(August 8, 2022) The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) investments in East Portland will improve road safety for all travelers by boosting access to employment hubs, business districts, schools, and parks. PBOT crews are near completion on a handful of projects that’ll make moving around East Portland safer and more convenient for people, regardless of whether they drive, walk, roll, or bike. Projects range from sidewalk improvements on neighborhood greenways to repaving and restriping entire stretches of road along busy arterial streets. In total, PBOT has made $26.2 million in transportation investments in East Portland in the past year.
“For decades, my home of East Portland has lacked the investments made in the rest of our city. Upon becoming Transportation Commissioner, changing this historical trend was a top priority, and I’m so happy to see PBOT walking our talk regarding equity in services,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “Transportation is about access to opportunity. These investments in East Portland will immediately improve the livelihoods for community members as people will be better connected to parks, small businesses, job centers, places of worship, and we will be creating safer routes to school.”
“PBOT staff has done exceptional work constructing these projects. I’m also proud of the work we’ve done engaging with community members in East Portland in how transportation investments can uplift entire neighborhoods,” said PBOT Director Chris Warner. “Collectively these projects move us forward in making a safer and more equitable East Portland. I am so proud of our team’s hard work in getting these projects this far.”
Better access to employment and education with an improved East Portland transportation network
The federally funded $11 million East Portland Access to Employment and Education Project is nearly finished. This project will enhance access to major employment hubs and business districts while improving pedestrian and bicycle access to eight public schools.
Getting four times longer, connecting four parks, and the 4M Neighborhood Greenway.
Improvements to a trio of neighborhood greenways in East Portland will bring a safer route and better access to parks, business districts, and transit access.
100s Neighborhood Greenway: A new 4.5 mile stretch of the 100s Neighborhood Greenway provides a valuable north-south connection from Gateway in Northeast to Adventist Hospital, East Portland Community Center, Floyd Light Middle School, and the Halsey-Weidler Business District. This addition makes the 100s Neighborhood Greenway nearly four times longer, providing a valuable connection from Gateway to Ed Benedict Park on SE Powell and onto the Springwater Corridor.
150s Neighborhood Greenway: Just blocks from the Portland-Gresham border, this 3.5-mile greenway is the furthest east our north-south bike routes go. Safety improvements to this stretch have created a safer link between the Wilkes, Glenfair, and Centennial neighborhoods, providing a low-stress connector to schools such as Glenfair Elementary and Parklane Elementary. The improved greenway also created a direct route for people to enjoy East Portland’s beautiful nature areas, connecting the Powell Butte Nature park, the soon-to-be expanded Parklane Park, Glenfair Park, and the Glendoveer Golf & Nature Trail.
4M Neighborhood Greenway Project: This greenway is named after the four streets it runs along: SE Market, Mill, Millmain, and Main streets. PBOT will improve additional parts of the 4M Neighborhood Greenway, between 92nd and 174th Avenues, as a part of the East Portland Access to Employment & Education project. The construction of bike lanes on SE Market Street from 92nd to 112th Avenue is completed. Additionally, sidewalk improvements have been added to the street from 92nd to 130th Avenue. Multimodal improvements to the roadway from 130th to 174th are just starting construction.
The greenway runs parallel to SE Stark and Division streets, both high-traffic corridors. It helps people connect to neighborhoods, parks, transit, as well as schools like David Douglas. PBOT will also build new sidewalks in places they’re missing now. This project is part of a larger Neighborhood Greenways initiative to connect neighborhoods, schools, parks, jobs, commercial centers, transit, and other destinations throughout Portland. Project elements include bike lanes and pavement markings, street lighting, wayfinding signs, speed bumps, sidewalk infill and tree planting.
Four other projects that’ll help East Portlanders get to their destination safer & more reliably
Outer Division Safety Project: People on Division are already enjoying a smoother ride, as a 10-block stretch of the street from 82nd Avenue to 92nd Avenue was repaved earlier this month. Throughout the summer, PBOT crews will be making safety improvements on SE Division Street from SE 80th to SE 174th Avenue. Outer Division Street is a High Crash Corridor, one of 30 streets in Portland that have the highest number of crashes resulting in someone dying or being seriously injured. PBOT’s priority is to make these roads safer, that’s why the Outer Division Safety Project improves street lighting, makes it easier for all road users to cross the street, and adds traffic signals to better calm car traffic.
These improvements are in collaboration with TriMet’s Division Transit Project, which will provide easier, faster, and more reliable bus service for people in Gresham and Southeast Portland to access Downtown Portland. TriMet’s FX 2-Division line will reduce travel times between Gresham and Downtown Portland by 20 percent, the improved bus service is set to begin September 18. These improvements will allow for larger busses to more easily pick-up and drop-off riders, while signal prioritization will ensure more reliable travel times for transit users.
PBOT invested $13 million into the Outer Division Safety project, funding for this project comes from Portland’s Fixing our Streets program, Oregon House Bill 2017, and Transportation System Development Charges. Additionally, PBOT also invested $17.31 million in the Division Transit Project.
New sidewalks and better lighting have made on Outer Halsey safer
This month, PBOT crews wrapped up work along Outer Halsey Street where they filled in missing sidewalk segments to create a fully connected sidewalk network along a busy 40-block stretch. Between 122nd Avenue and 162nd Avenue nearly a mile of sidewalk was constructed, 4,750 linear feet to be exact. People crossing Outer Halsey will also benefit from two new pedestrian crossings with improved street lighting and rapid flashing beacons to alert drivers that a person is approaching the interaction. The flashing beacons also provide a refuge island for pedestrians, shortening the distance it takes to cross the street. For the last decade, Outer Halsey has averaged four crashes a month. It is one of Portland’s most deadly high crash corridors.
Funding for this $4.66 million investment comes from the city of Portland’s General Fund Transportation System Development Charges, and General Transportation Revenue.
SE 162nd Ave Safety and Access to Transit Project: PBOT is improving safety for all travelers on SE 162nd Avenue between Stark Street and Powell Boulevard. PBOT will repurpose two of the four vehicle travel lanes to slow speeds and make safer crossings and bike lanes. As part of this project, PBOT will add more sidewalks and street lighting, then repave SE 162nd Avenue between Division Street and Powell Boulevard. Construction has already started on the new sidewalks and ADA accessible curb ramps. Work on the project will continue as 1.7 miles of SE 162nd will be repaved. Some on-street parking removal that will be necessary to accommodate this new design.
The majority of the funding for this $6 million project comes from Portland’s Fixing Our Streets program, with an additional $700,000 from TriMet Federal Transit Administration 5307 funds, and $1 M from Oregon House Bill 2017 funds.
NE Glisan Street Update: PBOT has reconfigured NE Glisan Street between 102nd and 122nd avenues. The new configuration has buffered bike lanes, two eastbound vehicle travel lanes, one westbound vehicle travel lane, and a center turn lane. PBOT crews are adding new pedestrian/bicycling crossings at 108th Avenue and 155th Avenue. A third crossing at 113th Avenue is scheduled to be installed this fall.
The funding for this project comes primarily from the East Portland Access to Education and Employment Project with additional funds from a federal grant as well as Transportation System Development Charges.
Want to check out the East Portland improvements? Join us for Sunday Parkways!
If your recipe for a great summer day includes community, touring safer infrastructure, music at parks, and sweet treats then we have the event for you! On Sunday August 21 we’re inviting community to the East Portland Sunday Parkways.
The 4.5-mile Sunday Parkways route touches upon newly-improved segments of the 100s Neighborhood Greenway, 4M Neighborhood Greenway, and the 150s Neighborhood Greenway. People are invited for the community celebration, which runs from Gateway Discovery Park to Parklane Park. All along the route there will be community organizations and local vendors selling food and drink.
People interested in volunteering at August’s Sunday Parkways event are encouraged to sign up using our Sunday Parkways volunteer registration form.