Streetscape Goes to City Council Today

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
2:00 pm
Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Avenue

city council

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.


  1. What needs to be done before this poorly planned street farce is implemented is cone or barricade off the street to what the new lanes will be for a week and see how it flows and the problems. You will then see what a mess this will create. You think that people run lights now on Foster wait until it is lined up for many blocks due to the constriction of lanes. After the long waits people will run the lights and cause more accidents. It is always best to test something before jumping in with both feet and then finding out that was a poor plan and its to late so we are stuck with a mess. Foster is a transportation corridor not a neighborhood street. It anything Foster should add lanes and not reduce them.

  2. Obviously you do not live in this neighborhood, which it is a neighborhood. Kids cross the street to get to school. Neighbors cross these streets to frequent businesses. I have a son who was hit in a cross walk on this street and another friend who was also hit in a crosswalk. People drive 45 miles an hour down this road in an attempt to get somewhere fast instead of using Powell which is an actual TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR not a neighborhood street.
    Adding lanes? This is not a freeway. Go around.

    • Foster and Powell have the same functional classification as “Major City Traffic” streets. So, technically they’re supposed to serve the same sorts of functions.

  3. Godspeed Streetscape plan. Lets shrink this road and actually enjoy our neighborhood. Those cats with their fast dangerous cars can use Powell, or ride a bike.

  4. Fingers crossed, wish I could show up for the meeting and represent. It’s about time foster gets some love.

  5. Haha. Love all the butt hurt people who don’t want this to happen. Considering most of you morons drive 45mph in a 35mph zone, I hope this happens, just so I can laugh at all you idiots.

  6. Really Joe? In case you haven’t noticed people speed everywhere, not just on Foster, and you want to shut down one of the busiest streets on the East side just so you can laugh at idiots?
    Why not post a speed trap there for several days/week. This would slow people down and be a lot cheaper, actually adding revenue to the city coffers and making Foster much safer. I know the police could catch a lot of drivers texting too ( I see it every day).
    And to Susan, Cora is right, Powell and Foster are classified the same, it sounds like you’d just rather let people over on Powell deal with it. People get hit in crosswalks all over town, in fact the highest number of pedestrian strikes is downtown where the speed limit is 25mph. How is constricting lanes and adding more crosswalks supposed to make crosswalks any safer? I looked into getting crosswalks added to Woodstock and the Dept of Transportation told me verbatim “Adding crosswalks doesn’t mean people will use the crosswalks”.
    Why not put in flashing crosswalks with lights just like the one by Freddy’s on Foster and 82nd?
    I live right off Woodstock, which is only ONE lane, and people go just as fast as they do on Powell and Foster. So clearly dropping from two lanes to one will not curb speed!
    The fact is everyone who’s for this rediculous “road diet” is thinking short term, and only about themselves and how the want Foster to be “pretty” and asthetically pleasing. This is a MAJOR TRAFFIC SUPPORT! I drive it all the time. I shop on it, I get coffe here, I eat here, get groceries here. This is the wrong way to fix the safety problem.
    But hey….as long as my neighborhood looks nice, everything will be better. B.S. 20 years from now Portland is expected to have 120,000 more households. People will look back at this and say “what the **** were they thinking?” What will your kids think when it takes them an hour to get across town like it’s L.A. and they find out you pushed for it?

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