First Look: New raised bike lane on SW Madison

First Look: New raised bike lane on SW Madison

You can’t tell from this image but the green bike lane is separated from the roadway by a curb.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Multnomah County is putting finishing touches on the new courthouse building next to the Hawthorne Bridge and the $325 million project included a big change to the bike lane on SW Madison.

How it used to look.

Instead of a standard, unprotected bike lane, bicycle users now ride up on a raised path adjacent to the sidewalk. The new bike lane is grade-separated from other lanes and is colored green. There are yellow plastic wands and pavement markings to help designate the cycling space from the walking space. The bike lane returns to the roadway level just as you approach the Naito Parkway on-ramp to cross onto the bridge deck.

The video below shows a handlebar-view of the new bike lane from 1st to the bridge:


SW Madison is one of the busiest bikeways in Portland (at least it was before the pandemic) and it’s seen slow and steady updates for bicycle users in recent years.

In May 2019 the Portland Bureau of Transportation created a bus and bike-only lane on SW Madison between 4th and 1st avenues. And in 2013 the County added plastic wands and curbs to separate bike riders from other traffic on the eastbound bridge viaduct. PBOT’s Central City in Motion plan has a project to continue adding protection to the bikeway eastbound onto Hawthorne Blvd. That project is slated to begin construction next month.

Another related project that will impact this section of bikeway is the new signal coming to the Naito Parkway on-ramp to the bridge. PBOT broke ground on that project back in July.

A County spokesperson told us this morning that the courthouse is slated to officially open October 5th.

Here are a few more images:

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