Tactical urbanism is about to make another imprint on Portland’s downtown streetscape. Tomorrow morning, a trio of planning and place-making groups are planning to create a temporary protected bike lane on one block of Southwest Broadway.
As you can see in the photo above the plan is to install temporary green coloration and objects in a buffer zone to provide protection of a curbside bike lane. The bike lane will stretch one block of Broadway from Salmon to Taylor. And yes, it will use road space currently used to park people’s personal vehicles. The permitted project is a collaboration between Better Block PDX (the folks who brought us similar projects on SW 3rd and Naito), Place Matters from Denver, and Portland-based Alta Planning + Design.
Tomorrow’s installation is timed to coincide with the New Partners for Smart Growth conference, which kicks off tomorrow at the Hilton which happens to be right across the street.
It’s worth noting that this temporary installation is mere blocks from what we used to call Portland’s first “cycle track”, installed as part of a promise made by former Portland Mayor Sam Adams in 2009. The idea from city engineers and planners at the time was that this higher-quality and buffered bike lane would ultimately extend to Burnside, then up to the Broadway Bridge and beyond. However, that was when we had a mayor who wasn’t afraid to be bold when it came to cycling. Now six-and-a-half years later, the protected bikeway on Broadway near Portland State hasn’t been extended or improved upon at all.
Thankfully we’ve got these upstart urbanist to remind us of what we should be doing. A protected bike lane on Broadway — arguably the most important street in our city — should have a starring role and not just a one-day cameo.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – email@example.com
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