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Traffic Advisory: Construction begins this week on additional safety upgrades to SW Broadway at the intersections of SW Jefferson and SW Taylor

Traffic Advisory
 Traffic signals at both intersections will be upgraded, accessible corner ramps will be updated and some on-street parking will be adjusted
Published
Updated
A person riding a cargo bike waits for the traffic signal to change in this view of the intersection of SW Broadway and Jefferson, looking south down Broadway.

A person riding a cargo bike waits for the traffic signal to change in this view of the intersection of SW Broadway and Jefferson, looking south down Broadway. This is one of two intersections that will receive an updated traffic signal. On-street parking will be added south of Jefferson, providing additional protection to people biking near the entrance of Gifford's Flowers, seen in the background. Photo by PBOT.

(April 24, 2024) Construction begins this week on additional improvements to the Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) SW Broadway Bike Improvements project. This key Central City in Motion project provides a comfortable, safe southbound bicycle connection through the heart of downtown from the Broadway Bridge to Portland State University. 

Contractors working for PBOT will upgrade the traffic signals at the intersections of SW Broadway and Jefferson and SW Broadway and Taylor. The updated traffic signals will feature new phase-separated right turn and bicycle signals, reducing conflicts between people riding bikes and people making right turns while driving. The project will update the accessible corner ramps at both intersections with new ones that meet modern ADA standards.  

The project also involves some parking changes. A new right turn lane on SW Broadway approaching Taylor will result in 3 fewer spaces on the west side of Broadway between Taylor and Yamhill. Between SW Jefferson and Columbia, a full block of on-street parking will be added in what was once a merge lane made redundant by the new signal. In total the project will result in approximately 6 additional parking spaces on the corridor.

“I am pleased to see these improvements coming to SW Broadway, the heart of downtown.” said Millicent Williams, Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “These traffic signal upgrades will provide a modern, finished look and permanence at two of the busiest intersections on SW Broadway, adding consistency to the street and making everyone safer.” 

"Gifford’s Flowers has been open more than 85 years and we are committed to the downtown community and to Portland.” said Laura Gifford Kerr, of Gifford’s Flowers — located on the corner of SW Broadway and Jefferson. “We appreciate PBOT’s dedication to Portland’s safe transportation, their responsiveness to small business needs, and partnership to ensure easy business access during construction. Gifford’s Flowers is open in-store 9am-4pm Monday & Wednesday through Friday plus holidays. Come visit us to pick up some fresh flowers or order for Mother’s Day.“  

These intersection improvements follow improvements to SW Broadway announced in January designed to reduce conflicts between people biking and hotel valet zone customers along the corridor. Those upgrades, which created three curb-height passenger loading platforms along the corridor, are largely complete and the platforms are all open.

The outstanding work yet to be completed, the striping (painting) of the platforms, is currently scheduled to be completed on May 7, weather dependent. These passenger loading zones, similar to the previously completed passenger zone in front of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at SW Main Street, will provide safe places for passengers to load and unload while also delineating a clear green lane for people bicycling. 

“We are so pleased to see the new passenger loading platform in front of our historic hotel.” said Laura Maldonado, Heathman Hotel General Manager. “This type of infrastructure makes our streets safer and more comfortable for Portlanders and visitors alike. We at the Heathman are committed to Portland and I invite Portlanders to come by and visit us, be it for happy hour or dinner. However you travel, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the visit.”  

A person rides a bike southbound on SW Broadway at Clay, in April 2024

A person rides a bike southbound on SW Broadway at Clay, where a green light shows on a bike signal and signals for through traffic. A red light is displayed at a right turn signal to prevent people driving from turning right while bike traffic goes straight -- a separating the different modes of travel. This combination of right turn signal and bike signal will be installed soon where SW Broadway meets Jefferson and Taylor streets. Photo by PBOT.


 

Construction impacts: lane closures, no full road closures

No full road closures are expected along SW Broadway or any of the area streets because of construction. Curb ramp construction will require intermittent lane closures on SW Broadway from time to time. Intermittent closures of the sidewalks and temporary routing of bike lanes around the work zone may be needed as well.

The SW Broadway intersection updates will be in construction beginning Wednesday, April 24. Work will start on the NE corner of each intersection with saw cutting in advance of removing the old corner ramp. To reduce the impact of construction on access to local businesses and on people walking and using mobility devices at these intersections, the contractor will work their way around each intersection clockwise removing and replacing corner ramps one by one. Traffic signal upgrades will follow.

PBOT expects the corner work to be completed this summer and for the full project to be complete in the fall of 2025.  

SW Broadway and adjacent businesses will remain open during construction but the traveling public is advised to expect delays. The public can expect dust, noise, vibrations, and heavy equipment near the work zone. 

We ask the public to travel slowly and cautiously in work zones, observe all detours and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible. As always, please keep crews safe by following all traffic control signs and flaggers while travelling through or near work zones. Parking near the work zone will be restricted during construction. Vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle access will be maintained. 

As always, please keep crews safe by following all traffic control signs and flaggers while travelling through or near work zones. Parking near the work zone will be restricted during construction. Vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle access will be maintained. 

This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change. 

PBOT will provide periodic updates throughout construction. To sign up for construction updates, visit portland.gov/swbroadway

Thank you for your cooperation and patience while we complete this work. 

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portland.gov/transportation