Portland ‘Red Lane Project’ wants more bus-only lanes

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new plan in the works to try to get more people using public transit in Portland calls for creating many more streets with “bus-only” lanes on the busiest bus routes.

The Red Lane Project would do away with hundreds of parking spots and some traffic lanes on major routes to make the dedicated bus-only lanes. 

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is a backer of this plan. There is no decision right now on what roads would be affected but the Portland Bureau of Transportation is reportedly looking at SE Foster Road, Division, Killingsworth and 122nd. 

At SW Madison, the city recently added a bus/bike only lane just before the Hawthorne Bridge and removed city vehicle parking spaces to make room for it.

But some business owners, like furniture store owner Jon Shliefer, aren’t happy about the idea.

“It’s the last thing you do in a growing city is restrict commerce and citizens,” Shliefer said.

Less than 15% of commuters take public transit into Portland, city officials said. Eudaly said 25% is the city’s goal as part of their climate action plan.

The Portland City Council would have to approve the plan for citywide bus-only lanes.

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