(Dec. 10, 2020) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) kicks off the next phase of public outreach for the Rose Lane Project today. The Rose Lane online open house, which includes an interactive map and feedback survey, will be available through early January 2021.
The goals of this outreach period are to share a status update on the Rose Lane program and gather feedback on progress made thus far. It will also provide a first look at 25 proposed project concepts to address spots where buses are delayed. Constructing all the proposed projects will take several years, and the pace at which these projects could roll out depends on when funding is available. The feedback gathered through this online open house will inform next steps.
The online open house is now live at Portland.gov/roselanes.
Portland City Council adopted the Rose Lane Project report in February 2020. Since then, PBOT, in close partnership with TriMet, has rolled out several projects, readied more for delivery in the upcoming construction season, and identified a suite of proposed locations for the next phase of Rose Lane improvements.
Rose Lane progress to date
The Rose Lane Project centers the values of racial equity and transportation justice. During the planning process, the Rose Lane Project community advisors defined the following key "better-off measures” to guide all project development and evaluation:
- People of color will experience average commute times comparable to white people.
- People will consider public transit to be a rapid and reliable choice for daily transportation.
- People who use public transit will have more choices for where they want to live and work.
- People who use public transit will have lower transportation costs (time and money).
- People will be healthier from improved air quality.
So how are we doing?
Just under a year into the Rose Lane program, the dozens of completed, funded/in progress, and proposed projects are showing progress toward meeting these measures:
Project roll out status: As of today, PBOT has completed or started construction on 16 Rose Lane improvements. A further 18 projects are funded and slated for roll out in the next construction season. And we’ve identified approximately two dozen “proposed” concepts we plan to advance as funding becomes available for further transit priority work. See where these projects are located via the Rose Lane interactive map.
Faster trips: Most of the lines along the Rose Lane primary transit network are or will soon see travel time savings and increased reliability from Rose Lane projects once they are all built out. For example:
- Riders on the Line 6 could expect to save between 6 and 14 minutes if they traveled from end to end during the PM peak – that's up to 64 hours a year you could have back if you ride five days a week!
- What about a shorter trip along the Line 6? Someone who lives near NE MLK and NE Alberta and travels to the PCC CLIMB Center for a class at 5 p.m. could save around 4 minutes, or 12% off that same trip pre-Rose Lanes.
- Line 20 riders could expect to save between 5 and 7 minutes end to end, or up to 30 hours a year. A person who works at Fred Meyer on W Burnside and NW 20th and commutes home to E Burnside and 76th could save about 5 minutes, or 11% of today’s travel time.
Several other primary Rose Lane transit lines could see travel time savings, in addition to many other bus lines serving the city and region.
People can reach more places, and jobs and businesses become reachable by more people: Overall, Portland residents on average will be able to reach 5,500 more jobs and places within a 45 minute transit ride due to the Rose Lane projects identified to date—including those already completed, funded/in progress, and proposed. Black residents and households in poverty on average see a slightly higher projected change in job access. When looking at a 60 minute transit ride, access grows even further, with an increase of 9,800 jobs and places reachable on average by all residents.
In addition to these system-level benefits, riders along the primary Rose Lane transit network are experiencing and will experience real benefits. Visitors to the online open house can take a“closer look” at what the Rose Lane Project will mean for these key lines.
Moving forward, we will continue looking for ways to improve bus speed and reliability and we expect to propose more Rose Lane projects in the future.
Why transit priority matters
The Rose Lane Project, initiated by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in 2019, is PBOT's effort to help bus and streetcar riders get where they need to go more reliably and quickly. PBOT is working in close partnership with TriMet on the Rose Lane Project.
A “Rose Lane” is a transit route where buses and streetcars have priority on the road where they are most delayed. There are over 20 tools in the Enhanced Transit Toolbox that can be used to make transit faster and more reliable. Not all Rose Lanes include bus-only lanes—as PBOT develops Rose Lane improvements, we will pick the best solution for each unique location to get buses out of traffic.
Public transit is the backbone of our transportation system. Transit is one of the most efficient and equitable ways to move people in a growing city. In 2019, more than 225,000 Portlanders rode public transit every day, and tens of thousands have continued to ride during the Covid-19 pandemic, including essential workers. Getting more people to choose the bus or train over driving alone is also critical for achieving our climate goals.
But over the last decade, the proportion of Portlanders riding transit has been stagnant. And as traffic has increased, average bus speeds declined by 14% between 2000-2019. In 2019, buses collectively spent more than 2,000 hours every day slowed down by traffic. Making transit faster and more reliable—and over time, more frequent—is critical, both to help today’s riders have a better journey and to encourage more people to get on board in the future.
Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the way we get around, including Portland’s transit system. The Rose Lane Project, however, remains a priority for PBOT. It is a down payment on the future transportation system we want to create. As our city recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and traffic increases, Rose Lane improvements will keep our most important transit lines running smoothly. This will help prevent the kinds of delays transit experienced in the past.
Learn more and sign up for email updates about the Rose Lane Project at Portland.gov/roselanes.