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NE Skidmore Street Corridor Safety Project, NE 33rd to NE 37th Avenues

Information
Image shows NE Skidmore Street, looking east from NE 33rd Avenue
Corridor safety project to help connect people bicycling across NE 33rd Avenue to the future Skidmore/Mason neighborhood greenway.
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This corridor safety project will reduce speeds, separate people walking and rolling from vehicles, and improve visibility and crossing distances at intersections.


UPDATED: What's Happening Now

The project is in COMPLETE.

View the final design based on community feedback and construction crew availability.

View postcard mailed to approximately 1,000 households in project area.

PBOT staff attended the February 13th, 2023 Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood meeting to discuss the project. View presentation to the neighborhood


Background

NE Skidmore Street is a future neighborhood greenway connecting multiple Northeast Portland neighborhoods. It currently represents a gap between key bicycle and pedestrian routes on NE 32nd and NE 37th avenues. 

Nearby capital improvement projects include:


Project Goals

  • Reduce conflicts between people bicycling from NE Skidmore Street onto NE 33rd Avenue two-way bicycle path.
    • High number of entering vehicles on Skidmore (approximately 100 cars in the peak hour) could create conflicts between people driving and bicycling. 
  • Reduce speeds on NE Skidmore Street between NE 33rd and 37th avenues.
    • Prevailing speeds are 27 mph to 28 mph. 
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycling environment.
    • Add bicycle facilities on the south side of NE Skidmore Street along Wilshire Park. 
    • Create unobstructed pedestrian crossing area for park access at NE 35th Pl.
  • Help close bicycle network gap between between NE 32nd and NE 37th avenue neighborhood greenways.

Initial Project Design

  • Add a 12' wide bicycle path on the south side of NE Skidmore Street from NE 33rd to NE 37th avenues, including a buffer for parked vehicle loading and unloading. 
  • Parking remains on both sides of the street.
    • North side of NE Skidmore Street, parking will remain next to the curb.
    • South side of NE Skidmore Street, parking will move away from the curb positioned between the new multi-use path and the travel lane.
  • Two-way vehicle traffic remains on NE Skidmore Street.
    • Overall roadway width is changed from 40 feet to 28 feet including parking lanes. That is the same travel roadway width as NE Skidmore Street, west of NE 33rd.
Image shows changes to NE Skidmore as part of Corridor Safety Project
The project narrows roadway width to 28 feet including parking on both sides and a flexible travelway to accommodate two cars passing each other slowly. NE Skidmore Street west of NE 33rd Ave operates similarly.

UPDATED Project Design

  • Add a 12' wide bicycle path on the south side of NE Skidmore Street from NE 33rd to NE 34th avenues, including a buffer from vehicle travel lanes. 
  • Two-way vehicle traffic remains on NE Skidmore Street.
    • Overall roadway width is changed from 40 feet to 28 feet between NE 33rd and NE 34th avenues. That is the same travel roadway width as NE Skidmore Street, west of NE 33rd.
    • Speed bump is added approaching NE 34th Avenue to slow vehicles speeds before the transition from a shared street to the bike lanes.
  • Parking changes include:
    • No changes for north side of NE Skidmore Street; parking will remain next to the curb.
    • South side of NE Skidmore Street, parking removed along the new two-way bicycle lane between NE 33rd and NE 34th avenues.
    • South side of NE Skidmore Street, parking remains next to curb east of NE 34th
    • Add two dedicated accessible parking spaces on the south side of NE Skidmore at NE 35th Place.
Image shows changes to NE Skidmore from NE 33rd to NE 35th avenues
NE Skidmore will be updated with a one-block section of bike lanes to help people make the transition from NE Skidmore Street onto NE 33rd Avenue safer.

UPDATED Project Schedule

Project is tentatively scheduled for summer 2023, depending on availability of construction forces.


Project Email List

Sign up for the email list here.


UPDATED Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will I still be able to turn onto NE Skidmore Street from NE 33rd Avenue?

Yes, all turning movements onto and off of NE Skidmore will be permitted.

Will NE Skidmore still allow two-way vehicle operations?

Yes, NE Skidmore will still operate with vehicles going both east and westbound, as it does today. 

How will I exit my parked car safely?

Exiting parked vehicles will operate much like it does on other local streets. People exiting from the driver's side will need to look for other vehicles approaching from behind before exiting into the roadway.

People exiting on the passenger side will have a two foot wide space between the bike path to exit the vehicle before crossing the bikeway and into the park. This is a similar width to many planting strips that exist between parked vehicles and the sidewalk.

Why choose NE Skidmore for the bike route? 

NE Skidmore is identified in the Portland Transportation System Plan as a Major City Bikeway and Neighborhood Walkway. NE Skidmore Street is a funded neighborhood greenway project east of NE 37th Ave. In addition, NE Skidmore Street is the closest street to the existing pedestrian crossing signal across NE 33rd Avenue at NE Mason Street.

Why not make NE Shaver the bike route?

While NE Shaver Street has many characteristics that would make it a good neighborhood greenway, it's missing one of the key components for a neighborhood greenway: It does not have a good crossing of NE 33rd Avenue.

A signalized crossing already exists at the next intersection north at NE Mason Street, which is closer to NE Skidmore Street. Creating a route on NE Shaver would require a significant infrastructure investment to help people walk and bike across NE 33rd Avenue. That is not the best use of scarce resources when a signalized, protected crossing already exists at NE Mason Street one block north.

Can I still park on the south side of NE Skidmore Street, next to Wilshire Park?

Yes, there will still be parking along the south side of NE Skidmore Street from NE 34th to NE 37th avenues for people accessing the park by car. Parking removal is limited to the south side of NE Skidmore Street from NE 33rd to NE 34th avenues.

Why not create a shared street neighborhood greenway on NE Skidmore Street from 33rd to 37th avenues?

NE Skidmore Street currently has traffic volumes and speeds above the guidelines for neighborhood greenway operations. Creating a typical neighborhood greenway where people biking, walking, and driving share the road would require diverting traffic. That would lead to driving more than a half mile through the neighborhood to access the park by car. Or people driving from the north on NE 33rd Avenue would need to make a left turn at NE Prescott Street, creating operational issues and delay for transit and vehicles on NE 33rd Avenue.

Because of the issues outlined, traffic diversion at NE Skidmore Street and NE 33rd Avenue is not being pursued at this time.

Image shows map of potential traffic diversion routes with eastbound travel restrictions at NE 33rd Avenue and NE Skidmore Street.
Wilshire Park is a key destination. Restricting eastbound traffic onto NE Skidmore Street at NE 33rd Avenue would cause operational issues for transit on NE 33rd Avenue or require people driving to traveling many blocks through the neighborhood.

Why update the project design?

The project's main goal is to ensure a safe transition for people biking from NE Skidmore onto new NE 33rd Avenue two-way bicycle path

The shorter section of bike lanes on NE Skidmore allows PBOT's Maintenance Operations staff to perform the striping improvements as part of the paving work taking place on NE 33rd Avenue. That ensures that the most critical project safety elements happen simultaneously.

The updated design also offers opportunities to revisit how NE Skidmore Street operates. Community members had mixed reactions to the initial design. The updated design allows future projects to consider a range of options, including a shared street neighborhood greenway with full traffic calming improvements or a multi-use path along the park. Multiple options remain available for a future capital project.

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