Portland, Oregon Will Grow — But Without Adding Cars

Nine miles of new bus and streetcar lanes. Thirty miles of new and upgraded low-stress bikeways. One thousand fewer parking spaces. That’s what’s on tap for central Portland after a 3-0 City Council vote yesterday.

The congestion battle plan, called “Central City in Motion” [PDF], would maintain the current amount of space for car traffic — roughly 39 percent of the city’s overall land — but remove parking spaces so that 6 percent of the land area would be set aside for bus and bike lanes, up from the current 4 percent. It is aimed at managing congested in the rapidly growing central city area, which encompasses about five square miles.

The $72-million plan includes 18 major projects, each of which adds either bike or bus lanes or both. These projects, city staff says, will increase the total people-carrying capacity of the streets by an average of 60 percent.