Full Median at Michigan Ave and Rosa Parks Way

Members of the Piedmont Neighborhood Association recently met with the PBOT project manager of the Michigan Ave Neighborhood Greenway project, Ross Swanson, to talk about some continuing problems with cut-throughs on the greenway from driver’s trying to avoid traffic on I-5.

Mr. Swanson showed us traffic counts that showed that cut-throughs were indeed still a problem and agreed to move on to phase 2 of the project – adding a full medium to the crossing at Rosa Parks Way.

A overhead diagram of the Michigan Ave crossing at Rosa Parks Way showing a full medium.
A overhead diagram of the Michigan Ave crossing at Rosa Parks Way showing a full median.

As you can see from the diagram above, the full median will allow people walking or riding bikes to cross Rosa Parks, but will not allow cut-through drivers to turn left from Michigan Ave on to Rosa Parks and continue to I-5 North. Work on the full-median is expected to begin shortly.

We know that a lot of neighbors are concerned that the full-median will simply shift cut-through over one block over to Mississippi Ave. We shared that concern with Mr. Swanson and shared some ideas for diverting cut-though drivers earlier in the neighborhood. Mr. Swanson said he would take these ideas to a PBOT traffic engineer and the overall Neighborhood Greenway Program Managers. Recently we heard from Mr. Swanson and unfortunately there is no remaining budget available for diversion improvements earlier on the Neighborhood Greenway.

The Piedmont Neighborhood Association is now planning to write a letter in conjunction with the Humboldt Neighborhood Association to ask the PBOT and Commissioner Novick, who is in charge of the PBOT, for improvements to the Neighborhood Greenway to reduce cut-throughs.

Please comment below if you have any input on these changes to the Michigan Neighborhood Greenway.

5 responses to “Full Median at Michigan Ave and Rosa Parks Way”

  1. Can we please put some trees on this? It is a “greenway” after all.

    1. I agree – it would be nice to have some trees in the median, I’ll pass the suggestion on to Mr. Swanson.

  2. So, what happens to the traffic? Those drivers aren’t making those turns just for fun. If there are enough drivers making that turn to warrant spending money on median, then then it seems like that’s enough traffic to have an impact if it’s diverted elsewhere. False assumption?

    1. Yes, we’ve heard a similar concern from neighbors that live in this area that they will simply use Mississippi once the median is in place on Michigan. That’s the main reason we are suggesting to the city to put a diverter on Missouri, Michigan and Mississippi to keep these cut-through drivers out of the neighborhood. If these diverters are put in place we think drivers will either choose to stay on I-5 or they’ll go down to Albina, which classified as a neighborhood collector and is better suited for additional traffic.

      Mr. Swanson has said that the city will do a traffic study on the streets surrounding Michigan to see if the traffic shifts and that could be used to help us argue for further diversion.

  3. Geraldine (Geri) Ethen Avatar
    Geraldine (Geri) Ethen

    When I first moved into Piedmont nearly 30 years ago, there was a right lane on I-5 that stopped at Lombard. That lane could be used by neighborhood people. With the designation of the left-hand lane of I-5 to 2+ people/car during rush hour traffic, that right hand lane was extended beyond Lombard to accomodate the traffic back-up. Now there is no way for local people to negotiate I-5 except through neighborhood streets because ALL lanes are now backed-up most of all afternoons. I personally have taken Michigan from Killingsworth to Ainsworth because of the difficulties (the impossibility) in getting a left-hand turn on Albina. There is too much traffic going west on Killingsworth to allow a left-hand turn at that intersection. We have had a complete history of our neighborhood being neglected in traffic accomodation when we need to get to the northern end of our neighborhood. Please don’t forget that we have a right to street access too.

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