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Priority Project Recommendations (May 2023)

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A median island crossing with signs and high-visibility crosswalk markings
North Portland in Motion identifies projects and improves safe access to community destinations all throughout the peninsula.
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North Portland in Motion: Priority Project Recommendations

North Portland in Motion recommends three distinct project types, each of which are responsive to the needs and context of the street. Considered together, these projects build a complete and comprehensive network of safer, more welcoming, and more accessible streets.

I. Neighborhood Greenways

Neighborhood Greenways are calm, low-speed shared neighborhood streets that connect people to community destinations like schools, parks, and commercial areas.

People biking along a neighborhood greenway street in Portland

The recommended Neighborhood Greenway network in North Portland in Motion is designed to provide a low-stress, comfortable walking and biking route to every school, park, community center, and business district in the North Portland peninsula.

II. Corridor Improvements

Investments to reduce speeding and improve the safety and comfort of people traveling along busier streets in the neighborhood.

A median island crossing with signs and high-visibility crosswalk markings

Project elements vary by individual project, and include:

  • Designing for safer speeds
  • Improved crossings & sidewalks
  • Safer and more comfortable bike lanes
  • Transit spot improvements and stop access

III. Public Realm: Plazas & Places to Connect 

Projects and partnerships that help create places of community, connection, information exchange, and activation. 

Street painting at N Charleston Ave
Photo credit: Fat Pencil Studios

PBOT believes that the public right-of-way can serve an important community function by providing a place for people to connect with each other and access transportation services in their neighborhood.

Sometimes a transportation project is more about enhancing an important community place than it is about moving people and goods. This collection of projects leverages partnerships with existing community stakeholders to enhance the public realm.

This bundle of projects varies from place to place and includes:

  • Public plazas and street activation
  • Street paintings
  • Small business support
  • Information hubs with access to transportation services

Recommended Neighborhood Greenways

A map of the North Portland peninsular, showing Tier 1 and Tier 2 Neighborhood Greenway projects.

Click Here to View a High Resolution Map of Recommended Neighborhood Greenways

Priority Neighborhood Greenways 

The following projects are Tier 1 Neighborhood Greenway projects recommended by North Portland in Motion. Click on each project name to view a detailed project description and map:

  • NG.1 - N Willamette Blvd Neighborhood GreenwayNew neighborhood greenway on N Willamette Blvd and N Reno Ave provides a connection to Cathedral Park and Sitton Elementary. 
  • NG.2 - Upper St Johns Neighborhood Greenway: A bundle of new Neighborhood Greenways in the northern section of St Johns intended to fill major gaps in the network, including investments on N Charleston Ave. Provides a direct connection to George Middle School, James John School, St Johns Library, St Johns Farmers Market, and Downtown St Johns.
  • NG.3 - N Burr Ave / N Buchanan Ave Neighborhood Greenway: A new neighborhood greenway providing a north/south walking and biking connection between N Willamette Blvd and N Columbia Blvd. This route connects a number of important neighborhood destinations including George Middle School, George Park, Roosevelt High School, and businesses on N Lombard St and N Willamette Blvd.
  • NG.4 - Portsmouth & University Park Neighborhood Greenway Loop: A collection of new and upgraded Neighborhood Greenways building out a complete and comprehensive network in the Portsmouth and University Park neighborhoods. This collection of projects improves access to schools (Astor Elementary, Cesar Chavez Elementary) and parks (Columbia Park, Portsmouth Park, McKenna Park). It also provide access to New Columbia, the largest affordable housing development in the State of Oregon.
  • NG.5 - Kenton Neighborhood Greenway Network Expansion: A bundle of new Neighborhood Greenways on N Delaware Ave, N Halleck St, and N Kilpatrick St intended to expand and improve the network in the Kenton Neighborhood.
  • NG.6 - N Delaware Ave Neighborhood Greenway: A new neighborhood greenway on N Delaware Ave providing a calm and comfortable route for people walking and biking between Kenton and Overlook neighborhoods. This neighborhood greenway provides a direct connection to Chief Joseph Elementary and Arbor Lodge Park and fills a major north-south gap in bike network. 
  • NG. 7 - N Ainsworth St Neighborhood Greenway: A new neighborhood greenway on Ainsworth St connecting the greenway and bike lanes on Willamette Blvd with Interstate Avenue. This project would fill a key gap in the biking network between N Rosa Parks Way and Willamette Blvd, and provide direct access to Ockley Green Middle School.
  • NEW! New Columbia Neighborhood Wayfinding: Inspired by a recent successful collaboration with Living Cully in the Cully Neighborhood, PBOT is excited to work with New Columbia residents and the Community Cycling Center to develop a new neighborhood wayfinding system to connect residents to nearby parks, schools, community destinations, and great routes for walking and biking. 

The following projects are Tier 2 Neighborhood Greenway projects:

  • NG.8 - N Jersey Neighborhood Greenway
  • NG.9 - N Gilbert Ave Neighborhood Greenway Extension
  • NG.10 - N Villard Ave Neighborhood Greenway
  • NG.11 - N Montana Ave Neighborhood Greenway

What do the Neighborhood Greenway Projects accomplish? 

  • Creates a complete network of neighborhood greenways providing direct access to schools, parks, community centers, commercial areas, and other important destinations. 

  • Adds 11 miles of new Neighborhood Greenways; doubling the network and expanding access to every neighborhood in the peninsula.  

  • Closes major network gaps, especially in areas of North Portland where people with lower incomes and people of color live. 

Recommended Corridor Improvements

A map of the North Portland peninsular, showing Tier 1 and Tier 2 Corridor Improvements projects.

Click Here to View a High Resolution Map of Recommended Corridor Improvements

Prioritized Tier 1 Corridor Improvements

The following projects are Tier 1 Corridor Improvement projects recommended by North Portland in Motion. Click on each project for more details. 

  • CI.1 - N Smith St: This project would improve and enhance existing pedestrian crossings at new Neighborhood Greenways, update existing all-way stops and median island crossings with improved crosswalks, and make minor changes to improve the existing buffered bike lanes. This project recommends continued investment in traffic calming to reduce speeds, monitoring, and evaluation. 
  • CI.2 - Cathedral Park Access Improvements: This collection of projects would invest in basic safety investments to improve access for people walking and biking between the waterfront area of Cathedral Park and Downtown St Johns.
  • CI.3 - N Willamette BlvdThis project would implement lower-cost elements of the federally funded Willamette Blvd Active Transportation Corridor scheduled for construction in 2025-2026. These near-term improvements would include new marked crosswalks, improved
    bus stops, and new buffered bike lanes from N Alma Ave to N Richmond Ave.
  • CI.4 - N Macrum Ave (St Johns): This project would add on-street parking, street trees, and high-quality buffered bike lanes connecting to bike routes on N Fessenden St and N Columbia Way. Additionally, this project would add a new crossings at N Columbia Way and N Fessenden St and include safety improvements at the existing signalized intersection of N Columbia Blvd.
  • CI.5 - N Fessenden St: This project would add additional crossings, make safety improvements to the wide intersection at N Wall Ave, and reconfigure the roadway to provide a protected bike lane connecting St Johns and Portsmouth.
  • CI.6 - N Portsmouth Ave: This project would add traffic calming and speed reader boards to reduce speeds on the corridor. It would also improve existing crossings and add new median island pedestrian crossings to help people get across the street, and upgrade the existing narrow striped bike lane to a buffered and/or protected bike lane.
  • CI.7 - N Willis Blvd: This project would fill in the remaining sidewalks gaps, improve ADA access, improve existing crossings, add new speed bumps, and add additional safe pedestrian crossings. This corridor serves both TriMet Line 4 and Line 35 buses and PBOT will work with TriMet on bus stop improvements at higher ridership locations.
  • CI.8 - N Woolsey Ave: This project would add traffic calming and new crossings to improve safety for people walking and biking and encourage slow, safe vehicles speeds. Though not intended to meet neighborhood greenway standards, these improvements would improve safety and comfort of people biking on this street.
  • CI.9 - N Interstate Ave: This project would leverage an upcoming paving project to improve and extend the bike lane to reduce or close a major gap in the bikeway network. In collaboration with our partners at TriMet and ODOT, this project would also explore ways to improve the safety of people crossing at major intersections, many of which have high volumes of pedestrian activity for people accessing businesses and the MAX stations.
  • CI.10 - N Alberta St: This project redesigns the layout of N Alberta St to provide a separated, comfortable bike lane connection between N Interstate Ave and the N Michigan Ave Neighborhood Greenway. Furthermore, this project would add bike boxes and no-turn-on-red at the signalized intersection at N Interstate Ave to reduce conflicts and improve pedestrian and bike safety.

What do the Corridor Improvement Projects accomplish? 

This collection of projects invests in much needed safety improvements on the busier neighborhood streets in North Portland. These investments focus on safety and connectivity for people walking and biking, designing streets for safer speeds, improving access to transit, and improving multimodal access across barriers and between neighborhoods.

Specific elements vary by project, but generally achieve the following outcomes:

  • Build new pedestrian crossings and traffic calming. 
  • Expand and improve the bikeway network by filling major gaps in the network. 
  • Invest in critical connections for people walking and biking over major barriers. 

These investments compliment a robust expansion of the neighborhood greenway network as well as longer-term investments in larger scale projects on major corridors like N Lombard St, N Willamette Blvd, and N Columbia Blvd. 


Public Realm: Plazas & Places to Connect 

Portland is known for its great public spaces. Building on North Portland's network of parks, schools, business districts, and other destinations, public spaces play an important role as outdoor gathering places. 

North Portland in Motion recommends exploring and expanding public space activation, programming, and community use at the following locations:

  • St Johns Plaza in Downtown St Johns
  • N Charleston Ave Street Mural (in partnership with James Johns Elementary)
  • Hudson & Seneca Public Streets 
  • Downtown Kenton Street Mural (in partnership with Farmers Market)  
  • Arbor Lodge Park Plaza  
  • University of Portland Mobility Hub 

Project Prioritization & Development

These recommend projects began as Project Ideas shared in the Fall 2022 Online Open Houseand were refined and prioritized using additional community input, safety and demographic data, and funding and feasibility considerations. The North Portland Community Advisory Group played a key role in reviewing and providing feedback to inform the recommended projects throughout the refinement process. 

Graphic shows project refinement process starting with project ideas then moving into prioritization and finally refining projects and securing different types of funding, included larger grant funding, smaller programmatic funding, and opportunistic funding.
PBOT evaluates project ideas based equity, safety, access, community input, and analysis of transportation network to prioritize project ideas and turn them into recommended projects.

How were project prioritized?

All projects apply an equity lens, including the following measures: 

  • Areas with higher shares of people of color 
  • People living on lower incomes 
  • People with disabilities 
  • Projects that directly serve areas with affordable housing developments 
  • Areas with higher concentrations of older adults and youth 
  • People without access to a car 

Additional measures include: 

  • Access
    • Transit Service
    • Multimodal Connections
    • Land Use / Destinations
    • Connections over major barriers (i.e. BNSF Railroad, I-5)
  • Safety 
    • Traffic Speeds & Volumes
    • Crash History
  • Community support
    • Feedback from Online Open Houses
    • Feedback from in-person events and presentations
  • Transportation Deficiencies & Gaps
    • Neighborhood connectivity 
    • Long distances between safe crossings
    • Deficient bike lanes
    • Sidewalk gaps