One of the most successful City programs for cost-effectively adding miles to the bikeway network is called “Missing Links.” The program, funded at a modest $50,000 per year has opportunistically and efficiently developed city bikeways in conjunction with other projects, particularly working with regularly scheduled pavement overlays. Between 2000 and 2007 the Missing Links program built 41 miles of city bikeways and added countless improvements to the bikeway network.
Just this week, PBOT engineer's are putting the finishing touches on a Missing Links project at 41st and SE Division. The intersection is part of the 40's bikeway, which includes bike lanes, Neighborhood Greenway treatments, and even a bridge and stretches from the southern boundary of the city all the way up to the Hollywood District. The 40's was one of the city's early attempts to use neighborhood streets near a major arterial (Cesar E Chavez Blvd) to give people bicycling a more comfortable alternative to the major traffic street.
41st and Division is one of those quirky intersections in Portland that doesn't line up. That's not usually a big deal on a Neighborhood Greenway, but because Division has so many cars the intersection jog makes it difficult to cross.
That's where Missing Links stepped in. Working with the City's Bicycle Coordinator, Missing Links was able to pay for the engineer and street treatments that were just installed. The improvements shave more than 10 feet off the distance a person bicycling will need to travel to cross the two traffic lanes and increases visibility for people biking and driving.
This intersection is just one of several projects Missing Links is working on. Many of them aren't quite as glamorous, such as a project to mark about 20 traffic signal loop detectors with guide stencils to help people biking activate a signal phase (for more on that, check out BikePortland's article).
What's your missing link? What crossing do you find difficult? Where could a little bit more of a bike lane make a big difference? Leave a comment or head over to our Facebook page and join the conversation.
41st and SE Division before
Intersection after improvements
(click to see larger image)
And here are some more shots of the new intersection design: