The outcome should make this neighborhood greenway/bike boulevard a more pleasant, safer place to live, walk, and bike. This pilot project will test this innovative approach that, if successful, could be replicated along other neighborhood greenways/bicycle boulevards in the city.
Existing Condition and Need
Portland currently has many existing miles of bicycle boulevards/ neighborhood greenways – quiet, neighborhood, bicycle-friendly streets - and anticipates continuing to expand and develop the network further. City code defines them as “routes where bicyclists are given priority of movement.” Despite this definition, many people bicycling along Portland’s bicycle boulevards, particularly more vulnerable or less confident cyclists such as children, seniors, and families - for whom the bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways are meant to serve - still feel uncomfortable, threatened, or usurped by motorists in the travel lane. In turn, many motorists do not appear to be aware that they are traveling along routes prioritized for bicycles and not motor vehicles. The ultimate goal of this project is to better communicate the street’s designation as a bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway.
Selecting Clinton Street
Clinton Street is one of Portland’s oldest and most well-established bicycle boulevards. It sees some of the highest bicycle use of any bike boulevard in the city - around 1,800 bikes per day along many sections. It already has a comprehensive range of traffic calming tools in place including speed bumps, traffic circles, a bike box, a semi-diverter, and pedestrian crosswalks. However, despite the presence of these traffic calming tools, Clinton Street still sees higher cut-through auto-traffic than most other bicycle boulevards or neighborhood greenways in the city - between 2,000 and 2,400 vehicles per day along many stretches. Bicyclists often say they feel squeezed and uncomfortable with the high volume of auto traffic along the boulevard.
The objective is not simply to create and implement art for art’s sake, or to be solely aesthetic in nature. Rather, it is to use art as a strong communicative project tool to clarify the street’s designation. The project intends to strongly communicate the important safety message “This is a bicycle boulevard/ neighborhood greenway” to all users of the street. All artistic components developed should be capable of communicating this message clearly to everybody traveling along the street.
PBOT envisages potentially using a mix of on-street pavement markings, signage, & other potential artistic means. All creative content developed for the project will need to be bold, creative and striking. It will also need to be simple, comprehensible, straightforward to install and maintain, and not so intricate that it cannot be potentially replicable on other bicycle boulevards throughout the city.
In late spring 2008, PDOT selected two Clinton Street Project Artists to assist us in producing potential bicycle boulevard markings & signage designs. In May, the project Artist Selection Panel selected the project team ofMatt Cartwright andBrian Borrello. Click on their names to learn more about their artwork!
- Winter 2008 : Project artists selected by panel of local artists & cyclists
- Spring 2008 : Clinton Street resident/user survey
- May 2008 : Initial public Open House to gather ideas
- June 2008 : project advisory committee meeting
- October 2008 : 2nd public Open House to present design concepts & receive comments
- April 2009 : 2nd project advisory committee meeting to review artists' design concepts
- July 13, 2009 : 3nd public Open House to present finalized design concepts & receive comments
- Spring 2011 : installation of initial project elements: bike corrals, sign toppers, bike "flags", & badges. Use of pavement markings (manadala, bike down) will be assessed after this initial installation.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has allocated $10,000 from their “Art on the Streets” funds. This funding is to be used exclusively to fund the selected artist’s project time. PBOT has allocated up to $20,000 for initial installation of project elements.