Tag: Busy Streets program

End to Expanded Walkway Program

The Expanded Walkway Program in Montavilla has come to an end with less than successful results. Introduced this summer, it is part of the Busy Streets program. A Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) representative confirmed the early end of the area’s walkway program. 

Expanded Walkways was just one of three programs designed to aid in social distancing during COVID-19. Unlike Expanded Bus Platforms and Expanded corners, Expanded Walkways’ used nonstandard traffic control devices in some areas. In Montavilla, PBOT used narrow white arches instead of the standard vertical poles. Called wave delineators, they are developed by cycling specialty company Saris Infrastructure. Although designed for temporary use, the method chosen by PBOT to hold the delineators in place seemed to be ineffective. Many wave delineators broke or became displaced during their short time in use.

In Montavilla, the Expanded Walkway was attempted on the north side of SE Stark Street from 84th Ave to 94th Ave. Some accounts from local business owners on the street describe general confusion for drivers. Bicyclists also felt that these measures impended safe travel, particularly when delineators were knocked down or placed in the bike lane.

PBOT employee Michelle Marx wrote to a Stark Street business owner affected by the program, announcing the pilot’s completion. “PBOT used this pilot opportunity to test out an expanded walkway concept using temporary, movable delineators. Following staff observation and based on feedback we’ve heard from users, we’ve determined that the pilot has not been successful, and we will be removing the delineators and restoring the street to its former condition.”

East of Montavilla, other dividers used with better but still confusing results.

Although Expanded Walkways did not succeed in Montavilla, that program is testing with different delineators in other areas. Results from those Expanded Walkways and other COVID-19 street adjustments will become part of a PBOT report. “PBOT is currently evaluating all three pillars of our Safe Streets Initiative and will be releasing an evaluation report later this year.” Said Hannah Schafer, Capital Projects, Assets, and Maintenance Communications Coordinator with PBOT. 

“The evaluation of the Busy Streets work will include evaluation metrics for both the expanded walkways pilots as well as the expanded street corners,” explained Schafer. The evaluation report will include recommendations on whether the temporary infrastructure should be removed or become permanent.

Experimentation is a necessary mechanism in developing effective solutions. Although Expanded Walkways did not accomplish its goals in Montavilla, it was a relatively small test and informed PBOT on challenges faced with this type of alteration. It is unknown if other the Busy Streets initiatives will meet expectations and remain in place. However, temporary Expanded Walkways in Montavilla did not work and no longer line Stark Street.


UPDATE – This story was updated with additional information from PBOT.

Expanded Corners Come to 92nd

Expanded corners are now present at the intersection of SE 92nd Ave and Washington street. First appearing on 76th Ave, these are part of the Busy Streets program seeking to provide more space at heavily used intersections.

Portland Bureau of Transportation installed these temporary sidewalk expansions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These street crossings often become crowded with pedestrians trying to cross. This extra space should allow for social distancing while waiting for cars to yield.

Northeast corner

Southwest corner

Northwest corner

Expanded Corners Come to 80th

Expanded corners are now present along SE 80th Ave on both Stark and Washington streets. First appearing on 76th Ave, these are part of the Busy Streets program seeking to provide more space at busy intersections.

Portland Bureau of Transportation installed these temporary sidewalk expansions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These street crossings often become crowded with pedestrians trying to cross. This extra space should allow for social distancing while waiting for cars to yield.

South side of Stark Street looking west.

North side of Washington looking east.

North side of Washington looking west.

Expanded Corners Come to 76th

The first Expanded corner of the Busy Streets program came to the corner of SE 76th Ave and SE Washington Street. Composed of paint and white plastic delineators, it extends the corner space out beyond the curb.

Strictly speaking, this corner is on the other side of the street from Montavilla. SE 76th Ave is the west edge of Montavilla between SE Division and E Burnside. It would technically be in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood.

SE Stark Street will also receive corner enhancements at 76th and 80th. Montavilla’s portion of SE Washington Street will get their expanded corners at 80th and 92nd Ave.

The yellow paint chosen is less bright than other street markings seen throughout Portland. Although new, it looks faded. However, it is only a temporary measure to allow distancing at the curb. Ideally, it will become a full extended curb if made permanent as part of the Jade and Montavilla Multimodal Improvements Project.


UPDATE – The crossing of 76th Ave and SE Stark Street in now complete.

Busy Streets Program Walkability Improvements

The new Busy Streets program has already made Montavilla more walkable and will extend through the neighborhood. The program seeks to expand pedestrian space in busy areas by reusing parts of the roadway not used for travel lanes.

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has launched the Busy Streets program as part of its response to COVID-19. The program expands on the Safe Streets Initiative that PBOT has already implemented with the Slow Streets and Healthy Businesses programs.

Last week one of four temporary bus platforms was added to SE Washington Street, north of 80th Ave. Three more are coming to bus stops at SE Stark Street at 82nd, 90th, and 92nd.

Expanded corners make it easier to physically distance while waiting to cross at busy intersections. Made by visible by paint and other indicators, they extend the corner out towards the traffic lane. SE Stark Street will receive corner enhancements at the intersections of 76th and 80th. Three expanded corners on Montavilla’s portion of SE Washington Street are at the 76th, 80th, and 92nd crossings.

A long stretch of SE Stark Street’s north side is receiving an expanded walkway, from 84th to 94th. This extra space allows pedestrians to move off the sidewalk into the street, allowing others to pass at a distance. Added paint and indicator poles should increase safety for pedestrians when they are on the roadway.

These temporary enhancements would be welcomed as permeant additions to the roadway. Perhaps they could become part of the final Jade and Montavilla Multimodal Improvements Project. Details of that project will begin the design phase soon, according to Lisa Patterson Capital Project Manager for Policy Planning + Projects at PBOT.

For now, the temporary improvements should promote Montavilla’s walkability until permeant upgrades are in place. Look for future work in the next few months as these projects complete construction.


Illustrated images are provided by Portland Bureau of Transportation

Curb Extension on Washinton

East of SE 80th on Washington Street, Portland Bureau of Transportation has installed a temporary Curb Extension for the bus stop. Constructed out of asphalt and rubber tire stops, it is a none permanent installation. The bus stop serves both the 15 and 272 bus lines. Before this upgrade, the stop had limited sidewalk space for waiting passengers.

Bus stop curb extensions (also called Bus Platforms) provide a passenger waiting area and allow buses to stop in the traffic lane. The added space helps for efficient loading and unloading of passengers. Not waiting to merge back into traffic saves considerable transit time on a route. 

Although not a feature of this temporary curb extension, a permeant installation could improve pedestrian safety by shortening the distance to cross Washington Street. That will be a needed component of the future 80th Ave Greenway project.

Frequent users of this bus stop will enjoy the added space and faster service thanks to the new curb extension. This platform could last years before needing replacement by a permanent structure. Until then, TriMet riders will have a suitable temporary structure to wait on. 


UPDATEBike Portland wrote about the new temporary bus platforms as part of the Busy Streets program. This program will add more temporary bus platforms, Expanded walkways, and Expanded corners to Montavilla.

Removed project attribution to TriMet. A TriMet representative responded to an earlier inquiry and said it was a Portland Bureau of Transportation project.