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The width of the sidewlkl on the south side of Vermont at SW 50th is response to neighborhood request

It's no secret that much of Southwest Portland is plagued by a lack of sidewalks. So when a new "multi-use path" was installed by the Portland Buerau of Transportation along Southwest Vermont Street east from Southwest 52nd Avenue, people paid attention.

Willian Greer, who lives nearby, contacted The Connection with some questions about the super-size sidewalk on the south side of Southwest Vermont. We asked Portland Bureau of Transportation Senior Engineer Norberto Adre to respond. Here's what he had to say:

GREER: I recently walked west on Southwest Vermont, on the south side beyond the Montessori school, and was astonished at the width of the new sidewalk and the narrowness of the street. Any idea why the sidewalk is so wide? 

ADRE: The sidewalk is actually a multi-use path — pedestrian and bicyclist. It was designed to connect two greenways:  Southwest 50th and Southwest 52nd. There are signs on the pathway for bikes to yield to pedestrians. During the design, there was a neighborhood request to narrow the lanes to slow vehicles, especially near the school.

GREER: Is there to be no bike lane? 

ADRE: If you are heading west, the bike lane stops at 50th, and if you are heading east, the bike lane starts at 52nd on the multi-use path.

GREER:  When the TriMet #1 bus goes down that stretch, will there be any room for it to pull over at a stop and let traffic flow around it?

ADRE: We worked with TriMet during the design, and they will be adjusting the bus stops so buses will not stop in the narrow lanes.

Adre says the $3.15 million Southwest Vermont Street Project is very near completion and that "clean-up and minor fixes will continue until Dec. 21." For more information, check out Portlandoregon.gov/transportation/74195.

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