Map to the Future of Foster

The City of Portland Comprehensive Plan is the road map for future development and major capital projects over the next 30 years, and it is being updated as we speak!

The plan seeks to answer important questions such as:

  • Where will apartment buildings go? (And more importantly, where will they not go?)
  • What do our commercial streets and district look like?
  • What parts of town get new parks?
  • What sorts of Transportation investments are in the works?

The planning is not 100% done, but the rough vision is ready. the City of Portland wants to hear from you about the specifics of their vision. Did they get the right projects? did they pick the right locations? Using the Comprehensive Plan Map App, you can review the proposals and leave comments.


The Plan is divided into three categories - Land Use (Buildings), Transportation (walking, transit, etc), and Infrastructure (sewers, parks).

The graphic below shows the basics of how to review and comment on proposals - take a look at the map, and let the city know what you think! In particular, the City is looking for feedback about where the new mixed use zoning is supposed to go.  


Over the coming weeks, we'll make three posts focused on the Comprehensive Plan Update, each focused on the individual category areas. We’ll offer a brief run through of the major proposals, and share a few public comments from your neighbors.

MAX Light Rail on Powell Blvd?

Route800Transit upgrades are coming to Powell Blvd and Division St, that much is certain. But what will it look like and where will it go? That's the $3 million question. The yellow line in the image above shows potential alignment options.

As part of the Powell-Division Transit and Development project, Metro is trying to improve your transit commute between Gresham and Portland in the Powell/Division corridor. Other than calling the project "High Capacity Transit" they really don't know what it's going to look like. They don't know the type of vehicle, and they don't know the preferred route.

So far, everything is on the table. Could this be just a faster bus? Would it run in dedicated lanes? Would it run along Powell and then Division? Or Division the whole way? or Powell the whole way?

Planners are asking the community to chime in now until mid September. They want to know “what type of transit should it be and where should it go?” If the fate of Powell Boulevard matters to you, this is the moment to get involved. Take the survey, share the survey. The planners will add up the results and use this to make and defend their decisions.

Frankly, it feels like we are being set up

TransitTypeWhile the planners put photos of Light Rail and "Rapid Streetcar" in front of us as if they are an actual choice, the terms of the project itself indicate that those are very unlikely outcomes. According the to project brief, the goal of the project is to identify "near-term high capacity transit solution for the corridor that ... recognizes limited capital and operational funding." (Emphasis added). Rail projects are neither near-term nor affordable.  How can they even offer these up if they go directly against the project goals?

If you want light rail or rapid streetcar on Powell, you are going to fight for it. You are going to have to step up for you neighborhood in a way that was unnecessary for other previous light rail lines. It's unfair, it sucks, but it's real.

If you don't step up, we're probably going to end up with a slightly faster, slightly prettier, bus. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it would be one of the biggest missed opportunities Powell Blvd has ever seen.

Read more at the local Transit blog Portland Transport, and the Official Project Website.

The Street Fee & Foster Neighborhoods

A lot of people have been pissed off about the City's proposed street fee (aka Transportation User Fee). I attended the Woodstock open house last April, and saw a deeply divided audience. The audience seemed to be 50/50 for and against. Some were upset about the concept of a new fee, others though we were already paying for streets, and more still were distrustful that their neighborhood would see any of the money that was raised. 

Particular frustration came from Brentwood-Darlington residents, a neighborhood where it seems they have more unimproved streets than 'complete' streets. How does maintenance money help them, when they don't have many finished streets to maintain? How can you add safe curb ramps to a sidewalk that doesn't exist?

It looks like PBOT was listening, and they recently released the Transportation Needs Guidebook, with information and maps of where transportation needs are, and presumably, where potential improvements would go. What does it mean for our SE neighborhoods?

Street Paving

No one likes driving (or biking, or crossing) on cut-up, pothole filled bumpy streets. The big winners here are:

SE Holgate: from 63rd to 72nd
SE Foster: from 82nd to 92nd) (hey, maybe this means we can use the Foster Streetscape money for something else?)
SE 92nd: From Holgate to the Springwater, except for the recently rebuilt part in the Lents Town Center
SE Ellis: from Foster to 92nd 

Other streets are in less dire need of repair and will get various treatments from fog-seal, to a scrape-and-resurface.

See the area below, or click here for the citywide map.


Safety Improvements

PBOT has been saying that a big chunk of the money will go to safety improvements, like crossings and sidewalks. This one is a little less specific than the street paving map, but it does give us a sense of priorities.

School areas will get safer streets and crossings
The east side of the Lents couplet will get a crossing.
SE Ellis will finally get sidewalks.
and so will Brentwood-Darlington

See the area map below, or click here for the citywide map.


Pop-Up Public Plaza comes to Lents


Sign01The Foster and Lents areas is full of half-empty lots. These forgotten spaces are used to store granite, appliances, used cars, and often, nothing at all.

I suspect many neighbors want to see their neighborhood commercial streets be more than storage yards, and seeing new activity come to these lots helps maintain the hope that their future has more potential than the recent past.

In Lents, the owner of many of these empty lots is surprising: the City of Portland itself (through the Portland Development Commission).

After years of non-interest in development of these lots, the PDC is taking a different approach to development, offering a short-term "pop-up" style lease to the sites. One of the winners of the bid was an art installation/community building/public space, called Story Yard.

Build through a collaboration of Propel Studio Architecture and ROSE Community Development , the Story Yard at 88th & Foster uses benches, walkways, low walls transform the empty lot into a pocket park, surrounding the inhabitants with larger than life portraits of anonymous neighbors that live and work in the neighborhood.

A grand opening celebration is tonight, Monday August 18th from 6-8pm, SE 88th and Foster. Come celebrate with your neighbors.


Learn more about the project from the PDC and Rose CDC.

Depaving Foster, one Lot at at Time

 Depave is the local pavement-to-soil non profit, and this year they're coming to Foster in a big way. Two major events are happening this month, and the more bodies the merrier. The first is at Wild Lilac Development Community, the second at the Portland Mercado.

Depave projects are fun, friendly, and a great way to help improve your neighborhood. Depave will provide all the necessary tools, safety gear, snacks and lunch.

Past Projects

Depave isn't new to Foster, they helped with the Our Happy Block project near 82nd & Woodstock back in 2012. The project transformed a cut-through expanse of parking lot into a pleasant green oasis.


Depaving Wild Lilac

They're back again this weekend with a project at the Wild Lilac Child Development Community, located at 74th & Center. The project will transform the vast parking lot into a food-growing community garden, and make this entrance to the property much nicer to look at.

Depaving Wild Lilac
July 12th
10 am- 2:30 pm
3829 SE 74th Ave


Depaving the Portland Mercado

The second depave event on Foster is a big one: The Portland Mercado.

While the contractors are working on the interior and exterior of the soon-to-be Portland Mercado on 72nd & Foster, they've enlisted Depave and the neighbors to prep the weed infested parking lot into a green growing plaza. Read more at the Portland Mercado blog.

Depaving the Portland Mercado
July 26th
10 am- 3:00 pm
72nd & Foster

The Portland Mercado event is bigger than the usual Depave gathering, and it's sure to be the biggest depave project of the season. Please RSVP to the event to make sure depave and the Portland Mercado brings enough materials and food for everyone. Join and share the Facebook Event posting to spread the word.

Public Invited to Todays NAYA Generations Project Launch

The old Foster Elementary School site in Lents has been empty for years, but a coalition of community groups has come together to create something innovative and new on the property.



Foster, your Street Card is here

10354952_661364017282014_536251139831972226_n The Foster Street Card has arrived! This is the first in a series of fun simple ways we can come together to promote our favorite coffee shop, art shop, game shop, and whatnot. 

Pick up your handy dandy lovely card at any of the following locations and support your favorite local spots.

I’ve Been Framed : 4950 SE Foster Road

Pieper Cafe : 6504 SE Foster Road

Red Castle Games : 6406 SE Foster Road

Salon Mojo : 5820 SE Foster Road

Meticon Bikes : 5927 SE Foster Road

Torta-landia : 4144 SE 60th

Gemini Lounge : 6526 SE Foster Road

Bar Maven : 6219 SE Foster Road

Six Teams Enter, One Team Wins: Southeast Kickball Tournament

Kickball FlyerSometimes a little friendly competition is all you need to bring people together. Well, it's ON!

The brainchild of the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association, and funded via a Creative Engagement Grant through SE Uplift, the area-wide event sets up an SE Portland competition of kickball skills.

SE_PDX_Kickball_MAP_600pxThe  Bracket:

Arranged in an east vs west setup, Creston-Kenilworth will face off against Woodstock on Saturday, July 19th from 2-4 pm at Woodstock Park . The winner will take on Brentwood-Darlington a week later in the bid to represent the western teams on Saturday, July 26 from 2-4pm at Brentwood Park.

To the east, we'll see Lents and Foster-Powell battle on Sunday, July 20th from 2-4pm at Kern Park. The winner will compete with Mt. Scott-Arleta on Sunday, July 26 from 2-4pm at Lents Park.

It all comes to a head on Saturday, August 2nd from 2-4 pm at Arleta School, when the championship match names a winner. 

Want to compete but don't know what neighborhood you live in? Here's a general map above, but if you live on the dividing lines you may need to check out the details on

It looks like there will be a $5 suggested donation to help defray some of the costs to the neighborhood associations. No one will be turned away.