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., 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.  


TOMORROW – Your Last, Best Chance to Shape Your Neighborhood

The City of Portland is hosting a SUPER OPEN HOUSE tomorrow night to share and gather information about two major plans going on along Foster Road. We know these are kind of boring, and we know you have other things you’d rather do, but if one day you look out your window and see stuff you didn’t like, don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.

Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll talk about: (more…)

The Traffic Analysis Results Are (Sort of) In

Project Overview: We are 3/4 through a process to update the Foster Streetscape Plan originally created in 2003. The update aims to explore the possibility of accommodating a future streetcar, improving safety for everyone, and providing a bikeway along the street. All of these objectives are in response to recent citywide plans. One potential strategy to achieving these goals is the reconfiguration the street from a 4-lane arterial to a 3-lane arterial design. The idea of this change is a source of some controversy.

The latest Advisory Committee meeting was packed with information about the impacts of various streetscape proposals. We learned a lot, and I wanted to share my summary of the details from the meeting.  I can’t stress enough that the analysis results presented below are preliminary and incomplete. For example, results showing impacts in the evening may be different when analyzed for the morning hours, so take some of this with a grain of salt.

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.


The New Foster Road?

The Portland Bureau of transportation has unveiled their list of options for the Foster Road Streetscape. Keep in mind that these are not final, and we are not limited to what is shown here. I wish it were a simpler task, but the given all of the factors at play we’re left with a fairly large set of 14 options. (Even beyond this list, each option can be tweaked and adjusted into more permutations, not to mention options not even included in their analysis.)

I’ve presented all of their options below for you to look at, but the bottom line is this: we don’t have enough information to decide. (more…)

Your First November Weekend


The passing of Halloween marks the coming of the dark months and with them, a welcomed chest full of cozy comforts to wrap up in until the push of spring daffodils break the ground.  Bubbling crock pots, hot toddies and close friends warm the belly and soul while the rain falls and the nights are long.  Light summer reads are traded for old classics and poetry, mellow music, and firelight.  And so begins the season of deep thought and drinking to lull us through the holiday marathon ahead. (more…)

Willamette Week’s View of Foster Neighborhoods

I must have been busy when the Willamette Week released the 2012/13 edition of the Finder a couple months ago. If you’re not familiar with the Finder, it’s a glossy magazine “Guide to Portland.” The Willamette Week has been putting these together for years, and they serve as a good introduction to what’s hip in Portland. When friends move to Portland I usually throw a Finder at them to help them get up to speed. (more…)

Open House Overload

Foster Corridor Investment Strategy Open House #2

DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LOCATION: Lents Masonic Lodge, 5811 SE 92nd Ave


I know what you’re thinking, “Another Open House?! I just went to one the other day and sat on my ass eating cheap Costco party food.” (more…)

The Success of Neighborhood Branding on Foster; Challenges Still Exist

Many Foster-area neighborhoods have boosted their identities through branding and the use of logos.  But what about Foster Road as a whole?

Branding is, no doubt, a key component to a thriving commercial district.  A recent article by Neighborhood Notes, part of a series on changing perceptions of your neighborhood and/or business district, discusses how neighborhood groups can go about launching their brand while also engaging the community and creating identity.

In past articles, the series has covered how to address negative perceptions of your neighborhood, as well as ways to overcome and change those perceptions through branding.  As we’ve seen in the Lents Town Center, logos can go a long way in creating a brand, and the LTC logo has a strong ability to connect a visual cue to the area it represents.  Other neighborhoods along Foster have had varying degrees of success with their branding, while others continue to strive for a stronger identity.