During the Central City in Motion planning process, the critical role our Willamette River bridges and the approaches to them came up again and again. During the busiest commuting hours, everyone, regardless of how they travel, needs to use these streets to cross the river.
SW Madison is an important bus route serving five TriMet bus lines – the lines 2, 10, 14, 6, and 30. Combined, these lines provide more than 23,000 trips each day, connecting riders to jobs and services in Downtown Portland from Lents, East Portland, North Portland, Gresham, Estacada.
The new lane provides more space for buses and bikes and reduces potential conflict between buses, cars, and bikes. It includes a passing zone to help people on bikes bypass buses stopped at bus stops and prohibits right turns onto SW 3rd Avenue to remove the risk of right hooks for people walking and biking.
To provide the space for the new bus lane, on-street parking for government vehicles – Portland Police and PBOT Parking Enforcement – was removed.
The first phase of the project spanned from SW 4th Ave to SW 1st Ave. In June 2020, SW Madison from SW 5th Ave to SW 4th Ave was also reconfigured to match the 4th Ave - 1st Ave section.
Riding the bus
- A faster and more reliable trip – the new bus lane allows TriMet buses and riders to bypass evening congestion approaching the Hawthorne Bridge
- The new travel lane for buses will provide more space for vehicles, reducing queuing on SW Madison
- Right turns from SW Madison on to SW 3rd will be prohibited; vehicles can access SW 3rd via SW Salmon or SW Columbia
- A more comfortable bikeway – people on bikes have more space to ride, with room to pass stopped buses
- A protected bikeway – TuffCurb plastic curbing separates the bike and bus lane from regular vehicle lanes
- A safer bikeway – right turns are prohibited at SW 3rd addressing the potential risk for right hooks