After more than a decade of neighborhood advocacy, the revised Foster Streetscape Plan will go before the City Council this afternoon. Public testimony will be taken.
Today – June 11
Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Avenue
Tips on Testifying at the City Council
1. Try to arrive at least a few minutes early.
2. There should be a signup sheet near the doorway to the Council Chamber. If you’d like to testify, add your name –they’ll call people to speak in the order they’ve signed up. If the meeting has already started and the Clerk has the list, it’s okay to quietly approach the Clerk’s desk and ask to be added to the speaker’s list.
3. They normally call people in groups of three. When your name is called, go up to the table, take a seat and wait to be recognized by the Mayor. He’ll probably give you three minutes to speak.
4. It’s proper to address the Mayor first, then the other Council members, and then give your full name. Something like “Mr Mayor and members of the Council, my name is ________ and I’m here to speak in favor of the Plan.” It’s a good idea to give your organizational affiliation too, if it’s appropriate –but time is tight and this isn’t the time to recite every accomplishment on your resume.
5. Always try to speak about your personal experience. Ever had a close call while crossing Foster? Do you have kids who walk near Foster on the way to school? Talk about that.
6. Keep it brief, and try not to duplicate things that have already been said.
7. Assume that the Council members know nothing about the Plan. This is the community’s opportunity to introduce the issue and explain why the Council should support it.
Things to know about the Foster Streetscape Plan
- The Plan will implement a series of pedestrian safety measures in a 2-mile section of SE Foster Road.
- The original Foster Road safety plan was adopted by the Council in 2003 but never implemented.
- Between 2000 and 2009 there were more than 2200 crashes and 11 fatalities on Foster Road. Since 2009 there have been four pedestrians killed trying to cross Foster Road.
- In 2011 Foster Road was named as a High Crash Corridor by the city of Portland. The City’s High Crash Corridor Study found that “the incidence of crashes caused by drivers disregarding traffic signals is about 60% higher [on Foster] than the Citywide average.”
- The current plan is the result of an extensive public process. The Stakeholder Advisory Committee included a wide range of community members. There were five public open houses and dozens of meetings with local groups. Local people overwhelmingly support the Plan.
- The Plan uses no general fund dollars — It’s fully paid for with federal grants and urban renewal funds that are already earmarked.
- The highest cost item in the Plan is $1.65 million to improve inadequate sidewalks in Lents.