I had an unexpected present on my way to work this morning: new bike infrastructure on my commute!
There are many lovely parts to my commute up to the I-5 bridge and over the Columbia River, and there are some not as lovely parts. But today, one not-as-lovely part was lovelier!
The red line is where I’m talking about:
Between getting off the wonderful path along the Columbia River Slough and the nice greenway through Delta Park (both delineated in blue on the map), there has been a short and crappy stretch along Whitaker Road with no bike lane but lots of traffic. But today, when I made my turn off the Slough, I was greeted with traffic cones and a new separated bike lane! I’m not sure when exactly it went in since with hybrid work and various potential covid exposures I haven’t actually biked to my office for about two weeks, but it seems pretty new!
(going north this morning. New separated bike lane!:)
I’m pretty excited about it. Though it may not seem like much, that stretch has been kind of a crappy gauntlet to ride, even for my commute which is mostly the less trafficky countercommute. I’ve sat at the entrance to Delta Park several years doing bike counts for the city of Portland, watching people biking north during the evening commute (I am always biking south then), and it is a disaster. The ramp to get onto I-5 gets super backed up here, with ridiculous lines of cars spilling all the way down Whitaker Rd and all its feeder roads, and with no dedicated space to navigate through it all, people bike on the sidewalk, in between traffic lanes, to the right of cars squished up against the sidewalk, all manner of fighting-for-space configurations that do not by any means seem safe. I’m excited for there to be a dedicated bike lane now.
There’s still the tricky section at the very southern end, the transition between the Slough path and having to turn right onto Schmeer Road for half a second before turning left into the new bike lane. That’s still a tricky interchange during trafficky times, and I’ll be curious to see if the bike infrastructure expands to make that interchange any safer to navigate.
But it’s always a lovely surprise to show up somewhere I always bike and to have it be nicer and safer! YAY!
(heading south. I very much like the separation between the bike lane and the car lane, too:)