PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The largest street transformation in the county is taking place on SW Naito Parkway this summer.
The closure of one northbound Naito lane was scheduled to start Friday but has already begun. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has installed removable posts to close the lane from SW Main Street to NW Couch Street.
This is the third year of the summer lane closure, but the first year the city has funded it.
“The city council approved an appropriation in our budget this year to fund Better Naito on a much better scale seasonally for the next 5 years,” Leah Treat with PBOT says.
The money was used to purchase and install 470 of the removable white posts. With festival season coming up, the goal is to expand the space for people to safely walk and bike.
“It allows event patrons to come down and enjoy Portland’s Waterfront in a way that’s safe and accessible,” Jeff Curtis, the Rose Festival CEO says.
The lane will reopen at the end of September.
Some commuters, however, are concerned about traffic. Better Naito Project Manager Tim Urender says there are actually less cars than people during the festival season.
“During the festival event season there’s actually 15,000 people per day during peak festival season coming to the waterfront, and northbound car traffic is actually 10,000 vehicles per day, so there’s actually more people than cars,” Urender says.