to put it on my schedule, but I found myself biking up Williams well before it was scheduled to open at 6:00 pm so I rolled in to see if I could get a sneak peek. Fortunately, PBOT project manager Rich Newlands was already there and everything was set out. I only had a few minutes, but I learned enough to share here on the Front Page.

Judging from comments on our last story, many of you are concerned about all the stop signs currently on Rodney. You’ll be pleased to hear that PBOT’s proposed plan would get rid of almost all of them. Currently there are 19 stop signs (no signals) on Rodney between Broadway and Killingsworth. That’s out of a total of 27 intersections. And the way they’re spaced out means you have to stop almost every other block. That much stopping is a deal-breaker when trying to make a street attractive for bicycling.

According to drawings unveiled at the open house, PBOT would flip 10 of the existing stop signs. While this would still be more stopping than you experience on NE Going, it will be a big improvement over the existing conditions. Below is a detail from one of the posters showing which signs they’ll flip (the ones with orange square outline)…

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-3

Of course, with fewer stop signs, Rodney will also become more attractive to people using cars. Many of you expressed hopes for diversion infrastructure; but at this point there isn’t any in the cards. I still need to confirm this with Newlands, but I haven’t heard about any plans for diversion and there isn’t any mention of it in PBOT’s plan drawings so far.

Another way PBOT will make driving less attractive on Rodney, and to further calm driving behaviors, they plan to install one speed bump per block. They’ll also reduce the speed limit to 20 miles per hour and install one sharrow per block in each direction. Here’s a detail from one of the display boards titled, “Proposed Street Improvements”…

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-1

Perhaps the largest component of this project (at least infrastructure-wise) will be changes at six intersections in order to improve safety: Russell, Fremont, Shaver, Skidmore, Alberta, and Killingsworth. PBOT shared more detailed drawings of several of these crossing treatments…

Killingsworth will see curb extensions and improved curb ramps on every corner:

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-2-2

Fremont is trickiest due to the large off-set. PBOT is considering two options. Option A is bike lanes on both sides with curb extensions…

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-4

Option B is a two-way bike lane on the north side and a rapid-flash beacon at the eastern end. This option would require PBOT to prohibit auto parking on several sections of the street (a total of 13 spaces)…

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-5

At Russell, where traffic from the Wonder Ballroom and restaurants creates stressful conditions at time, PBOT would add two new crosswalks and curb extensions on the southeast and northeast corners…

NE Rodney neighborhood greenway open house-6

At Shaver, Alberta, and Skidmore, PBOT will add just crosswalks. Also keep in mind that, as per usual with neighborhood greenways, all the streets that cross Rodney will get new yellow caution signage that announces the presence of bikers and walkers.

One final note about the timeline: We’ve reported that this project is slated to be constructed this summer. However, I learned from Newlands that PBOT plans to contract out the North Williams Ave project first, and do a separate bid for the Rodney work (you’ll recall that improving Rodney was a recommendation from the Williams Avenue project stakeholders advisory committee). That means crews aren’t expected to begin work on Rodney until September. That’s right at the tail-end of PBOT’s prime dry-weather striping and construction window, so hopefully there are no delays.

If you couldn’t make the open house and would like to offer feedback on this project, you can email the project manager at rich.newlands@portlandoregon.gov.

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