Big changes coming to Northwest Portland bike routes

The Northwest in Motion plan will make the popular and growing neighborhood much more friendly to people biking and walking.

PORTLAND, Ore — Northwest Portland is about to get major makeover – at least when it comes to cycling and walking.

The city just released it’s new Northwest in Motion plan.

The plan will make the popular and growing neighborhood much more friendly to people biking and walking.

“The Northwest district has been growing rapidly for many years and we actually expect it to grow by another 5,000 new residents and 5,000 new jobs by 2035,” said Hannah Schafer, a spokesperson with the Portland Bureau of Transportation. 

Schafer said considering that 38% of car trips taken in the neighborhood are three miles or less, the city is hoping the plan will encourage those commuters to replace their cars with mobility devices, bikes or by simply walking to where they’re going.

The plan is a hefty one. It’s nearly a hundred pages long. It’s main goal is to keep commuting drivers off the slower neighborhood streets.

“Some of the biggest changes you’ll see are things like speed bumps and diverters,” said Shafer. “Diverters are a tool that we use to make traffic turn toward a main street rather than continue straight down a neighborhood street.”

Other changes include marked and improved pedestrian crossings and more neighborhood greenways.

The plan also calls for a section of Northwest Savier Street to be temporarily shut down to car traffic, but it will eventually reopen to cars and more.

“The traffic impact for people driving should be fairly minimal,” Schafer said.

The plan, which will be funded in large part through parking revenue, also includes a long-term vision for Northwest 23rd Avenue itself.

That includes, among other things, curb-zone outdoor seating areas at its north end.

But that’s still just an idea. The plan is set to go before city council later this month.

If approved, Schafer said, there will still be plenty of time for folks to voice their thoughts or concerns about it.

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