There are bike lanes on SE Foster Road

Pretty sure the “BS” stands for bicycle symbol. PBOT still adding some finishing touches to the new lanes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been about 78 months since we first covered the possibility of dedicated cycling facilities on Southeast Foster Road, a major arterial coined the “Foster Freeway” by former mayor Sam Adams when he launched an attempt to make it safer in 2010.

A few nights ago it finally happened. PBOT striped bike lanes as part of the finishing touches on their $9 million Foster Transportation and Streetscape project.

Fresh pavement in the western section of the project between 82nd and 90th.

The stated goal of the project is to, “Transform Foster Road [between 50th and 90th] from a high speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking transit and driving,” and to, “support and enhance the growing mix of businesses and residences in the neighborhood.”

My initial impression is that — despite being outdated, narrow, and unprotected — the bike lanes have helped PBOT reach that goal. The presence of bicycle riders in the street on their own right-of-way dramatically changes how the street feels for everyone. The new lanes also make Foster a more feasible place to ride a bike in general, which will increase customers to businesses, encourage window-shopping by bike, and add vibrancy and humanity to the street.

In addition to the cycling-only space, the $9 million project repaved the street between 82nd and 90th and included: upgrades two traffic signals; wider sidewalks in some sections; new median islands and flashing beacons at six intersections; new street trees and ornamental street lighting; and upgraded ADA curb ramps at 69 locations.

While these bike lanes are clearly lacking from a design standpoint, it is no small thing for PBOT to add cycling space to such a major arterial.

Below are more photos and a video to give you a better sense of how it turned out.

PBOT did that thing where they drop the bike lane right before a big intersection (82nd) to create a shared lane.

Some sections have a buffer, like this one just west of 82nd Ave.

Curbside going westbound. It’s definitely not low-stress and it’s definitely not for everyone; but it’s better than nothing.

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PBOT retained 94% of the on-street parking in this project, so much of the new bike lane is sandwiched between parked cars and drivers.

With one lane for drivers, the back-up was pretty severe yesterday. It will be interesting to see how people respond and how/if diverted drivers impact adjacent residential streets (I saw many people bail off Foster out of frustration at being stopped).

With frequent bus service, leapfrogging will be an issue as bus operators cross over the bike lane to service stops. Really wish they would stop in the lane instead.

A look at the new cross-section.

A buffered section.

This is the section just before 52nd (outside Devil’s Point).

And of course it didn’t take long for people to take advantage of the new space…

Striped just in time for a Pedalpalooza ride last night!
(Photo by Matchu Williams)

PBOT says there will be a ribbon-cutting event next Thursday (6/13) at Portland Mercado.

Get out there, ride these new bike lanes, and let us know what you think.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and [email protected]

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