Input Needed for Multimodal Study of the West Burnside Crossing at 18th, 19th, and Alder

24 Feb 2016 11:01 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

Crossing West Burnside has long been a concern of the community, city planners, and the 107IST with notable concern for the intersections of 18th, 19th and Alder at the Firefighters Park. On match days especially, with the large number of us taxing the system, accidents have been an unfortunate inevitability in this high crash corridor. As many of you know, one of our members was hit by a car here last season and really touched close to home the need for improvements. While her recovery has been going well, it is important for us to act to reduce the likelihood of it happening again, with more devastating results.

Some funding has recently become available for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to study this complex intersection and they are looking for comments from the community. If you are a transportation professional, active user of the city’s bicycle and pedestrian system, or simply interested in the subject matter, please review the project site, check out the presentation, submit your comments to staff, and participate in the dialog below to help the 107IST make collective recommendations and raise appropriate concerns. The window for comments only runs through February 29th so, please help us inform the process as best we can by participating. 

Additionally, there has been talk in the community of hosting a charrette to study the area and how the local transportation infrastructure can be improved. If you are interested in participating, please email so we can gauge interest.

Other factors to consider:

  • While the main presentation focuses on the “Preferred Alternative,” many other alternatives are not off the table. Some of these include decoupling 18th and 19th, and having car traffic both ways on 19th and bikes both ways on 18th; connecting the bus island to the Firefighters Park and having Alder traffic travel around the south sides of the park; and more.
  • Trimet may expand the route of the Fremont line 24 to cross the Fremont Bridge and travel north-south along NW 18th and 19th into Goose Hollow. While this plan will provide better transit access to and from the stadium for those along its route, it could further complicate this W. Burnside crossing.
  • If the Fix Our Streets Portland campaign is successful at the ballot this spring, 20th Ave is slated to become a “Neighborhood Greenway” with increased pedestrian and bicycle facilities. How will this connect around the stadium, and how will it affect the study area?

  • If SW Alder St is to have two-way bicycle traffic, how will it impact the intersection being studied? Also, how would it connect to the stadium?
  • Could this site contain more bike parking? Bicycle parking is at a premium in the area on match days and, with the FO’s bike parking on Morrison disappearing shortly after matches for them to reopen the street, many are forced to leave the area after matches when they could/should hang out for a while before beginning the journey home.

The 107IST is what it is because of the volunteer work of so many of our members. We have a great knowledge base within our ranks that can be tapped to address this issue. Together we can show the community how we do what we do.

Let’s do this, Portland.


  • 28 Sep 2016 1:44 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    devlyn says:
    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 4:08 pm 
    Can you update the middle 2 images so that they link to the larger versions of the images, like the first and last do? Thanks! 

    Stephanzy says:
    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 4:20 pm 
    Done. More images are available through the project and presentation links, as well.

    Stephanzy says:
    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm 
    Some of the comments I’ve been hearing are about how intuitive this will be. Many plans look good on a map but, when you’re in it, it can be difficult to quickly learn what you need to do. Regardless of final design, this complicated intersection will need significant signage. Bicycle lights may help, as well.

    Stephanzy says:
    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm 
    “Pedestrian crossings should be via overhead walkways…even if funnelling pedestrian traffic to a single, large crossing. (For security purposes, not underground.)”
    Outside the financial issues with this approach, I think it’s a great idea. The intersection is in a gully, Morrison and Couch are at roughly the same level, a pedestrian and/or bike bridge wouldn’t have to rise much to meet required height, we’d get a couple really great views of the city, and, on quick inspection, there appears to be room for directional ramps.
    At this point in the process, what-if’s like this are great!

    Stephanzy says:
    Friday, February 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm 
    “All bike lanes should be protected by cement barriers. (Personally, I’ve lost two friends to vehicle-on-bike unintentional accidents. In both cases the bikers were well-equipped and doing everything correctly.)”
    Sorry for your loss. I too have lost friends in similar ways. It’s stories like this that have pushed the city into adopting the Vision Zero goals. A project like this in such a unique site can, hopefully, set some new precedents for safety in other unique sites. My concern is that this project becomes an example of what NOT to do.

    Ryan connole says:
    Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 10:53 am 
    At major crossings paint intersections as Timbers axe, rose , etc. Allow pedestrians to cross entire intersection. Thus, crossing is visible, faster and more ours.

    Tim Chamberlin says:
    Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 10:53 am 
    This is the email I wrote to the project director:
    I have been going to various events at Civic Stadium/PGE Park/JeldWen Field/Providence park for 20+ years, and have been a year round-daily bike commuter for the past 4 years (though not through this area, I live in NE and work downtown). As a result I think I have a pretty good feel for this area and these proposed changes despite it not being my area of professional expertise.
    I think the “Preferred Alternative” looks really great.
    It adds multiple ways to cross Burnside which can be very difficult in this area. I particularly like the one from the bus island to the block with the McDonald’s. Several times I’ve been walking to the stadium and ended up at the NW corner of the 18th and Burnside intersection wanting to cross Burnside, my only options were to cross walking east then south, or west a block then south, both are a little bit out of the way and can be time consuming to wait at each intersection
    In addition the bike lane (with large parts being protected) from 19th to Alder looks great and if I were in NW and needed to head east into downtown I’d probably use that route.
    However, I think the contraflow bike line is a bad idea and would be very unlikely to ride on it. Alder is part of a one-way grid, and people, both in cars that are turning and pedestrians stepping off the curb, will not look as carefully for a bike going “the wrong way”. I think a better alternative for a bike lane going west from downtown would be Taylor. From what I’ve seen in the area a right side bike lane similar to the “Proposed – SW Alder Street at 17th Ave” would work well on Taylor. This would have to be on the right due to the I-405 south entrance ramp. One the right it would have to be crossed by the entrances to a few parking garages (the Hilton and the Fox tower). This would also connect nicely to the bike lane on 14th.
    I hope that in person observations of pedestrian flow in this area are done (if they are done) in the 90 minutes before Timbers matches.
    Thanks for your consideration!
    the reply:
    Thank you so much for your email. I really appreciated your interest, comments and feedback on this study.
    Your suggestions have been noted and I’ll add you to the email list. Observations of the pedestrian flow before Timber matches is on our list.

    Dave Daly says:
    Monday, February 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm 
    The preferred alternative looks pretty good. I’m curious how much consideration they gave to game day operations. While game days are not the everyday condition for this area, it is the time period when you have the most opportunity for conflicts between users.
    Another potential consideration is Uber/Lyft pickups and drop offs. I’ve been on Burnside multiple times on game days and non where some Uber/Lyft drivers just stop in a lane of traffic for their pickup or drop off. I’m not sure it it is an issue, but rather an observation.
    Link  •  Reply

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