Storm damage recovery

SW Capitol Highway (Terwilliger to Bertha)

Graphic summarizing key benefits for SW Capitol Highway
Through the Rose Lane Project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will help improve bus speed and reliability on SW Capitol Highway, benefitting lines 39, 44, 45, 54, 55, 56, 61, 64 and 92.
On this page

Why is transit priority needed in the Capitol Highway Corridor? 

  • Bus lines 39, 44, 45, 54, 55, 56, 61, 64 and 92 travel through this section of the Capitol Highway Corridor. Combined, 11,730 riders rode these nine lines each day in 2019! 

  • More than 28 buses travel through this corridor per hour in peak times.  

  • In 2019, buses that use this corridor were delayed for a combined 125 hours each day. 

  • During the most congested times, traffic could add up to 5 minutes to your bus trip through this section. If you commute both directions through this stretch, that’s 10 wasted minutes a day, almost an hour a week, and more than 43 hours each year! 

Rose Lane project in this corridor 

Proposed project

Project location: SW Capitol Hwy (Terwilliger - Bertha) 
Project type: Convert outer lanes to bus-and-turn lanes* approaching Sunset from both east and west directions
Transit lines benefitting: 39, 44, 45, 54, 55, 56, 61, 64, 92 

Plan view of Capitol Highway proposed Rose Lane project
Proposed improvement on SW Capitol Highway (note: not final design)

The recommended design would implement bus-and-turn (BAT) lanes in both the east and west direction on Capitol Highway through reallocation of general-purpose travel lanes, helping the bus move faster during congested times. People driving could use the BAT lane to turn into driveways and intersections along the street.  

*Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes, also called bus/transit-and-turn lanes, are primarily for transit use. Only transit may continue through the intersection every block. Other drivers can enter the lane mid-block to access a business driveway, on-street parking or to turn right at the next intersection.

What the Rose Lane Project will do for riders that travel through the Capitol Highway Corridor? 

The proposed Rose Lane improvement along this stretch of Capitol Highway could lead to faster transit trips on all the lines that travel through Hillsdale, helping people reach more places: 

A faster trip 

During the PM peak, this project could save riders through this segment between 1 and 2 minutes. If you ride the bus through here round trip, five days a week, you could get up to 9 hours of your time back each year! 

Ability to reach more places 

Faster trips means you can reach more places within a reasonable transit ride. The map below shows the change in number of jobs and places people can access due the Rose Lane projects identified to date: 

Map showing increase in access to jobs due to Rose Lane project on Capitol Highway
Demographic groupAll ResidentsBlack ResidentsPeople of ColorHouseholds in Poverty
Average estimated change in jobs/places reachable in 45 minutes by transit due to the proposed SW Capitol Highway improvements+50+20+30+40

For someone departing from Capitol Highway and SW 35th at 7:30 a.m., they would be able to reach 5% more jobs within 45 minutes thanks to expanded access into NE, SE and SW Portland.

Isochrone map showing expanded access into downtown from the SW Capitol highway proposed project

Potential impacts and considerations for other modes 

There are potential trade-offs to consider when implementing transit priority improvements. The impact of Rose Lane improvements on other modes will be considered along with the potential transit benefit of each improvement. 

Emergency vehicles – Emergency response vehicles will be able to use the BAT lane to bypass motor vehicle congestion.  

Bike and pedestrian facilities – Where a bike lane or sidewalk is adjacent to a BAT lane, people bicycling, and walking will have more distance and more comfort from high-speed motor vehicle traffic. 

Traffic travel time and diversion – Repurposing an existing lane to become a BAT lane will reduce roadway motor vehicle capacity. Outside of peak traffic hours, we expect to see only a small increase in delay for drivers. During peak travel times, drivers travelling through these segments can expect 20-90 seconds of added delay to their trips. This delay might feel like waiting through an additional 1-3 cycles at a traffic light. 

Parking removal – There is no expected parking removal associated with this project.  

Next steps 

In 2021, we expect to consult the community as we continue refining the design of this proposed project. Previous versions of the proposed project were featured in part the Enhanced Transit Corridors Plan and in the Southwest in Motion Plan. These Council adopted plans support the continued analysis and exploration of the project concepts.