News Release: PBOT Releases Final Design for Upcoming Hawthorne Maintenance Project

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News Release:

PBOT Releases Final Design for Upcoming Hawthorne Maintenance Project

Dubbed “Hawthorne Pave & Paint,” this project establishes a three-lane configuration between SE 22nd and 50th avenues

Design makes significant safety gains and was strongly supported by residents and other stakeholders

(Feb. 9, 2021) Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) released the final road striping and safety plan for the upcoming paving project on SE Hawthorne Boulevard. The project, which is scheduled to begin in early summer, will repave SE Hawthorne Boulevard between SE 24th and 50th avenues. PBOT will combine the repaving with restriping and safety improvements—such as pedestrian islands and better street lighting—to save on labor and materials.

A safer, more accessible Hawthorne

Based on two rounds of community engagement, including a survey of more than 1,000 Portlanders, PBOT is moving forward on this restriping and safety project by reconfiguring Hawthorne to three lanes—two travel lanes and a turning lane—on the section being repaved. PBOT has installed similar lane configurations on other major city streets, and research has shown they significantly improve safety for all users. According to Vision Zero safety data, Hawthorne is one the city’s most dangerous streets, especially for pedestrians. Participants in PBOT’s community outreach cited improved safety for people walking or using a mobility device as one of their top priorities for the project.

Hawthorne Pave and Paint Stakeholder feedback

Stakeholder feedback from people living in zip codes bordering Hawthorne and those served by bus line 14 strongly favored Alternative 2 - two travel lanes and a turning lane - as the new street design.

To further improve safety for pedestrians and people biking across Hawthorne, PBOT crews will install median islands at key intersections. The bureau will also improve street lighting to increase visibility for people walking, biking or using a mobility device.

Two images showing Hawthorne as it currently exists and after the changes are made

The new design for SE Hawthorne Boulevard from SE 24th to 50th avenues will include better bike access from side street connections, travel lanes wide enough for buses, concrete median islands to provide safe crossings for pedestrians and people biking, space to make left turns into driveways or side streets, and a flexible, wider curb zone space for a variety of uses.

As part of the project, PBOT is also improving 180 curb ramps between SE 24th and 50th avenues to ensure they meet the latest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards. This work has already begun and is scheduled to be done this June.

Goal ranking: Improving traffic safety, supporting the main street function, connecting people to and along the corridor, aligning with Citywide goals

Respondents overwhelmingly supported improving traffic safety as the top goal for the project, followed by supporting SE Hawthorne's main street function as the second most supported project goal.

"After reviewing the data, I support PBOT’s plan for the upcoming Hawthorne Maintenance Project," said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. "The additional lighting, medians, and other improvements will make our streets safer for all, especially pedestrians. It will also allow our public transit to move more easily, including Line 14 that serves as an important option for residents of East Portland coming into the inner east side and downtown. I appreciate all the work that PBOT has put into collecting community input to inform their decision making. I know many passionate advocates wanted to see bike lanes on Hawthorne, but this area is already well served with nearby greenways on Salmon and Lincoln. Looking forward I will continue to advocate for adding additional safety and transportation access infrastructure, including additional bike lanes, with a focus on underserved Portlanders."

Helping businesses weather the pandemic economy

A busy commercial and entertainment corridor, Hawthorne is one of the city’s most popular main streets. With this project, PBOT is supporting the street’s continued vibrancy and its ability to recover from the pandemic. Immediately next to the curb, space will be used for on-street parking, loading/unloading, outdoor dining and other business activities, or potentially for expanding space for pedestrians. PBOT will continue to work with local businesses and property owners to consider ways this space can be used to enhance the experience of people coming to the Hawthorne District, as they have through the Healthy Businesses permit program.

Realizing the Rose Lane vision for Hawthorne

Improving bus service along SE Hawthorne Boulevard—a vital connection between East Portland and downtown—is a key goal of PBOT’s Rose Lane Project, the program dedicated to helping Portlanders get from place to place more quickly and reliably with public transit. Hawthorne is the route for the Line 14 TriMet bus, a frequent service route that has among the highest ridership in the metropolitan area. The restriping and other safety improvements will keep buses on schedule, while also making it safer for pedestrians to get to and from transit stops along the boulevard. Improving the experience for transit riders was another key project priority.

In addition to these improvements between SE 24th and 50th avenues, PBOT is also making other improvements to improve bus service on Hawthorne. As part of Central City in Motion, PBOT will deliver the SE Hawthorne and Madison Multimodal Improvements project later this spring, improving or adding pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, and bus lanes on Hawthorne and SE Madison Street between the Hawthorne Bridge and SE 12th Avenue.

When both projects are complete, Portland transit riders can expect a safer and more reliable bus ride throughout the busy Hawthorne corridor.

Hawthorne Pave and Paint stakeholder breakdown

Responses show how important SE Hawthorne is as a transit, commute, business and pedestrian route.

Better bike connections to Hawthorne on the horizon

During the community engagement phase of the Hawthorne Paint & Pave project, PBOT heard from community members and stakeholders about the need to improve bike access to the Hawthorne District. To address this need, PBOT has set aside initial funding to develop additional north-south bikeway connections to Hawthorne from parallel neighborhood greenways on SE Salmon, Taylor, Lincoln, and Harrison streets. PBOT plans to come back to the community to discuss these options later this year. If PBOT can secure additional funding, the improvements would be built as soon as next year.

For more information about the project please visit:


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