6 - Lane Configurations

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is working with the community to develop a comprehensive plan for improvements along 122nd Avenue. This is Slide 6 of our online open house for the 122nd Avenue Plan: "What are the recommended changes to lane configurations."
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The full length of 122nd Avenue has various different land uses, traffic volumes, and needs for parking. PBOT's recommendations here are for changes to lane configurations that reflect these differences while balancing safety, access, and mobility.

SE Powell Boulevard to Foster Road

What's there now:

The photo shows the existing lane configuration on 122nd Avenue. There are parking lanes and unprotected bike lanes on both sides of the street. There are two general purpose lanes in both directions and a center turn lane.
  • Two vehicle travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, and bicycle lanes in each direction that have no buffer between the vehicle lanes or parked cars.

  • Lower traffic volumes compared to northern segments of 122nd Avenue

  • Average daily vehicles ranging from 11,000 (near SE Foster Road) to 19,000 (near SE Powell Boulevard)

  • Land use is primarily residential, with higher utilization of parking spaces

  • Safe and marked crosswalks are far apart

PBOT recommendations:

Funding is available through Fixing our Streets 2 to repave and restripe 122nd Avenue between SE Powell Boulevard and SE Foster Road. Traffic analysis has determined that there will not be significant congestion or diversion resulting from this change. This funded project would lower the number of motor vehicle thru-lanes from two in each direction to one, allowing space for a center median, safer (and more frequent) crossings, and safer bike lanes and transit stops. We'd also improve the intersectionswhere SE 122nd Avenue crosses Holgate Boulevard and Foster Road.

PBOT is considering two possible designs for bike lanes as part of this change. The first option (pictured at left, below) would have bike lanes running along the curb, with parking between the bike lane and travel lane. This is referred to below as the "parking protected option." A second option (pictured at right, below) keeps parking along the curb, with the bike lanes between the parking lane and travel lane. This is referred to below as the "buffered option." The illustrations here also show new bus platforms, which would be installed as well, as funding allows. 

Tradeoffs for the parking protected option (shown left) include more parking removal, people in cars stepping into traffic, debris collecting in the biking/scooter/skating lane, and allows for pro-time transit/parking lane. Tradeoffs for the buffered option (shown right) include no physical protection for people biking/rolling and potential conflicts between drivers parking and biking/rolling.

NE Siskiyou Street to SE Powell Boulevard

What's there now:

  • Two vehicle travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane, and bicycle lanes in each direction that have no buffer between the vehicle lanes or parked cars.
  • Higher traffic volume, between 20,000-25,000 vehicles per day on average
  • Lower parking utilization
  • Land use is a mix of businesses, services, and residential
  • Contains two designated "Centers" in the Comprehensive Plan

PBOT Recommendations: 

In the 122nd Avenue Plan, PBOT recommends keeping the number of travel lanes the same, but removing on-street parking on both sides of the street. This would give more room for the existing bike lanes, allowing them to run along the curb, buffered or otherwise protected from people driving. Parking utilization is lower in this section of 122nd Avenue. There are more off-street parking options and more parking available along side streets. 

This image shows the changes between SE Powell Boulevard and NE San Rafael. On-street parking will be removed on both sides of the street and the bike lane will be widened and moved adjacent to the curb. Physical protection (either white pylons or concrete) will be added to the bike lane. The center turn lane and two general purpose lanes in each direction will be maintained.

This recommendation does not affect the current capacity for motor vehicles. It also makes it possible to convert lanes in the future, making them transit-only or allow parking at certain times. The plan also recommends we add bus platforms for better transit reliability. Learn more by going to Slide 9 - Transit stops. Finally, the plan recommends building a center median along this stretch of 122nd Avenue. This not only adds space for trees and landscaping, but helps us manage where vehicles can make left turns onto side streets or into driveways, keeping the road safer.

Freeway and railroad underpasses

What's there now:

Being a pedestrian or someone walking, rolling, or scooting on 122nd Avenue can be uncomfortable and challenging, especially where the road goes under the I-84 and the railroad bridge. On the east side of the street, bike lanes are right next to the motor vehicle lane, with no buffer or protection. In places, the sidewalks are narrow or not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On the west side of the street, pedestrians and people biking, rolling, or scooting must share a 6-foot sidewalk which is elevated in places and also goes through a tunnel.

The photos show the existing conditions of 122nd Avenue and the I-84 underpass. In the southbound direction (as shown in the photos on the left), the sidewalk is shared by people biking and walking. The sidewalk ramps up and passes through a narrow opening at the railroad underpass. In the northbound direction (as shown in the photos on the right), the sidewalk is very narrow. The bike lane is adjacent to the sidewalk and two general travel lanes.

Plan recommendations:

To improve these conditions, the plan recommends:

  • On the east side of 122nd Avenue: elevate the bike lane to the same height as the sidewalk This would create a shared, multiuse path between the I-84 ramp and NE Fremont Street.
  • On the west side of 122nd Avenue: do more studies to see if a motor vehicle lane could be converted to a separate space for people biking.
The image shows the proposed changes for 122nd Avenue at the I-84 and railroad underpass. In southbound direction, one travel lane could be replaced by a protected bike lane. The elevated sidewalk path could still be used by pedestrians. In the northbound direction, the bike lane could be elevated to sidewalk level so that it is separated from the general travel lanes.

Click below to move on to the next section of the online open house:

122nd Online Open House, Slide 7 - Intersections