What’s Happening Now
UPDATE (3/18/19): Work continues on the N/NE Rosa Parks Way paving and restriping project.
Here’s what happening:
Completed (from May to September):
- Grinding and re-paving on both sections of N Rosa Parks, from N Willamette to N Delaware and from N Interstate to N Williams.
- Lane striping for the auto travel lanes, center turn lane, and bicycle lanes.
- All pavement markings, such as bike lane symbols and "P,” parking symbols.
- Installation of white delineator posts and parking signs in the area between the bike lane and parking area.
- Removal of all old lane markings on two sections that were not paved.
- New "No Parking" signs installed in areas where people were parking or likely to park in the reconfigured bike lane.
- Oregon Department of Transportation lane work on Rosa Parks crossing over the I-5 freeway.
- Installation of concrete traffic separators in the bike lane buffer area. This element of the project is in response to community members who asked that the design reflect Rosa Parks' designation as a neighborhood collector street.
- Pedestrian crossing improvements at NE Rodney and N Villard, including new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) curb ramps. This element was delayed because of the need to rebuild the corner ramps that did not meet our guidelines.
N Rosa Parks Way is an important corridor serving a variety of road users. Yet crash history shows the street is particularly unsafe for people bicycling, and recorded speeds exceed the posted speed limit of 30 mph.
- Safety concerns: In the last 10 years (2006-2015) data shows 11 people bicycling, three people walking, and five people driving were seriously injured or died while traveling the corridor. Of those 11 people injured bicycling, nine occurred from N Willamette to N Interstate. From 2016 to present, two separate recorded crashes resulted in a fatality and serious injury at the intersection at N Delaware Ave.
- Speeds are too high: Based on a 2013 traffic study at N Curtis Ave, most vehicles travel around 32 mph on N Rosa Parks. Considering that people are driving from or towards a sharp turn at N Willamette, the speeds are particularly high. A 2008 traffic study at N Omaha recorded speed at 38 mph.
- Inefficient use of space: A 2018 parking study showed low parking use along most of the corridor. Peak on-street parking occupancy averaged 17% from N Willamette to N Delaware; only one block face out of 12 had more than half of the spaces used during the highest observed period, while four block faces had 0% occupancy. Other sections showed similarly low use. Download the files below to see the parking study counts for the weekday average and weekend day.
Based on data, research, and extensive outreach to the neighborhood to better understand community needs and preferences, PBOT proposed the following safety and operational improvements for N Rosa Parks Way from N Willamette Blvd to NE MLK Jr. Blvd:
- Improved pedestrian crossings at key locations.
- Improved transit stops on N Rosa Parks at N Albina Street.
- Install protected bicycle lanes in the corridor.
- Design a street reflective of the neighborhood.
In the spring of 2018 N Rosa Parks Way underwent preventative maintenance projects--including repaving and restriping--in two sections from N Willamette Blvd to N Delaware Ave and from N Interstate Ave to N Williams Ave. During repaving projects, PBOT seeks to improve the traffic operations and safety for all road users. By combining maintenance projects with operational improvements such as new striping configurations, PBOT more efficiently maintains the transportation system and improves road safety simultaneously.
Question and Answer (Q+A)
Why is PBOT undertaking this project now?
Preventative maintenance paving on N Rosa Parks Way to increase the street's longevity offered an immediate opportunity to review existing operations and safety of the street.
Have changes to N Rosa Parks been discussed with the community?
Yes, PBOT has attended several neighborhood association and community meetings, including the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association monthly meeting, the Piedmont Neighborhood Association board meeting, the North Portland Land Use Group monthly meeting, and others.In addition, PBOT has directly notified all impacted residents along the street with the proposed design. Staff is actively seeking input from the community.
Is there a safety issue on N Rosa Parks?
Yes, In the last 10 years of data (2006-2015) 11 people bicycling, three people walking, and five people driving have been injured or died while traveling the corridor. Of those 11 people injured bicycling, nine occurred from N Willamette to N Interstate. From 2016 to present, two separate recorded crashes resulted in a fatality and serious injury at the intersection at N Delaware Ave. Those crashes are not included in the data from 2006-2015 cited above.
Also, speeds are too high. The current posed speed limit is 30 mph. Based on a 2013 traffic study at N Curtis Ave, most vehicles travel around 32 mph on N Rosa Parks. Considering that people are driving from or towards a sharp turn at N Willamette, the speeds are particularly high. A 2008 traffic study at N Omaha recorded speed at 38 mph.
What are the project's benefits?
The project will make it safer and more comfortable for people to bike, walk, and access transit on a crucial corridor in North Portland. The proposed design includes much needed pedestrian crossing improvements and improved transit access at N Albina and N Rosa Parks. The proposal also includes a physically separated bicycle lane to provide safe, more comfortable bicycle facilities. The project will provide safer and more comfortable pedestrian, transit, and bike facilities that will better serve existing users and hopefully attract more people to walk and ride the bus and bicycles.
Who benefits from protected bike lanes?
All transportation system users benefit from protected bike lanes. Several studies have demonstrated that protected bike lanes improve safety for people walking and driving, as well as bicycling.
New York City's protected bike lane on 9th Avenue led to a 56 percent reduction in injuries to all street users, including a 57 percent reduction in injuries to people on bikes and a 29 percent reduction in injuries to people walking, as well as an 84 percent reduction in sidewalk bicycle riding. NYC DOT, 2012 - Measuring the Street
Streets with protected bike lanes saw 90 percent fewer injuries per mile than those with no bike infrastructure and 54 percent fewer injuries per mile than streets with typical bike lanes. Teschke, K., et al., 2012 - Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study
Because they shorten crossing distances, control turning conflicts and reduce traffic weaving, New York City's protected bike lanes reduced injury rates for people walking on their streets by 12 to 52 percent. NYCDOT, 2013 -It turns out that protected bike lanes are fantastic for walking safety, too
A study on the factors contributing to bicycle and motor-vehicle crashes found that a minimum of 6.5 feet of physical separation from cars led to 50% reduction in bicycle crashes.
Are there specific City policies that support this project?
A number of City policies and policy documents call for increasing the number of people who walk, bicycle, and take transit in the city, specifically the Climate Action Plan, Portland Plan, and Transportation System Plan (TSP). The TSP also designates N Rosa Parks as a "Major City Bikeway" which requires building the highest quality bicycling facilities and specifically allows for removing motor vehicle lanes and on-street parking to provide needed width for bicycle lanes on busy streets.
Can people still use the area next to the curb to load or unload or to get in or out of their driveways?
Yes, city code allows people to load or unload for 30 seconds in a travel lane, including a bike lane. People who are driving are also allowed to pass through a bike lane or travel lane to get in or out of a driveway. As always, they should yield to the traveler in the travel lane or bike lane.
Where should people park cars now?
The design allows for parking on nearly every block where parking previously existed. Our studies show that parking utilization on N Rosa Parks overall is very low. There is also available parking space on side streets and nearly all of the properties in the project area have parking available in private driveways or parking lots.
Will there be a fine for unlawfully parking on N Rosa Parks Way?
Parking in a bike lane can result in an $85 fine but PBOT Parking Enforcement exercises discretion and typically issues warnings rather than fines in the weeks after changes of this nature, allowing people to learn of and adjust to the change.