Lane closure for festivals begins Monday on Naito Parkway

For two weeks last year the Portland Bureau of Transportation shut down one of the lanes of Naito Parkway. (KATU File Photo)

Officials with Portland Bureau of Transportation say because festivals take up the entirety of Waterfront Park, many pedestrians were forced to walk in the bike lane to get around

Summer festivals at Portland's waterfront attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year.

"Because the events take up the entire park you had people walking in the bike lane, pushing baby strollers in the bike lane," PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera said.

Last year for two weeks in June PBOT shut down one of the lanes on Naito Parkway as part of a new project called "Better Naito," designed so whether you biked, walked or rolled you were safe.

"The public loved it, people contacted us on social media and email saying please expand it," Rivera said.

This year, they will do it for 3 months.

"I think it's going to be much safer for families and young children so yeah, I think it's worth trying see how it works out," walker Nancy Avery said.

Not everyone though is thrilled.

"I'm not very excited about it because I take Naito to and from work," commuter Harry Henneck said.

PBOT says they tested the delays last year and it all comes down to one minute.

"It's just part of day, part of an hour, less than a minute, so we felt like on the whole this is popular and that's a really small impact for a well-received impact," Rivera said.

Others say, this change could be a positive impact on Portland.

"It's going to be in the summer so there will be fewer cars and more activity so it might draw more people downtown," Avery said.

The single northbound lane closure will begin May 2 and continue through July 31.

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