What started as a seasonal project to accommodate Rose Festival tourists was just made permanent: The main road along Portland's westside waterfront is about to become far more friendly to biking and walking year-round.
The Portland City Council has approved a plan developed by nonprofit Better Block PDX, a public spaces advocacy group, and Portland State University urban planning and engineering students that will add two-way bike lanes, traffic signals, median islands and other accessible renovations to Northwest Naito Parkway.
It will create better access to Tom McCall Waterfront Park for all types of travel, as first reported by Bike Portland.
The temporary project was intended to help with the influx of pedestrians at the Rose Festival. Led by the non-profit and PSU students, it continued for a few years. Back in 2016, the City Council considered making the expansion of bike lanes permanent, but had other priorities to address first. Now, the City Council agrees unanimously approved making the changes permanent.
Bike Portland, which reported on the hearing, described enthusiastic support from council members. Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said Tom McCall Waterfront Park has plenty of unrealized potential. "I feel like this project is just another step toward that potential," she said, according to the news site.