Because parts of Fourth Plain Boulevard, specifically near Andresen Road, are narrower than others, staff did not have a uniform approach to the project area.
A buffered bike lane starting at Fort Vancouver Way will turn into a striped bike lane at General Anderson Avenue before ending at 62nd Avenue.
The bike lanes end in part because the east end of Fourth Plain Boulevard is narrower, with higher traffic volumes; if a second vehicle lane was removed, it would likely violate a city ordinance requiring a minimum level of traffic flow of around 12 mph on Fourth Plain Boulevard, said Kate Drennan, principal transportation planner for Vancouver.
Because a bike lane will not connect with Andresen Road, staff proposed that Northeast Stapleton Road be restriped to add bike lanes between Fourth Plain Boulevard and Northeast 18th Street, where there are existing bike lanes. Tentative plans for Stapleton Road do not include the removal of parking spaces.
“This is the least worst alternative,” Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober said. “The reality is we need to improve 18th for multi-modal use.”
It was also recommended that westbound Fourth Plain Boulevard have a transit and right-turn lane from Stapleton Road to General Anderson Avenue and then again from Falk Road to Fort Vancouver Way. It recommended that configuration on eastbound Fourth Plain from Falk Road to Northeast 62nd Avenue, as well.
Additionally, vehicle lanes will be narrowed to reduce speeds, the plan said.
A street mural is planned for the intersection of Fourth Plain and Falk Road to calm traffic, highlight the location of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail crossing it and recognize the International District.
“(We saw) a real desire for place making investment in this corridor,” said Drennan, “things that really celebrate the culture and International District along Fourth Plain make people realize they’re in a special place as well as do things to help calm traffic.”
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