Today the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced that a project first identified as a priority in their 1996 Bicycle Master Plan has finally broken ground. Yes, at long last, the 50s Bikeway is officially under construction.
PBOT accepted the $1.5 million federal grant for the project in January of 2010 and has spent the last four years completing the public process, design, and development of the project. In 2013 PBOT was forced to delay the project an entire year due to construction costs that came in higher than expected.
Here’s more about the project from PBOT’s announcement:
Construction is underway on the 50s Bikeway Project, a 4.3 mile safety corridor along 52nd and 53rd avenues that improves connections to eight neighborhoods, including 12 schools and seven parks, on Portland’s east side.
When complete this summer, the route will fill in a major missing link within the City’s bicycle network and better connect eight neighborhoods from Woodstock, through Mt. Tabor to Rose City Park.
As part of the project, six major street crossings along the route will be upgraded to improve safety for people walking and bicycling. Crossing improvement techniques will vary by location but will include a combination of curb extensions and medians in addition to a pedestrian flashing beacon at SE Woodstock Boulevard and a hybrid beacon at E Burnside Street.
To further improve neighborhood livability and address residents’ concerns at two key intersections, cut-through traffic will be diverted at SE 52nd Avenue and Division Street and NE 53rd Avenue and Burnside Street.
The northern portion of the route will take the shape of a neighborhood greenway on 52nd and 53rd avenues, with signage and bicycle symbols called sharrows painted on residential streets from NE Sacramento Street to SE Division Street.
On the southern portion, from SE Division Street to SE Woodstock Boulevard, the City will install six-foot-wide painted bicycle lanes on either side of 52nd Avenue. To provide the necessary space, parking will be removed from the east side of the street.
Construction is expected to take about 4 months.