New Bus-Only “Rose Lane” Painted Onto Downtown Portland Street, Launching an Ambitious Plan

Portland Bureau of Transportation is installing the city’s first transit-priority “red lanes” downtown.

Portland city workers paint a red "bus only" lane in downtown. (Kelsey Harnisch)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation installed the first of the city’s new bus-only lanes today. These new “rose lanes,” as PBOT is calling them, will establish certain bus and streetcar routes as off-limits to cars.

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly hopes that the red paint will make bus lanes more visible, help with confusion over already established bus-only traffic lanes and make bus service more efficient.

The first of the red lanes went in today on Southwest Main Street between 1st and 2nd avenues in downtown Portland.  They can be used only by public transportation like Portland city buses, streetcars and trains.

"People driving may not enter a solid red lane, including drivers of cars, trucks, taxis, and ride-hailing vehicles like Uber and Lyft," PBOT said in a statement.

Cyclist may be able to continue to use lanes if properly marked by signage.

The first red lane launches an ambitious plan by Eudaly and transportation officials to move TriMet buses out of the city's gridlocked traffic—prioritizing public transit and trying to persuade more people to jettison their cars in favor of buses and bikes.

WW first reported on those plans in June.

"We cannot combat climate change without dramatic changes to the way we currently live, and Portland traffic congestion is among the worst in the nation," said Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

More transit priority lanes are planned for bus routes across the city in 2020.

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