PBOT touts ‘significant success’ of traffic calming project on Lincoln-Harrison

This diverter and lane reconfiguration at SE 30th and Lincoln/Harrison is part of the project.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland has released the first batch of traffic analysis data for one of their most contentious projects in years and the numbers look good if you’re a fan of safer streets.

The data

PBOT counted the volume and speed of cars before and after the project.

Looking to slow down drivers and create low-stress bicycling conditions, the Portland Bureau of Transportation launched the Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway Project two years ago. Elements of the project included the standard suite of PBOT tools including diverters, updated crossings, speed bumps, daylighting of intersections, and more.

While many applauded the project, opposition was fierce.

In November 2017 the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association voted against the most controversial part of the project — a diverter that would limit driving access to Lincoln from SE 50th. A subsequent public meeting to discuss the diverter turned into one of the ugliest displays of anger and neighborhood revolt PBOT has ever seen. Residents who supported the changes even had their property vandalized.

PBOT ultimately pushed through with the changes and now that they’ve been up and running we can see what impact they’ve had.

PBOT map of data collection locations.
Click here for PDF

PBOT collected driving speed and volume data at over 50 locations along the greenway couplet and surrounding streets (since diverted auto traffic was a major point of contention). They released the first batch of data today (a final report once the project is 100% complete is forthcoming).

“The initial data demonstrates significant success,” reads the PBOT statement. Below are several “key locations” where the volume of auto traffic has gone way down.

SE Lincoln Street at SE 30th Avenue – 41% decrease in average daily traffic (ADT)
SE Lincoln Street just east of SE 50th Avenue – 51% decrease in ADT
SE Lincoln Street just west of SE 50th Avenue – 50% decrease in ADT
SE Lincoln Street at SE 57th Avenue – 16% decrease in ADT

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Some people feared diverted drivers would simply use adjacent streets. PBOT has committed that if other streets see too much traffic (volume not exceeding 1,000 cars per day or 50 cars per hour during peak times), they’ll continue to “provide further mitigation to offset these effects.”

PBOT says their data shows most side streets are well below those thresholds, but there are a few locations they will continue to monitor:

SE 48th Avenue north of SE Division Street
SE Harrison Street west of SE 49th Avenue
SE 28th Place south of SE Harrison Street
SE Market Street east of SE 30th Avenue
SE 25th and 26th avenues north of SE Harrison Street
SE Stephens Street east of SE 25th Avenue.

View the map of data collection locations and see a spreadsheet of the data.

Learn more about this project by browsing our Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway story archive.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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