Our final project of the term was to redesign a Portland street to Dutch standards. This was an exciting project in which I was paired with Alexis Kelso. Alexis and I picked the intersection(s) at Morrison bridge and the connection to Belmont street heading east. We were both very excited about this project because we both live on or just off of Belmont street.
In this process we emphasized the completion of the network, which is clearly something that stands out in Netherlands bike infrastructure. Every city we visited on this trip was easily navigated by proper separated bike lanes and wayfinding. Secondly, we emphasized the protected intersection. Many street in NL had either a protected intersection with bike and pedestrian specific lighting sequence, or a roundabout that emphasized the importance bikes and peds over the automobile. Lastly, our goal was to create a comfortable space for cyclists to connect to the existing infrastructure in Portland.
*renderings and graphics are not to scale – used only for relaying a vision.
Existing Conditions: As indicated by the bike facilities map, there is a clear gap in the network that does not allow users of Morrison Bridge to efficiently head east. The 3 areas of interest include the off-ramp at Water St., under the Morrison Bridge, and the intersection of Belmont St. and Grand Ave.
Intersection/off-ramp at Water St. We proposed to remove vehicle access from the off ramp and create a safe bike and ped shared space that allows users easier access to/from the Morrison Bridge. The green hash marks indicate to drivers and bicyclists that they are entering an area that has shared uses.
Under Morrison Bridge: This space is ideal for creating a stronger connection to Belmont street. However, we also had to consider the current conditions under the bridge. This area, especially at night can be a little frightening and uncomfortable. But by using vegetation, lights and art, we can encourage use not only by bicyclists, but pedestrians as well. This could make the space more active at night and reduce stresses for bicyclists.
Intersection of Belmont St. + Grand Ave.: This intersection is unsafe due to the high speeds on Grand, and the intersection where traffic coming up from under the bridge (runs parallel with Belmont) merges with traffic coming off the bridge onto Belmont. The signal at the intersection were the two parallel streets meet is confusing and leads drivers to run the red light. To add to the chaos, there is a bus stop located on the southwest corner that is streamline unfriendly to pedestrians. Using a protected intersection, remove the parallel road, and giving Grand Ave. a road diet, we believe that we could create safer environment for bikes and peds., while simultaneously adding connectivity to both east/west and north/south.