Summit Recap – Foster’s Built Environment: Streets, Sidewalks and Beyond

By way of follow-up to February 15th's Foster Summit event, we've asked a couple of the attendees to share a summary of topics and ideas from the breakout session they attended. We will publish these, along with the 'butcher paper' notes in the weeks to come.

Today we've asked Mike Caputo, who facilitated our discussion of transportation infrastructure, to contribute his thoughts on the discussion that took place. Mike is a founder of the innovative company What Would You Like to See?, which uses crowdsourcing to bring the public into the process of creating the next generation of our built environment.

Were you were there? What did Mike miss? Even if you couldn't attend the event, we hope you'll share your take on these important community issues.

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fostersummit_348The built environment is something that impacts us all in a myriad of ways. Buildings, streets, and sidewalks do not change often – careful consideration should go into their creation, because they will impact an area for decades or more.

In the Foster-Powell, Lents and Mt. Scott-Arleta areas, pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists all have a number of issues that the community is trying to address together. These are issues that have accumulated over a long period of time; and though they will take time and energy to address, the communities involved are prepared to roll up their proverbial sleeves and take action to improve their surroundings.

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The Other Half of the Streetscape Plan

You may have seen the flyer in your mailbox: The 5th Foster Road Open House is happening this Thursday evening.

According to the planners, this should the last one. The first 4 open houses were focused on gathering community input, sharing ideas and hearing responses and concerns. This open house is about what the city came up with. They’ll be taking comments I’m sure, but unless there is a torch and pitchfork mob in attendance they are only expecting to make small changes to the proposal before this goes to council. Think of it as an early warning of sorts – When you see the construction crews out on the ground over the coming years, this is what they are working on. (more…)

Something Better than Bike Lanes for Foster?


The Foster Road Streetscape Plan is almost done. The City has shown their official options and in a few months the vision of the New Foster Road, whatever it looks like, will be adopted by City Council.

But people won’t stop talking about the bike lanes.

BikePortland.org, the premier forum for bicycling issues in this city, has raised the topic a couple of times in the last few weeks and each post is filled with 100+ comments of discussion. The BTA has identified Foster as a potential world-class bicycling corridor, and the official City of Portland Bike Advisory Committee has expressed disappointment that regular bike lanes are the only bikeway on the table for the new design.

The Official Bike Lane Proposal:

RegularBike Lanes

Disclaimer: The decision between 4 and 3 lanes has not yet been made. The City held an open house in June to hear from the neighbors, and the ultimate call will only be made once that information is available.  

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Sunday Parkways Comes to Foster

sundayEvery year for the last 3 years, Portland has done something crazy: they open a loop of streets  for everyone in the neighborhoods to enjoy. This Sunday (Mothers Day!) is the first one of the 2013 season, and it’s in our neck of the woods.

For this one day from 11 am – 4 pm, car access is blocked or controlled along the route, and the full street is available for neighbors to roll, walk, skate, bike and jog. The Loop goes from park to park on quiet streets and bikeways called Neighborhood Greenways.  The east Portland loop is takes advantage of the awesome Springwater Corridor for about 1/4 of the route. Each park is filled with activities, vendors, food, and information. (more…)

Money for Foster, if We Fight For It

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to give us money, but the competition is tough. Their current round of state transportation project funding has identified three projects directly relevant to our Foster neighborhoods, and we’re only going to stand out from the many other projects on the list if we can make our voice heard. That’s where you come in.

Below the project descriptions on this page are three forms, one for each Foster-area project. Please consider filling your contact information and letting ODOT know your interest in seeing one (or all) of these projects funded. (more…)

East Portland Neighbors Ride The Woody Guthrie Trail

bikeRideMapTake a ride with your east Portland neighbors this Saturday, as a part of the spring EPAP bike ride series. This group represents you and your neighbors on bikes in East Portland, as a part of the East Portland Action Plan advocacy agenda.

The group starts the ride at the Main St MAX station at 10 AM, and heads south along the I-205 Path (nicknamed “the Woody Guthrie Trail” by some) to end at Clackamas Town Center. Along the way they’ll stop at the various art displays along the path, installed as a part of the MAX green line construction.

If you’re interested in public art, bikes, East Portland politics, or just want to get your bike out of the garage to take a spin with your neighbors, this ride is for you. If you’ve never been on the trail before, it’s a good opportunity to learn how easy it is to get around the neighborhoods without hopping in your car.

Think of it as a practice run for summer.

East Portland Bike Ride
Satruday March 16th, 10 AM
Main St MAX station
About 11 miles long, for all ages and abilities.

The Other Main Street: 82nd Avenue

 While we’re still in the midst of discussions about the future of Foster Road, the whispers of improving another street in need are just beginning. If neighborhood activists get their way, 82nd Avenue will be next on the list for a major revamp.

For better or for worse, Foster neighborhoods are also 82nd Avenue neighborhoods. Foster-Powell’s unique shape means that half of their population lives about 1/2 mile from  82nd Ave. One of Mt. Scott-Arleta’s most beloved bars, the Lion’s Eye, fronts 82nd Ave. And Lents, in it’s quest to be the Town Center of the future, needs to bring people across the 82nd divide. This can be challenging given the physical barrier the street poses.

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