City council will weigh new neighborhood greenway guidelines Wednesday

City council will weigh new neighborhood greenway guidelines Wednesday

clinton speed

Southeast Clinton Street.
(Photo:M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Some biking advocates are planning to wear green to Wednesday’s Portland City Council meeting to welcome the arrival of a long-awaited city study of Portland’s neighborhood greenways.

The study, first reported on BikePortland in November, has since evolved to include a new set of recommended guidelines for what makes a comfortable greenway. The guidelines would, in some ways, enshrine modern neighborhood greenways into city practices for the first time.

Over the last year, many Portlanders have warned that some neighborhood greenways — the theoretically low-traffic, low-stress side streets that form the backbone of the bike network in most of inner east Portland and a major component of its city’s planned network — are uncomfortable and unwelcoming to bike on because of high car traffic and speeds.

The city data gathered for this report essentially confirmed those warnings.

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Most notably, city staff are proposing a formal target of 1,000 motor vehicles per day on neighborhood greenways, with 1,500 acceptable and city action required for levels over 2,000 cars per day.

For crossings of major streets, the city is proposing a target of at least 50 opportunities to cross per hour on bike or foot, with at least 100 crossings ideal.

Both of these guidelines would represent changes over the current benchmarks. Look for a more in-depth exploration of the proposed guidelines in the next couple days.

Advocacy group BikeLoudPDX is organizing Portlanders to testify in support of the staff recommendations, which are being submitted to the city council for formal review. The group is inviting supporters of neighborhood greenways to show up at Portland City Hall, 1220 SW 5th Ave., at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The council’s agenda calls for the report to be presented at 9:45 a.m. and last 30 minutes.


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