NE MLK Jr Blvd - Corridor Safety Investment Strategy

In Planning
The NE Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard project will enhance pedestrian crossings and reduce gaps between crossings to improve safety, access transit, and access to destinations along MLK.
NE MLK Jr. and Graham Street completed crossing
2024 - 2025
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Project Background

NE Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr Boulevard is a bustling main street yet lacks adequate infrastructure to serve residents and visitors. The street has one of Portland’s highest concentrations of affordable housing, and a great deal more is planned for the future. More people living along MLK Jr Boulevard will increase pedestrian and commercial activity on the street, which is already experiencing traffic congestion and cars traveling at high speeds.  

Community members have described walking and driving along MLK Jr Boulevard as a stressful and unpleasant experience. Along MLK Boulevard, there is a general feeling that:

  • The street environment is not pedestrian friendly or supportive to street-level business.
  • Affordable housing, retirement homes, and the highest activity commercial areas are not served well by existing crossings.
  • The increasing traffic is resulting in poor air quality, which is negatively impacting existing and future affordable housing residents along the street.

By improving safety through crossing and traffic access improvements, PBOT will take a step towards creating a more pleasant place to visit and travel along.

Click here to download a one-page project description

Funded Projects

A map of planned crossing improvements on NE MLK Jr Blvd
Funded crossing and safety improvements on NE MLK Jr Blvd.

Several improvements along NE MLK Jr Boulevard are already funded, including:

  • New Enhanced Crossings at:
    • NE Buffalo Street
    • NE Mason Street
    • NE Going Street*
    • NE Cook Street
  • Signal Safety Improvements at:
    • NE Killingsworth Street
    • NE Fremont Street

*This crossing enhancement is funded through Fixing Our Streets Local Gas Tax as is expected to be delivered in 2023-24. 

Future Investments

PBOT is actively working in partnership with key stakeholders in NE MLK Jr Blvd corridor to identify future priorities and seek funding for additional investments to improve safety and access along this corridor.