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Students advance downtown proposal for new protected bike lane
Author: Jenny DuVander, Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Posted: May 30, 2012

Portland State University students unveiled a proposal this week for a new protected bicycle track on the west edge of campus that extends into downtown.

Their design would create a northbound route on SW 12th Avenue that mirrors the existing cycle track on SW Broadway, which has increased ridership and safety.

Read their report (pdf)

Cycle tracks are bike lanes buffered from motor vehicle traffic. On Broadway, an entire lane of parked cars separates cyclists from moving cars.

“Our goal is to create a more comfortable environment for people who are interested in bicycling but concerned about safety,” said Kate Petak, who started this project last October as an intern for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, which is a close partner on this project. If it goes forward, the separated bike lane would extend along 13 blocks of SW 12th Avenue, from SW Market Street to SW Stark.

With funding from a Solutions Generator award through the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the students pored over city plans and surveyed cyclists to determine the feasibility of the proposal that would better connect downtown bicycle routes. Other students working on the project are Rene Allen, Sirisha Kothuri, and Stefan Bussey.

Portland State’s Climate Action Plan calls for an increase in bicycle commuting to campus, but many riders are deterred by concerns about biking on the same roadway with cars.

The students hope their findings will take the new cycle track a step closer to implementation, encouraging more PSU students, faculty, and staff to commute to campus by bike.