I was by recently at night, and the ways that bicycling users of the promenade will have to use narrow sidewalks, make tight 90-degree turns, and execute movements potentially unpredictable to others in car or on foot is concerning. If predictability at night is helpful, the confusing design may instead promote "urban deer." More than sub-optimal, this looks like folly all around!
|The jumble at 12th and Mill|
|Looking south and having to turn right or left|
|Looking west towards the intersection|
But when the field's not lit, is there enough light?
To reach the road east-bound (towards the neighborhood), bike traffic will have to navigate half a block down a narrow and curvy sidewalk to reach the Mission Mill driveway and curb cut. Or else hop the curb at a random location.
The upshot? While the concrete is prettier, for people on bike at the Promenade, this represents no change from the existing conditions! It just substitutes a finished curb for the large rocks - both are effectively impassible. With the median, crossing 12th may be marginally easier, but many will choose to stay on the north side and not use the median, and this will create confusion in a tricky mixing zone.
Also interesting is the traffic pattern for cars. Amtrak's driveway onto Mill look like it is disappearing (red x on map below), closed off with a new curb. In its place a new driveway on the 13th street angle has been cut.
|Passenger Rail will be hidden, even more difficult to reach|
And Amtrak will be even more isolated from the whole transportation system, on the grid and in the share of mind.
In fact, this looks like it may make that whole "bermuda triangle" even more of a cluster-f than it already is!
With the passenger railroad station, Mission Mill and tourists, and Willamette and students, this should be a multi-modal hub with convenient travel for all. Instead, it looks like a hopeless, and potentially unsafe, jumble. This is a real missed opportunity, a win for no one but freight rail.