By Stuart Malkin –
You may have already noticed the speed bumps being installed on NE Rodney. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is converting NE Rodney into a family friendly bike route, known as a Neighborhood Greenway. Neighborhood Greenways are a type of street treatment that provides a safe shared-use environment for bicycling. The road conversion will run south to north from NE Broadway to NE Killingsworth and offer a calmer alternative bike route to the soon to be improved Williams street bikeway.
There are two phases planned for the design and construction of the NE Rodney Greenway. The first phase has already started with the construction of speed bumps to calm traffic. Also part of the first phase is the installation of a test diagonal diverter, which is located at NE Rodney and NE Ivy. The diverter was installed in September. The diverter forces vehicle traffic trying to use Rodney as an cut-through route back to the main streets of N Williams Ave, NE Fremont St, or NE MLK Blvd, while allowing bike traffic through. People on foot can also continue to use the route. The map shows the location of the diverter and how vehicular traffic patterns will be affected.
The first phase was moved forward in time to coincide with the construction of the improved bike lane, lane changes, and traffic changes on Williams Avenue. Based on feedback from the public last spring, The Portland Bureau of Transportation decided to move up the construction of traffic calming device on Rodney. This will allow time to monitor and receive feedback about traffic patterns on Rodney after the Williams street corridor is altered.
The second phase will begin this Fall and will include final plan development conversations that will allow for feedback from the community and monitoring of installed traffic calming devices on Rodney. Current planned design elements include upgraded crossing treatments at NE Russell and NE Fremont, turning or installing stop signs to face east-west at all intersections, and making other adjustments from monitoring and community conversations.
The removal of north-south facing stop signs and installing only east-west stop signs at most intersections on Rodney has raised some concern from the community. The concern is that during traffic on Williams, drivers may try to use Rodney as an alternative route to get around traffic. With no stop signs in the north-south direction, this may seem like an attractive alternate to frustrated drivers. While there will be a diverter at Ivy and Rodney and speed bumps approximately every block along Rodney, a frustrated driver may want to speed up Rodney as far as possible before being diverted. Rich Newlands from the Bureau indicated that they are aware of the concern and they are planning to make the discussion of this concern a part of the community conversations about the final design this Fall. Newlands said that “the primary priority of the agency is safety.”
Your involvement will help make this project safer. Rich Newlands can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 503.823.7780.