An introduction to Neighborhood Greenways

Streetsblog released this engaging video from Portland, Oregon that shows their neighborhood greenways – something that might work on many streets in Metro Detroit.

As far as we know, it’s not a greenway design we’ve seen around here yet. There are some ongoing planning efforts in the city of Detroit that may incorporate these designs on some key residential streets.

The video also shows Portland’s Green Streets with stormwater management, wayfinding and some interesting intersection treatments.

Portland’s Bike Boulevards Become Neighborhood Greenways from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

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4 Responses to “An introduction to Neighborhood Greenways”

  1. Andrew Mutch Says:

    Actually, Norm Cox has been talking up this concept and we’re looking at incorporating it into our new Non-Motorized Transportation Master Plan. I think it was also incorporated into the work he did in Troy. It’s a good way in suburban communities to deal with providing cross-community routes without forcing bikers onto sidepaths or onto busy arterial roads. We also can leverage the infrastructure of existing streets so that we can get these routes established quickly without having to find a lot of money to build new paths.

  2. Andrew Mutch Says:

    Norm calls them “neighborhood connectors” and you can see some concepts in this presentation.

  3. Dave Says:


    The short(er) version of my question is:

    Do you have any suggestions for active transportation policy and/or programs that I could create a research design or program evaluation for? I don’t have to carry the research or evaluation out, but only required to develop either one.

    I’ve looked into a few broad ones: Complete Streets, Safe Routes to School, Oregon’s bike bill and more recent bike/ped program and plan.

    I haven’t found too much in-depth information on any, but have looked into Oregon and I am getting stuck on the fact that I can’t pull up much info more specifically related to Oregon and the problem/factors that influenced what exists today in terms of policies and programs. There are general reasons I am sure for those being passed/implemented, but not much has been stated on their gov website related to that.

    So, in short, are there programs or policies out there that are perhaps relatively new, but have traction and complementary resources to give a more full context?

    Please email me or maybe give me some suggestions on where to get more direction here if you can.


  4. Joel Batterman Says:

    Yes, “bike boulevards” (now “neighborhood greenways) are a key reason for Portland’s bicycle success over the past 15 years. By using neighborhood streets as the spines of the city’s bikeway network, Portland planners managed to create a cohesive system that was also very comfortable (i.e. few cars) without the political challenges they would have faced had they tried to create high-quality separated facilities along major streets.

    Dave, I lived in Portland the past four years, so I might be able to point you to some resources. In addition to a top-notch planning team, Portland’s success is the result of an engaged advocacy community that sued the city in the early ’90s for failing to meet the Bicycle Bill’s 1% standard, thus sparking the city’s bikeway system.

    The Portland Bureau of Transportation has some excellent resources:

    Feel free to contact me (jomba — at — umich — dot — edu) if you’d like more pointers.

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