The Draft Foster Streetscape Plan is here, and while it’s not perfect, it is a strong, imaginative vision of a new street. Here's our unofficial list of what the plan means to you:
Safety for drivers will increase dramatically
The danger of Foster Road today cannot be understated. Every 4 days, there is a car crash on Foster Road. Almost every year, someone dies. The plan's 3-lane arterial street design will decrease crashes by at least 19%. Curb extensions at awkwardly angled intersections will improve the safety of turns onto and off of Foster.
Crossing the street will be safer and easier, everywhere
Every marked crossing of Foster will be enhanced either with a signal or a flashing crossing sign. Additional marked crossings will give a safe place to cross every 5 blocks.Even at the legal unmarked crosswalks on every corner, the 3-lane arterial design gives people a safer, simpler crossing at every point along the street.
Neighbors will flock to Foster by bike
Today, our neighbors take the meandering side streets when traveling through the neighborhood by bike. But no longer. Expect to see a dramatic increase in people riding bikes directly on Foster. The wide bike lanes will be super comfy on your way to dinner, drinks or shopping.
Foster will start to look and feel like a Main Street
Pedestrian lighting, street trees, and bike parking will bring comfort to those walking, eating, and enjoying the street life of Foster Road. Extra separation from moving cars will make having coffee outside that much more pleasant.
Foster's sidewalks east of 82nd will no longer be embarrassing
Seriously, have you tried walking on the barely-5-foot "sidewalks" that line Foster east of 82nd? There's no room for trees, no room for people in wheelchairs, and if you really want to appreciate life, walk on the north side when a large truck comes rumbling by just inches from your body.
The new plan corrects an oversight in the original 2003 version by building standard sidewalks on a stretch of the street that desperately needs them.
Ok, ok, sounds good, but what about the bad?
Much has been made about a major, unacceptable traffic congestion problem due to the changes, but according to the engineers, that’s not really going to happen. Here’s the predicted impacts to people driving:
For part of the day, people driving will go slower
Most of the time, travel along Foster will go just as fast as it is today. During the peak travel time in the morning and evening, it will take a little longer to travel Foster in a car. Up to 3 minutes longer per trip.
For part of the day, Holgate Blvd in Foster-Powell will see extra traffic
In the peak hour, Holgate between Foster and 82nd is expected to see an extra 250 cars. These extra cars are estimated to be originating in the neighborhood. This means the drivers are people that live nearby, rather than cut-through traffic.
Where do we go from here?
The advisory committee will meet one more time to comment on the draft plan, and public comment is always welcome at the end of the committee meetings. Alternatively, email your thoughts to PBOT Planner Mauricio Leclerc.
Advisory Committee: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 from 6-8pm at SE Works (79th & Foster)
Assuming all goes smoothly at the committee, PBOT will bring the final plan to City Council for approval. This date is not set, but as soon as we know we'll spread the word.