Saturday, August 30, 2014

SE 32nd & Ankeny

Our next adventure is a visit to yet another spot from the obscure municipal list of obscure places I've been tracking down now and then. As with the last couple of places from this list, the spot we're visiting now is basically a bit of traffic control landscaping. At SE 32nd & Ankeny, the curb bulges out to prevent eastbound auto traffic from continuing on past 32nd; cars have to make a right turn and go north to Burnside instead, although there's a pass-through bit so bikes can continue eastbound. SE Ankeny was seen as a key bicycle route as far back as 1984, when it was included in something the city called the "Central Corridor Bicycle Route". It's not clear to me whether the plan involved actual marked bike lanes, or just some road signs indicating it was a designated bike route. A 2007 city document on bikeway construction standards explains that what we're looking at here is called a "semi-diverter", because it only blocks traffic in one direction. It also mentions that this was one of 17 semi-diverters around the city at the time, so it's not clear to me why this one's on the list and the others aren't.

It helps, in terms of scenic-ness, that there's an old historic church next to the spot. The building was once home to Portland's Central Presbyterian Church. Around 1980 it was home to something called "The Bible Church", and it was later part of Union Gospel Ministries organization (which is sort of a religious social service agency for the homeless) circa 1989. In 2014 it seems to be primarily a wedding venue and event space. Which honestly is a big improvement over being a church, if you ask me.

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