SE 34th Ave Closed to Traffic from Division St. to Clinton St., Re-Zoned a ‘Parking Lot’

PORTLAND, OR — The section of roadway on SE 34th Ave that stretches from Division St. to Clinton St. is set to be officially re-zoned a parking lot, for the exclusive use of two parallel rows of vehicular parking.

Reportedly, the portion of SE 34th Ave that stretches from the opposite side of Division St. down to Caruthers St. will also be treated as an additional overflow parking lot, with increasingly-narrow roadway access as you approach the traffic light.

The city will still count the parking lots as part of a continuous bicycle highway, due to the two sidewalks lining both rows of parked vehicles.

City planners will continue to count both parking lots as a continuous portion of one of Portland’s vaunted bike highways, citing the availability of sidewalks. Either sidewalk will provide a bicyclist with a much larger & safer thoroughfare to use than the tiny narrow strip of road left over in between the twin rows of parked vehicles, especially if there is a vehicle entering or exiting the parking lot.

To frequent bike commuters of the inner SE Portland area, the re-zoning of 34th Ave will likely not even require a shift in their thinking. “No on-the-ground change in behavior will be necessary, either for motorists or for bicyclists — aside from giving up on a whole lot of kidding ourselves,” confirms one city planner that we spoke with.

For a better idea on how to improve the flow of traffic, check out Mike Anderson’s contribution to on the grassroots effort to make SE 34th Ave a one-way street for cars.

The new parking lot will apparently charge no fees and have no codified rules for usage. Traffic may enter the parking lot in any direction that it is able to, and will flow outward in whichever direction is most insistent.