By Kris McDowell

In early September, on the heels of public input and technical analysis, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) released an alternatives evaluation for the Hawthorne Pave and Paint Project.

The evaluation identified three alternatives subject to further evaluation. The full, 22-page document can be accessed at bit.ly/PBOTAlternativesEvaluation.

What follows is a brief look at the options and how they were analyzed.

Rendering of Alternative 1

Alternative 1: This option maintains the existing lane configurations: four travel lanes west of Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. and three travel lanes east of it. On-street parking would be included on both sides of the street.

Alternative 2: In this scenario, the entire span of the project scope on Hawthorne Blvd. (22nd Ave. to Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.) would offer three travel lanes so that west of Chavez would be the same as east of Chavez currently is. On-street parking would be included for both sides of the street.

Alternative 3: This is broken down into sub-options A and B. Both would have two general lanes and two bike lanes however in option A, bike lanes would be “buffered” while in option B, bike lanes would be “parking protected.” There would not be a center turn lane and on-street parking on both sides would be significantly reduced to accommodate bike lanes at crossings.

Rendering of Alternative 2

During PBOT’s technical analysis, they evaluated these alternatives by looking at the benefits and impacts of four project goals:

Improve Traffic Safety – Reduce crashes and 10+ mph speeding, minimize impacts on Neighborhood Greenways, improve pedestrian crossing safety.

Hawthorne is one of the most dangerous streets in the city and the design that is ultimately chosen must improve the safety of the street for all users.

Support Hawthorne’s Main Street Function – Add enhanced crossings for pedestrian/bicyclists, retain on-street parking, minimize impacts to and add bike/scooter parking, allow access and ease of loading/deliveries for businesses, opportunities for landscaping/placemaking.

Rendering of Alternatives 3A and 3B

Hawthorne is one of Portland’s iconic main streets and a destination for residents of and visitors to Portland.

Connect People To and From Hawthorne – Improves pedestrian/bicyclist access, minimize impacts to transit speed/reliability, minimize impacts to travel time for drivers.

In addition to being a main street, Hawthorne is a major corridor for people traveling through the neighborhood or accessing it from other parts of the city, including the frequent Line 14 bus connecting the Lents neighborhood to downtown Portland.

Support Citywide Goals – Advance equity, address structural racism, possible carbon emission reduction.

Two questions were considered in this area: Will it advance equity and address structural racism? Will it reduce carbon emissions?

During the month of September, PBOT continued to solicit input from businesses, individuals, neighborhood associations and community stakeholders through webinars and an online survey.

They expect to provide a decision in the October-November time frame and maintain the planned start of paving in summer 2021.