Car-free street proposed near Lloyd Center

Credit: Courtesy: Lloyd MTA

The proposed car-free zone would stretch 13 blocks.


by By MICHAEL BENNER and Staff

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 6 at 1:22 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Neighborhood planners want a car-free zone in Northeast Portland to keep cyclist and commuters safer.

Lloyd Center neighborhood planners have proposed turning NE Holladay Street into a bicycle, pedestrian and MAX-only thoroughfare from the Rose Quarter to NE 13th Ave. Also:

The Lloyd Transportation Management Association, which represents area businesses and employers, believes the 13-block would boost economic development and make the area safer for commuters.

Currently, eastbound traffic is only allowed on Holladay. Bicyclists and pedestrians traveling west must brave Multnomah Street's four lanes, which project manager Heather McCarey called " pretty scary."

Lloyd car-less corridor?

Some cyclists who use Holladay to get to and from work support the idea of making it car free.

"It's kind of difficult because of all the congestion, all the traffic, people coming to and from the convention center," cyclist Michael Kelly said."Make it bike, make it walking, it's all good, stay green."

Others, however, do not see a need for change and it's far from a done deal.

"I don't think it's too bad. It's wide.It's easy to get around.I think the biggest impediment is there's a lot of stops," said John Baugher.

McCarey said cross-street auto traffic would not be affected by the proposed change. She hopes that will keep cyclists and pedestrians traveling slow and cautiously through the car-free corridor.

Either way, project advocates say it is worth it.

"I think it could be a great example for the city of turning streets that are auto-dominated into streets that are people dominated," McCarey said.

The nonprofit association will submit its proposal to the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee later this year.

KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.