Starting this Monday (5/23), traffic patterns on North Willamette Boulevard will change dramatically for up to four months.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is replacing a viaduct that spans across the bluffs between North Chase and Fowler which requires them to close the entire northern lane. During the closure, all northbound auto, truck and bus traffic will be detoured up to Lombard. Willamette will remain open for bicycle riders in both directions — but northbound bike traffic will be routed up onto the sidewalk.
Here are the details from PBOT:
The northwestbound lane of N Willamette Boulevard will be closed to motor vehicle traffic, all hours, all days, from N Bryant Street to N Fowler Avenue. Northwestbound bike traffic will be detoured to the adjacent sidewalk, which will be shared with people walking.
The southeastbound lane of N Willamette Boulevard will remain open, though the lane will be shifted to the left in the work zone. The southeastbound bike lane will remain open, providing a 5-foot wide lane separated from people driving by plastic wands.
Northwestbound motor vehicle traffic, including bus traffic will be detoured around the area. Northwestbound motor vehicles in the area should go north on N Greeeley Ave, then west on N Lombard St, to south on N Portsmouth Ave and back to N Willamette Blvd.
With any luck PBOT will leave the plastic wands in the ground after the project! Willamette Blvd is a key part of the north Portland bike network and it’s in dire need of a redesign to improve bicycle access.
Back to the project at hand: To have Willamette in work-zone mode all summer long is a real bummer (although getting a new viaduct is great news!). It’ll be interesting to see how the northbound sidewalk-sharing arrangement works. This sidewalk on Willamette is a very popular place for running and walking and putting bike traffic up on it could be a recipe for disaster. Everyone will have to use the utmost caution.
If you ride or walk or run on Willamette, please keep us posted on how the detours and work zone is impacting you.
For more information, visit the project website.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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